November 15, 2006

“Some Run!”

That’s actually a line Peter says in The Diary of Anne Frank which sums up our first week of shows. First of all I survived and secondly it was WONDERFUL! Every night I was thrilled to get on stage and move the story ahead. There’s no end to what can be accomplished in a play… it’s different every night if you allow it to happen. What I’ve learned during this past week, incorporating the nerves and excitement, was not to push. I’m Anne, I’ve faced that and have completely accepted this so all I have to do every night is be me on stage… there’s no need to rub it in the audiences face - “I AM ANNE!” They get it, i’m sure. It sounds simple, and really it is, but it was hard to recognize when I was “allowing” to make to distinction from when I wasn’t. Once I grasped that concept I had the capability of letting the pieces fall into place, trust myself and the text, and run with it. Acting becomes not acting and - wham, bam! - it’s you on stage with a different name. If i’ve confused the reader, my apologies.

At the moment I’m sitting in my living room after a quiet evening of movies and a trip to Wegman’s. Tomorrow morning is our last performance for high schoolers. This morning was awesome - they were so into it! I was really blown away… I was extremely doubtful that they’d have manners. Luckily I was wrong and had such a great time performing for them. I fed off of their energy… it was fantastic. Even during my one diary, standing alone on my diary post talking about getting my period and going through the strange hormonal craziness of puberty, I knifed right through it. In all honesty I completely accepted their uncomfortable laughter since I could tell they were listening. Best part of all this morning was when Peter and I had to kiss in the attic - all the students flipped and applauded us. What a riot! It was such a high… I almost laughed out loud!

The “talk backs” were wonderful as well. Students asked about the “period diary”, learning lines, how Drew cast the show, the kissing scene - rather “the romantic scene”… I loved it. I could have stayed there all day to answer questions, talk about our process. God i’m psyched that I get to do it again in… 10 hours. I’ll write more about it tomorrow… let me finish about the first week of the show.

So. Preview night we had a standing ovation, opening night we had a standing ovation… and well every show after that. And yes I’m mentioning that because IT’S AMAZING and because we are working hard to tell this story to the best of our ability, to engage our audience, have them learn something… so yes I believe we deserve it. It feels awesome. Then I want to hug everyone so i quick change out of my costume to run upstairs and meet friends/fam/profs. Let me say I’ve never seen so many people smile and cry at the same time. It hit me hard. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen how deeply theatre can affect people, even those I’ve never met. The Diary of Anne Frank has brought out sides of people that i’ve never seen before. Everyone who either knows me or doesn’t has let me and the cast know how much they’ve appreciated the show. The smiles I’ve seen! Smiles on faces wet from tears… it’s mind blowing.

Speaking of mind blowing: next to having my whole family, + close friends, travel to see this performance… it’s the best when my professors come to see it. I finally get to tell them a story, let them experience something new and then learn from it. For everything they’ve given to me, I feel good saying that my success is because I’ve had amazing teachers and mentors in my life.

Ha! And it’s not all bubbles, candy and kittens… Yesterday was a crap day. I definitely hit rock bottom with a good ole stress attack, if you will. Pretty much the bottom fell out from underneath me after doing 12 shows, tech week, lack of sleep, piling on work, knowing damn well I did not do very well on an exam…. all this lead to a melt down. It only lasted about 2 hours. Thankfully I know wonderful, caring people at BSC who always pick me up when I’m down. I can’t say enough about them. Now I’m happy and motivated.

Well, it’s bed time for bonzo. Did you enjoy my novel?

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