Monday, December 9, 2013

Home stretch

So this week the terror really set in for me.  I'm not sure if anyone reading this can understand how naked you can feel during a solo show.  And the preparation is exhausting, more than with any other show I've ever been involved with.  It's not like filming a local independent film where I can memorize three pages at a time, shoot it, and then return another day to film another few scenes thought to be fair to film that take a whole other type of endurance.  Plus with film even local independent films can get you your own page on IMDB and a "Bacon number" of 3 (see the woefully unadorned and for some shameless self-promotional proof of that).

This past weekend I spent about 80% of my waking time doing nothing but running lines and going over blocking.  Tony and I weren't able to "get together" over Skype for a rehearsal until Sunday night and at that point I had already burned myself out both physically and mentally and, goddamn, did I suck.  I was mortified about how poorly I felt about my performance.

In spite of the signs telling me I should just get over it and chalk it up to exhaustion I beat myself up all night which did not lead to a great night's sleep.  Perhaps I'm supposed to be keeping things cheerful and perhaps this is getting confusing for all the people I've explained time and time again that I perform strictly out of the love of performing when I explain that there are, indeed, low points with every production.  Some are just more extreme than others.

I actually found myself lying in bed last night thinking "Do I want to go through with this?  Is it too late to totally flake out?" though both thoughts were fleeting.  Instead I was able to find the motivation and determination to keep plugging away.  Deep down I knew that what I had done that night was not the best I could do and that I could do a lot better.  And tonight was the result of that.

I actually took the day off from work because I was honestly not feeling well this morning though this partially due to a combination of exhaustion and anxiety.  My voice still has a barely noticeable scratch to it.  There were other symptoms which, for the sake of anyone reading, I won't go through.  At first I thought this was a bad sign that I might be coming down with yet another illness but I realized I could also use this time productively.

I spent the day just studying and studying both the lines and the notes Tony has given me over the past few weeks and tonight I felt the work I did set both of our minds at ease a little more.  Sure, I'm still feeling the raised heart rate...and maybe even enjoying the rush...because there's still a lot of tightening up to do but I feel like we have a show.  I'm more thinking about how much more there is to do an continuing to embrace the fear, you know, just so I'm not complacent and, well, stupid about where we stand.

Oh, and something I noticed myself doing tonight was bringing lines or ideas from the show into jokes I was making with Tony which only comes out where I reach a certain comfort level with the script.

So the next few days are really going to be long and exhausting but if you question if it's all worth it and what kind of pleasure I could be getting from all this I'm just keeping that finish line in sight because mentally it's not all that much different than what I experience skiing in marathons.  It's all about the end results. 

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