Sunday, February 6, 2022

Scary but Fun!

Well, that was scary! But also lots of fun. We opened the play, Life Sucks, by Aaron Posner, on Friday night, coming together in the theatre for the first time in front of an audience after two snow days off. It was a sweet, supportive audience--a combination of the Friday night reservations and the cancelled pay-what-you-can preview performance audience from Thursday. I was probably well prepared to do this by having been in the Free Shakespeare Company in Chicago in the 1980s, where we memorized our lines on our own and came together as actors for the first time in front of the audience to do the whole play together. 

Last night, Saturday night, was our Sponsor Night, with the entire audience invited to a reception afterwards in a wonderful banquet room decorated for Valentine's Day. Life Sucks (like Uncle Vanya) is about "love and longing," and this February time slot, though accidental, is perfect. The audience was masked (!), vaccinated (or recently tested) responsive, ready to laugh, and had a really good time. So did we! We have two more weekends of the show, and I am hoping for a February thaw, which often happens, to make it easier for everyone to get to the theatre!

My parents, who live out in the country, have been snowed in for days. They finally got plowed out yesterday, but overnight their long drive drifted a bit again, thanks to the wind across the fields, and they will need another scooping. Fortunately, they live in a cozy farmhouse with a generator and lots of food in the cupboards! They didn't have to go to the grocery store...and face those empty (anyway) shelves!

Somehow, my poetry life and my editing life have continued underneath the heaped snow and play nerves. Drafts appear in my poetry notebook, as if I put them there. (I did.) Rejections come by email, or I figure out that I wasn't notified by seeing contest winners posted on a website, etc. Over at Escape Into Life, I edited and posted the new Music for Music column by Dan Ursini, a Chicago writer and musian (and playwright!), about the artist Heirloome--a wonderful discovery. I love their "between-worlds" music, ethereal sound and visuals...!

I realized during yoga, as no doubt I have realized before, that my double mind can accommodate many things. Rodney Yee tells me what to do, and I do it, with full commitment if not full focus, as sometimes the play is also going on in my head in the background. Though this is not exactly what is desired during yoga, what is desired--a full acceptance of the body-mind in the present moment--means that yoga and I can both handle it. I am aware of, attentive to, and accept the fact that my body-mind is 1) preoccupied 2) can do two things at once, and 3) I am OK with that. Actors need to be able to do that, anyway, in case a doorknob falls off (the past) or a hearing aid in the audience sends out a whistling-tea-kettle noise (last night). We still carry on with the scene!


Bethany Reid said...

So splendid to read about all these things under the roof of a single blogpost! I wish I were there to see you perform. I sometimes dream that I am on a stage and have NO IDEA OF MY LINES--all the more reason to be in awe of you.

Kathleen said...

Bethany, that's the actor's nightmare! Very similar to the naked-in-front-of-people nightmare!