Monday, 8 November 2010

Well, thank god that's over with!!  The première of my first outing as a "professional actress" was yesterday, and I am so relieved to say it all went swimmingly.  The energy of the thing as a whole was overwhelming, and I am proud to have been part of such a wonderful production.  Didn't hurt, of course, that I got a great round of applause after one of my exit lines, which was totally unexpected and led to me thumping the air on the way offstage (well, if you don't have anything to sing, you have to make the most of what you do have, right?).  I suspect I rather irritated the backstage crew (the instinct of those near me was to duck) at this point, only to make it far, far worse a little later, when one of the props workers, a stunningly beautiful and elegant woman hefting a raft full of tulips, ran splat into a mirror set into one of the flats, and I collapsed into giggles with a colleague.  Really, these things shouldn't be quite so funny.  But, erm, they are ;-)  Especially when you're due on stage a few seconds later, composed, dignified and definitely not giggling fit to burst.

Mostly I was relieved to have delivered my eccentrically bilingual lines in the right order.  However at a couple of points I was surprised by a slightly different sort of energy than I'd been used to - more angry, I think - and was interested to note the difference it made.  Once again, the magic of the première does its stuff...  This also worked, I am happy to say, with the improvised audience participation episode.  Somehow I managed to witter away convincingly to strangers.  I reduced one poor man to blushing silence, but his female companions were made of sterner stuff and bantered back with me.  Still, I don't mind admitting that I was bloody glad when the dialogue started up again, even if I was always conscious that there was a cameraman (solo scenes being transmitted live and amplified on screens in the foyer and theatre) pretty much up my blasted nose.  Ugh!  I'm OK so long as I can't see any of the screens, but as my sight is still good, this is not easy to accomplish!  Never mind. Yet ANOTHER acting exercise...

Post-show, I was overwhelmed by advice to steal my grey wig.  I agreed with the impulse, but unfortunately the microphones we all had to wear went under the wig, over the tremendously flattering stocking and bandage keeping my own hair clamped to my skull.  Logistics were therefore against me. Otherwise, I really would have been tempted.

The post-première celebrations were rather fun this time.  Considering I was playing 70 years old, I was rather flattered to receive a proposal of marriage (I had reason to suspect that the young man who proposed was not, let us say, entirely sober at the time, so felt I had to decline...).  Really, though, as a singer you tend to hold back most of the time in order to keep the voice in decent singing order.  Very, very strange to think that all I need to do for these performances is speak.

I could get used to this :-)

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