Two weeks…

2 Feb

A lot can happen in two weeks. 

A little over two weeks ago I was in rehearsals for a show called Fire on the Bayou.  My role was a supporting character, and I would only be playing her two weekends out of the five weekend run.  It’s not that this was a no-brainer, but I felt confident about the role.  I knew her lines and songs, and I also knew I had three extra weeks to solidify things before I’d be in front of an audience.

And then I got the call:  Our lead actress was sidelined with vocal cord problems.  Would I consider taking the role?  I said yes without thinking, but then reality hit.  Two weeks.  Two weeks to learn a whole new part:  multiple new scenes, new songs, new character (a 17 year old, no less), new dialect…

I might have mentioned before that I’m a perfectionist.  Not about everything, mind you.  My bathroom can be a complete disaster area and it doesn’t bother me a bit.  Dishes in the sink?  No problem.  Pile of papers?  Pshaw!!!  But when it comes to performing, I’m type A all the way.  I want it right, and I want it right YESTERDAY!!!  It’s not rational.  It’s not logical.  But it’s me.

My poor director thought he’d made a huge mistake on about day three of this little adventure.  He pulled me aside.  “Are you okay?  I’m concerned that you’re a little too stressed out.  I hope I’m not putting any undue pressure on you.”   Pressure?  What pressure?  (Nervous laugh.)  I’m fine.  Really!   

I was SO not fine.  I wanted my lines memorized and my dialect exactly right and the dances learned and the songs beautiful, and I didn’t want to wait for it to happen.  I never want to wait…patience is not my strong suit.  Because I have this fear that if it’s not right at this very moment, it’s never going to be right.  And if it’s never going to be right I’m going to be a failure.  And if I’m a failure then I’ll have failed.  And THAT is not an option. 

I took a breath.  I gave myself a lecture.  I listened to my wise husband and my wise friends who reminded me that I was only a couple of days into this challenge, and that it was going to get better.  And of course, it did get better.  It always does.  It always falls into place.  I needn’t have worried.

We opened the show this past Friday, and it’s a hit.  Our audiences seem to love it.  All the wrinkles that freaked me out two weeks ago have ironed themselves out.   The lines are memorized and come from my voice without thought.  The notes that I worked so hard to perfect now easily flow out of me.  The dialect comes naturally.  I know where to go and when to go there.  (The dancing’s still hard, but that’s just me.  The dancing’s always hard.)  It happens every time. 

Will I ever learn? 

Give me a couple of weeks.

(photo courtesy of Siggi Ragnar)

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2 Responses to “Two weeks…”

  1. Barb February 14, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Can’t wait to see it! Break a leg!

  2. GG May 7, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    It was a terrific show!!!

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