Reporter’s Notebook: Break a Leg
November 9, 2015
The first act was fantastic. Our opening had more vibrancy than ever. Our director, Marisa Post, called the "Gaston" scene electrifying, and the people who had come to watch couldn't wait to applaud it. "Be Our Guest" was maybe a little sloppy, but full of joy.
And then all the photographers and journalists left and we fell apart.
At least, that's how some of us felt. Marisa, whether she was just trying to keep our morale up or what, was really very positive and encouraging. After all, this was Wednesday, only our second full dress rehearsal and first time running the show with the orchestra.
Another actor and I completely missed our entrance at one point. The orchestra came to a full stop in the middle of one number. And half of us were singing a full measure ahead of the music in another.
But during our notes session at the end of the six-hour rehearsal, which has been taking an hour most nights, nobody freaked out. We just came up with solutions, and laughed about some of the "oops" moments. And honestly, while these mistakes always seem terrible when you're in it, hopefully we're good enough actors to play them off well.
I've been getting home past midnight every night this week, which means the downvalley folks are getting home even later. I've never been more tired — as my coworker and fellow actor Amy Laha said Wednesday, we were more nimble when we used to do this in high school. And yet, the show has more energy than ever. We finally have lights, mics, flashy costumes, sets to move and real props to carry, and somehow that makes it easier to get into character, brush off the hiccups and put on a good show.
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About a week or so ago, Marisa told us our show would peak right at the right time. I didn't really get what she meant by that. But on Thursday, I thought to myself, "I'm ready. Let's do this."
Just in time for opening night.
Jill Beathard is ready for showtime. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.