The hours before a show are never easy. I hadn’t exactly forgotten, but it did come as a shock to me that even after all these years of performing in all kinds of different capacities I am still, for all intents and purposes, entirely dysfunctional right before a show.
Which is not to say I didn’t channel my nervous energy into putting up a shelf in the kitchen that I’d been promising to do for awhile. Because I did. And it looks good. And as long as I can spend that time in my little impenetrable bubble of preoccupied distraction, doing whatever it is that suits me, for as long as it does, everything is fine. And everything was fine before the show. As I wandered around the house, read my script, read a book, got dressed, got undressed, got dressed again, washed some dishes and did some push-ups. I arrived at the theatre in time to get myself and my props and costume bits together in time.
And then it was showtime.
The play, being a slightly anachronistic political satire using slapstick absurd humour and incisive political references, caught the audience a little sideways. But they quickly warmed to it. Though slightly uneven and suffering from a bit of ‘first night jitters’, the show was definitely a success. I’ve been told that the very few empty seats that were in the house last night will no longer be empty.
And as the comfort builds, and the timing tightens up we will find the laughter and make space for it, and continue to have a good time. So will the audience.