The roller coaster that is a stage play is now over and I have no clue what to do with myself.
I was cast in the play For Colored Girls as lady in purple in October-ish(I was also working as a stand in full time for a tv show so all the days just run together at this point) and started rehearsals immediately. A stage play is the ultimate roller coaster. You start off just super excited that someone thought you were talented enough to be in their show (aka help raise the baby they are about to give birth to). Then you get your script and see your 3 (for some girls 5) page monologue and you start wondering what you got yourself into. Then the director tells you what day you have to be off book and you start the work of memorizing material you may or may not actually understand and wondering why the hell you’re in this business and why your brain wont do what you want it to and you sit on your couch contemplating if you will ever be off book or if you will be the annoying person calling for line during tech and then freeze opening night and everyone judge you and you never get hired again! HOLY CRAP!
Okay I’m back. But honestly if you’re reading this and you’ve done theatre you KNOW it’s true. If it isn’t then you’re a freak and I might hate you. Anyway, back to the show. After the breakdown happens and you’re off book you go to that first rehearsal WITHOUT the script and KIIIIILLLLL ITTTTTTT! There may be a stumble here and there but you’re off book and so proud and the director is so happy! Then rehearsals continue things start coming together and you’re like dang this is going to be awesome. You get closer to opening night and you look around and people may be dropping out, or they don’t know their lines and you wonder if you actually should have invited a ton of people to this show. (i know that sounds horrible but I’m here to speak the truth so here ya go).
Tech week has arrived and it’s a disaster! People obviously say “bad tech great show!” but you may be thinking to yourself uhhhhhhhhh wtf! Now, it’s the day of the show and you’re okay…you’re feeling good then someone has a breakdown and storms off the stage and you start to get a little nervous. Then, the texts start “hey girl, I’m here”, “break a leg, I’ll be watching”, “hey can I still get tickets”, “I’m going to be late tell someone to save me a seat”, and my personal favorite ” OMG ARE YOU NERVOUS YET?”. Please please please to anyone reading this stop texting the person within an hour before showtime. This is a very difficult time for a performer. Some people are calm others are frantic. I go through stages of cool, to holy crap I need to walk around, to maybe I should pee while I still have the chance, to holy crap I have to pee again, to i want to puke, to okay 5 min to showtime get your shit together.
PLACES EVERYONE! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You walk onto the stage the lights hit your face, you deliver your first line and the nerves turn into beautiful energy that is used to deliver a performance you didn’t even know you were capable of and then before you know it…it’s over. Maybe it wasn’t perfect maybe you missed a line in your monologue..oh well. You did it! People clapped, said you were amazing! People felt the emotion you were trying to deliver it was a success! Months on this journey with these people you’ve had breakdowns with and gotten pep talks from and learned to trust on the stage to help make a show so beautiful and it’s over.
So now I sit here missing my cast so much and reflecting over this roller coaster I was just on and wishing I had just a couple more shows with these people because together we told amazing stories about black women. If you haven’t seen the play for colored girls I suggest you at least purchase it and read it. (watching the movie doesn’t count). This was a show I’ve always wanted to do and actually auditioned for in college but didn’t get cast. I think at the time I wasn’t ready to tackle such deep material but this time I was ready and I am so glad I was able to be apart of this wonderful production with THESE women and THIS director.
Every audition is a learning experience. Every director has a vision. Just because you didn’t get the part doesn’t mean you weren’t great it just means you may not have been what THAT director wanted. To be in this business you have to understand that. Trust yourself, trust your talent and know that every “no” can still be a learning experience and leaves room for someone to pop up with a” yes”. You will get every opportunity that is meant for you with hard work and dedication.
Hope you all have a very happy monday and lovely week!