Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Magic (Hopefully!)

Night number three of My Fair Lady.

Yes, we are having fun. And yes, it does become work. One doesn't always experience chills and thrills upon entering the dressing room, or donning the costume, or warming up those vocal chords. At some point along the way the charm wears off, the exhilaration of opening night jitters is gone, there are no more notes from the director pushing you forward into finer accomplishment (you are now on your own...) and sheer discipline is required.

So you dutifully brush on the rouge, stretch the muscles, lay out the costumes. You check for that letter taken on in scene 5, making sure it is in place on the prop table. The hair is sprayed one last time, a hat secured on top.

"Places. Five minutes!" is called. You move to your position to wait.

Then the first chord is played. Transformation begins. You become a cockney woman, cold and tired, trying her best to make the most of her meager existence, enjoying the companionship of an old friend, watching the passerby, meddling with neighbors. The show is running once again and you become swept away with the energy, the magic, the joy of story telling in its most intricate form.

A mere cog in this much-larger-than-you piece of story telling machinery, you feel the weight of dependence upon you. It may seem small or insignificant, but those involved all know and appreciate everyone's contribution. The magic won't happen without the successful completion of each duty, each role, each line, each flute ornamentation, each moved set piece, each lighting cue called and obeyed.

Oh, it's a complicated machine, this contraption known as musical theater. But when the wheel starts turning and every cog and gear respond in timely fashion, a magical thing happens. Make believe comes to life. Worlds only existing in thought now take form.

If we're on our game, the audience is swept away with us, off to faraway places and times, meeting new and interesting characters. They will learn to love them, hate them, or simply put up with them. Hopefully when all is said and done, they will have been magically entertained.

The curtain falls one last time. Farewell to Mrs. Pearce and her household.

Hang up the dresses, wash off the wrinkles, and put away the shoes. Stow those t-straps safely in the corner, ready for tomorrow's arrival - when you draw again from sheer discipline. Scales will be sung, makeup sponged one, necklaces arranged. You'll hear the call, "Places. Five minutes!" You take your place and wait once again for the magic to begin.

That is theater.

7 Comments:

Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

I loved reading your description of your love for "show business".

I really love you the way you are....all un-grown up and all.

1:58 PM  
Blogger My own little world said...

You make it sound so fascinating!!! I so wish I could be there to watch the magic happen! Love you dearly!!!

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene,
It was your love of acting that gave me my love for it, in my middle and high school days. How I wish I could be involved in it now.
Thanks for being a great teacher. Wish I could be in NY to watch you now.

Leslie
xanga/NYPDBlue

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Hollis said...

Thoughtful and expressive writing, as ever, Darlene. Something I've always missed in community productions is the sense of familiarity that comes with a longer-running show: the feeling that the work no longer requires that you add anything, merely that you retain and remain faithful to the creation you've built. Sufficient unto the day is the replication of yesterday's performance, and all that.

With short runs like these, it's hard to find that sort of comfortable groove, and the entire thing disappears, virga into cloud into clarity, all too quickly. An ephemeral magic of its own, I suppose.

I love the escape that theater offers not only its audiences but its actors. There's something wholesome, I think, about teaching yourself to lay aside all that is you, hanging it up to don later, in favor of a constructed character. It's a good way of getting a bit of distance and perspective about life.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugg boots for women
woolrich outlet
p90x workout
ugg boots for cheap
moncler outlet
miu miu bag
cheap north face jackets
north face sale
nike shox
canada goose jacket
gucci handbags
tory burch black friday sale 2014
canada goose jacket
cheap jordans
moncler jackets
uggs outlet
ugg uk
woolrich jackets
cheap ugg boots
canada goose jackets
nike air max
christian louboutin
babyliss pro
louis vuitton outlet online
uggs on sale
nike outlet
moncler jackets
nike roshe run
moncler outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
ugg uk
nike free run 3

2:01 AM  
Blogger Hua Cai said...

longchamp handbags
michael kors wallet sale
hermes outlet store
michael kors uk outlet
air max 90
nike tn pas cher
louboutin pas cher
swarovski jewelry
nike roshe run
asics,asics israel,asics shoes,asics running shoes,asics israel,asics gel,asics running,asics gel nimbus,asics gel kayano
christian louboutin outlet
tory burch outlet
louis vuitton handbags outlet
air jordan shoes
hollister shirts
louis vuitton handbags outlet
cazal outlet
coach outlet
kate spade handbags
thomas sabo outlet
reebok outlet store
juicy couture tracksuit
hermes birkin
oakley sunglasses
fitflops sale clearance
lacoste shirts
true religion outlet
swarovski crystal
replica watches
fitflop clearance
nike huarache
timberland boots
michael kors outlet uk
hermes outlet
adidas wings shoes
20160531caihuali

12:07 AM  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

longchamp outlet
ysl outlet online
cheap snapbacks
michael kors outlet
swarovski outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
valentino outlet
juicy couture outlet
hermes birkin bag
louis vuitton sunglasses for women
air max 90
toms shoes
michael kors outlet
jordan 11
ferragamo shoes
nike huarache
michael kors factory outlet
ed hardy tshirts
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet
abercrombie outlet
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
cheap canada goose jackets
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet store
rolex watches
ugg boots uk
cheap mlb jerseys
michael kors outlet online
versace sunglasses
uggs on sale
louis vuitton outlet
true religion outlet
michael kors outlet online
cheap nike shoes
swarovski crystal
0813jianxiang

1:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home