It’s the first morning after the final run. Or perhaps not morning, it’s closer to lunch time to be honest, but I just rolled out of bed. Hence; morning. Last night’s show was, in my opinion, the best of them all – we went out with the proverbial bang and standing ovations (and applause before the show was even finished!). It felt damn good afterwards! It also felt done. I felt done.
This show – as fun and educational as it has been – was undoubtedly the hardest one I’ve ever done. Not because I had paragraph upon paragraph of lines to memorize like some of the cast, nor because it was physically taxing; it was emotionally draining, exhausting even. I woke up yesterday, not feeling the excitement of the final show tingling away in my stomach, but instead the uncomfortable feeling of coiling, lead heavy, undiluted anxiety. Like a fat and heavy serpent slowly moving in my gut – you know the feeling? There were several amazing things in my calendar for yesterday, but the mere thought of being around people was terrifying. Even leaving the house to go for a walk seemed impossible, insurmountable and very, very tiring. I was completely “people’d out”. I needed – and still most definitely need – alone time. I need not only to recharge, but to reboot.
Misunderstand me correctly here; I’m incredibly happy that I accepted the part, grateful for everything I’ve learned during the process and the passionate, funny, caring, talented people I got to meet and befriend. I’m happy I pushed through the times when it felt as if I’d rather build a blanket fort and hide in it than go to rehearsal. Happy I stuck with it.
However, finding myself in a position where my passion left me drained and empty instead of energized and fulfilled proved a hard pill to swallow. I had to learn to narrow my usually widespread and bouncy energy into tiny tubes of focus, to stay truly present in the moment and allowing myself to be a part of the happenings around me – letting everything else go. If I hadn’t, all my energy would have been sucked right out of me, leaving me with too little butter for too much bread. At times – more frequently as show week gained momentum – I had to shy away from conversation and interaction just to preserve myself. Interestingly enough, the more this happened, the easier I found it to be on stage, to let actions and reactions happen, to really listen to what was being said. The world seemed to have immersed itself in a new filter. It was fascinating.
I’m hoping that with time and practice (and leaving drama to the stage), I’ll be able to find that focus without depleting myself to this extent. No one ever said development came easy and without challenges there can be little progress – by the time this experience has sunk in properly and it’s time to dive headfirst into the next project, I’ll be ready for it.
To every one in the cast and crew
to all family and friends who patiently supported us
and to everyone who came out