Thursday, May 27, 2010

With nothing but willpower (Show 8!!)

Stuff goes wrong in theatre.

It's a rule. Shit happens but under stage lights.

Tonight was the night of crisis.

With my mom in the audience again, we opened great and everyone was going smoothly until my friend turned to me with big holy-crap eyes and I realized the clasp on her dress was gone. She wears a yellow dress with buttons down the front and a clasp at the waist, followed by several little snaps. The clasp had flown off and left a gape exposing her black leggings and green shirt underneath.

She was keeping her hands over top it but we move.

Our next song was 'When I was lad' where us in the front go down on our knees. Both of us were a little flustered--it's really hard to stay in the moment while trying to figure out how to get around the problems to come--and for some reason, all three of us plopped down particularly hard. I usually follow my friend who's directly at my left as we start the first move: a big eight with our right hand. The entire cast does it in the same direction, but me and my friend started a hair late and were off.

I thought, but I'm with her?

And I was. Except she was wrong too, so I switched and then nudged her and finally we were on track again. Twice more during that song I hesitated and was late coming in for the first move of the verse. Also interesting, so was my friend, who's the dance captain. Fun stuff.

Right after that song, the three of us clump in the back and the two of them hid me as I tried to unclasp a safety pin that was on her sleeve. Then, I switched positions with her so she was the one mostly hidden as she furiously tried to jab the safety pin where her clasp used to be.

After that exit, we rushed to the dressing room, I grabbed some safety pins and someone called over our costume person and she set to work pinning it all together. We only have about five minutes before we have to go back on for the finale, so there was no time to sew it shut and no extra clasp to sew on either.

The rest of the show went well until the chorus's entrance for the second act. One of the sailors always nudges my hat when we're in the wings and today there were two of them goofing around when suddenly, the clear strap that goes around my neck holding the hat on broke.

We had twenty seconds before our entrance.

There was a moment of oooohh crap before I plonked my hat back on and told my dance partner that he was going to need to help me because it was going to fall of.

Our entrance starts with everyone sneaking so I just toned down my steps a bit and that was fine. The trouble with this hat thought is that I don't wear it like normal: it's just a prop, it doesn't actually serve a purpose because the light needs to be on my face so it's worn very high up. Meaning, more likely to topple off.

Apparently, the string was not piled on my head like I thought because it was actually hanging down on my right, as my friend (with her newly attached dress) pointed out. The next time we all moved, she grabbed it for me and I ripped it off and dropped it during the flurry of motion.

I was very careful with all my moves, because that hat was perched so precariously on my head it was just a matter of when it would fall, and then where and how I would pick it up.

The most difficult part came with the finale. The paired dancing, the big twirls and circles and swishing and hopping. There's hopping. Each time, I felt my hat leave me head and then settle back on. Each time, I wondered what my choreographer would do to me if it fell towards centre and I couldn't pick it up.

My partner was really good and specifically steady, all of our moves were a little less dynamic than usual and more good-lord-please-don't-fall.

There was a moment of panic when I realized that one by one, the girls each begin getting spun down a row of the sailors. And we just keep spinning till we get to the end: I spin three times. So even if my hat did fall, I couldn't stop because it would ruin the line.

We made it through the spins, the pose, the bows, and then came the dreaded reprise: the act one finale. There's a lot of spins. A lot of twirls, of big movements with big arms, and I clung to my partner and miraculously: it never fell off.

The entire second act, my hat stayed on my head. With nothing but willpower holding it on.

A G'n'S miracle!

My mom was in the audience the whole time and said she never noticed my friend's dress. She did notice something was a little odd with me at the end, but then again, no one else in the audience would have watched me that closely. 

I put curlers in my hair again this evening, for the very last time! 

We have one more show tomorrow (that's sold-out!) and two on Saturday and then buh-bye boat!