I didn’t feel the nerves this time. I was surprised I didn’t. For a moment, I worried that I didn’t.
Two years ago, when I’d begun my acting foray, I’d felt a lot of nerves. This time, even reprising the same role, I had thought I’d feel some nerves, some uncertainty.
I hadn’t, though, and as I sat on stage, waiting for the lights to come on and our opening scene to start, I felt calm.
This was the same opening scene where I had started two years prior. In the time since, though, I’d auditioned and been cast in a musical, played Jesus in Journey to the Cross, and did several other parts in skits and a short film.
What was important to me this time, even as I felt the calm, was to bring the benefit of my experience, to be curious, to push myself to try new things.
I think that’s at the heart of why I did it again. It was an easy choice in one sense. The director, Giselle, is fantastic – she was the main reason I was in. Kevin, who played Jesus opposite my Lucifer, was also fantastic. And the 95 or so cast and crew who made up the rest of our War in Heaven production made it such a joy, even as we worked really hard to pull it all together in time for Easter.
I did it, though, because I didn’t just want to do the same thing again. I’d had the benefit of a range of experience since and I wanted to see what I could bring fresh to the role.
Going into our final dress rehearsal, I had my lines down and I focused on playing with the role, of pushing the edges of my emotional range, of trying differences with movement. It felt fresh and even as we worked our way through familiar scenes I had the clear sense of having grown as a person and bringing that growth into the performance.
It’s been exactly a week since we finished our third show and I considered it our best. One of my favorite comments after were the visitors who shared their surprise at what they’d just experienced. The bar, in general, tends to be low for church productions and they’d loved how seriously we’d taken the work and how much of our hearts we poured into it.
I loved it and I’d do it again. I want to bring even more to it next time, though. Rinsing and repeating, at least for me, isn’t enough. I want to grow and even in doing the same thing I see opportunity to bring more to it, to push the edges, to try new things. To someone else it might look the same, if I get it right, though, it won’t feel the same.
I enjoyed being Lucifer again.
All photos credit Duane Rasmussen.