Last Thursday, I got back from an overnight trip to Florida and made my way to rehearsal. I’d missed the previous few days and wasn’t where I wanted to be with my performances. No regrets – I’d done my best with all the time I had available – yet I knew I didn’t have it yet.
We began the run and I waited backstage for my queue. A minute or two in, I noticed that my nerves were a wreck. I wasn’t feeling it. The first act was fairly strong. The second act, though, I just didn’t have. I had the lines nearly memorized, yet the timing and sequence was off.
About halfway through the night, while I waited for my next queue, I hit my low point and had the “run” feeling. “What am I doing here? I’m not ready for this.. I should run and hide.”
I acknowledged the feelings and took a breathe. This is what I signed up for. This is the discomfort I sought. I knew it would be hard. I also knew I could do it. And I knew that I just have to keep going.
As I waited to go on again, I reminded myself to smile. I directed my energy into focusing on what my character was feeling. It didn’t take all the nerves away, but it helped.
At the end of the night, our director called us together. She was frank about where we were at and let us know it wasn’t pretty. She also encouraged and affirmed us. We’ve worked hard over the past few months – now we just have to pull it together.
Tonight, a week later, is our last rehearsal. We’ve been at it 4-5 hours each night all week and, as intense as it’s been, it’s paying off. The cast is doing incredible. I know my lines. My singing is improving. I’ve felt a lot more comfortable with experimenting and trying new things with my two characters, taking in feedback from other cast members and just fine-tuning the performance.
Tomorrow night is opening night. I feel the nerves. I also feel a confidence that comes from putting in the effort and from being part of a team. The guidance, the feedback, the tips, and support from the cast and crew has been invaluable and I’m excited to see it all come together.
Tomorrow night we go Into The Woods. If you’re anywhere near Liberty Lake, Washington, get your tickets and join us.