DAYS 21-23: Days of Whine and Hubris.
Very hard to write a rehearsal journal in the last three days before an opening night. Actors get very wrapped up in what they’re doing, a kind of narcissistic terror. Your brain’s on overdrive, and you’re same-time seeking to let go, to trust: yourself, the play, the work that’s been done. Do the work, then forget it all and run on your glorious subconscious, aqua-planing. At least, that’s the aim. But if it was as easy as just connecting those dots everyone would make great art, all the time. There are so many variables. Like an alchemical experiment: You might turn base metal into gold, or you might blow off your eyebrows. There are no guarantees.
Monday and Tuesday are spent working through scenes in the morning and running the show in the afternoon. It’s a rythmical way of working, quite, routine, concentrated. Things go wrong, notes are given and taken, nothing critical, things get fixed, forgotten lines are committed to memory - small gems are discovered, it feels like it’s going the right way, we talk about wanting an audience, needing a response.
Wednesday we work through a few last transitions, everything on track. We invite a few folk to the dress rehearsal - and at the last minute hear there will be a journalist in the house. My heart sinks and paranoia sets in, then a lot of energy used to bat away that destructive beast,: doubt and worry about all that can go wrong and how the wrongs might be committed to print and (worse) the internet for all time.
They say a bad dress rehearsal predicts a good opening night. This was the Donald Trump of dress rehearsals. So it’s looking good.
The company is lovely; kind folk, courteous, supportive. Still - one goes home alone and thinks about the tiny details and the big picture. Nothing to be done. Buck up, back on the horse, tomorrow is another day.
I am absolutely terrified.