Opening Night/my introduction to acting
Now I know why opening night is such a big deal. It was so much fun. The energy within the cast of The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw was something to behold. I definitely got caught up in it but in a good way. Just the look on the face of our stage manager Andrea Schurman when she said "5 minutes!" was enough to make anyone nervous. (I mean excited)
There is nothing quite like playing to a full house and having spent most of my life playing modern or experimental jazz music I haven't experienced a lot of that.
I think of this as my introduction to theatre. I have done little parts before; played shows in the pit etc. but this time we are onstage, in the mainspace of one of Canada's revered acting halls; Theatre Passe Muraille.
Some interesting things to note from opening night included finally "getting" a joke in the show only because the whole audience laughed, and really getting a violin bow in the eye while my bandmate Rebecca Bruton and I were trying some choreographed rock moves. ouch! (yes, we went out of character for a moment and laughed) I also played one of the musical sections near the end of the 90 minute show correctly for the first time even though we rehearsed for a month. (Thanks to bassist Rob Clutton for teaching me the correct chord progression right before we went on)
I would be lying if I told you that the song that I sing alone on the front of the stage wasn't on my mind the whole time. Whenever I had a little moment when I wasn't playing with the cast (even though I am always on stage) I ran my lines in my head or sang a bit of my song.
The very beautiful and exciting part for me personally was that when the time came to say my lines with the lovely and talented Nicole Robert, it all made sense. The lines that I was over-thinking up until then came out easily and honestly. The way my words filled the room and went into the ears of the audience made everything believable for me (and hopefully for them)
We are on again tonight at 9pm and I look forward to re-entering the world of Weedy Peetstraw with these talented musicians and actors. The music of John Millard is not only fun but brilliant at times and when we play it with and for the actors I feel like part of a winning sports team.
Only seven hours until showtime. Maybe I shouldn't have stayed to the end of the opening night party. I will remember that next time. Maybe.
The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw:
Friday August 9, 9:00 pm; Saturday August 10, 1:30 pm; Tuesday August 13, 9:00 pm; Wednesday August 14, 4:00 pm; Thursday August 15, 6:30 pm; Saturday August 17, 4:00 pm.
Summerworks Festival; Theatre Passe Murraille