Frankenstein has been a labor of love for me. It's a show I've thrown myself into with every bit of energy I could, it's a character I felt a deep connection to, and wanted to do justice to. I've paid for it in wear and tear on my vocal chords, and and near-constant aches and pains. It is, with no close competition, the most difficult show I have ever been involved with.
I'll be honest and say that I've had moments where I wondered if it was worth it. Where I found myself fretting over what the reviews might say, how my peers might react to the show. Anger and resentment over not feeling I was being given the time and space I needed for my preparation. I was, and am, giving everything I can and, somewhere in the dark parts of my mind, I wanted to be hailed for it.
What a stupid, stupid way to think. What a useless mindset.
Not only that, but how hypocritical for me, the guy who constantly rails against creating theatre for other theatre people. The incestuous, deadly loop of diminishing returns and irrelevance.
As usual, some higher power always gives us the reminders we need. After our matinee on Sunday, I took my usual forty-five minutes, or so, to get out of costume and make-up, and headed down to the street. Two women were waiting near the doors of the church, and began to talk to me about how they had been in tears over the show. One of them had recently read Mary Shelly's novel, and was moved by my portrayal of the Creature. They just gushed over the show.
I was even friended on Facebook, and saw that similar comments were shared with her friends.
And it made me feel very small a petty.
Those ladies, THEY are our audience, and no matter how I may feel about "mistakes" I have made on stage, or what Mr. Cranky Critic, or whoever, may write about it. Those ladies took money out of their wallet and put it down so they could see a show, and they left moved and fulfilled. Not only that, but they made the effort to tell other people how much they loved it. How much sweeter that victory is, and how much more we should embrace and seek that feedback.
Thank you ladies.
As for my moaning and groaning about how much it hurts, I can only turn to the Boss, who (paraphrasing liberally here) said a performance should be work, and that if he isn't tired, sore and spent when he leaves the stage, it's wrong. An artist should work as hard as a factory worker. If you don't, have you really given all of yourself?
Frankenstein opens for the press tonight, and I am extremely proud of this show, it's cast and it's crew. I am honored to be playing this role, and I will give everything I can to each and every performance. Tickets available here.