Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Dark Days

There is a time, when working on a play, that lands during the period where rehearsals consist mainly of running the show over and over again. You've "worked" the scenes, tech is looming, and the meat of the matter is to try to make the show second-nature.

The lines are there, but they're not flowing. Not like you think you should. The blocking is there, but you still catch yourself wondering if you're in the right place. The moments happen, but you still get lost trying to remember the note you got last night.

The character is there, you can see him, catch him in the corner of your eye, but he won't stand still. Sometimes, he even flirts with you.

Nah...Probably more accurate to say he mocks you. Steps out of the shadows and lets you see him, fully. Feel him fully. All before he waves and disappears back into the shadow.

Just when you need him the most.

The time when you sit with your all-too-long list of line notes, and know that you should be better. The sting of every mistake is harsh and pointedly YOUR FAULT.

I call it "The Dark Days."

It's a fight to keep your mind in the game. To push forward, and stop stewing in the mistakes made.

Because you are going to make those mistakes again, it's inevitable. The worst inclination is to retreat, to pull back and try to lick your wounds. No, have to fall forward, face first, and put your faith in yourself to catch something before a disaster. This is what acting is, to me, anyway, the fall. The moments of not knowing. The fear and exhilaration. Keeping the whole enterprise spinning on the head of a pin.

That's where the magic happens. In that faith, the magic happens. In that self-confidence, the magic happens.

The Dark Days are when that's hardest to remember. It's also the time when it's most important to do so.

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