Speak: The Conclusion

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ahhh! I have such mixed emotions right now!
I am both happy and sad that the play had to end - it was an extremely stressful journey, but now that it's over, I know that I will miss it. It was just so much of an enjoyable experience, and everyone worked really hard. Despite our issues [quitting, lack of time for tech, etc], the audience really enjoyed the performance both nights and we worked really well as an ensemble.
Friday was intense. Never mind the performance, I had to run around doing errands and averting crises all day! I had gotten home late that night after going over the sound and light cues with Maayan and figuring out some last minute items [then, consequently, couldn't sleep very well because I was so full of nervous energy]. I walked into school, fixed my attendance record, and then ran into Ms. Bennett who came up last minute with a tree branch at the ready [hoorah!]. In the morning, I was sitting in each class, just waiting for the next moment, waiting for the time that we'd be released. There was a video played in 4th period about it and I got to announce in English class. In French, Madame came in and she then had to pick up a TV from our house [since she had left hers at home]. Everyone in the cast was nervous and excited and wearing signs that told when and where the performance would be. At lunch, we finished up the programs hurriedly [and didn't have to go to three pages, luckily!] and bought chalkboard paint and chalk... everything was just so tense!
I burst into Coach's tutorial and asked about my match, but there was no word [I felt kinda bad about pestering him - after all, he was giving me another shot] and so I headed off to get the theater people set up. They put up the risers, painted the wall, got into costume and makeup and readied themselves. Tech started up, my laptop was hooked up [hence why there were no posts for the last few days]. And then... I had to leave.
I went to tennis practice, nervous and freaked out, but I think that running four laps and doing some basics really helped eke out a little of my stress. As Koops said, "sometimes you just have to let your kid go to kindergarten." Coach didn't set me up on a match; instead, as I informed him that I needed to run out at 4:20pm, he said "Monday. You're in." and that was that. I was so ecstatic! I raced back and told everyone, received hugs and compliments and then jumped into the mix. We got everyone into makeup and costumes, then started rehearsal with two hours and counting. After a bit, I got my hair straightened by Sofia [who says Hugo's technique wasn't good, haha], changed into my nice dress and heels, and got some small makeup done by Anna. After one last Saints cheer, it was game on!
The first night was a raucous audience - they cheered after every scene and got the loudest laughs I have ever heard in the theater. Opening night was also hard on tech - I stayed up in the booth, stabbing myself [literally] with my nails at every little mishap. I probably wasn't supposed to do that but... ehehe... The audience gave the actors a real confidence boost, and when we all got out, everyone was really enthusiastic. I met up with Ka-chan and we drove around and talked about how much we had both changed over the years... we ate Skinny Cow ice cream near the flower section of QFC because there were no other shops open. Ah... it was so nice. I hadn't eaten anything that day since 12pm because I was so nervous, so I went home and wolfed down some salmon finally. Then I crashed. Period.
The next morning I woke with the same suspended energy - I rooted around the house and found paper and magazine clippings to make personalized cards (as well as gathering bears up to give to the cast). Da bought flowers for me to give to the teachers; I baked cookies and pumpkin bread... overall, it was a busy morning right up until 3:30pm. Then I went to get Abby and we were off!
After getting everyone into makeup and costume, we tried to rehearse a few of the transitions that didn't work out so well. We got them down in a much better way, but the advice from Goldstein was that we be faster, louder, and funnier. So cues were moved up, our cheer became our mantra ["What time is it? PLAY TIME!"] and we scuttled backstage for some last minute adjustments. Another nice dress, another announcement to the audience, but this time I went out amidst them and snapped shots for posterity. Saturday's show ran a lot smoother, but people were less rowdy; it was an encouraging audience, they just didn't stand up and clap after every scene [literally, all 35, the night before]. I didn't skip out across stage to steal some of the limelight this time - instead, Livvie asked Kevin [Keveen] to Tolo in a cute and improvised way. It was a great ending to a nice night. I gave out my cards and received two sets of roses [white and orange, oddly, which went with my outfit] and finally felt the wave of accomplishment and remorse flit over me.
And then: the cleanup.
Half the stuff was mine, so we had to pack everything into my car [we were so heavy that I took a speed bump at 5mph and still felt it kick]. Nicole and I dropped off the major stuff at my house and then raced on over to Red Robin, where our cast party was held. We ate until the food looked disgusting, and then tried to go bowling [but our plans were foiled by angry yelling parents]. I went home, went to bed, and woke this morning at 8am with my mixed emotions all roiled into a ball.
I somehow wish that we had had more performances, but at the same time I know that it had to end. I just feel... so torn. So, to alleviate my strange feelings, the following post an homage to Speak in pictures (as well as a very long post).