…”Hello?” (When Adele Sings Your Theme Song)

5 Nov

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Tonight launches our final week of performances of [title of show]…which (being a new company) has had a supremely small attendance for its run.

…This changes nothing at all about the intent of energy we performers begin these performances with, however does do a number on us as each one progresses.

…One doesn’t have limitless resources to extend without some sort of compensation. If you think of it in banking terms: you end up withdrawing more than you have in the account to help make up the difference…which leaves you in the hole by halfway in. And that has its repercussion on your metal and artistic being…leaving you overdrawn in self confidence, artistic joy, and energy.

…You take a hit, is what I’m saying.

…With every poorly attended or poorly received performance, it registers on some basic level. Which is shitty, but as an Artist, we’ve all been there. Maybe even once or twice per run. It’s really difficult, you try to shake it off, reboot, find a reinvigoration source, and launch at it again, hoping for the best next time. And that’s usually the end of that.

…This run, however, has become an ongoing set-up of repeat hits so consistent, it feels like one is prepping for war every night…a war against ghosts that somehow seem to unseat you and suck the life from you with the weapon of nothingness. It is an unsettling prep, I have had to try and learn to make…at the 11th hour…not knowing until places call if we are at a total cancellation (which has happened twice thus far, due to zero bodies present), or a repeat of another performance to four people (which happened three times last week, meaning 12 people total saw it, combined.)

…Rough audiences and small houses by all means happen…but in well over fifty productions, I’ve never seen the like of this before. Attempting to keep ones head in the game before a show, and focus on intent and pace and energetic enthusiasm without over-compensating or being pulled into a black hole of depression is like 99% of my time spent once the curtain speech begins. And I’ve come to the well-tried conclusion by now: I don’t like it.

…Embracing my character and cast mates, and growing our relationship through nightly choices and consistent ground-work is what I like. I find that the rest tends to take care of itself if you are present and openly aware. But I’ve also now found that being present and openly aware is like a super-drug-OD-hit, when it is to a room of silence. The awareness rockets skyward and I end up having to fight instead of embrace.

…Which is not to discount the four people who do come…cuz God knows their job is awkward as hell now too. How are they supposed to fill an entire room with active awareness and joy? Anyone who’s seen a comedy at home on their couch alone must understand on some level that shit just ain’t funny when you’re the only witness to it. Comedy is a team sport…It needs way more “thems” to stock up the laughter ammo.

…Which leaves us at this epic kind of theatre fail which is sorta no one’s fault, really. We’re doing our job, they are trying to do theirs, and though we are in the same room, it’s like we are actually separated by like 1300 miles and years of distance.

….In short: Adele totally just sang our artistic life theme song…

…Which you’d think would be way cool. But under the circumstances, kinda isn’t.

~D

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One Response to “…”Hello?” (When Adele Sings Your Theme Song)”

  1. Carolyn Cook November 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Oh, man. Bummer. I am so sorry. Fortunately, shows do eventually close . . . .

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