Last night a few of my castmates asked me how I felt about the show, after our last rehearsal before we open tonight. I found it hard to answer.
Like any other group of co-workers, theater folk have a sort of lingo and shorthand. “How are you feeling?” usually means “do you think it’s going to be good? Are you going to be embarrassed?” But when asked, I can’t help but think about my actual, you know, feelings. And they’re a little complicated.
This is the first show I’ve produced. It’s one of the first properly dramatic leads I’ve had the honor of playing after years of comic roles. It’s the first show that my theater company has put on. And all of that brings a lot of feelings I don’t usually have when I’m only acting.
The only thing I can equate it to is the first show I ever really did, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was 13 years old and experiencing a thrill that came from, for the first time in my life, discovering I was good at something, and getting applause for it. To have months of work – work which I loved every second of – turn into something I could proud of. It’s a feeling that never went away, but became a lot more subdued as I became more experienced. Come Out and Say It has made all that fresh again.
Oh. And we sold out too…