Bye Bye, Sarah…

It’s been five days, almost to the hour, since I closed Time Stands Still.

I mentioned in my first entry about the show how scary it was because it was a challenging show. Three days before the performance, however, I was scared for another reason: people still did not know their lines. Because I was so scared by the script, I had my lines memorized really REALLY early, so it was frustrating and terrifying to me that just days before the show, I was still begging my costars to run parts of scenes with me because cues weren’t being picked up. I wanted so badly for the show to be good, and by the day of the last rehearsal, the show seemed to have fallen apart. But during the final rehearsal itself, the show kind of fixed itself. It wasn’t perfect, but being a superstitious theatre person, I was okay with that.

I think that, barring shows at my college, this was the show where I had the most people coming to see me. This made me both more nervous and more excited, and backstage before the matinee, my heart was beating so fast and all I could say was “I’m so nervous. I’m so nervous.”

The first show- which was attended by mom, my friends Kara and Meg, and my therapist- went pretty well. All throughout the rehearsal process, our director had been trying to get us to pick up the pace, and our nerves finally made us do that. The show itself is very emotional, but my character is not, and the electric charge of the show was making me feel intense emotions that I had to work not to show. My mom and I had dinner together before I had to report back to the theatre to have my gruesome makeup retouched. The second show- which was seen by my significant other and my friends Jamie, Maria, and Jackie- went just as well as the first. Since that was our final show, I missed saying lines as soon as they left my mouth. I could feel Sarah slipping away from me, and when I exited after my bow, I started crying.

Something that amazed me was that when people came over to me after the show and told me that I did a great job, I felt like I deserved it. Usually I’m really awkward about receiving compliments about my performances, but I just wasn’t this time.

This show has been such a growing experience for me. While I always work hard during shows, I really pushed myself for this one. I was terrified that I wouldn’t know my lines on time, so I used every spare moment and was memorized ten days early.  Even with my three weeks of bronchitis/cold/recovery, I did what I could to lower my vocal register and make myself sound older. I tried to be more in my body, unlike the awkward 20-something that I am. I learned how to walk with crutches and a cane and how to do a stunt fall while wearing a leg brace, without hurting myself. I researched PTSD and the locations where Sarah travels to for work. I put SO much work into this part and I feel like it came through, at least for the most part, in my performance. Finally during the last few days, I felt like I was skillfully playing a woman sixteen years my senior. For the first time in my life, I thought, without prompting, “I am a good actor.” And that in itself is a huge step.

I miss the show like crazy. I miss playing Sarah and I miss playing opposite my costars. I miss rehearsals to look forward to after a long day of teaching and I miss writing about Sarah and her life in my notebook. I just miss it.



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