I lived a mountain of day today. Full dress rehearsal in the afternoon, opening night that evening. I woke up at 6am this morning to do a training session. I benched 200 x 7 for a PR, then I showered and put in three hours of work at my delivery job before heading over to the theater. I arrived early so I could finish a chapter in my book and send some emails. Operabro stuff and what not.
The Civic Center has been a part of my life for a while, but it wasn't until this week where I stepped onto its main stage as a full professional actor and singer, not just a student. When I played viola and was pursuing that as a career I thought to myself "I'll get a job with the symphony and do that while in college." Today I visited the rehearsal space on the third floor where I bombed my audition. The Curly in our production told me that it was a great place to have a "pre show poo" without wrecking your own dressing room. Wise Man.
I was a scared kid when I took that audition. 6-7 years, 4 body types, an engagement, a break up, numerous career switches and a lifetime worth of memories later, I'm a grown ass man. Hair on my face and all. My viola professor is playing in the pit. The image of the world that I stare through, once opaque seems a lot less hazy. Its by no means clear, but I have a better idea on how to get rid of the smudges.
I try not to do too much self congratulating. I feel that an actors best asset for growth is self criticism and that pride goes hand in hand with apathy. But I knew from day one that I was going to do well with Jud Fry. Not because I feel like I'm such a example of pristine acting, but because I can empathize and sympathize with Jud. I felt the same tug at my heart with Leon Czolgosz and Frank Maurrant, that they were victims in their own right. They are the kinds of people I was meant to play whether I want them to be or not. I have to tell their stories. Every night I live and die in the boots of a man who was sick since he was child with a disease that was instilled through nature and nurture and was fostered into the grizzled twisted psyche of a man that lumbers in a suit of self hatred and misunderstanding.
The feed back has been immense. I'm trying to ignore some of it, let the whimsey float in air until I'm finished with my statement with Jud Fry (at least for now) and then pick up the stars and moon beams closing night. There are still people who haven't heard this story the way we tell it and I'd like to keep it honest for them. I'll brag about crap later. I've got the rest of my life for it.
I wasn't prepared for how great of a project this was going to be. I'm still not. I'm challenged, pushed, and left with wonder and awe at the end of every day. It's been exhausting. Labor of love as the saying goes. I've made friends out of these colleagues. I saw Jurassic world with them. I admire from afar, noting all of their specifics with their choices (stealing things for later projects.) I'm trying my best to soak up the lives of others while I have the honor of being on the same earthly plane as them. Something I had to learn the hard way with the passing of Michael, and its something that I won't take for granted anymore.
Standing there, 1600 people standing, singing, and clapping along with the song you grew up singing your entire life. I felt like Garth Brooks. Hot damn we spit fire tonight.
I'm rambling. It's late. Tonight was incredible. Looking forward to the rest of the week.
Until next time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.
The Opera Bro