Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
“How do you feel, now that it’s over?”
“Fine,” I’ll say, and then add “Yeah. Fine. Kinda surprisingly.” As if needled with guilt, as if understanding that I need to convince myself that it’s true in order to convince the person who asked that it’s true.
The Sovereign Statement closed on Saturday, December 14 to a house of 52 people, not our largest house by any means, albeit an eerily significant number considering one of the overriding visual motifs of the piece was a deck of playing cards. It was received with a larger proportion of praise than criticism (and, more importantly, a larger proportion of positive and negative response than of outright apathy). It opened well, it closed well, it had its share of great nights and less-than-great nights throughout the course of the run but it never stopped being a joy to prepare for, perform, reset for the following evening.
Now it’s over, and how I feel is fine. Yeah. Fine. Kinda surprisingly.
Except, between the hours of 6-7 am, in a small bed in a small bedroom in a beachfront condo in Tampa, Florida, with my son asleep five feet away, I have this dream.
I’m in the office of the theater and I have forgotten, somehow, that there is one more performance to do. The hallway between the theater and the green room is full of people whose faces I do not recognize but perhaps have seen before and it is also full of faces I am surprised to see. The crowd swells and the white noise of a dozen politely spoken conversations becomes the familiar miasma of an audience waiting for the show to begin.
So there must be another performance. There are people here to see it. People who I wished had been able to see it have arrived to see it: Tim, who lives in LA; Caitlin, currently in school in Montana. An opportunity. How did I forget about this?
Then I’m in the green room, attempting to play catch-up for my error (seriously, seriously how?) and things begin to fall apart more drastically than I could have realized. My white shirts are still at home, still soaked in stage blood; I never bothered to launder them because I thought the show was over. I find a different dress shirt that I’m able to justify aesthetically and I put it on and I realize the tie is also at home, and the extra one I find on the rack is too short, it’s a bow tie and I don’t know how to tie a bow tie and the role I’ve written for myself wouldn’t wear a bow tie. The crowd has started to spill into the hallways and into the green room. There are more people in the building now than could actually see the show in the space provided for the show. I hear Jessica Anne’s distinctive tone shouting an excited, encouraging hello from the corner by the prop shelves. Jessica Mondres, who had stopped working for the theater shortly before the show opened, is there now, asking me why it’s taking so long.
Tellingly, stage manager Amanda Frechette has been absent from this chaos entirely, which is likely why it has been chaos.
I remember that I still haven’t packed the briefcase for the opening scene. I’m continuing to fumble with the tie when I wake up.
I remember that the filing boxes have been given away. The drop-curtain taken down and sold to Molly Brennan. The lights returned to the closets and the extra sound computer hauled away. Both of the desks put up on Craigslist and one of them already gone. A hundred small actions taken to embalm the body and be certain it doesn’t awaken terrified in its grave.
I remember that Mike will be on his way to Costa Rica soon, that Phil is on a deserved sabbatical, that Jen and Gwynn and Clifton and Amanda will have moved on or moved back to the projects they suspended before I took over their lives. Brandon continuing to steward Red Tape Theatre into its next phase. I remember that I have a prime-time season salon to organize and a new co-Artistic Director to help hire within the next two months.
I remember that I have not forgotten any additional performances. I have performed all of the performances and there are no more to perform.
I remember that now it is over, and I no longer know how it is I feel.
Current Music: The Clash, “Guns of Brixton”