|Glen "Divine" Milstead as Edna Turnblad in the original Hairspray|
It has been over 8 years since I last appeared in a musical and more than 10 years since I had to dance in one (I'm not even going to go into the whole 'dancing in heels' thing).
Hairspray opens in just over 2 weeks and I must admit that I haven't been quite this anxious about a performance since Sweeney Todd in the mid-90's.
The rehearsal period for this show hasn't been perfect. Personally, I haven't had the number of rehearsals I would prefer. I have always been the type of actor who relies on the repetition of many rehearsals to learn a role (unless it's one I've done before). And while I'm hardly the star of the show, I am playing an iconic role that comes with certain expectations. Oh, I know everything will work out fine and the show will be terrific. Still.. there's that niggling voice in the back of my head that says "You suck. You're going to fail. People will hate you." And I know it's that same voice that every performer hears in the back of his or her head which drives them to give the best performance possible. Frankly, if that voice wasn't there, I'd be even more worried. Still... I have many friends, family and co-workers coming to see the show. That only adds impetus to do my best and anxiety about not being able to.
Truth be told, no performance in a live production is ever perfect. The nature of the beast makes that impossible from the get go. There will always be some flub; some dropped line; some stumbled-over word; some misstep that remains unnoticed by the audience but which makes the performer want to bang his or her heard against a wall once it's happened.
Two weeks is both a lot and a little, when it comes to live theatre. I know this from many, many years of experience. Sadly, that knowledge is of little help, right now. And as much as I know how ridiculous that statement sounds, unless you've been there; done that; bought the t-shirt and returned it, you have no idea...
Okay - Deep breaths. It's going to be fine... At least, I hope so...
Posting here is about to get really sparse, folks. Don't forget me while I'm away (Wow! How pathetic is that?). Of course, once this show closes, rehearsals for the JTMF 10th Anniversary Gala production of Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey will start. At least I'll be playing a role I've done before, albeit with an entirely new set of actors (including Dear D, with whom I've been dying to act for a while, now). I have a feeling that Jeffrey will be a walk in the park, compared to this show. Of course, you never know.