Post-Game Analysis

Random post-game neural firings after spending eight weeks of my life engaged in an all consuming hobby…

– No regrets: Although it was a monstrous pain in the ass, and it ate my life for two months, i don’t regret it. It was funny. People laughed their asses off. It was the most “stage time” i’ve ever had in a show (we were on stage in all but two songs), and i liked my character. Pushed my limits, as well as my vocal range. Got lots of laughs – both with the scripted lines and the ad libs developed along the way.

– Ego-feeding: Although there are many reasons people get involved in community theater, for me, it’s simply “ego fodder”. Yes. i can sing. i can dance. Oh, and i’m an engineer (“oooooh!”). With a decent rack, too (“schwing”). i like the challenge, but mostly i get off on the laughter and applause. Performing. Being appreciated. Delighting an audience. Got lots of that over the past two weekends… Ego Chow delivered? Check.

– Salvation: Normally, there’s also an aspect of “team” to a show. This time? A “micro-team”. If it hadn’t been for AU, my stage-sis, and my best friend working sound in the tech booth? i’d have been cutting myself at the half-way point. Our Thursday night meanderings to the nearby biker bar for dollar beers and “dancing with pool cues” saved me. Most of the other folks in the show were fine, just kept to themselves…

– Relief: Unlike my last theatrical venture, there is no bittersweet, post-production let down. Only relief. During the show, our phenomenal stage manager would immediately re-set props after they were used on stage. During our final performance on Sunday? He returned them to the props room, or costume room, as they were used. Mid-way through Act I i noticed decreasing items on the tables – and i got excited! i gained energy through the performance, knowing that it was the LAST TIME we’d be doing a song or scene. “ Woo hoo! Never again have to hear that line of dialogue! No more slow motion choreography because She is singing at half tempo! Never again have to dance with a toilet brush and rubber gloves*”

– Divas: i’m one, too. Perhaps a lowercase “d”, but this particular hobby seems to bring out the worst of it in me. Frustrated when She was apparently not putting in effort outside of rehearsal time, frustrated when She’d drop lines, frustrated by the lack of direction**… i was prone to making bets with my partners in crime. “What are the odds she’ll spit that line out right this time?” or “Five bucks says i don’t get a note at all tonight – good or bad. He’ll just ignore my existence” (won that one). Try as i might to maintain a professional demeanor, my attitude leaked out, and didn’t exactly help the cohesion of the troupe…

– Natural Born Critics: Last Saturday night, both of my children and my daughter’s boyfriend, ZZ, attended the show. After hearing me bleat for months about the ugliness along the way, they were looking forward to seeing the resulting train wreck. In the lobby, within earshot of several cast members, The Girl said “It didn’t suck nearly as bad as I thought it would!” The Boy was even more direct: “That woman? Screeching? If I’d had two pencils I’d have shoved them point-first into my ears to stop the noise!” They mentioned highlights, too. A funny line here, or a good bit of delivery. But for The Boy? It was “Ms. GreatAss Can’t-Act For Shit” that stole his heart. “Damn, that was some world-class ass.” i mentioned that she’s kinda bitchy and he pointed out “All the better. I’d feel less guilty for the ‘fuck ‘n chuck’ routine”. Makes me proud, it does…

– Done: i think i’m cured. The compound frustrations encountered during this particular production have cured me of this pesky hobby. This is only one way for me to spend my discretionary time, and i’ve done so at the expense of other interests. Fuck that. Although i can’t say “never”, i can say “chapter closed”. It was exactly 10 years ago The Girl inspired me to audition for a production of “Gypsy”, which landed us both on stage together – her as a Torreadorable and me as Miss Mazeppa, the bugle playing stripper. Since then? i’ve been on (and off) the board of directors 3 times, have been involved with fund raising as well as many other shows and events. Although i’ve made friends for a lifetime, there are a few other encounters that have been less than pleasant. Ten years? That’s enough. Onward…

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* The choreography for one song included the three of us dancing with toilet brushes. Much like a version of the song found here on youtube…. And this was pretty much my favorite dance number! i successfully fought the urge to accidently get my toilet brush tangled in The Diva’s gigantic wig during our final performance…. That would have been mean. Funny, but mean…

** Not a bad director. Just very ‘hands off’. To the point of not actually doing much “directing”. Throughout rehearsals, he only made TWO suggestions on how i delivered specific lines. The rest? Pretty much up to us. After blocking the show, he sat and watched us do it. Occasionally made suggestions, corrections or changes but for the most part just let it all happen. Other than commending The Diva when she finally got something right? Very little positive feedback either…