Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Emergence

I have to admit, things have been a bit foggy around here lately - the Impressario just wasn't engineered to begin each day at 5:30am. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep this up - the world's greatest fiancee may have to eat her porridge alone.

I miss things now that I wasn't missing before. I don't always make the mental connections as quickly as I should, and after rising so early in the morning I find that by the time rehearsal rolls around at 7pm I'm functioning on autopilot, rather than at my absolute peak, which is where I usually am at that time of the day (and rehearsing usually gets me even more fired up and ready to go - effectively I'm wide awake by the time rehearsal ends and I have to get straight to sleep).

I don't have a lot of faith or confidence in my abilities at the moment. I know that I've still got the skills to get done what needs to get done, and I'm even getting it done in a more timely fashion than I often do (an unintended benefit of my 14 hour workday), but the capacity for greatness? Not so much. I don't feel like I'm making the brilliant connections in rehearsal, and opening up new vistas for my actors as well as I should. I feel like I'm letting them down, to a degree, and not giving them the support they need to turn average performances into performances that will bring the house down.

Imagine my surprise then, as I have finally caught up enough on my sleep this morning to realize that I all this week in rehearsal I have been witnessing something amazing. The shows are coming to life. Not only that, they are doing so in ways that I hadn't dared to hope for, ways that will mean, as I often say, "we don't have to settle for just being good - we can be great."

I think about the shy actress who's been holding back all through rehearsals who finally found the inner strength to embrace her character, driving her to the brink of tears only to have her channel her emotions into a truly moving performance. I think about the intellectual who managed to stop approaching his character as an intellectual, but rather as a person. I think about the neophyte who discovered the joy and satisfaction of watching a character grow from one rehearsal to the next. I think about how the casts of two shows that couldn't be more different both found the same exhilaration in rehearsal this week, and how, despite the cold, the rain and even the raccoons, they all left smiling, even if they didn't all know they were doing it.

These are the things I have seen, in my emergence from the haze. I know that this period of sleep deprivation and greeting the rising sun will not last forever (we're counting down the number of days), and I can't say it's going to go down as one of the most pleasant times of my life. But I'm so pleased and relieved to know that while I'm a bit down everyone else is still coming up, and by the time I am back to the top of my game Grinder Productions will have stayed on course, continuing out of the haze towards its own emergence.

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