What. A. Week!
Sorry I’ve basically disappeared from the blogosphere recently, but I was living the dream. My dream. As I may have mentioned a few times, I’ve spent the past week appearing as Ado Annie in an amateur production of Oklahoma! I’ve spent most of today on the sofa in my PJs, trying to get to grips with the maelstrom of post-show emotions.
It really has been the most incredible week. It always sounds a bit twee, but this really has been a dream come true. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to play a principal role in a show, to stand on stage and perform my song, to take my bow at the end. Over the years and a number of failed auditions I had begun to believe that was going to remain a wish unfulfilled. Now, finally, I can say I got my wish and it was everything I’d hoped for and more.
It’s been a few years since I last did a show with this particular theatre group and I had forgotten just how much fun we have during show week. All of the cast are friendly and warm, we have a great laugh while still producing a show we can all be proud of. The whole company were always supportive, encouraging and always willing to help with anything.
I shared a dressing room with the 3 other principal ladies and our two lead dancers. We all became pretty close – we felt like a little family by the end. All of the girls looked after me when I had my little wobbles and were great at boosting my confidence. I loved spending every evening with them and I’m already missing them today.
I was also lucky to work with some fabulous principal gentlemen. All of the guys were great fun as well as being really supportive. In particular, my two romantic partners (Why settle for one when you can have two?) were amazing. They were such good sports, always up for having a laugh and did a wonderful job of calming me down when I was feeling a little (or a lot) nervous.
The week wasn’t without some off-stage drama. To begin with, I was struggling with a serious lack of confidence in the final weeks of rehearsal. At the tech rehearsal I felt my song went particularly badly and I was felt feeling pretty dejected and uncertain about the week ahead. Luckily after multiple pep-talks from friends, family and the afore-mentioned cast members I managed to stop psyching myself out and the dress rehearsal went really well. After that, I couldn’t wait to do it again in front of an audience on opening night.
Unfortunately, also on tech weekend my youngest daughter caught a sickness bug, which my husband and eldest daughter caught a couple of days later. I thought I had managed to dodge that particular bullet until halfway through Act 1 of opening night when I started to feel increasingly funny. By the interval it became quite clear I needed to throw up, which I promptly did just as we were given the 5 minute warning for Act 2! After downing a couple of mints I somehow managed to get through the second act of the show before rushing home and spending the next day recuperating. Not exactly the way I’d dreamt my musical theatre debut would go!
Saturday was a particularly brilliant day. We had two shows on Saturday, a matinee and our final show on Saturday evening. I always love “Two-Show Saturday” as I get to immerse myself in the theatre life and pretend this is how I’d usually spend my days. I arrived at the theatre at about 11.30am and didn’t leave until after 1am. I loved EVERY minute.
The matinee was always going to be particularly special as all of my family and friends were coming to watch, including my little girls. I could feel myself getting really choked up at the idea that I would finally get to show them a part of me they’ve never really seen before. Having everyone in the audience affected my nerves far more than I thought it would, but after a few initial jitters I still managed to give the performance I wanted to show them. It was so wonderful going out to see them after. Everyone had really enjoyed it and the girls had behaved so well. It was just magical.
After that high, I was feeling rather chilled about our final performance that evening. The pressure was off, so all I had to do was enjoy myself. I couldn’t have anticipated how incredible the final show would be. The whole cast seemed to raise the bar even higher as if we all knew this was the last time we would perform the show so threw everything at it. The show seemed to take on a life of it’s own. It was exhilarating and a fabulous way to end the run!
It all happened so fast that really can’t believe it’s over. Throughout the day I kept finding presents in my dressing room from various cast and family members. It was such an incredibly special day. It was over far too quickly.
Today has been a very peculiar day. Part of me is thrilled and overjoyed at how well the show went. I’m so proud of myself for giving the performance I wanted to and for holding my own on a stage with some fabulously talented performers. The other part of me is mourning the fact that I won’t ever get to repeat this performance again, with these particular people. I’ve been really surprised at just how emotional it’s left me.
I’m already looking forward to the next show! It’s like an addiction!
I really can’t thank everyone enough for being so brilliant throughout the rehearsals and show week. Mr Mess and the kids have been stars for not complaining at the amount of time I’ve been out of the house. The cast were fabulous and made it such an incredible experience that I know I will have fond memories of for the rest of my life. My friends and family who were kind enough to buy a ticket and come along to watch me – and shower me with praise afterwards. I really couldn’t be happier at the moment.
And now it’s time to go back to reality.