I’ve had a few days off blogging, mostly because the time has just disappeared. I returned from Dubai on Monday morning and went straight into a day of rehearsal followed by a day working on the Nano-Simbox and then straight into the opening night of STRIP. Somewhere in that time I also tried to fend off a cold and catch up on some missed sleep!
I have never felt so nervous as I did before performing last night. I am very lucky not to really suffer with stage fright but I was harbouring a lot of butterflies in my tummy yesterday and I think that it was for the following reasons:
1. Preparation – most of the preparation for this show happened prior to my week away in Dubai where I was completely engrossed in another show (which you can read about in my previous blogs) so it was a long way from ideal in terms of focus, but a great lesson in how to develop the skill required to have multiple shows on the go.
2 .The character – this character was hard to play, so so so much harder than Juliet. She does go on a journey in the show but it is much less immediately responsive than most characters. She has very little traditional dialogue, all her lines are either her own musings or interview questions, which meant that there was no safety net, this character is the framework of the play and there is no one who could help me out if I got stuck. She also thinks about things in a different way to me, so I have had to work hard to deliver her thought pieces. She is on the surface far more similar to me than someone like Juliet, however Juliet is much more instinctive to play.
3. The subject matter and the play – this piece is a thought piece, it is the stories of 4 strippers, it is meant to be objective but it inevitably forms an opinion, as does the presenter, I was worried that people would think that the opinion of the piece and my character would be seen as my opinion, which it is not completely, although I do agree with some things. The way I see it is that we are there to highlight the stories, in order to trigger other people to think about what their opinion is (which is intact what my character says). This is a new piece of writing which means that it is a far cry from Romeo and Juliet where I knew that people love the story, it is unknown.
4. The audience – the audience was full of people that I know and people who I respect, also people who have not seen me in a show for a while or ever at all, so I knew that their opinion of me as an actor, performer and theatre maker would be based on what they saw yesterday – pressure!!
As it was the adrenaline kicked in big time and I was so focused, so in the moment and so driven through the play. The audience was more supportive than I could have dreamed, the humour went down well and I am extremely proud of what we have created in limited time. I felt so amazing and still do, dare I say, I feel proud of the projects and performances that I am pulling off at the moment and I am so excited to keep working hard to create more things that I can be proud of, with more people that I admire and respect.
We are performing STRIP in London, Bristol and Swindon in the coming months so please get in touch if you are interested in more information.