Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another Opening.. Sat & Sun

I must have done Something Saturday... but what? Mainly I prepared for the Sunday matinee to come. I also managed to write one more minute monologue and post it on Stagepage. I gathered my costume and make-up and rinsed out Martha's stockings and put everything together for the Sunday "idiot check".
My daughter and her husband hosted a Singing Party in their half of our duplex in the evening, and I went over to join in. Karen Welling presided at the electric piano, and she had brought the large print word sheets she uses when she entertains at retirement homes and the like.... this set was "jazz standards" such as Blue Skies, Fly Me To The Moon, You Made Me Love You... and I remember them all, giving myself away as the Oldest Person In the Room. Karen's keys were low, and singing with the group was a good relaxed work out to prepare for the songs in Martha I'll be singing on Sunday. Went to bed early, unsure of whether I should get up for choir or play hooky from church and save my energy for the solo performance later in the day. Decided to not set my alarm, and let my body decide. I slept through the start of church.

Sunday I was in a State: this is the 3rd performance of Martha, but with weeks between them each is another Opening. I set up my living room with props and furniture and did a complete run-through at full voice, early enough so that there would be time to rest and soothe my vocal apparatus before the 4 pm show. I had no idea what the space in Cambridge would be like, but we arrived early enough to try out some songs with the piano and check the room's acoustics and discover how loud I needed to be to make the lines intelligible to the last row. I don't remember ever being in such an impressive old house before, although I set my play GOOD BLOOD AND HIGH STANDARDS in my idea of one! Our hostess has a painting Studio as well as a greenhouse, and the public rooms are large enough that my entire apartment could be tucked into the smallest of them. The piano and Joan were in an adjoining room behind the performance space, so I couldn't really exchange looks with Joan if I expected the audience to see and hear me. Every chair in the room-- I didn't count, but I think there were upwards of sixty-- was filled. People were very attentive and responsive. Good thing, because performing in natural light one can see every pair of eyes! I picked out people to challenge or charm with individual lines, making them my scene partners. Afterwards there was a reception and buffet supper. I think I heard more praise for my acting in that hour and a half than I'd heard in the previous fifty years-- but I don't think I let it go to my head. It would be lovely, though, if some of the groups that people suggested ought to see me as Martha were indeed to invite us to perform.


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