Friday, September 20, 2013

Ramblings: Another Op'nin', Another Show

We're filming tomorrow! ACK!! So far, today I have furiously "company cleaned" in that way that can only be achieved through abject fear of houseguests thinking you live in filth. I have picked up the camera equipment that was supposed to have been delivered to my door yesterday, but wasn't because I had to leave the house for an appointment and missed them by eleven minutes. I've grabbed a couple of last minute props and costume pieces, and tonight, I'm going to paint my nails. Believe it or not, that's actually an honest-to-God task. They have to match my costume, and right now, they look like tee-total crud.

Any theatre kid will tell you that the day before opening is the most stressful. The sets are never finished. Heck, I've done performances where you had to watch out for wet paint. The costumes may or may not be altered, or in extreme cases, in existence. Will the jokes get groans? Will the melodrama get giggles? Will that cast member who's notoriously flakey (and there's always one) remember to show up? Will the audience like the show? Will the audience like me? Will I remember my lines? 

Film is no different.

Granted, you get retakes, to a certain extent, but you don't have the days or weeks (or longer) of rehearsal that theatre affords. There are still lights, makeup, wardrobe, egos, and nerves to contend with. Directors are still going to have their vision, and they're still going to get irritated with actors, who will, in turn, be irritated right back. Amazing performances will still come out of nowhere. Comedy and Tragedy will still be ever-present. Sure, instead of flash powder and scrims we'll just fix it in post, but that same "magic of the theatre" (as a dear former director always said) is still there. Not every scene works every time, but occasionally, everything clicks into place and you end up with something truly special--on stage and on screen.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow. We're scheduled to film outdoors, and I've been freaking out a little trying to come up with a viable Plan B. The thing is, stuff like this always happens. I've slogged through flooded green rooms and danced musicals in the heat because the air-conditioner was knocked out in a storm. You keep going. S*** happens, but the show must go on (especially when you've rented equipment, and your lead talent is driving over from two hours away).

I had a point to this, but I've completely forgotten it. In any case, tonight I'll paint my nails--right after I paint my husband to look like a superhero for a quick shot we can get before tomorrow's craziness. I'll go to bed this evening, full of butterflies and knots, and wake up in time to curl my hair and put on my makeup and transform into someone else for a few hours. Then, I'll throw on my sweats, grab my brushes and blushes, and transform other people into their characters. We'll pray for sunshine, prepare for thunderstorms, and hope that the paint on the props is dry enough not to smear on the actors.

If not, we'll fix it in post. Magic of the theatre...    

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