At the beginning of that day, I was feeling pretty mellow. To me, it seemed like just another dress rehearsal. I would show up at 6pm, do my base make-up, walk over to put on my microphone, put my wig cap on, have Tatiana put my wig and hat on, put that dang corset on, followed by my lovely costume, remind myself how to breath in the corset, do a few warm-ups, and do the show. After a week of tech rehearsals, this had become my ritual. At about 11am that morning, that was what I was prepared to do. I had no nervous or anxious feelings.
At about 12pm, my boyfriend gave me a call asking me if I was excited. I told him that I felt like it was another rehearsal. He said, “Really? This is your big night! This is your professional debut, your first time getting reviewed.” I tried to shush him before all of that got out of his mouth, but alas, it no longer felt like another rehearsal. It was opening night! I was nervous but excited!
After I did my ritual of getting ready that night, I was sitting with a few cast members, making a few jokes here and there, as is the norm. (Why do gorillas have big nostrils? They have big fingers! ba-dum-chhhhhh) Then, the orchestra started playing. I was so excited! Why did my first aria not start until halfway through the Act I?! I wanted to go on right then.
The time came for me to go on for “Sorry her lot.” I sang the aria as I usually did. During rehearsals, I was used to silence after my aria and immediately going on to the next dialogue, but on opening night, I will never forget what happened after I sang. I got a huge applause and a “Bravo!” I was surprised by their response. I thought, “They like me?!” Suddenly all my fears of the audience not responding well were alleviated. My first time singing as a professional was over, and I could now have a blast with the rest of the show. It was a great night, a night I will never forget!
I am so lucky to have this as my first professional show. The audience was enthusiastic and responsive that night. My cast members and the stage crew were so fun to work with and supportive.
The rest of the run presented a few challenges here and there, but nothing that we couldn’t handle while still having fun in the process. Spring shows would not be complete without many of us suffering from allergies, finding ourselves running for tissues right before dawning the stage. Doing a show is exhausting, and sometimes, it felt like I was a robot programmed to do the show. The last two days were my favorite, though. The reviews were over. I’d gotten over a lot of the nerves that come with being on stage. I decided to go for it, and man, was it fun!
Speaking of reviews, I have mixed feelings about getting reviewed. People can say whatever you want about you in mass media, and you can’t do anything about it. Most of them were good reviews. One was not so fun to read, but constructive at least. It’s hard not to let them get in your head, both the good and the bad. I’ve learned over time to accept criticism and compliments from professors and judges, but from the media, nope! That was an interesting experience. I have now developed a new layer of thick skin. It was, however, fun to see the reviewers writing creative things about the cast and I. If you care to read them, I’ve put a few links below. Warning: there are also fun pictures.
All in all, it was a great experience. I learned a lot and am ready for the next thing. There’s one in the works, but I’m waiting for the contract before I announce it. Stay tuned!