And Yet…

I hate this point.

We’re less than a week out. If all goes well on a technical level (every indication so far is that it will), we should have only two more rehearsals before opening night. Everything *seems* to be in place. Lines are a little shaky, but about on par with where they usually are at this stage. Last night’s first true run with the tornado of light cues went pretty smooth. The characters are formed and some really nice stuff is coming from everybody. We’ve totally come together as a cast, gelling in particular on Sunday during the extremely long cue-to-cue. We get along, we’re cracking each other up, we’re even finishing each other’s thoughts. The director is back (newborn in tow) and taking charge where she needs. It’s been a very supportive environment. On the surface, we’re good to go.

And yet…

Something feels amiss. Maybe it’s just me. I tend to get The Doubts around this time no matter how comfortable I am in a role. Heaven knows I had them all the way through Wait Until Dark and that turned out better than I had imagined. So it’s really no surprise that they’re creeping in here. It’s standard operating procedure.

And yet…

I have this feeling that is gnawing away at my insides that is telling me I’m overlooking something. It’s the worst kind of feeling really, because it can never be fully eased. Yet I try. I look at my script daily. I know the problem spots and I’ve worked them. Despite all my bluster these last two months about how easy the role would be (and has been), I’ve still done the work. Yes, a lot of this character is me. Moments in the script are so close to events (real and imagined) in my own past that it’s eerie. But at the same time, I’ve discovered things about “Kevin” that make him different from me. I feel like I’m responding well to what the others are giving me, while in turn I’m confident that I’m giving them something in return. My mental checklist is covered.

And yet…

I can’t seem to shake it. I can’t even seem to quantify it. The show will not suck, of that I’m sure. Nor will my performance. But will it be all it *can* be? Am I really tapping into it the way I should? Perhaps that’s the crux of it. The more I get into a show, the more I dig and work and expand, the more I lose sight of the quality. It tends to happen with every project I’m involved in. Stuff that seems like it’s going to be awful ends up working better than I thought it would. Meanwhile, work I thought was dynamite ends up fizzling because the audience didn’t see what I did.

Then again, that is the point of all this posturing. The nature of acting is to take words on a page and turn them into something the audience can recognize. To add color and life to what is nothing more than someone’s thoughts. I know this. Hell, I relish it. The moments of discovery and realization give me such a charge. Applause are satisfying, yes, but discoveries? Discoveries are exciting! I can be having a rotten day, ready to pounce on the world just for daring to talk to me, but give me one of those moments – just one – and I’m sky high. I get off on this thing called acting. It’s a drug.

And yet…

I have no control over it. It rules me. Rules my moods, my confidence, my life. It is the beast that will not be tamed, and right now, it’s staring me in the face, flashing it’s fangs and snarling at me, daring me to crack the whip. We’re eye-to-eye, staring each other down, and while I should be in the position of power, in this instant the beast is winning the mind game.

I have two rehearsals left to regain control. Two rehearsals to assert my will. To take back what is mine.

And yet…


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