Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Places, please!"

It’s 8:52 PM and I’m about to go on in “The Loose Chanteuse”, the show I’m doing here in Provincetown with Varla Jean Merman. This is one of my favorite times of the day; we’ve finished setting up the stage (our little crew has turned into a well oiled machine), I’ve gotten into my costume and I’m listening for the preshow music which is my cue to wait outside the stage door for my entrance. My apartment is literally six feet away from the wall of the theater and I can hear the music from my front porch. For that matter, I can hear it from here inside, where I am now typing this entry. At this point in the season it’s already dark at curtain time, so if I want to read on the porch I have to turn on the porch light. Sometimes I’ll work on the concertina during these last minutes before the show, but most often I prefer to just sit out on the porch--illuminated only by the Christmas lights I brought from home—and enjoy the cool night air before going on. There are no wings at the theater so the stage door opens directly onto the stage. There’s a single chair parked outside in the alley and that’s where I sit just before going on. Varla shows some (very witty) commercials before the show and there’s a line in one of them that I use as my cue to go through the stage door and onto the stage, pressed up against the wall so I’m hidden from the audience, and wait for my introduction. At the beginning of the season it felt like the audience was clapping for "the piano player," but over the past few weeks, as my own show has become more successful, I’ve started to feel like they’re actually applauding, well, me.

Oops, there's that preshow music. See you onstage!

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