Last night I slipped from my dark little corner and snuck down where I could peep through a curtain to watch both the ladies on the boards and the audience. I was able to peek during the scene where M'Lynne has her melt down. I didn't see anyone in the audience who did not have red eyes. I saw a few openly weeping and then I focused on the stage and tears flowed opening down each face. They clung to each other. I know it was acting, but the emotion was real. The friendship and support were real. That is why the audience was able to weep, because it was real. I am still in awe of all of those woman. To do this for months at rehearsals, and then for 9 shows over 3 weekends. To not only go through this, but to do it in front of hundreds of people.
One of the best parts of this play is that we have brought in new actors to add to our Stage Company. Talented ladies. Anita Miller, no relation to the Miller Sister Foley team played our M'Lynne and she was amazing. And then our Michelle. She played the part of Shelby, and now she is known to the Stage Company as Michelleby. Ms Moon came up with that. The most amazing thing about this young woman was her ability to save our butts. When a gun misfired, she would jump in and say something that kept the play going and got the play back on track. If a line got forgotten or missed, she could pull things back into line. That is the most fun for me with plays is that it is different every night. The performance weaving into a giant tapestry over the run of the production that covered the gauntlet of emotions, incidents that went wrong and lines adjusted to fit the moment. And all 6 of those ladies worked together as one, supporting each other in such intimate ways, in front of hundreds of people.
But the lights are off, the props sitting in boxes, the set in darkness waits to be taken apart for the next production. The cast and crew are spent with lines that will pop up in conversations for years and memories and friendships that are the final reward. We gave Jack and Jan a Star Magnolia, Judy and Denise a Japanese Magnolia. The cast gave me a native azalea. Jack and Jan gave each of us a silk magnolia. And flowers for our Directors. And then sitting together around one big table sipping wine, beer and sodas. Laughing and reminiscing, little puddles of weariness, not wanting to leave the magic of the circle, exhausted and longing for bed. I had a few sips of red wine, mmmm, no, not on these pills. I don't drink that much, but I used to enjoy a glass of red wine after the show. It didn't taste very good last night. Oh well, as our journey twists and turns our taste changes.
The last time I looked at a clock it was 1:00 am. I told myself as I drifted off that I could sleep as long as I wanted. It would be Sunday, sleep late, rest, dream, recharge. I was up at 7:00 am. Exhausted, yes, but just not able to sleep. So I got up and fed the kids and myself. And put eggs on to boil to make deviled eggs for the cast party tonight. I have also started making zen cookies. Zen cookies, as named by Herb, are all in one. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, cranberries, sunflowers, pecans, Irish rolled oats, flax seed, all in one. I want to have enough for the cast party and then to take to the Oncology Department tomorrow. I may have to make 2 batches so I can make big cookies. I like big, chewy cookies filled with healthy, tasty treats.
This afternoon we get to start all over again. Yep, Steele closed yesterday, Curse auditions today. One production ends, another one opens. Judy and I will co-direct. We have been working on it off and on for a while. And now here we are. A new beginning.
And when I sit, Marina, my scary black Manx girl slips on to my lap and curls into a tight little ball and snores. I have had lots of cats that purred, but Marina is my first cat to that snores. She is so sweet sometimes and it is special to have her curled up on my lap. And as long as she is snoring she is not going to loose her mind and suddenly rip me into pieces. Maggie sits next to me. She is feeling frisky today in the little bit of cooler temps this morning and the light misting showers. It is a good morning. I have my kids gathered around me, the house smells of cookies, the washing machine is whirring and sloshing my sheets, and Sunday morning is on TV. A party this evening, and then to sleep and dream and finally rest.
Next week will see more auditions, blood letting on Monday for a doctor appointment on Wednesday. Training in Gainesville on Tuesday. Read through of Curse by the end of the week. Lots on my plate. And the Terceva? Seems to be OK. I had some stomach problems, but nothing too difficult to deal with. The gray skies are brightening, the temps pleasant on the cooler side, a nice day to bake cookies, to go to the Opera House and work with Judy and the actors who come along for the auditions. A good day to gather together at Fred and Marcy's and celebrate Steele, to again tell stories of previous plays and future plays, and Colin. Yes, we will tell Colin stories. And we will laugh and hug, and then when it is time to leave, it will start to hit us that it is done and that we will not be getting together again for this show. But we will work together again. In different parts, but we will come together again and do it all over. And aren't we so very lucky that they are letting us do it again.