Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Met Debut Weekend: The Performance

(Part 2 of 3... so far!)

Friday… Rehearsal with my pianist for Saturday’s OSNY Finals (I won’t keep you in suspense and say now that I didn’t place, but am very happy with how it went.); she had some wonderful advice to get me through a tough spot in the Bach, and we talked about how to negotiate the transition between these two very disparate pieces.

Home to rest a bit and collect my things for opening night:
* a light robe to wear while getting my makeup down and to wear over my costume if I need to eat
* my dressing room kit with toothbrush and paste, wig cap and pins, cough drops, mints, basic “street” makeup to put on after washing off the heavy stage stuff, Dove cloths with which to wash said heavy stage stuff, and other little things;
* cards and gifts (most of these are still unwritten… maybe they’ll be Closing Night gifts!)
* and, of course, the dress and shoes for the party afterwards!

The Artists’ Area was humming with excitement (and a bit of controlled frenzy), so I dropped off my few written cards and then settled into my dressing room (which I share with LW and PR, who is singing roles in Angelica and Schicchi) to do my pin-curls. S started on my makeup, when one of those moments you dream about happened. The door opened, and the gentleman from the stage door, who had been delivering cards and gifts to all the dressing rooms, came through with a huge, gorgeous bouquet of roses… and came to set them at my station! I said, “Are those really for me?!” Indeed they were, and they thrilled me just as much as the lovely bottle of champagne from Mo. Levine! (Whom they were from is my own secret for now…)

Visits in the dressing room from Met staffers JF and JM, checking in to say “toi toi” and happy debut and to see if I needed anything! A pinch, maybe?! The excitement settled a into realization of the magnitude of the moment when JF asked me to sign several copies of the playbill; most of the rest of the cast had signed already, and seeing not just my name but my signature among theirs’ was humbling.

Into costume, and at the call of 8 minutes until curtain, my YLT and I headed up to our bridge to walk through our blocking on last time. We settled in at the center of the bridge, and I held on to Tony for dear life! Not out of fear of the height this time, but because in seconds, the curtain was going to go up and we would be on our way!

And so we did. Tony and I hit all our “marks,” stayed in the light, stayed in tempo, and then, just like that – we were done. Next, what I didn’t get to do at the dress rehearsal: take a bow. Oh man… Can you say deer in the headlights?! I’m afraid I gave an ugly, ungraceful bow, because all I could think about was where I was!! I think I did much better at the second show last night…

Time to shift gears, wash my face and trade my red dress for a habit. LW and I dressed in our matching costumes, and when I reached into the bag with my name on it to get my cross, I noticed that it was gone. Figuring she just grabbed the wrong necklace, I said, “Hey, LW, you’ve got my cross, but since they’re the same, I’ll just wear yours.” No problem. But then I noticed her clothes piled in the bottom of “my” costume rack (where our clothes get hung changes every night, so it can get a little confusing in there…). I took a look at her, and noticed that her habit was longer than usual, so long, in fact, that it was rather puddled at her feet. I looked at mine, and realized I had a high-water habit. Yep, we’d put on each others’ costume!

With about ten minutes until the call to places, we did a quick switcheroo with our dresser’s help, laughing all the while and saying what a great story this would make for the Sirius interview! (Of course, we totally forgot it once we were there!)

It worked out really beautifully that I got my debut good wishes and “toi toi’s” for Tabarro, so that when Angelica came around, it got to be all about LW. Her first step onstage, her first bow. We shared this debut, but we each got our Moment.

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