>The last week of rehearsals consists of intense “run-throughs”, lots of little corrections, polishing, and giving the level of performance one expects to give in front of a paying audience — no more “marking”, no more excuses for anything that isn’t working. Oddly, this is not as stressful a time as the week before; the baby’s half-way out and now there’s nothing to do but go through with it as best you can. The last rehearsal is conducted as a performance, with some people from the theater in the audience (important, as we need to factor in different timings when there is applause), and no stops unless something should go drastically, irreparably wrong. Like if a piece of the set should drop on a singer’s head. Otherwise, you keep going.
I have found over the years that I feel pretty comfortable in front of an audience, especially strangers. Performing for friends unnerves me much more, although I’ve never figured out why this is.
What does one do the day of a premiere? I don’t do much differently than any other performance day — eat a medium-light meal mid-afternoon, get some exercise, warm up the voice a little bit. There are premiere (“Toi-toi-toi”) presents to buy and cards to fill out, wishing each cast member a great show, have fun out there, etc. Toi-toi-toi comes from the good luck act of spitting over someone’s shoulder, keeping evil spirits away. Superstitious or not, it’s a ritual among performers and an absolute must. As far as the presents go, I try to keep them in the theme of the show, although flowers or chocolates are always OK.
It’s hard to make them out, but the little pale spots on the green part of this dress are hanging crystal pendants, sown into the fabric, which sparkle under the lights.
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