Today was the first day of Norris Little Theatre's latest production, And Then There Were None. Am I the killer? Maybe. Come to see a show, maybe you'll find out.
Today is - or rather, was - Friday 13, 2011. Long, long day. We put on a matinee for the local middle school, and frankly the kids didn't give much back. There's a huge amount of energy coming off the stage as we the actors do what we can to be what the original writer wants to portray; and we're trying to evoke the response you'd expect a bystander to have in the audience.
Middle schoolers = tough room. No laughs at the funny bits (more on that another day), no gasps at the exciting bits. To their credit, at least no one fidgeted or catcalled from the audience.
That's the unhappy part. Let's fast-forward to the interesting part: this evening's show. Adults paying full price means you can expect them to understand, at least a little, what's going on in a live production. And the energy we produce onstage is reflected back at us. The laughter is there, the tense silence is there. And where I said "thanks for coming" to the middle schoolers, it was so much easier to mean it with the evening's show.
Is it still the most stressful thing I've ever done? You betcha. But now, on the rush of feedback just from this show, it's all been worth it. I'm still a little stressed; there's two more shows to do. But if the audience for those nights are anything like this, it's easy to see how someone could really get hooked on being an actor.