Tonight will be my second performance in a play called “Where’s My Money”. Today, it’s not so many nerves that get me it is more the feeling of being out of control because once the curtains are pulled the train is set on its course and there’s nothing you can do to really correct it, besides trust that you put in the work.
Everyone is on their own, beating to their own drum, moving how they want, saying what they want (which isn't always the written words), and going as slow or fast as their gut tells them to. I think everyone is trying to do justice to the character’s written words, but I think it is the diligence and precision of certain actors who put in the work, that can trust their instincts and fly. Once the combo of hard work and talent comes together on stage, it is unlink anything else.
The theater is far from anything else because you only get one shot, live, in front of an audience to tell a story, and if there’s a misstep you don’t get to call “Cut!” and go back and try again. The show must go on. You have to find a way to keep the pacing, while also slowing down in moments where the audience may really need to hear something and times when it should just charge on. The theater is the best place to see where an actor's instincts kick in. If you’ve got the right combination of actors on stage with instincts for pacing, tone, and overall, believability then the bow that’s had at the end will be earned whether mistakes were made or not.
It is not an audience that should ever catch a mistake it is only the actors that are not only living in it but also making a side mental note in the moment of what to do and not do again. It is, after all, a job. The audience should only feel as though they are on a journey. Their only job is to sit and listen; it is the actor's job to make them feel. There is a precision that actors must have because they only get a couple of hours to tell that story in the best way possible. At that moment it is only the work and preparation they have put in that they can now fall back on and fly. Now without any further adieu, I shall go read over the script again, for the 50th time, and see what I see this time. Cheers,