I become a ghost the week before a show opens.
It’s like an old-fashioned confinement when ladies in the medieval times would go into seclusion before they went into labor and gave birth.
I go into hiding and don’t emerge until I need to get dressed up for opening night on a Friday evening.
There’s a need to completely immerse myself in the world of the play and ignore everything else – work, housework, and even eating sometimes.
This tech week may be different. We have some major events and meetings going on at work this week, so I have to be on my toes during the day and hopefully not work too long so I’m not late to rehearsal.
Tech week is always a stressful time – it’s the time where you work out timing, when to change costumes, how many people can be in the wings at one time, and how long you have before you have to be onstage. I love it because it’s when a show really comes together. The cast may not have been hanging out backstage, they may have been reading or checking e-mail while sitting in the house. This is the first time we really become like family backstage and learn how to live with each other for the life of the play.
The first time I put on my costume and actually run the show under the stage lights, something magical happens. I may have studied the script, done my character analysis and memorized my lines – but when I step onstage with that costume on, it completely changes and the characters becomes real.
That’s why I act.