There's an energy to opening night that's hard to duplicate. No matter how much rehearsing is done, there's always an unknown...will I remember my line, or the steps? And those crazy frantic costume changes. We take a literal leap of faith as the curtain rises and the music begins.
For three months we see each other almost every day. We witness each other at our most vulnerable times and when there's down time, we mostly laugh. After all, we do this because it's fun.
Then the show begins and the crowds fill the seats. A nervous energy burns in our guts as Act I begins, then concludes. The same thing happens as Act II starts then ends. Curtain calls and then we meet friends, neighbors and strangers in the foyer.
Of course, to everything that begins, an ending follows. Tonight, as we performed our last show, I watched as much of the production as possible, lurking behind the wings so as not to be seen by the paying audience. I watched and felt goosebumps spread across my skin as a friend sang of lost love and the possibility of emotional redemption.
You know you really love a show when the music moves you the last time you hear it as it did when it was new.
Tonight the props have all returned to the table and the costumes are hanging like ghosts in empty dressing rooms. We hug and wish each other well, hoping we'll one day be cast again in another show. We then get in our cars and drive into the lonely darkness of night.
To everyone involved in this show, it was an absolute pleasure to be with you. Being asked to join was a honor, one I hope I always showed at rehearsals and on stage. This one wore me out, but in the best way possible. Godspeed you noble friends, you beautiful freaks! Until we once again meet on the place we call home.