Nerves, excitement, anticipation…

Three days before opening night? How did that happen? It feels like only last week that we were auditioning! These are the thoughts going through mine and other cast members’ heads as we surge towards Thursday. The time has simply zipped by.

Rehearsals are very much a process of evolution and discovery. We learn what works and what doesn’t, develop our strengths and work on our weaknesses. Provided with the basic building blocks – our scripts – it’s our job to assemble the play into a piece of physical art, to infuse the dialogue with passion and energy. From the first tentative baby steps taken in the early stages, we’ve grown into confident, expressive strides – and, like adding the final pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, there comes a strong sense of achievement from surveying the finished product.

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I find getting to grips with your character to be one of the most interesting challenges of acting. It’s very difficult to give a worthwhile performance unless you really KNOW the person whom, to all intents and purposes, you’re grafting upon your consciousness. With the aid of director and cast, I’ve come to understand not only my character’s personality, but also his temperament, deportment and his relationships with the other characters. As we approach the very end of our rehearsal process, I think we’re all at a point at which we are very well acquainted with our characters, the transition from one identity to the other being easy.

As always, the cast has been augmented by an excellent backstage team. For the first time, the club has enlisted the services of a stage manager, whose copious notes and methodical sensibilities have helped us flighty actors adhere to the structure. We’ve also been fortunate enough to get some stunning costumes, tailor-made for each individual. Staging a production – especially one of this size – is a wonderfully cooperative endeavour, each person having their own important contribution.

So here we are. I’m feeling a mixture of nerves, excitement, anticipation, all accompanied by the sadness of knowing that this time next week, it will all be over. The dreaded ‘post-show-blues’ will set in for a few days, but remedied somewhat by the fact that work on our next production, ‘The Memory of Water’ will start very shortly after ‘The Madness of George III’ ends.

Just like last year, I’ve had a great time – and am all geared up to go out there and break a leg! (Not literally…)

by Guest Blogger Michelle Gibson