Well, folks, opening night has come and gone.  Mr. Apron asked me, on the ride home, if I get nervous being on stage, after so many years behind the scenes, or in the audience.  On Sunday, when we had our first run-through on the stage in the performance space, I was disoriented.  I didn’t have trouble translating the set-up we had used in our rehearsal space; I didn’t have trouble figuring my stage left from my stage right.  I was struck by the existence of the space beyond the stage.  The rehearsal space (choral pratice room) had no audience.  We used every inch of the space for dancing, mincing about, and singing.  The edge of our “stage” was a mere 2 inches from the piano.  We had no trouble coming all the way downstage.  The first time I stepped downstage on our real stage, I was apprehensive of falling off into the orchestra pit.  I spend some time upstage, and some time all the way down, teetering on the edge.  And, frankly, it was a little scary to stare out into the seat of blackness which would hopefully be full of people come opening night.  Scarier still was opening my mouth to sing, and hearing my voice be sent forth into the blackness.  I don’t particularly care for the sound of my own voice, sung or spoken, and hearing myself so exposed humbled me even further.  Thank goodness for all the choral numbers.  I don’t think I could stand having any solo parts. 

Last night, though, with my glasses off, I pranced and minced, and sang and danced, and acted and reacted.  I mention the fact that I had my glasses off, because the audience was just fuzzy enough that I would not have recognized anybody out there.  It was thus quite easy to keep up my 4th wall!  No, I didn’t feel stage fright, or nerves.  My stomach did, but I wasn’t particuarly nervous.  All the excitement at having our costumes, and make-up and props and scenery fueled our performance, our opening night.  Having friends in the audience, wherever they were seated, helps too. 

I don’t know how I was able to get up and go to work this morning, but I did.  It started with the street sweeper at 6:15am, which sounded strangely like teenagers driving by in their low-riders with the stereo on and the bass turned way up.  Mr. Apron freaked and encouraged me to hustle to move my car.  No place really to put it until I left for work at 7:30am, since all surrounding streets were also being swept.  And there were still hundreds of cars parked.  It seems unreasonable that they’d expect us to have moved all our cars before working hours, especially given the fact that they were doing the whole neighborhood.  Yet they kept sweeping, many times over.  It also might have made sense to wait until 9am, simply because then most cars would be gone, and they wouldn’t have had to go back down our single block to hit the spot left open by the one car that drove away since their last pass.  I inched my way into our neighbor’s parking pad, since they’re not home.  Of course, upon trying to leave, I found the back alley blocked at one end by an ambulance, so I had to back down the alley.  I think the forces that be were trying to tell me not to go to work today.  Yet somehow I managed.  I saw my kids, I did some therapy.  I did some assessment.  I pretended to speak some Spanish.  I helped a little boy make his “snake sound” in exchange for dizzying spins around the room.  I filed some notes.  I ate some lunch. 

And finally, I can put work away, where it belongs, and focus again on the show.  This is what we’ve been working towards.  These are the moments we performing whackos live for.  These are the weekends that make us sign up for the next show, forgetting Hell week, forgetting load-in, forgetting the wardrobe malfunctions, broken parasols, diva performers, and mutiny among the ranks.  This weekend contains the adrenaline rush. 

It’s show time!