It's done, dear. All done.
Time has marched on. Life is back to "normal" (and I do use that term loosely).
I've been reflecting on the experience and this is what I've concluded:
The show, as a whole, was a resounding success. I think we sold out, or nearly sold out, every performance. The cast received standing ovations at the end of each show. Around town, I've run into friends and strangers, alike, who couldn't believe that such a professional production could come out of a community based theatre group.
After bows, the cast would make their way into the lobby of the theater to greet family, friends, and fans.
I was asked two questions after every performance:
1. Are those fake eyelashes?
2. Will you do it again?
I'm not sure about that.
Don't get me wrong; I had fun. And I felt confident about the acting once we got to production. However, I don't think I got bit by the acting bug. I didn't feel the acting "high" that I'd heard about. My guess is it's like the "running high" people talk about - I've never gotten that either.
The feedback I received was from biased individuals, but the overall response I got was that I did a good job as Grace (I did have a lot of help to get there). I was believable and worked well with the other characters. I was told I had stage presence. I had to improv a bit and did it successfully. Allen actually looked at me when we got home after opening night and said, "Anything else you want to tell me about yourself that I'm not aware of?" He had seen a side of me I'd never been brave enough to show him (or anyone else, for that matter) before.
I did overcome a huge fear of mine. Yes, singing and acting in front a crowd of 400 plus people for two weekends in a row will get a person past stage fright.
I'd remained virtually tear free until the night one of my besties showed up. As we caught sight of each other in the lobby, her eyes welled with tears. She handed me my flowers and simply said, "I'm so proud of you."
And then I cried, too. The anxiety and stress and insecurities took physical shape and spilled over onto my cheeks. She saw my heart and she knew what it was like for me. She's a bit of a perfectionist, too. And she knew what it took to try something new - to risk being imperfect. Because it really was hard for me. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I felt inadequate a lot of the time.
I didn't do it perfect. As hard as I try to accept it, I just don't swallow"I did my best" as well as "I was the best (Grace)". I can still recount every line, note, or inflection I didn't hit just right. Even now, when people come up and tell me I did a great job, I wonder what performance they were at because I can remember exactly what night I didn't hit the note that is only a 1/2 step down, the high notes where I didn't pull out my big girl voice, and the line I forgot on closing night.
I wouldn't mind doing acting on occasion if the situation were right. I do think that the more good people who choose to get involved in things of this nature, the better. Sometimes, the arts have a certain reputation that isn't exactly family friendly. This theater group is changing that a bit and it's our job as members of the community to support and grow that if we want to see it succeed in our area. I do want that type of activity here for my family so I do feel a sense of obligation to stay involved in some capacity.
I'm not sure I want to sing in front of other people again. I would need to make a concerted effort to develop my voice. I'd need lessons to gain better control, sing from my diaphragm, and, oh yeah, read music. I'm not sure if now is the time to devote to growing that talent. I'm certainly not the next Meryl Streep (as Allen put it so delicately for me), but to ignore that I could do something more doesn't feel right to me. When Heavenly Father gives you a mustard seed, you're supposed to grow that into something. The church choir is always looking for willing voices and what more appropriate way to show my gratitude for the small talent I have than through hymns?
I think time will sort that all out for me, though.
I do have a sense of accomplishment and quiet pride about the whole thing. I'm grateful to those who saw, as they put it, "talent in embryo" and were willing to take a risk. I'm grateful for the patience of my fellow cast members, crew, and the like who put up with my ignorance and foibles. I'm grateful for the friendships I made and the feeling in my heart when I recount the many nights of laughs we shared. I'm most grateful for the door that has been opened for Alexis and the time we spent together doing something special.