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After Curtain

Spoon Theater 027 It's nearly 2 am. I'm nursing my throat with a hot cup of tea. Figures that I'd come down with something two days before opening night and that it would last through closing. Isn't that when all actors get sick? 

Still, that was five days ago. The show went up. Against all odds, naturally. You never think it's ready the night before. There are props missing. We haven't rehearsed in the space before the show. Our tech in three hours before our performance. And somehow... it all just comes together anyway.

So Monday, Valentines Day, was our opening. We opened our one-act festival to the Nicu's Spoon Theater, a cute little space on 38th st, hidden on the fifth floor , accessible by one of those shady old elevators where you have to physically open the outer door yourself. Exposed brick walls, maybe fifty or so chairs on raked platforms, all black, except for that odd white one on the end of the third row, house left.

First night. Good show. Sold out crowd. One or two minor disasters with other shows. I felt like I hadn't done that well, but my girlfriend still seems to like me anyway, and besides, everyone else thought I was fine. We all went out for a drink afterwards, actors in the different shows actually getting to mix for the first time.

Second night. Better show. Another sold out  crowd. Felt better, too. Forgot a prop on stage, startling a fellow actor who immediately tripped on it. We split after, and I went out for a drink with an old college roommate who'd managed to get a ticket.

Third and final night. Tonight. Best show. We added another row of seats to the front and we still sold out. And this crowd knew how to respond. I had the best command of them and my character I'd felt in the entire process. Other actors coming up to me to tell me I was on that night. All other actors and shows just as on. Back to the bar after the show.

We all snag a booth at the back, the crowd of actors, directors, and a couple close friends and significant others grows, packs tight, gets loud, gets quieter, splinters, shrinks. Smokers leave and return, and the decibel level follows them out and back in. Midnight, one am, only five other people left, I'm still sick. I should be going now. One thirty, I'm actually going.

Which leaves me here at home. There's another party we've been invited to, Friday. Some of us can go. Maybe I'll see them there. But as I'm sitting here in front of my laptop when I really ought to be asleep and nursing my chest and throat back to health, I've got that same feeling after any show. That cast, that group, isn't a group anymore. No more rehearsals, no more shows. We'll see each other individually, an maybe even come together as a group again, but if we do, it'll just be to remember, not to do.

It's a strange feeling. Always is.

~Joel R. Putnam


Image courtesy of Nicu's Spoon Theater

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Mercedes Rose

That anti-climactic feeling is an odd one, isn't it? I feel that way at the end of every film. Like I am leaving behind a piece of myself. And family too. Hope you are feeling better!

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