Today we wrapped our final rehearsal before we load-in our set and props to our Fringe space. A whole new adventure awaits with tech and performances, and I can’t wait.
A few rehearsals back, the thought of today terrified me. Would we be ready? Would I be ready? Would I be able to make this beast of a play work? Had I written something I couldn’t perform? My director, after last Saturday’s run through, quoted my own play back at me: “Pig shit.” Then he gave me page after page of notes.
Something amazing began to happen, though, in this last week. I remembered why I wrote this play.
Several years ago I asked myself what it was I wanted to say to the world. At first, I couldn’t think of a thing. (And for folks who know me that’s a real shocker because I have an opinion on everything.) As an actor, you interpret other people’s words, you facilitate another person’s vision, you wear other people’s costumes as you walk on other people’s sets under other people’s lights. And I have always enjoyed that collaboration immensely.
But it bothered me that I didn’t have anything of my own to say.
As I began to work on The Divine Madness of Isabella, I still wasn’t sure what I had to say to the world. I wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote. And rewrote some more. Somewhere around Draft #27, I realized that although I was writing Isabella’s story, every choice I made in how to tell it was informed by what I wanted to say to the world. And I did have something to say. I had lots to say.
That’s what I remembered this week. The things I have to say to the world. I’m not going to tell them to you in this blog, you’ll have to see the show for that. The show has started to take wing. My director actually stopped taking notes (most of the time) and just watched.
I’m grateful to the Fringe Festival for giving all of us a chance to express our stories. A healthy arts community needs a place for artists to grow, take risks, and find their voice. And creating a Festival for all of to come together is just amazing.
I stopped numbering the drafts of my script, by the way. By the time I got to Draft #46, it was getting embarrassing.