DEAR SELF, PLEASE DON'T THROW UP ONSTAGE

Monday, December 9


First of all, I'm sorry this is late -- this was supposed to be written/published right after Thursday's performance... but I left for Ann Arbor to visit T on Friday morning at 5 {after getting home from the performance/drinks at 2am}, and now here I am writing this on Monday afternoon while T is at work after going entirely off the grid this weekend. I know - excuses, excuses.

So, let's go back in time to Thursday, December 9. My first improv performance. The rest of my improv ensemble was pretty unfazed -- improv performance? easy peasey! -- but I on the other hand was filled with nerves, and excitement, and nausea, and delicious apple pie {which I bought myself as a pre-performance treat}. The improv show was part of Second City's Coached Ensembles. Essentially, a whole ton of Second City students audition in front of a group of directors who are looking to cast people to perform in their ensembles. I was cast by Jessica Mitolo to perform in her 8-person improv ensemble, which we appropriately named "The Jessicas". We would have three performances -- December 5, 12, and 19 at 10:30pm in Donny's Skybox Theater at Second City.

I loved the anticipation leading up to the performance, even the feelings of fear and doubt and the pitterpat of millions of butterfly wings in my stomach. A delicious Italian dinner with my dad {who came in to town from St. Louis to see the performance} and his friend Lori. Getting ready in my room with last season's SNL playing on Netflix. Taking the L train from my house to the Sedgwick station, unable to stop beaming the entire ride. Ordering my ritual pre-audition/show/event-of-importance iced green tea at Starbucks. Checking myself one final time in the mirror, reapplying my favorite Chanel "Bonheur" lipstick. Hugs of reassurance and big smiles shared within our ensemble. Walking through backstage for the first time and looking out on the Skybox theater before the audience began filing in. Last minute group warm-ups filled with shouting and dancing and energy. Quietly walking backstage to await our cue to go on. And then it was our turn. Music filled the theater and the eight of us danced onstage, twirling and jumping, waving and getting down low. The next fifteen minutes were a blur. A blur of the most fantastical and excellent of sorts. We killed it. Before I knew it, our fifteen minutes were up and the lights dimmed. It was time for our bow.

Whatever happens in the future, whatever dreams change or expectations fluctuate, how ever many tears get shed or laughs render me useless, I want to remember December 9, 2013 and this first performance. I want to remember the whole body excitement, the sheer joy, being on the stage with the lights shining down and feeling like I'm finally back home, finally being true to myself. I loved every part of it. Everything I had risked and pushed aside in order to pursue training at Second City was worth it.

If you're at all interested in seeing the show, you can come out for one of our next two performances {Dec 12 & 19 at 10:30pm in Donny's Skybox Theater at Second City} or watch it online at http://gigity.tv/home.php for $5}.

No comments :

Post a Comment