Shrewpost 10: previews


I’m wiped out. Yet another last minute adjustment has thrown 4.5 back in flux. The Petruchio tantrum – which we tried Friday at first preview – wasn’t right. At rehearsal Saturday I begged Ceal to give me a line reading for it. “Just tell me what you want! Give me a result and I’ll try to get there!”. But she’d never do that. Sunday matinee, I just marked it, trying to get from the beginning to the end of the scene. Ceal told me afterwards I had nailed it. Few performances of mine have felt as “un-nailed” as that one did. But what do I know?

With some shows, you enter previews feeling confident you’ve got something. With others, you enter with a dark suspicion that things are amiss. With this one, I haven’t a clue. I’ve been so immersed in Kate that I can’t speak with any authority about the rest of it. Friday night felt very lively and exciting. Saturday felt tired. And Sunday I was depressed, but tried to shake it off and got a supportive note after. There are parts of it which are a joy to play. Other parts still feel like frightening, unknown territory.

And my general glower has returned. It landed on me with a thud Sunday morning and was bolstered by aggravating notes before the show. I can’t tell anymore what part of my experience is my own, what part is Kate’s and what part arises from working a really difficult character.

My Mom sent me a book called When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Apt title. There is some wisdom and solace in it.