Tunapost 2: in our skivvies

Tech looms. We are working through the insanely quick costume changes in the rehearsal room. It’s both fun and demanding, taking an enormous amount of patience and preparation, and utilizing the skills of the ASM (Angela) and the dresser (Jess) to help us backstage. The two of them have a “costume change playbook” that would make some NFL coaches proud. They are the kind of unsung heros the theatre doesn’t recognize enough. This play would not be possible without them. I suggested, aloud, that Angela and Jess should take a curtain call.

Madi is deeply involved in the process, having acted in Irma Vep in this slot in this theatre last year. It’s another two-actor, costume change parade. We tease her, and she teases herself, about how many times she says something that begins with “It’s like in Irma Vep last year . . . ” I make a joke about not saying things like “Well, when I was in this play before . . . ” Today, Madi was felled by a mysterious malaise which led her to direct us from an Equity cot, like some diva auteur, which, of course, she is. Madi is also eminently focused and clearly a theatre artist to her core. It’s been great to get to know her better.

And everyone got to know John and I pretty well today, as we traipsed around the rehearsal room in our skivvies. Jess would turn to one of us in between changes and say matter of factly “Clothes off, please.” It’s another reason actors are held in suspicion by some. Stripping to our underware in front of people we hardly know is par for the course. But isn’t really a sign of health? I often think that actors instruct in ways we are hardly aware of, as in, here’s my body. I’m not ashamed of it so don’t be ashamed of yours.