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Patience: a "during the show" blog

Since I'm going to be too damn busy to post today, and since there's no WiFi in the Green Room, I'm going to post a "show blog" from last Saturday - how I'm spending my time during an actual show.

12:25: Full of strawberry waffle, I'm actually early for my 12:30 call, a relief after last night's Denny Triangle traffic nightmare. Down into the bowels of the Rep, I sign in. 2/3 of the cast isn't in yet. There are no notes posted on the board, for me or anyone else: good.

In the dressing room, the lights are down, but two of my fellow chorines are already inside, eating lunch and talking about how they Never leave the house without makeup, but what was the point of bothering? Me, I noticed as I left the house that I still had makeup on - eyeliner that hadn't quite heard the call of the witch hazel when I was cleaning up (read: "scraping off") last night.

Meanwhile, in the green room, some of my favorite lady cast members and several of the dragoons are gathered, chattering about how none of us got enough sleep last night. Joe reads a news story about a guy who was killed having sex with a horse, which gets the cast's interest. Immediately, everyone starts making bad jokes. "Just say neigh!" A proposal was made that the regional insult in the first act be changed to "How South Enumclaw!", and then have someone in the chorus whinny, but I can't imagine that will fly. I head back to the dressing room to start getting my makeup and costume on.

1:23: The musicians are gathered in the green room now. My hair and makeup are done. I'm ready for our warm-up, which will be in seven minutes. It's hard for me to do my makeup - I don't have any experience with stage makeup, and I just kind of wing it. Conversations in my dressing room (which I share with ten people) was wedding florists (inspired by our headpieces) and auditions for music school.

I seem to be picking up time in doing my hair: I toss it into pincurls pretty quickly, then get on the sock and pin the wig on (through the sock and into the curls) in far under the half an hour it used to take me. I'm needing to remember to cover my tattoo, now; my dress was resewn so that I can't use it to cover it any more.

The first act will go pretty quickly, even though it's longer than the second. I've set up in the green room with my sewing bag so that I can come back here and stitch away during the down time between "maiden" scenes. The Poncho rehearsal call will only be announcements and dancing, I think; we should probably look at doing vocal warm-ups in the dressing room.

Carl the costumer came and took my hat away while I was putting on my dress; it had tried to come off in the finale again last night, and I didn't manage to *ahem* find a hatpin during my break between 1 and 10 AM. I'm hoping it will stay put better once he works his magic. My other oopsie last night was not being able to find my hanky for the Act 1 finale - it turned out that it was still stuck in my sleeve from the previous night, but since it was so lightweight I had my costume on with it right against my arm and didn't even notice.

It's 1:30 PM now, and the God-mike just announced, "All cast to the Poncho rehearsal hall." The computer, however, is staying in the greenroom and running a slideshow of show pictures.

1:49: We've practiced the end of show "dance off" (in which all the cast dances) and "Let the Merry Cymbals Sound" (the women's dance). I got the show running time: 1:19 for act one, :55 for act two; no details on crowd size for tonight. I'm really tired! After the matinee, we don't have to be back until 6:30, but I'm afraid that's really not going to be enough time to take a nap. I think I might try to go get some pineapple fried rice at Tup Tim, and even maybe play some pinball, while we're waiting. Ten minutes until curtain time … I'd better get in a trip to the head, and then pick up my harp (my first scene prop). It's funny how much time we have to kill before we actually go on stage once we've hit our places, as we have all of the overture to listen to before we actually enter the scene. The first half an hour or so of the show is really busy for the women's chorus.

Alright, I'm running back to the dressing room. I won't be able to get back to this until after our second bit, I'm afraid.

2:20 First scene over, and as usual my feet fell asleep while I was on stage! Sitting in that position is a bear. I'm remembering to breathe during the scene and not just sigh, which was making me get really dizzy (passing out on stage a bad thing, I think). I actually turned and watched Patience a bit tonight, during the finger wagging bit she does with the girls who stand a bit behind me - she's really a card.

The house is actually surprisingly full - I see lots of glasses out there in the audience, so I suspect it's the typical matinee crowd. The freeway is supposed to be substantially closed in one direction for the weekend, so my guess is that the afternoon show is a much better bet for convenience. I wonder how well the evening show will be attended?

We seem to be running through this scene very smoothly. I decided to make fewer ugly faces at Patience after seeing myself in the video last night, and am instead hamming it up to the audience more. "Oh, how he cherishes his taxes!" *swoon*

Oops, call for maidens - only three minutes break!

2:45 - We made it back out at 2:40 - and all just spent five minutes reviewing the show pictures from last night. I need to add some blush and lipstick, stat! And during the first act finale, I need to get the couple that stands in front of me to move closer to the set. Not only are they blocking my view of the conductor (which has been driving me crazy), but the picture makes it clear that they're actually not centered on the stage.

The second scene went smoothly - nothing to drop on stage, that's for sure! Ella is emphasizing "Be EARLY English," at it's getting a lot of laughs. No mention of South Enumclaw, alas. And fortunately I'm not trampling anyone's dress, which makes me happy.

I'm going to sew for a bit and then pump up my blush and lipstick.

3:20: Act one is over. I missed the first ticket I was handed for the lottery and wound up stuck in the back for "Such a judge" while I tried to get a ticket; it slipped away from me and landed on the floor. There it sat for the rest of the scene, but it didn't seem like too big of a deal, and I managed to get myself into my normal position on stage by the time the dragoons rushed on and made their big noise they do in this scene. Alas, no luck readjusting the couple in front of me, so I was completely blocked from seeing the conductor during the most musically critical point of the show, but thanks to our tons of practice it wasn't like I really had a problem finishing my notes - I just started and ended less crisply than I might have.

Time to visit with folks. The green room is filling up, and I need water.

3:55: End of my last scene in the pre-Raphaelite robes. I think I'm mugging to the audience more - I can tell that I'm trying to pick up the energy. The men, who have nothing to do for about half an hour, are hanging out playing cards and dozing. Meanwhile, all of the ladies (except for Jane and Patience) need to get hustled into our bustles (and, for me, corset) and Victorian day dresses. Off to the dressing room, off with the gown, and on with the goods, including a little more lipstick and blush.

4:10: I'm dressed. This outfit has a real order to it: corset first, then bustle, then heels (for once I am dressed I can no longer bend over). Skirt over poof, shirt over skirt, hair up, then hat, and finally gloves. I've had a clip added in the hat to help it stay on; with luck there will be no slipping in the finale.

And it seems I'm getting hungry. I'm nibbling on a cookie. I'd enjoy some lunch.

Time to sew.

4:21: Bunthorne and Archibald are singing: it's time for our final scene. I'm closing shop and heading to stage, even though we haven't been called - I need to get my hat on right this time!

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