Water by the Spoonful: Chapter 3…
Aaaaaaaand we are one show away from closing! Everything is going by so fast and I still need to pack to hit the road again. This week we had 8 shows in five days. I’m sitting in my dressing room right now listening to a scene from act two during our second to last show.
It’s always a bittersweet moment when a show closes. We have been on a journey together, facing the layers of this incredibly complex and brilliant play, day to day. Just yesterday our director had us over to her house for a meal in between shows. I sat at the end of the table and there was this moment when I looked at everyone around me, this amazing cast, our director and assistant director, all lit up beautifully in the California sunshine… what a journey it has been.
The week before closing we had a scare with one of our cast members. I had to drive my scene partner Miles Villanueva to the emergency room just two hours before we were supposed to be at the theatre for an evening performance. I called the stage manager immediately and he then called our understudy, George Psarras who now had an hour and a half to get ready to go on. Our director, Leslie Martinson, headed over to the ER and relieved me as nurse so I could head over to the theatre. George lived through the actor’s nightmare that evening. I imagine he hardly remembers what happened during that performance, talk about living moment to moment! But he did it, without a script and only missing a few lines, it was incredible. Miles still needed to recuperate so George got a second chance at the role the next night, and he absolutely killed it! What a thrill it was too work with him. All my scenes in the play involve his character, so it was a wild ride for the both of us.
A few days after rehearsal started George, Miles and I began hanging out. We would have some beers, play pool, laugh (a lot!) and enjoy each other’s company. We built a strong bond, a friendship, a trust between the three of us. I am convinced that these after hours hang outs helped tremendously when we were faced with Miles having to miss two shows. The trust between the three of us helped us get through the kidney stone incident with flying colors and a ton more of respect towards each other as artists.
So after many friends and family coming to see the show, getting to know the downtown scenes Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, tons of laughter with this amazing talented cast and crew, we are one show away from closing. 28 shows, 28 times to have enjoyed each moment on and off stage, 28 moments of creativity, joy, wonder, struggle and artistry. My theatre family has extended once again and I am reminded how small our world really is.
I’m going to hop a greyhound from San Francisco and head up to Ashland to reconnect with my Oregon Shakespeare Festival familia before heading back to New York. It will be great to see those lovely faces I spent 7 months with last season, to see their work on stage and take in the beautiful Oregon landscape. I will carry in my heart the memories of my Water by the Spoonful experienceon my travels, remembering the gut wrenching laughter, the inside jokes, the times we dropped lines or forgot props, the conversations before during and after work… the moments of living and breathing in a creative profession.