[January 24, 2010; 4:12pm]
As I write this entry on my laptop, I am sitting backstage left of the second performance of “Brief History…” I’m half in costume, drinking water, and going over my lines one last time before our show. Two days off from this play is the most we’ve had before, so it was important to stay fresh with my lines and quickchanges. We are the second show on the bill, and the first show is going up right now. The show is two related one-act plays, and I am taking time during their first one to spend time on the computer. During the second play, I will finish getting dressed and prepare for my show.
Sitting next to me in the men’s dressing room, Aaron just asked me if I ever get nervous before a show. I thought for a moment, but I clearly still do. Sometimes the nervousness is justified, as sometimes happens when a show has had too little rehearsal time, or I feel personally unprepared for a specific performance. But even more generally, I still get that little twinge of butterflies when I have to go onstage. I know that it will partly keep me fresh and alive onstage, but it also reminds me of why I enjoy what I do. Without that little flutter in my gut, I might as well be sitting down behind a desk again to answer the phones at a gym or window center. The little bit of fear keeps things alive to a degree, and it’s something that I would never want to lose.