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So weird

December 11, 2020

Theatre in the time of Zoom. So weird.

First of four performances last night of our online Christmas show. We only had one rehearsal – the first – in person. All the rest were on Zoom. I haven’t flubbed a line since our second off book rehearsal.

I thought last night, even though it was actually a “show”, it would just feel like another rehearsal. In a real show it’s easy to tell the difference between a rehearsal and a performance: you walk out on stage and there’s, you know, an audience. Tough not to notice. But an online show? It’s just another run through, right?

Apparently not.

It didn’t help that there were endless seconds after the electronic curtains opened while the angel Michael was trying to figure out why his sound had suddenly quit. Yikes. Never mind. As I watched from offscreen, Gabriel just kept polishing his trophy until Michael fixed the glitch. It probably wasn’t as long as it seemed.

Pretty clear sailing for a while. First the angel with no name joins the meeting to plan the nativity, then my character Lucy (aka Lucifer) turns up. Scene one sorted.

Halfway through scene two I nearly skipped a line. A few words were out of my mouth when I saw Donna (No Name) blink. Yikes. Quickly back pedalled to deliver the correct line, but forgot the last part until I saw Donna blink again. Oh, right, I’m supposed to say “There’s a hierarchy.” If I don’t say that, her next line makes no sense. The rest went fine. As far as I remember.

It is so weird seeing yourself on screen as you’re performing. It is also weird that, even if you can’t see the audience, apparently you do still get opening night nerves.

As the show continued after our short play ended, the writer/director sent an email to us all congratulating us on a great performance, whilst acknowledging the opening technical challenge and saying, “I know there were a few stumbles on dialogue, but honesty it created a delightfully authentic and charming performance!”

To which I replied, “Yeah, that’s just what I was thinking when I stumbled: ‘I bet this is delightfully authentic and charming.’”

We’re our own worst critics.

Lovely later to see someone post this on Facebook: “Definitely worth the price of admission. The writing. The actors. The humour!!! The ingenuity, creativity, and technical savvy to bring it all together was fantastic. So get a ticket, you’ll be happy you did. Thank you for a great show.”

Aw, shucks.

One down, three to go. Meanwhile, time to write some Christmas cards.

From → Blog

3 Comments
  1. Donna permalink

    Well said! There’s that extra sense of nerves, just like on a “real” opening night, feeling like you’re walking a tightrope, audience holding its breath but in a twist, we’re looking at our own faces on screen. Weird, is right! I realised afterwards I could have said, “I know, there’s a hierarchy…thrones, dominations…etc….” Of course, who thinks of these things at the time? Still, I think we nailed it 🙂

  2. John Galpin permalink

    Looking forward to Sunday’s matinee here in Blighty!

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