We're all happy with the opening of Portland Actor Ensemble's MACBETH last night, performed outdoors, in Pettygrove Park. This is a spirited, engaging 'amateur' production (I've recently become fond of the adjective 'amateur' not as a put-down, but as a nod of respect, a reminder of the dignity inherent in people doing something they love,) with performances ranging from enthusiastic and--er--'undisciplined' to highly skilled, and all of them highly committed. We had an audience of 102 brave last night's cold weather (in the 50s), and with word of mouth, we're going to be drawing 200-300 a night over the next few weekends, which is great. These audiences--we had these numbers for last year's OTHELLO--are the largest for which I've performed. It's fun.
About my performance: this was the most comfortable opening night performance I've given yet. It was solid--if not yet fully articulated--I connected well with my fellow players--especially Nicole Turley, who plays my son, Fleance--and, above all I was on my VOICE, which as you know, I've been obsessing about. I found it. It carried. It pinged. You could hear me in Nebraska. And it felt great. It's a terrific sensation to feel your skull resonating as freely as the skin on a drum.
In the hours before going on stage, I'd felt numb in body, and dull in spirit. I couldn't find my enthusiasm; in fact, I felt... impotent, which is a word I use precisely, since this numbness and dullness was akin to what I often feel before going out on a date about which I suppress the anticipatory excitement I may be feeling. Before a performance on stage or on a date, I not infrequently feel like I 'can't get it up,' which, can, indeed, be a self-fulfilling prophecy. How did I deal with this yesterday? I turned my attention to the 'numbness' itself, and remembering what I wrote a few days ago about my actor objective to let the audience see my PLEASURE in performance, I decided to let the audience in on the SEXUAL pleasure I get--any actor gets--in performance. I prepared to let them see me act from my groin and pelvis as well as from the heart and head (as an actor, you HAVE to let the audience in on your most earthly pleasure, or else, they won't believe you.) By the time we got to curtain, I felt 'back in my body,' the numbness gone. And by the time I hit the stage I--er--rose to the occasion.
That's kind of how it goes on a date, too.
Acting is fun.