December 21st, 2003


New venue, new view

We did two shows yesterday. Last night's show was at the same old venue, with the same old lack of an audience.

But yesterday afternoon's show-- now THAT was SOMETHING.

photo of angel

It was at a small historic theatre in South Bumfus, NY-- about an hour out of cell range. The town was simply off the quaintmeter. Carriage houses with elaborate gingerbread, perfectly covered in snow... Oh, heavens.

photo of HallIt was a free show for anyone who might like to attend-- our work was paid for through grant money and donations. We had about forty people in the audience. They apologized that there were so few-- apparently, someone had misplanned and the firehouse was also having some function that same day.

The Hall was beautiful, and ancient. Gorgeous old murals adorned the walls, and antique carvings bedizened the proscenium arch . The stage commanded a reverence usually not suggested for secular places.

There was no space in the wings, and no space to walk behind the curtain, which changed all our entrances and blocking. And since it was an open, heavily windowed area in the middle of the day, lighting cues were kept to a bare minimum.

We improv'd a lot of the blocking, and because there was very little "real" lighting, we could see into the audience, and mucked with them when we could.

They loved it. They ate up every single second of it.

When we were done, we took our bows, then went offstage. To get offstage, we actually had to walk off the front of the stage, then down some worn old stairs to the greenroom. The audience was applauding raucously.

And they didn't stop.

photo of some old stepsAnd then they started stomping their feet. And hooting and hollering up a storm.

We all stared at each other in disbelief. They weren't just getting up or putting away the chairs, they were stomping their feet for us to come back.

Bemused, and thrilled, we went back up the stair and took another bow.

They were stomping their feet for us to come back.

They were stomping their feet for us to come back.

Oh, God, they were stomping their feet for us to come back!

And then they sang carols, and paid us for the pleasure.

It is for these moments that I act.
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