It must be a common horror for almost every actor when he or she comes upon a "severed head," that moment when a blank stare is all that is produced on the rehearsal stage. I'm taking notice that these incidents seem to occur, not only at points of complete exhaustion, but after a series of continuous rehearsals. Something in the brain goes awry and a zombie replaces the once passionate actor whose speech was so profound.
It has been quite a whlie where exhaustion has had me ill, missing the first rehearsal since we've began. The word, "flu," had struck a slight fear in not only myself but the rest of the cast. Turns out that I will be just fine for our week of dress rehearsals.
Not at all inclined to superstion and pretty committed to correct doctirine, I listened to my fellow actor praise the spirit of Margaret "watching over" us. All of us in the production are feeling the pressure with this time crunch as we are a bit behind with the details. Still, my heart softened and I recognized a sense of peace. I, in my reflection, have "thanked" Margaret's influence and even dreamed of visitng her incorrupt body in Italy someday. In those moments of daydreaming, I could envision the tears streaming down my face as I stood nearby. Moments like that really save me from seeing any of this as "work, " especially when I am tired or discouraged.
It was this week that I truly realized that I was carrying a lot of weight in this show; I don't know how I was oblivious to the fact that I was the LEAD. I panicked. There followed my first real experience with stage-fright, then soon after illness. For the past two days, I have had over 10 hours of sleep a night and each day the lines have smoothly run accross the digital billboard of my mind. OF COURSE this production is different, OF COURSE it is spiritually influenced. Going along on this topic, I believe in evil spiritual opposition. There is a lot of reference to prayer and one line in particular, Margaret says, "I need to pray." This line is so simple but so very profound for me. I've heard it said by a couple of pastors that if the "spiritual hero's" prayed, how much more should the rest of us have need? (Which really signifies that we are all capabable of much and really "levels" us all.)
Tommorrow begins our full-week of rehearsal then opening. A flood of excitement and great expectation fills me for not since my participation of THE LARAMIE PROJECT have I anticipated great response from the audience. I'm hoping my prayers will improve in their passionate expression and that the message of Margaret's faith will extend beyond her lifetime and influence the souls of all that experience it with us. Amen.