It’s quite amazing to me how fast “The Producers” has flown by. One second we’re in the depths of rehearsal and all of a sudden our four week run is over. Just done.
“The Producers” was one of those shows I wasn’t ready to move on from. Who knows if I would have ever been ready actually... This comedy is one you continually play with in each performance, each scene, each beat, each moment in time. Even just a few days ago, I was still finding new aspects of Carmen, fresh ways to see the action, and crafty ways to approach each staged relationship. Our production was alive, breathing; the only reason it thrived was because we let go and let be what this theatrical genius of a piece manifests in the utter aspect of being itself.
When I let myself go and stopped freaking out about whether I would “get it” or not, everything revealed itself. All of a sudden, the instances and specificity that I so wanted to understand, create, and hit accurately in my performance came when I came back to what Billy Porter told me: “Know that you are enough. You have everything you need.” It was then and only then that I got out of my on way and dove directly into the heart of who Carmen was to me as well as to our company’s production.
I had a blast with Carmen. This role for me was truly a dream and was so sad to see this incarnation of him end today with our bows. Carmen was a (as Mom put it and I agreed with) a complete culmination of all that Middlebury had taught me. Everything from throwing actions at my counterparts -whether spoken or unspoken- to the physicality choices that were birthed throughout, to my singing and dancing, all came from my time at Middlebury.
Overall though, the skill that Middlebury taught me that I found invaluable in my growth as an actor/creator in this process was that there is going to be a lot of homework, but you don’t necessarily have to complete it all to learn the subject matter the best way. That’s right, I never did all of my reading at college. BUT, I would find what was interesting to me, what intrigued me, what I knew would help me in understanding whatever it was to be learned -whether in theatre or other classes- and delved into that. It was through that sifting that I really focused on aspects that I could grasp, and then through the class, all of the pieces would fall into place in time to create that full comprehensive understanding.
I didn’t study all of Mel Brooks movies to get his comedic timing down. I didn’t break down each scene into beats and actions. I didn’t create detailed backstories. I didn’t do a lot of things. But what I did do, I did with 110% of my being and devotion. What I found was that with that dedication to those certain portions I could grab a strong hold of, the rest simply came to be by trusting.
I am proud of this production, and I will always look back on this time with the fondest memories and most rewarding sense of honest and harmonious creation throughout the four weeks of production. It surely wasn’t easy by any means, but it truly sits within the top three best productions I will always be proud to say, “I did that show”.
Of course, I could go on for ages about the ensemble that I had the great honor of working with. Literally though, the amount of stories along with all of the inspiring stage creations and chats I was privy to in this cast could go on for many more pages. These are people that I know I will work with again because they are not only that flippin‘ talented, but they are some of the silliest, nicest, funniest, honest people I know. I learned something from every single member of this company that I will hold with my inner artist for the rest of my life. I cannot wait for all of us to get together again and play both on and off the stage.
I know we all say this about a lot of casts, that theatre people are the best people, that we love everyone. I’m sure it comes from our dramatic ways; we just LOVE everyone! I will be seeing these people again whether they want to see me or not. :-) They truly mean that much to me. Throughout the run, I kept casting people in roles of musicals I hope to direct in the near future and got super excited. I cannot wait to collaborate again with these individuals and continue to foster the harmony that theatre so amazingly supports naturally.
I hate to see this show close, but new adventures are awaiting. I’ll be spending a week here in Guilford to reorganize and revitalize myself before coming back into the city for audition season. It’s also time to get cranking on my cabaret that will be going up this fall.
Thank you all who got to come out and see the show. It meant so much to have so many wonderful familiar and supporting friends and family in the audience. I felt so blessed to have you there, whether in a seat or in spirit from far away.
So long July and hello August. Here I am, (almost) ready to step into this next (and so far) blank chapter with a sun tan, an Equity Card, some pay checks, and absolutely amazing memories of my time with “The Producers” at The Ivoryton Playhouse.
Here’s to what was and what will become of my life now...