Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Butterfly: Road to One Act Festival Part 4

So it's over now.

I'm not sure how to feel about everything.

We came away with first runner up - which basically means if either of the two plays they chose to go on decides they don't want to or can't make it to regionals, THEN we get to go. So...pretty much we aren't going to regionals. We did come away with best original script, and I am really happy for Trish, our writer, she deserved it, especially since during the judges critique they were very harsh on the writing - obviously that was just to mask their true feelings about the merit of this piece. We also won an award for technical excellence. No acting awards.

That's hard for me.

I have never been so anxiety-ridden as I was that weekend - not abnormal anxiety - normal person anxiety. I felt like we really had a shot at winning. I didn't know exactly what to expect from the event or who would be there or how it would all go or if I would succeed in making all of my costume changes in time. I worried about the audience response, especially since much of the weekend was taken up with comedies. Not that there's anything wrong with comedy, it's just that ours is not a comedy, and if the audience is expecting one, we might not get as great a response...

Here I am talking like it didn't already happen.

I admit that overall it was a GREAT weekend. I learned SO much from the wonderful women I spent the time with.

I was sad about the judges.

I really felt like David made them uncomfortable. As he should have. But especially from the male judge I felt a lot of negative energy.

I also felt like they gave a lot of just plain mean comments to all of the plays - not just ours - things that couldn't help really in the future, just made you feel like you sucked.

On the ride home I just didn't know what to say, how to talk about what I was feeling. I was glad we did so well but it was almost worse that we got first runner up. It made us know how close we were.

The judges deliberated for three hours while all the casts and crews and whatnot sat in a restaurant waiting and waiting - long after the coffee had dried up, still we sat. It was agonizing. After all that waiting - nothing.

I knew as soon as they announced the acting awards and none of us were mentioned that there was no way we'd won.

That damned acting awards is tearing me up. I admit it. This is the first time in my entire theatre career that I felt like I could honestly say I was good. I have never worked this hard on a role. I have been told I was good in the past. I have felt good ABOUT my performance, but I have never felt so validated as an actor as in this particular piece.

It's not just that.

This piece is important. I wanted it to go on just because this was the kind of piece that people need to see. Something that teaches. Something that makes the audience question everything on the way home from the theatre. That's what theatre is about, after all. If a play doesn't leave you questioning, it hasn't done it's job. Even comedy should be able to pull this off if they're worth their salt.

I guess it's just a let down.

I don't regret a second of the time spent. It has been the best theatrical experience I have ever had, and that's saying a lot, since I've been doing theatre since the toddler years, quite literally.

The weekend was simply incredible - the festival itself aside.

We stayed at our producer's house (okay, it's her boyfriend, Steve's house...but whatever). It was SUCH a beautiful house. We ate amazing food. I learned lots about vegan cooking. We went for a 2 mile run Saturday morning. We watched the video of the production from June 2009 and saw how much we'd grown. We got lost all over the area about a billion times. We listened to music from Quebec. We did yoga. We read books. We discussed politics and religion and feminism and gay rights and abortion and art and being an artist and a mother and just about everything else you could possibly discuss. I felt like for a brief little weekend I was sort of living my fantasy of living in a community of artists - the weekend has fed my creativity into the week. I feel like doing everything. I feel more myself than I have felt...well...ever.

I'm excited about my art. I'm excited about who I am and who the people around me are and who my family is. I missed them like crazy while I was gone. I missed my own bed and my own house and the feeling of my husband's skin against mine and the feeling of my daughter climbing up into my lap to have If You Give a Moose a Muffinn read one more time and the smiling eyes and kisses on the cheek provided by my five year old son.

Everything about the weekend honestly made me feel ALIVE. I am sad about us not winning. It's hard for me to believe it's over, to be honest. I am sad that I didn't get an acting nod to feed my ego. But I am so thankful for that weekend or rejuvenation and deeper understanding of who I am. Of what it means to be a woman. I feel like I've really been missing out all these years.

Oh - before I wrap up completely, I wanted to note that I've added Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues to "my favorites" widget - it's in the sidebar there to your right. If you don't know the piece, I recommend you read it with an open mind. The piece is to be produced on Valentine's Day. V-day. Until the violence stops - the Vagina Monologues are about stopping violence against women. About power for women. About owning your womanhood. If you haven't read the piece, go over to the widget and click and order it and give it a try. It's quickly become a theatrical feminist classic.

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