When I got to the playhouse last night I put on my cherry dress with my cream pigskin heels. The hair designer was waiting with a little brown curly wig. He placed it on my head, softening hte hair line and placing pin curls. When he stepped back Wanda stared back at me in the dressing room mirror. I am so thankful to be at this point of the process with such a fabulous crew to support us. We are one rehearsal away from our invited dress, and two days away from previews. I know our opening on Saturday night, which is almost sold out, will be wonderful and exciting. I am eager to have an audience in the empty red seats we have been playing to for the past 5 weeks.
Last night was the first night off book for the Enter Laughing cast. I think it went well consdiering we were missing our leading man due to illness. Ordinarily I am well off book before the deadlkine, but this time I struggled a little more than usual. It has been many months since I have strayed away form the Bard. I always find Shakespeare the easiest to memorize because of the melody and rhythm of the verse, It comes more natural to me, like learning a song on the radio. With Enter Laughing, I had to adjust my process since I have not had enough repetition to learn my lines solely through rehearsal. I have taken my script to bed with me the last two days, trying to engrave the lines into my subconscious. I once read that encoding immediately before sleep improves recall. I studied my lines for an hour today adn then took an hour nap to cement them in. It seemed to work. Soon they will be second nature and then I can really start to play. Now that the book is out of my hands I have the freedom to create and explore everything that is Wanda.
It is 10;00 PM, and I just got back form my first read-though of Enter Laughing. I always think of the first read-through as a spectacle all in itself. Everyone is getting to know one another, making introductions, trying to remember names, nervously looking around. I love the moments when discoveries are made, or when bold laughter fills the empty rehearsal space. I am very excited to work with this talented cast of players in the historical Long Beach Playhouse.
I am still trying to figure out my character. Who is this young woman named Wanda? Why does she love David? What fuels her fire? What does she dream about when she snuggles down under the sheets at night? Where does her sense of forgiveness come from? Where does she hold her pain? Her happiness? Her love? I find her quaint, but wonderful in every way. I know I will find the place where Wanda lives in myself.
Good news! I have been cast as Wanda in Enter Laughing at the Long Beach Playhouse, directed by Glendele Way-Agle. After 5 nerve racking hours of callbacks, I survived all 4 cuts and landed the role. The cast was announced in the theater lobby and my friend Brandon squeezed me tight when we saw his headshot on the bottom of the pile smiling at us. In a room full of talented actors I was thankful to have him there. We haven't attended the same audition in over a year, but we seem to bring each other luck. I breathed a sigh of relief when my name was called. I hardly get nervous anymore, but I have to admit my stomach was in knots fo rhte last half hour. It is a gratifying feeling the first time I hold the script in my hand, knowing that the risks I took were validated. Our first read-through is Monday! I am excited to begin Wanda's journey.