Monday, September 07, 2009

Autumn Breeze

Well, it's all over but the cryin'. No more theater on the green...at least for another year. Last night's show had a very enthusiastic audience (and a big one) but I learned something: it's a lot more fun to play two parts after playing one, than to play one when you've tasted the honey of playing two. Sure, sure, there's less costuming involved. But after being Dorimene twice and really starting to spread my wings in the part, it was surprisingly tough to give her back to Rachel.

So, yeah, my alter-ego resurfaced at the last minute. I literally didn't know until I got to the park--I had my costumes in the car. Which was fine, theoretically. But then I watched her up there and wished it was me. And couldn't seem to stop myself from saying to every single person who approached me afterward: "Other nights, I have more to do. I'm in the wig. Me. Yeah, you should try to picture that. Better yet, you should have seen it live. Did I mention I was TWO characters? On other nights. You shoulda been there." I kind of wanted to smack myself, but that didn't stop me. People were probably really sorry they talked to me at all.

Jarrah, having attended all four shows, is going to miss the peripatetic theater lifestyle. Yesterday she asked, "Which restaurant will we go to after the show?" When I told her the cast party dinner was "grown-ups only," she did her own reconnaissance with Lorenzo's granddaughter Leilani, and circled back with a perturbed expression: "SHE is going to the dinner. And SHE is not a grown-up." She might have followed with, "Is there something you'd like to tell me, hmmmm?" but it was implied. What Jarrah really liked about OB was the park, where she could run and scream with the other kids--last night there really was a demented number of distractions, everything from trick skateboarding to people playing ball in what was technically our backstage. But the show must go on.

John/Marphurius took us all to dinner at Nick's, a nice place with a view of the water. I sulked a bit because I was sitting with children, including my own, who was pretty far gone with tiredness and kept doing stuff like removing her jacket, then starting to cry because "I'm soooo cold." Also my Cosmo was too lemony. I hate that. But everyone else was in an exultant mood, and if it counts for anything, I wanted to be. I do get a pretty intense and instant let-down when a show is over. "I hate when things are over," as the song goes.

Afterward, I learned some more things about OB, so I will provide an addendum to the previous list:

More Things I Learned In And About OB

1. People on the beach really like artificial illumination. They will shine their torches at trash and fish and even set up a unit with the power of a prison spotlight just because they can.

2. There's a lot of spontaneous making out, seemingly in direct, perhaps magnetic, proportion to the couple's proximity to me.

3. If you are planning to drop your pants and pee in the ocean, it's probably best to just do it, rather than approaching potential spectators to say "Sorry to spoil your view, but I'm going to take a piss in the water right now. Have a lovely evening."

4. If you wear a really short dress and then sit on the beach, you are going to get sand in your soft bits. It's unavoidable.

5. The rats were not a one-time fluke. They are still the size of mongeese. But they feel vulnerable out in the open, so you are okay. Still, it can't hurt to check your purse.

6. Sometimes drunk people yell a lot and call people names. Which I never get. I am a sweet drunk. A Giselle-from-Enchanted drunk. I'm adorable. Trust me.

7. Just because you are carrying a boom box the size of a suitcase Atlas-like on your shoulders doesn't mean you aren't thoughtful. Maybe you will suddenly turn it off as you approach me, and tell me to have a nice night. Which is especially thoughtful if you then refrain from peeing in front of me.

6. People enjoy narrating their own OB experience, and will make unsolicited statements, even engaging in self-conscious tourist promotion-type proclamations like "Watch out, you're in OB!"

7. I get a bit flustered when guys in dreadlocks almost fall on me. Or maybe they're just pretending to fall on me, which makes me even more flustered.

8. Still being asked for cigarettes. Still with the not smoking. This gets funnier each time.

9. Tweakers, belligerent drunks, make-out couples, skateboarders, strolling moon-gazers, gaggles of girlfriends and boardwalk language poets are a bit like the seals on Shelter Island: their excitability increases in direct proportion to the lateness of the hour.

10. OB still looks gorgeous under an almost-full moon.

6 comments:

Caroline said...

Giggling at the idea of guys in dreadlocks who go around pretending to fall on people. :)

Is the one about the boombox sarcastic or true? I like it, either way.

I recognize the feelings you've described of feeling/dreading impending endings (don't like the way those two words sound together) and the dramatic letdown you feel when the ending is actuall at hand (even though you've been preparing yourself). Very me.

Sam said...

@C: True! :) And thank you for validating my feelings. I think you've actually explained it better than I did. ;)

Mary said...

One of my walks in OB included a lady yelling a guy because his dog just "s**t" on the beach and he did not clean it up. They started to yell back and forth at each other, exchanging all kinds of words.

I just can't get that out of my head when I hear OB.

It is pretty, though!

oxox

Mary

The Wades said...

I'm scared of California. You people are too wild for me. ;)

Glad you got to express yourself yet again. You're too cool, Ms. Sam!

Sam said...

@Mary: For some reason, the part "all kinds of words" really made me laugh. :) Your story definitely sounds like OB.

@Michelle: Don't worry, *I* didn't pee on the beach. I mean, I wanted to, of course, but I didn't. ;)

The Wades said...

I would have. You should know we crazies out here in NM will squat any ol' where! (OK, maybe it's just the crazies in my own family--don't want to give all the fine people of this state a bad rep.) It's the other stuff--ahh.