It's all over. No more Tuna Christmas. Back to real life now. No more rehearsals, call times, uncomfortable costumes, finicky audiences, crazy adrenaline highs or late nights. Until the next show.
I'm a bit dazed. For one thing, I didn't get out of bed until 11:00. A special shout-out to my husband for getting the kid ready and off to school this morning with no help from his snoozy princess actress wife. There should be some sort of support group for theater spouses, with excellent snacks and possibly cocktails.
I'm going to make a list of things I will miss about this show, and things I will not miss. Lists make me feel better.
What I Will Miss:
1. Lip-synching "Strangers in the Night" in the dark with the whole cast as we wait for our curtain call.
2. Gossiping about family, kids, marriage, Tiger Woods and the theater lifestyle in the "girls' side" wings with the other--as Duke called us last night--"hags" (Hi Elouise, Connie and Shelley!) in our bad wigs and garish makeup.
3. That first music cue, where we all hold our breath to see if it's a "good" audience tonight.
4. The boys--Greg, Kenny and Aaron--sashaying around in their dresses and giant bosoms.
5. Hi-fiving Jolie (my "little sister") as she squeezes by me for the scene right before my entrance.
6. Charlene's pink glasses (alas, they broke) and saying "I can't afford to waste my artistic integrity on that pathetic little shrub." And her walk.
7. Hearing myself go "jingle-jingle-jingle" every time I nod because of my fuzzy bell antlers.
8. Inita's coffee cup apron, and the way it feels to dance in cowboy boots. And people saying "You look amazing with black hair!" afterwards.
9. The look on people's faces when Greg and I run through the audience after winning our "award." And waving to our "boyfriends." That scene is such a high.
10. Slithering along the flats when I hear Garland say "Hi, Inita" in his distinctive nasal whine. And what it feels like to breathe "We're fine, cute stuff. You know, Garland, I sure wish you came in cans...I'd pop your top every five minutes!" Heaven help us--this is the line Jarrah has been quoting verbatim.
11. When I tell Petey (the amazing John, who plays four characters) I'll go get some lettuce for his iguana, I am only miming getting some lettuce. But every time, without ever having discussed it, my "best friend Helen" (Greg in drag) is waiting behind the curtain with his hands out, offering me some imaginary lettuce. And every time, I reach for it without irony, and carry it carefully back out into view. To clarify: No one sees us do this. We are backstage. But it happens the exact same way every time, as if we as actors have wordlessly agreed to suspend our disbelief in the same way we're asking the audience to do. There's something truly, magically idealistic about this, like a pure belief in the Tooth Fairy or wishing on a penny in a fountain. It makes me happy to be an actor.
What I Won't Miss:
1. Stuffing my jeans. I so enjoyed throwing my ass away this morning. Bye bye, ass! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!
2. The damp, freezing, consumptive environment that is the Point Loma Assembly backstage. And the way the door to the girls' wing doesn't close and people are always flinging it open when I'm half-naked.
3. Yeah, that's probably it. When is the next show?