We finally made it. This weekend marked the opening for Bonnie & Clyde, and I feel as if it crept up on me and took forever, if that’s even possible. I’ve been performing since I was in elementary school in many different venues and variances in audience, but this show is special. It’s my first professional theatre experience, and God Damn It! I was nervous. I always get nervous though; in a “Why do I do this to myself kind of way.” It’s almost become comforting now, and I usually take the day to reflect on why I got into performing in the first place.
First of all being a kind of an only child, shout out to my half-brother Mark (you da best), I got majorly doted on, thanks mama, and went through some big pretending phases i.e. I was Ariel, a dog, and a cat. I was completely committed to those characters, and I have a scar to prove it (I fell of the couch when I was a cat.) These pretending to be other people and animals garnered a lot of attention, and I basked in it, and viola a performer was born. That and I got to where a cat tail once and swish my little booty across the stage. From that cat tail moment on I’ve constantly been in shows, and I didn’t have a break in performing until college when I took up writing. That means at least three times a year since I was seven I’ve had opening night jitters.
This shows opening has been unique in many ways. In all of the openings of the past, that night was the first night that we had put the show in front of an audience. New Line does a preview kind effectively easing us into the process. However; New Line also get reviewed, and that is something I have never had any experience with, so while was saying it was going to be fine I was fetaling in a corner of my mind. Also New Line has an after party where the cast and audience can mingle and interact under the calming influence of booze and mood lighting. All of those changes in how I normally experience openings collided into a whirlwind of emotions. Now, I realize I’m making myself sound like a neurotic mess, and I am, up until about three hours before the show, and then slowly the panic ebbs and all that is left is intense excitement and pride in the theatre that we have created over the course of the last few months.
Bonnie & Clyde is, dare I say, my favorite show yet. It has all my favorite things. Great music, rich history, guns, and sexual tension galore. Bonnie Parker is a bad good girl if that makes any sense, and playing her has been so much fucking fun! There have been so many people who have guided this character and my portrayal of her, and I thank them for that, ’cause lord knows she wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to Matt’s Clyde without them.
When I first saw Bonnie it was as this sexy, manipulative seductress, and Scott helped me see that only how she saw herself. In reality she is a girl, a girl stuck at the age of twenty with huge dreams and no way of ever achieving amongst the soul crushing circumstances of the depression in the middle of the Dust Bowl. Once I’d gotten that in my head Dowdy was there to help me answer questions about her. Questions that no one would ever know the answer to, but instead would add layers to Bonnie and keep her from being one note. Lastly Alex, my roommate, the one I’m supposed to be sharing this blog with has helped me tremendously. Even after rehearsal is over we talk about the show, and about Bonnie, and the more we talk the more we discover. He’s the only person in this production who’s directed me before so he knows my habits bad and good, and helped me keep from doing them. With all of this guidance I feel as if I’ve grown as actress and singer and maybe even poet ;). I feel as if I got a free acting and vocal lesson every rehearsal, or at least that’s how I tried to see it.
I urge everyone to come this show. There has been a lot of hard work put into it, and it’s fun to see it pay off. I hope to see everyone there.
All the Best 😉