Last night's show was a treat--thanks to the inclement weather, we had 100 rather than 300+ people, so we moved them all down and consolidated them together for an intimate show. I was anxious, but it all went off very well--it may even be one of my favorite shows of this run. You see, bad weather can be an excellent litmus test--the people who did come were the excited, energized ones, people who were not just excited that they were seeing my show but people who were excited that ANYTHING was happening in the greater Portland area. They were an excellent audience--wise, sly and emotional, they had an intensity that belied their size, and many of the more intimate moments of the show that shifted into sharp focus for this performance--we recorded it, and I'm looking forward to reviewing some of the tape.
Today the weather has gotten much better, and the ice is gone, but the audience took a nosedive--the matinee was the worst show of the run so far. The opposite of last night's group--listless, dull and almost impossible to connect with, I couldn't reach escape velocity with many sections of the show, and the whole thing felt like trying to suck a bowling ball through a straw. The gentleman who fell asleep in the dead front row really took the cake--if you're coming to the theatre to sleep, I implore you, buy tickets AWAY from the front row, for fuck's sake!
I have another show in 113 minutes--the last one of the week. This second week of shows has gone very well, all things considered, and I seem to have hit my stride...I can leap in and out of performance mode in seconds, and all my tricks and traps seem to be at my command. It's a certain kind of pleasure, to be in performance--I imagine it's something like what professional athletes feel, in the constant training. Especially being a monologist--there's such a lonely, rarified feeling to the whole proceeding, like exercising alone, against my own best time.
Tomorrow is my last day off until the run ends--after Monday, I have three weeks without a day off, and so will be doing 28 performances in a row without a break. It's a kind of suicide, I know--I *need* the day off, for my voice, for sanity and for all the rest of it--but due to the structure of Portland Center Stage's season I was forced to do ALL STORIES ARE FICTION on my days off. Now, with hindsight I find myself wondering--did I really *need* to do these extra shows? But I'll be glad of it next month--a new monologue we're doing at the Ohio Theater with Les Freres Corbusier depends on the development that will occur on the next two Mondays, and I'm also excited to bring something fresh and brand new to Portland. I just wish we could have done these *after* the run, so that I could get more complete rest.
Nevertheless, here we are...tomorrow is the last day off, and we'll try and spend it well. We have a really great breakfast planned, followed by watching Nancy Keystone's workshop of APOLLO 2. After that, I predict there will be much loafing, sleeing, napping and preparing, in that order.
Next show is up in 102 minutes...I'm off.