Thursday, December 4, 2008

THE HAPPY ELF: on stage

By young performer Madison Kitchen who plays Molly in Harry Connick, Jr.'s THE HAPPY ELF

The feeling of intensity and slight nervousness was circulating through the cast on Friday, the first day of opening weekend. My cast did not perform that night, but many of us saw the show. Seeing the other crew of talented young performers made me nervous because they set such high standards. On Saturday evening, members of my cast gathered behind the scenes for that night’s show—our first official performance. As we got called to dress (which is our signal to get into costume), everyone was excited to soon start a show that we all loved.

Our stage manager, Sarah, keeps the clock. “Thirty minutes to places.” Gone. “Fifteen minutes to places.” Gone. Ten minutes…five minutes…it was all gone. “Places for the top of the show,” Five…four…three…two…one…gone. The show had begun. That was it; our cast had officially opened.

My character doesn’t enter the story until the middle of the first act, so I listened to the show on the backstage speakers. As the scenes passed and my entrance crept closer and closer, my nervousness built. I sat behind the curtain, waiting to run on stage. The shaky feeling I had grew and grew and then…vanished. I was in the middle of the stage. The exhilarating rush of energy raced through my veins, giving me a wonderful feeling of confidence. The show buzzed by, and the feeling I had felt when I first entered never left.

Photo by John Deighton Hemingway: The North Pole set

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