It’s now just one day to the first performance. As the moment approaches, I feel a strange sense of something momentous drawing near. This isn’t like any play I’ve done before. It’s not like a well-worn Shakespeare, where there’s been a hundred Portias live and breathe before yours. Anne is mine, and I am hers. I am her vessel, her conduit off the page and to the real world. I give her a human voice, allow her to move and walk and stand there for all to see.
I imagine the others must be feeling the same. This will be the first time these characters have ever lived off the page for an audience. The excitement is hanging on the air, an almost tangible electricity that surrounds me as I go about my daily routine.
Apparently we’ve sold out for both nights, so I can finally put to rest my recurring nightmare of opening to a room of empty chairs. Of course, now my thoughts can swing to the other end of the spectrum, with the tingly fear of knowing for certain that there will be an audience, that there’s no backing out of this, that you’re actually going to have to go through with this. Even with the most wonderfully written and most meticulously rehearsed play, there’s always the fear – what if I don’t do it justice? What if I disappoint all those wonderful people who have paid to come and see the show and are expecting something brilliant? What if, after all this work and rehearsing and effort I fall flat on my face?
Today we rehearsed at the venue for the first time and it was thrilling to see the seats where this time tomorrow night our first audience will be sitting. We’ve rehearsed and rehearsed and now we’re ready for an audience. The play needs it, the characters need it, we need it.