Friday, May 7, 2010

Opening night thoughts

So, tonight we open our production of Barber here in Portland. I honestly never know exactly what to do with myself to fill the hours between when I wake up and when I go to the theater, especially on the day of a performance. Some people have very specific rituals, which they must partake in on the day of a performance. But superstitious person that I am, I'm afraid that if I have any rituals, and they become disrupted somehow, I will feel out of sorts. So what happens to me between say 9 AM and 6PM on the day of a performance is anybody's guess.

Part of it depends on how nervous I am about the evening's performance. Opening Night is always the worst, although thank god, I haven't been having any of that debilitating anxiety that makes me want to stare out the window all day and question my own sanity for agreeing to go through with something so frightening. Instead I take walks, I read, I eat, I take pictures, I look at the internet, and I wait for the hours to slowly tick by until I can make my way to the theater and start getting ready to GO!

Today as I was browsing facebook, I got one of those little annoying facebook suggestions about who I should be adding as a friend based on how many friends we have in common; Joyce Didonato. I met Joyce only one time, after she had come to see a performance of Little Women at City Opera (and I was singing the role she premiered, Meg) and she couldn't have been nicer or more supportive. But seeing as that was our only encounter, (and also that she's, oh, I dunno, FAMOUS) I don't think I'll be bothering her on facebook with a friend request. However, it did prompt me to think about one sister friend we do have in common big time - Rosina. I would guess she's probably sung Rosina more than any other role, as I have, albeit in different types of theaters than her. So facebook wasn't wrong - we do have "friends" in common - just not necessarily the ones they were talking about.

One of the many things that I really loved about Joyce's Rosina, when I saw her do it at the Met, was that she was really likable. She was spunky, yes, but you also really liked this girl and wanted to be her friend. I think that's probably because Joyce is really likable, and she was letting those parts of her personality shine through (much like another beloved mezzo, Frederica von Stade was known to be able to do with her characters). So tonight, instead of trying to "make" Rosina likable, I think I'm going to focus on letting myself shine through in her. My impetuousness, my girlishness, my shyness, my strength, my gawkiness, my humor, and my excitement about overcoming obstacles and finding new paths to take. These are all things we share, and I hope I can keep those alive and available in her tonight.

That and my tap dancing skills. You didn't know Rosina could tap? Oh totally - she was WAY ahead of her time.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Want to wish you Toi toi toi for tonight. Your mention of your avoidance of rituals prior to a performance reminded me of when you were about 12 Thelma cautioning you to do just that. And the tap! I can't wait to see you try your wings. See you on the 15th.

pat said...

may the blessings of all Rosina's past, be upon you. Girls just wanna have fun.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear those tap lessons you took with Carrie and Lawrence are being put to good use... keep on blogging Jenny.

Agiyo said...

Jenny, you succeeded most remarkably at all you mentioned and the tap dancing bit at the end of the sextet was brilliant! It was one of the very best moments I have ever seen in any performance ever, channeling Rossini's humor and humanity in your unique way.
Absolutely extraordinary. Thank you so much.