Like any quest worth the good lord’s approval, the road to Knightmares was fraught with peril. Two weeks before our opening performance, people were still reading lines, costumes were MIA, and we bumbled onto the stage as if quite by accident. Some were sick–really sick–others looked to bow out. It did not bode well. But Sunday afternoon arrived and we managed to pull it off in royal fashion. A Christmas miracle!
As so often happens with miracles, however, we claimed the goodness as our own; we let it go to our heads. You know you’re treading perilous ground when you overhear, “I’m not at all nervous tonight,” mere moments before a live production.
Oh, cruel fate, bravado be thy name!
Lines were fumbled–awkward silence ensued.
We fell apart during what began as a rousing rendition of Tourdion. The play calls for such during one round–it’s part of the schtick. Unfortunately, it was not that round.
Someone stepped on my cape as we exited the crying lady scene–it pulled me back in a choke hold until the broach broke, propelling me forward in a shocked and rather unflattering motion.
Certainly, each and every one was glad to be done with that particular performance. Yet as we struck the set I couldn’t help but feel a hint of melancholy. We worked hard–especially those in set and costumes. We worked side-by-side–people of all ages and abilities; while there were a few theatre majors, most had never before set foot on a stage. We worked through stress and finals, fear and trepidation, bronchitis and strep throat. We worked and kept working in hopes it would all come together–that we might entertain our audience, and offer a moment of reprieve from the cares of this world. And what do you know? For all intents and purposes, it did–we did.
That, my friends, is the magic of theatre.
I arrived home feeling somewhat smug in the fact that I made my cues and recalled my lines; yes, I did trip the light fantastic, stage right, thank you-very-much, but I did not fall to the ground, nor did I utter profanities of any sort (my mother will be so proud). And that’s when I glanced down to find my slip mid-calf.
Apparently, life on the stage is not the life for me; nor shall I ever be a lady full of grace.
Still, it’s mighty fun to pretend every now and again . . .