BWW Blog: Handling Disappointment When Your Show Is Cancelled
Originally I wanted to write about my first experience doing stage combat - the anxiety I felt before starting, the pressure of feeling like I couldn't mess up in case I accidentally hurt my cast member, and the elation of finally getting the moves right and being able to move swiftly through a scene that frankly I have never gotten doing just normal blocking or even dance choreography. As you can tell by the original photo I chose, I wanted to focus on all the amazing experiences I had during our rehearsals for Everscape (a fascinating play about people seeking escapism in their favorite MMORPG where I was cast as an NPC, all written by Allan Maule).
Unfortunately, when our campus closed and we were sent home, our play was put on the backburner. It hasn't been officially closed and there's hope for it being pushed for the next semester, but it is tremendously disappointing, nonetheless.
It took me forever to begin writing about this, honestly. For the longest time just thinking about how I should be in rehearsal but instead I'm sitting at home, rewatching my comfort shows, I wanted to crawl into bed and weep. And I did at first! But I couldn't do that forever.
The biggest thing our fight choreographer stressed to us is that we shouldn't view our time as wasted. All of our hard work isn't thrown away because our show schedule is all messed up - we still learned to fight! We came in every day for weeks learning new skills! At the very least this still belongs on our resume even if we never get to do the show (fingers crossed that won't happen), but speaking for some of our cast members it lit a passion for something that wasn't there before.
Personally, I love learning about the various jobs that I could do in theatre that aren't strictly acting related. I have a great interest in dramaturgy as I am a self-proclaimed nerd that is obsessed with history, analysis, and really digging deep into all the "secrets" that I can find in the text of a play. After I was sent home, I went down a rabbit-hole of not only practicing the tapes of our fights so I wouldn't forget anything, but also looking up several videos of what a fight coach DOES.
Our fight coach also doubles as our intimacy coach and she was great help when we put on Dracula last semester. She broke down exactly what you can do as an actor to make sure boundaries are respected and no one gets accidentally forced into an uncomfortable scenario. Just hearing when an actor voices discomfort and the swift assurance that a scene can be tweaked with them in mind made me much more comfortable with performing those scenes, and I wasn't even acting in this production!
I have so much respect for all of my castmates, stage manager, director, and especially our chorographer for getting us prepared in this role and it will always hold a special place in my heart (and if tragedy does strike and the play is cancelled completely, I will be doing a one-night only, one-woman show directly from my bedroom. Attendance will be free!)