I start rehearsals for The Sadness of Small Cakes tomorrow. I’m delighted, terrified, and curious in equal measure. I’ve had a number of meetings over the past few weeks with my designers, production manager, and stage managers, so there are a lot of things already in motion. The set is being built, props are starting to appear in the theatre, and our company Pinterest board is booming. But, tomorrow, all bets are off. All of the ideas, images, and production concepts that we’ve been tossing around will collide with the actual people who will be embodying the show.
This is an extremely exciting moment, but I still have a huge lump in my throat. As a favorite professor of mine says, “Theatre has deadlines like no one else.” There will be people coming to see this show in 45 days. Only 28 of those days are rehearsal days. I have approximately 100 hours of rehearsal time in which to make this world come to life. I have to trust that it will all come together. I have to trust that my training, my values, and my approach will align in such a way that I’ll be able to connect with my actors, and help them connect with our audience. I’m not just putting up a show. I’m putting up my worldview. I’m giving tangible form to my dreams. I’m sharing with total strangers—and my mom—my most intimate thoughts and fears. It all makes me want to crawl under the covers and not come out again until it’s spring.
But everything’s ready. I have to show up. I want to show up. I’m looking forward to the routine of rehearsal: warming up, improvising, exploring the space, and structuring scenes. I’m scared, but I know that part of the work is being scared and doing it anyway; having faith that I have something that’s worth saying.
I get to do something tomorrow that very few people get to do on a daily basis. I get to go into a room with other people and play. I get to share what I’m thinking about, bounce it off of them, and have them bounce new ideas, images, and iterations off of me. I get to help create an entire world, and make the invisible visible. I am really lucky.