In some ways opening, as well as it went, felt like a final dress rehearsal. I am very proud of what we did, and the audience enjoyed it. But there was still that feeling of "not quite".
Today was in some ways like our first rehearsal. At least the first one for which we felt totally prepared, I dare say. For this reason, there were fewer missed lines, smoother tech transitions, and by and large, good performances. I would say overall the energy was marginally higher than last night's, in some places.
From a production and performing stand point, we did quite well. Perhaps our best run though of the show. For this I am proud, as are the others, I would imagine.
Sadly, the audience, though of comparable size to last night, was not as responsive. They laughed, but not as much. So the whole package was not as satisfying as it might have been.
I know. A job well done should be it's own reward for an actor. And it is. We all should, strictly speaking, feel just as good about a show in front of an empty room as we do with a full house. Such is the way of professionals, right?
Let's get real.
Yes, an actor should always give his best, regardless of the audience. But practically speaking, even Broadway actors are just people. Even those who do this for a living like to be acknowledged. To that end, being human, we all want a happy, responsive crowd. We want tears for our dramas, and laughs for our comedies, and enthusiastic applause at the end of anything. It's not a crime, I say, even if, in the end, we want to be as good regardless of the audience, we know that a little part of us improves every time someone laughs or claps. And I feel know shame in saying that the audience is the extra character...without which, a show is never 100%. No matter what the Equity people may say.
So, we are in fact proud of our performance tonight. I felt good, and the director said she was pleased. Mission accomplished, but I hope for a more responsive crowd next week.
Does not have to be huge, though that is its own reward. But better a responsive group of 30, than a silent group of 200. I have felt that throughout my whole career and still do.
We have some word of mouth going for us, so we shall see.
Pick up rehearsal on Thursday. Until then, a break of several days.