I don't often perform for an audience on a Thursday night. The community companies for which I act generally only perform during weekends. Some of them make an exception for popular musicals, which will often open on a Thursday. But as far as I can recall I haven't been in a straight show on a Thursday before.
Predictably, if was a small audience. We were cautioned as much before hand. I guess 25 people. But I was surprised by how responsive they were. I don't mean to suggest they were uproarious, but quite frankly they not only laughed at more things than I would have expected, they laughed at a few things that none of the other larger audiences have found funny to date.
At least I can say so about the scenes in which I appeared. My understanding is that there were some mistakes in other scenes, but for my own part, the show actually felt fresher and more energetic than at any previous point during the run. If the quality of those scenes could have been matched with a larger responsive crowd that would have been really something. However, we have three more performances to experience just that.
And I think that we can. Some of the concerns I had last weekend have been addressed and corrected in a most satisfactory manner. And the quality of the show increased as a result. There is a good chance that we will continue on that path. I have no reason to conclude at this time that we will not.
One reason it felt fresher was that I played Tony in a slightly different way last night. The skeletal structure of the character, if you will, is still the same. Refined, cold, calculating. Brilliant in his own way. Detached. But I tweaked some outer characteristics a bit. I allowed a bit less stoicism and a bit more outward bewilderment at the odd situation to be visible. A few more odd stares. Grimaces. Sighing and such. It made him feel a bit more affected by what was happening around him, even if mentally he still remained detached for the most part. If the freer, more kinetic feel of some of those scenes has anything to do with these new choices I made, I am glad I made them, and I will hold on to them for the rest of the run if I can.
Audience response helped a great deal, though. So here's hoping there is more of that tonight.