Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pot's funny, even if you never smoked it

Hoppy's Trunk opened last night with the Tennessee Stage Company's New Play Festival, and as a result, I've been writing about it. Because I was in it. And for some reason, really nice people asked how it went.

I posted about it on my Facebook page, but not everyone is my friend. So here it is again, in all its wretched glory.

A bit of backstory: This is the world premiere of a comedy by Mike Farley. We've been calling it "a cross between Arsenic & Old Lace and Reefer Madness." That's a pretty darned good description, too! I have a tiny role, the unpopular neighbor. I make her particularly obnoxious.

On with my report:
People keep asking me to spill the beans about opening night, so I'll try! I'm accommodating, if nothing else, right?

OK. Opening night was very, very good. For an opening night.

I'm actually not crazy about opening night, myself. I'm a little too on edge to be comfortable, and you never know (or *I* never know) whether there's a critic in the audience. I think it's especially hard with a brand new play that no one's ever seen before. How many plays have opened on Broadway with tons of money behind them and very enthusiastic actors in them, only to be rejected by the audience and never heard of again? It's nerve-wracking!

But here to soothe my frayed nerves is my darlin' sister Amy, my best friend in the whole world, and a really cool person besides, anyway. I would never have tried out for a play if Amy hadn't done it first. Let's all blame Amy. Woo hoo, Amy!!!

Anyway, having a friend in the audience made it easier, but of course, I was still pretty much a wreck all night long. At intermission, another actor and I were commenting on it and saying how glad we would be when the whole thing was over.

The audience was faaaaaaaabulous. The Tennessee Stage Company does a wonderful job of arranging good opening night audiences. They throw a party afterward. So everyone who's there is looking forward to a party, which makes them happy. (Who doesn't love a party, right?) (We'll get to that in a bit.)

And lots of people in the crowd were there just to see specific actors, and those people were particularly giving.

I do so like a live audience! And when I say "live," I mean, y'know, living and breathing and laughing and clapping and getting involved in the performance. Opening night's audience was definitely one of those!

Me? I was a little rough. My timing was off. I rearranged a couple of lines, and I would've preferred a pristine, perfect performance. However, the audience really loved Mrs. Drysdale, er, I mean, Ida Smedley. There's nothing like a blowsy, obnoxious, judgmental, ignorant neighbor for getting the laughs. You can't go too over the top with someone like that, and I definitely tried to go too far. Can't be done. Slapstick is alive and well in the 21st century.

My biggest laughs were when I blew a raspberry, and when, having been given marijuana without Ida's knowledge, I fell out of a chair and yelled, "Get your own!" They really loved that stuff.

The rest of the cast did exactly what they've been doing and didn't seem to be the least bit nervous or off, blast them for all eternity. I've just decided I hate all of 'em. I'll kick them in the shins when I get back to the theatre tonight. Stupid perfect people. They suck!!! Numbered among them are stupid perfect Amy Hembree, disgustingly perfect Lisa Hatfield, and wretchedly perfect Sean Dietz. Don't get me started on that obnoxiously perfect Nicholas Robinson. Something should be done about all of 'em. But not by me, because I don't want it traced back to me. I'm just sayin'. Is all. Minions.

Rounding out the slobbery were disgustingly adorable, pretty, skinny, and young bitches Jennifer Osborn and Dale Mackey. (If I had any other role, I would want Dale's. Bitch.) And of course, I would like to smack the daylights out of Harrison Young and Gregg Roberts. Gregg's nightly glee over mussing his hair for the emerging-from-the-trunk scene makes my day, every day. I've never seen anyone so happy to be wrecking his coif! Makes me laugh!

After the show, there was the party. Dang it, I suck at parties. I am too much of an introvert. I changed into my finery (I'm so, so glad wide-leg trousers are back!), and went downstairs to find Amy and schmooze. As I made my way to Amy, a few people grabbed my arm and told me, "You were great!" I think they meant it. I wish they had seen a performance that was really good. And then there was the madding crowd. OMG. There must've been 70 people there; I could've died. I found Amy; I got a Sprite Zero. We got little plates of food.

(A side note about the food: There was a creamy soft-cheesy substance on a platter with crackers and toast points, and later David the brilliant and fabulous stage hand and I were talking about it, and I called it "crack with garlic." It was delish. Yummy. Wish I had some now. And David thought I was funny for calling it that. See why I love David?)

Then Amy and I ran backstage and hung out with the really cool crew (SERIOUSLY cool crew -- my favorite crew in 12 years; I love David and Chelsea and Amanda to death, and AD Jennifer is the *bomb*) while we ate our little plates of food and gabbed. Honestly, if I went out into the theatre area, people said really sweet, really kind, really nice things to me. And I tried to thank them, and I hope I did, but I was really just dying to crawl under the carpet and disappear.

I love the stage. I do. I love being somebody else for a while. And applause is just the best drug ever.

But I don't like parties. I really suck at them.

And now I get to go back and do the play the way I should've done it last night! Yay! And no more parties -- YAY!!! And Amy's home for the whole weekend -- YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!


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