Today I went to the high school to attempt to help Lyss with set-building and coordination. She's Assistant Director for the First City Players production of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes". In reality, all I wound up doing was chasing Malcolm around the high school auditorium and keeping him out of everybody's way.
It reminded me of doing Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight" last summer. Being my first production, I had no idea what the whole process really entailed. Memorizing lines, yea, sure, and then reciting them in costumes, right? Maybe with a little flair? Oh, man, I was sorely mistaken. There was that stuff, then the days of building sets, blocking, trying on costumes, learning how to put on make-up for the stage, learning to save people who blew their lines, learning how to save myself when I blew my lines, learning how not to flinch when I had water dumped on my face, how not to laugh when my head was shoved between some other dude's ass cheeks... taking the set down... moving the stuff back to storage, the labor, the laughter, the drinking, the smoking...
But, opening night, my mom was there. She had come up for a visit with my brother. During the ass scene, through this guys legs, I could hear my mom laughing in the audience, above everyone else's laughter, I could hear my mother. All the sweat, banged up knees, soaking wet clothes, all of that justified in on person's laughter.
Since then I've had a new appreciation for the craft that Lyss has been practicing for years and years. Seeing all of the goings on today took me back to that happy time.