It’s very strange waking up on Monday morning after show week. All the madness has come to an abrupt halt and you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself. Show week is so intense, you go through so many emotions for so many different reasons (excitement, nervousness, anger, frustration, sadness, giddiness) and you’re so insanely busy you don’t have time to stop and think.
This week just gone with HSAP wasn’t my busiest – back at college, show week meant you were in the theatre for at least 12 hours every single day. THAT was intense. But there was also a lot of sitting around I guess. This week we were only called for evenings, but that meant we had so much less time! Still, whatever show you’re involved in, that feeling afterwards is going to be a rather empty one. The obvious realisation is that you won’t do these numbers with this cast ever again. But there’s also the smaller things, the small rituals you end up adopting as the show goes on and you get used to your track.
Rituals and routines like when you always see the same person at the exact same point in the show as you walk to the wings (and worry if you don’t see them). Or like when you come off from from a certain number and you head to the back of the wings rather than the stairs – all to avoid a collision with the person you know is legging it from stage right to get on in time. You just get used to how the show works, in all aspects. And in the days and weeks to come, you’ll miss the little things.
Cast selfies from the run of Legally Blonde at Harrogate Theatre
You won’t stand in the wings and sing your favourite bits of harmony right before you go on. You won’t exchange words with the person you cross tracks with on stage. You won’t have that niggle in the back of your mind about that really quick costume change. You won’t DO that quick change you worry about. You won’t sing along to the same song in the dressing room as all of you get changed. You won’t worry about doing a pirouette and face planting in the pit (which there was a high possibility of on more than one occasion in this show). It’s a very strange feeling when a show ends. After all the build up and countless rehearsals, then, suddenly, nothing.
And then you also realise – ‘hang on, I used to spend 4 or 5 evenings a week in rehearsal. What on earth am I going to do with myself now?!’ Which is not uncommon for performers. So I guess it’s on to the next thing. Some will look for show work elsewhere. Some will find a new project to distract themselves. Me? I’m able to finally focus all my efforts on my job (and I’ve mentioned it before, but no, teaching doesn’t mean just turning up for a few hours on a night and having a boogie – there’s a LOT that goes with it). But I love that. I love when I’m able give something my full attention. I’ve loved my first few weeks of teaching, both at Studio 3 and Danceology. I love my job. But I WILL miss HSAP and Legally Blonde.
#DressingRoomLife video from my YouTube channel (Lynette Pickering)
It was an honour to work with such an incredibly talented group of people. The cast were amazing and as for the creative team – wow. I always loved doing these shows when I was in my teens, but now I have so much respect for these people too. They are truly amazing at what they do and I honestly do admire them. And the icing on the cake? We pulled off a good show. The reviews and feedback from audiences have been incredible. And that just finishes off the experience nicely. As with any show. Knowing you not only had a good time, but that you did your job and entertained people. Yes there were a few hiccups during a couple of shows, but that’s bound to happen. The overall experience was an immense one. And who could complain about a standing ovation?!
AND, for the first time in over a year, I got to perform on stage! I cannot TELL you how much of an incredible feeling that was. All my Christmases came at once when I stepped out on that stage last Monday. I could gush on about that more, but I won’t.
So, cast and crew of Harrogate St. Andrew’s Player’s Legally Blonde – I shall miss you. Love and respect. #snaps