Nervousness. What a strange, illusive, intangible concept this is.
Sunday--I got thrown off during the tech rehearsal because I didn't have my right bag to carry. How stupid. Brian said, "Don't worry, it's not about the acting tonight." Uh-huh, right. It's ALWAYS about the acting, Brian, and you know it.
Monday--nervous to the point of nausea. I did fine, however.
Tuesday--not quite so nervous...and I DID make a mistake, but I learned that I can recover. That's what I teach the kids--and they do it like breathing (I'm a good teacher....), but I really didn't know if I, myself, could do that.
Wednesday--back to being nervous again. I just couldn't get my breath. I felt dizzy, overheated (which I probably am in all those clothes), just weird. Being nervous is one thing, but not being able to support your speeches with breath is another. I drank a lot of water, ate all the cookies in my bag... I felt better after awhile. And the show went fine.
I don't know why I get so nervous.
I know my lines better than I know my address and phone number. In fact, I think everyone knows my lines. Hudson, that saint, has listened to me say them over and over and over again. HE knows them. Omg, I can never thank him enough for all the support and emotional handholding he's done for me. And DC, too.
I also think I'm...not too bad...in the show. I hope I am. So why should I be so nervous? Why can't I just relax and enjoy it? Everyone else seems to.
I asked Hudson if my nervousness shows. He said no. Wow. I almost can't believe that, especially when it's pulsing through me like the blood in my veins. He tells me what an enigma I am, to be so theatre-oriented, so good in the show, but so ill-at-ease there.... It is strange, isn't it?
I won't let anyone talk to me, or pat me on the back, or wish me well during the show. I just need to stay completely focused. That's not fun for Hudson. He loves the backstage camaradarie and he doesn't get any from me at all.
When I think about it in my head, it seems easy enough, a cakewalk, something I've done 10,000 times....for someone as extroverted and theatrical as me, it should be easy. I picture myself out there, smiling, confident, calmly, methodically, going through my part. Reacting to Beth, to CVett, to the audience's laughter, adding little bits, a kid playing in the sun....at home on the stage and in front of all the people. I can only hope and pray that's what I project and not the gritty nervousness I feel.
Break a leg, Christine. You CAN do this...