Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An Actor's Prayer

Oh, god, I'm about to go on stage. On stage, in front of You and everyone. The ultimate loneliness; the ultimate in self-exposure; the ultimate in risk-taking. Please Lord, hold my hand while I'm out there, so alone. Keep me breathing and my heart beating, don't let my nervousness show.

Let my shoes be tied and double knotted, my wig/hat/scarf on firmly and straight, my costume securely fastened, my pants zipped, and my mic box securely in the waistband of my clothes. Please don't let me sneeze, sniff, cough, and for god's sake, don't let me get the hiccups. Don't let me faint or trip or fall out of the chair, off the ladder, or through the door, or god forbid, off the damn stage. And please make sure I remember to go to the bathroom BEFORE my entrance. Help me to manage my props skillfully--the bag, the food, the letter, the whatever I'm carrying/have to handle/pick up/move.

I'm an empty vessel. Open me up and flow through me like water, and allow all that I know is inside to come through and out into the audience. I've prepared for this for weeks, months even; help me to be what I can be and do what I know I can do. Open my mind to the lines I need to say; allow me to think on my feet; allow me that other-worldly experience of channeling the character I've created and need to be. Help me to remember EVERYTHING--my lines, my blocking, the choreography, the words to the songs, the accent, the inflection and nuances I've rehearsed for so long.

And lord, while I'm begging, do this for me--as if asking you to help me hide my nervousness wasn't enough--let me have fun out there. Let it be a romp in the park; a mountaintop experience; allow me to know the moments of joy that I find only in this theater temple. Help me to tune into the audience to create that love affair that is only between them and me.

Lord, this is my prayer--grant me all these things, but, most of all, help me to share what you gave me.


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