Did ya know I am currently stage manager for a show called The Elephant Man? Well, i am. Sunday is tech rehearsal which is the rehearsal where lighting & fly's & sound & all that good stuff is added in. It's usually about a week before opening night & it's kinda known as "hell week" around the theatre. This one shouldn't be too bad, though - plays generally aren't as tough as musicals for lots of reasons (not as many cues, not as many actors, stuff like that).
ANYWAY, tonight we had what is called a "speed-thru". I love speed-thru rehearsals because they CRACK.ME.UP. Basically, it's doing the show AS FAST AS YOU CAN. You say all your lines & go through the blocking but you're doing it really fast so it's kind of minus a lot of emotion. It makes me laugh because it's just really fast & FUNNY. Hard to explain, i guess. The POINT of it - yes, there's a point - is to help actors "pick up the pace" & get their lines down. Picking up the pace - a friend asked me what that was once & i didn't really explain it because the point of the conversation we were in was something else, but then she said, 'but it's probably something the audience would never notice?" & i said "right" but i have no idea why i said that because the audience would totally notice if actors were not "picking up the pace". The audience might not know WHY the show was bad - they would just know something wasn't right! It's just like in normal conversation, you know how somebody says something & you reply when they stop talking? You don't count to ten & THEN talk. Sometimes actors pause between lines for far too long (usually because they're trying to remember their next line) & it sounds very unnatural. I know sometimes pauses are necessary depending on the dialogue, but that's not the pauses i'm talking about! I'm talking about the unnecessary ones. So...if you ever happen to randomly stop in on a rehearsal somewhere (you might!!) & hear a director say "pick up the pace" or "pick up your cues!" that is what they mean.
ANYWAY. Speed-thru's help actors to remember their lines & pick up the pace. =) They don't have a lot of time to think "oh crap what's my next line" so they just say it (& they usually know their lines better than they realize!). After a speed-thru they usually pick up the pace better than they were before. ANYWAY. So we did that tonight twice. Bringing an hour & a half show to 57 minutes (first speed-thru) & 53 minutes (the second time). And it was hilarious & we had a lot of laughter going on! The Elephant Man is a touching story, a true story & it's going to be really really good. =)
On to a more serious note. One of my actors started crying tonight in front of a bunch of us & my heart aches for her. I prayed for her all the way home. I hope she doesn't come across this, i don't want her to be embarrassed. But it made me so sad. See, she is a professor at the university here. And apparently they are having huge budget cuts & next week a bunch of professors will get letters saying they may not have a job after December 2010. She was freaking out. She really thinks she will be one of the unlucky ones because of how her department is. She is very afraid of losing her job, meaning losing her health insurance. She is a cancer survivor & has been free of cancer for 10 years. So she is afraid of getting cancer again & not having health insurance. She said it was a terrible day spent on the phone with insurance companies. Anyway, she broke down crying in front of us because she is just terrified. When she was about done talking (& no longer crying), one of the other actors arrived & he is also a professor at the same university. He said, "you already looking into other insurance? we haven't even received the letter yet". & she proceeded to fill him in on why she thinks she won't be as lucky as others may be.
It broke my heart. I hate that she is that worried when it has not happened to her & may not happen. I know it is hard to NOT worry, but i really pray that God will ease her heart & comfort her & that He will show her that He'll take care of her even if she doesn't get to keep her job.
People are hurting everywhere. I think about that all the time. I think of it more lately than usual. I really think this is because of my reading the Bible daily thing i've got going on this year. I just am more aware of Him than i have been in awhile. I know that's sad, but it's true. I didn't read the Bible much in 2008 or 2009 & i missed a lot of church in 2009. I could do a blog post on all of this, but i have hesitated. I may, eventually. Anyway, getting back to reading the Bible has really had me thinking back on Him & His love and care for others.
I used to watch the news all the time & my heart was constantly breaking for others, but because of that, i prayed for other people more. We don't have cable so i missed the news of Haiti at first. And then when i heard more about it, i didn't see any pictures & i didn't read a lot about it & you know what? I didn't care. I'm just being honest. It was like - because i wasn't seeing it, it was like it wasn't happening. Don't get mad, i know that is HORRIBLE, but i'm being truthful. Today i saw a headline about it & i clicked on it. And as i read my heart started getting heavy for those people in Haiti. I also started kicking myself. I mean, i was here during Katrina. It was HORRIFIC. I was not in New Orleans, but Baton Rouge had tons of damage too (i know, the media didn't show you that). But the reason New Orleans had it so bad was because of the levee busting & flooding the whole city! That is what was so incredibly AWFUL. And even though i wasn't in New Orleans (we're about 2 hours from there), the population of our city DOUBLED (tripled??) overnight! (We're about 2 hours from New Orleans.)
I remember that time. It was CHAOS. It was CROWDED. It was CRAZY. I felt terrible for the people. I was lucky. And a lot of others were lucky. But MANY were not very lucky. I remember volunteering at a shelter here in our city. It was sooo sad. People lost loved ones. People died. People lost everything they owned. People went missing. People were reunited with loved ones YEARS later. I can't imagine! It was unbelievable! I remember people coming from all over the place to help us, too. My parents hosted 3 people that came to help from up north somewhere. =) They were wonderful people & worked endlessly to help. They did so much good. They CARED.
I'm not saying i don't care, because obviously i do. I'm just saying that i can be very selfish at times. Very much full of attitude & complaints. Very much turning a deaf ear to the cries of other people. People who God loves. And I think of a hurricane coming here (a little easier for me to imagine - since we actually get hurricanes) & me being seperated from Brad because of it. Though i've been through some hurricanes, i've never been through it to the point where i might be seperated from someone. That would be terrible. I can't fathom it. I want to cry thinking of it.
Right now, the people of Haiti have my heart.
Lately i've been thinking of missions & how much i loved it. I just told my husband the other day that before we die, i hope we do a missions trip together. I went on one when i was 19 & another a few years ago. He went on a few as a teenager - he spent entire summers in Mexico. I kinda miss it. It's an amazing experience for a host of reasons. I am thinking that one day we will go again & i think it'd be great to do it as husband & wife. Ya know?
Anyway, sorry for the heavy post. Well, it didn't start out that way but kind of ended up that way!
"Give all your worries & cares to God, for He cares about you." ~1 Peter 5:7