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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (10/19/11) 10:49am - ... wherein Peter contends with a slight case of Hellmouth-curse.

So last night was the Buffy première at the Highball.

After hellish traffic, I arrived ten minutes before the 7pm call (yay!) and immediately realized I'd left half of my costume at home (boo.).  Since I live on the opposite end of town from the Highball, I wouldn't be able to drive home and get it -- or rather, I could, but then I'd miss all the warm-ups and would only arrive just in time to make the intro scene.  So instead I called Matt Pollock, the only improvisor I know who also works at my office, and asked if he could help me out by (1) getting my spare apartment key out of my office desk, (2) going to my apartment, (3) getting the dress shirt and the tuxedo shirt I needed, and (4) delivering the shirts to the Highball.  Turned out no, he had a dinner scheduled for 7:30pm.  So I called Sara Farr, another improvisor who lives and works in north Austin.  She had some time free, so we hatched plan #2:  (1) Matt gets the apartment key out of my desk; (2) he meets Sara and hands it off; (3) *Sara* goes to my apartment complex; (4) I talk Sara through getting to my apartment and getting my shirts; (4) she drops them off at the Highball.

Time went by.  Matt found the keys.  (Yay!)  Matt met Sara and handed them off.  (Yay!)  Then, we realized Sara wouldn't make it to the Highball until well after the show started (boo.).  So at this point, Derek, who plays Jonathan (and doesn't appear until act four) loaned me his dress shirt, which I'd wear for the first half of the show (then I'd take it off and hand it off to him).  I still needed my tuxedo shirt for the second half.  I took a break from line-running just long enough to talk Sara through my apartment complex.[1]  Then the show started, Sara dropped by the Highball, and the tux shirt arrived in the dressing room ten minutes before my entrance at the prom.


So.  That happened.

It left me feeling pretty damn wobbly for the show.

My acting was okay, and I projected okay[2], but I botched at least two of my cues pretty badly.  For one scene, I was supposed to start a scene onstage at the prom, wait for Anya and Xander to have a chat, and then start a chat with Giles.  Instead, I was putting the finishing touches on my tux in the dressing room, heard Xander and Anya have their conversation onstage, and then heard those words that no actor ever wants to hear:  "Wait, aren't you supposed to be onstage right now?"  I bolted from the dressing room, calmly walked onstage, and delivered my first line to Giles right on time.  For my next scene, I gave my opening line a scene too early, meaning that we'd skipped the entire emotional climax of the show, and had to double back and do it in the next scene.  *headdesk*

Because the cast is mostly improvisors, we stayed perfectly on-track and unfazed, and the audience had no idea anything had gone awry.  Hell, the audience had a great time, the performances were 'on', the improvised commercials killed, and the opening-credits video looked awesome.  But damn, I was really not helping things last night.  We don't have a performance next week, so we're all spending Tuesday night running lines/cues and getting them totally down pat, and I can get back to my usual level of professionalism for the November shows.  I take some pride in *not* flaking out like that, fercrissakes.

[1] Navigating my apartment complex is crazy complicated.  Usually I have a Google Map I can send people, a satellite photo complete with annotations and drawings.  Even with that, people get confused and lost.

[2] The Highball eats your voice alive.

Mood: [mood icon] frustrated · Music: none
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