The theatre community is fairly small. Even in small town NC, there is someone who knows someone who is in a theatre pretty much anywhere anyone is trying to work. This is kind of an amazing thing. It’s like being a member of a fraternity (I imagine) in the sense that there is always someone welcoming pretty much anywhere you go. This can also backfire when you start burning bridges, but I feel like that’s the case anytime you burn a bridge.
The only other down side is that you get to know people so well that they really do become family. Eli’s godmother is one of my best friends who I met through theatre. That’s not the down side. What I mean is that sometimes it is hard to see a character in a play because you see your friend on stage and you know them so well that it is hard to see past what you know of that person to see a character. That was not the case tonight.
Tonight I watched someone who I have come to know and love dearly embody a character so fully that it took time after the show to remind myself that he was not THAT man. He was not George in Who’s Afraid of A Virginia Woolf but a man that I know and trust. Moment’s like that are rare for us in small tight knit groups. Not to say that there are not quality performances given all the time. There are! But knowing someone so well, you see hints of them in every character they play. Not tonight.
I watched a mans struggle with his nagging wife. I watch as she broke him down, or at least tried. I watched him physically attack her out rage and anger and even then it was not over. It was not a physical fight that needed to be won. It was not even a battle of wit. It was a battle of nerve and psyche. I watched as he calculated his wife’s emotional execution with a set up so brilliant that the fall was that much more damaging. But what made this performance so exceptional was that it happened so effortlessly. Or at least it eerily appeared that way. I was not seeing my friend working to portray a man who was going through a production successfully. Tonight, I watched a mans life fall apart. I watched a good man sink to the absolute lowest of lows. And I was shaken.
And I was proud. Congrats dear friend. You should be proud.