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Opening Night!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So it's been a LONG tech week and a huge build-up to last night's opening of "Sunday In The Park With George". But we survived, the show is open - we're still waiting on critical reviews, but we have already been Jeff Recommended (Chicago's version of a Tony Award), and quite honestly, the show was really great. It was the best we could have done for where we are in the process - a couple of minor blunders here and there, but nothing that would have been noticeable to an audience, and I think that everyone, genuinely, felt like it was a good night. So we'll see how it gets reviewed!

I had a really lovely day yesterday. I opted to take the day off work - something that I have never done before for an opening - and let me tell ya - I'm gonna do it again for the next one. I felt relaxed and refreshed and like I had my head in the game - which is exactly how you want to feel walking into a house FULL of critics.

I woke up yesterday morning - determined to run W5D3 of C25K - the first 20 minute run with no breaks. I wasn't sure I could do it, but was committed to at least attempting it to see how far I could get. Well, wouldn't you know that only one minute into my run I dueled with a piece of sidewalk and bit it hard :( The sidewalk won. But I got up, dusted myself off, walked a few paces to make sure I was ok, and then kept right on running. And I finished! The WHOLE 20 minutes. I think it was toughest around the 12 minute mark. The announcement broke in for the Day 2 runners to start the last 8 minute run and I honestly was feeling at that point like I wouldn't make it. But I persevered and just kept saying "Just keep going - go until you pass out if you have to - just get to the tree - ok now get to the end of the block - home stretch baby - you just gotta make it to the park" and bit by bit, block by block I just kept running. Wow. I am so proud of myself. I didn't even think about my injury until I reached home and felt the throbbing and stinging on my left leg. I looked down and realized that I was bleeding - I didn't even know I had scraped my leg, that's how focused I was. Here's the damage:

Owie! It hurts more today than it did all day yesterday. Surface scrape - you know how they can smart. Yowsa! But who cares? Cause I finished!!! I mapped it out when I got home and figured that I ran just over 1.5 miles in 20 minutes putting me at a 13 minute mile - way faster than I thought I'd be! So now I will start working on my mapped out 5K course and do Weeks 6-9 on the new route so I know how far I have to go to reach that 3.1! I'm feeling really confident now that I should be able to run my 5K in November without issue.

After such an awesome achievement I sat and had a leisurely breakfast at home, catching up on some Spark blogs and articles before heading out for a relaxing pedicure. Oh man - that hit the spot! The massage chair on my back, having my feet rubbed and toes painted - I felt awesome. I topped off the afternoon with a visit to my favorite brunch place for a club sandwich.

After a short nap and another shower I started getting dolled up for the evening. I decided to wear my hair down with heavier eye make-up. Since my face has gotten thinner, my eyelashes seriously look longer. It's kind of amazing that you can collect fat pockets even around your eyes! Glad to be rid of those for sure cause my peepers were pretty rockstar last night. (I wish I had taken a pic before I left the house!)

Because I have to do a lot of stuff during the show, including climbing up and down a ladder to get to the control booth, I packed my dress and heels in a bag for the after party and put on my skinny jeans and a sparkly, black tank top. I didn't want to have to mess with putting on my Spanx after the show, so I threw them on under my jeans and tank - holy crap, they do really suck you in in all the right places. I was pretty stoked that my muffin top was barely noticeable under my shirt!

Now here comes the best part - I got to the theatre, finished setting up for preshow and we opened the house. I had gotten a few compliments already, which made me feel pretty good, but as I was standing backstage waiting to give the actors their "places" call, one of my actors came up to me and started a conversation. Just normal stuff we were talking about - I thought it was to quell his nerves, and we were joking and laughing a bit. Then he sticks out his hand and introduces himself to me. Odd, I think - but maybe he's playing a joke - so I shake his hand and introduce myself back to him. Then I see his face drop. "OH MY GOD! JENN??? I totally didn't even recognize you! Here I am talking to this beautifully, voluptuous woman thinking - is she with the front of house team or the orchestra maybe? - I had no idea it was you!" I burst out laughing. I have seen this guy pretty much every single day for the past 3 weeks straight. And granted, it was dark backstage, but that had to be the best compliment that I received all night! I just winked at him and said "Yeah - I clean up a little for Openings". Tee hee. So awesome.

After the show we recepted with our friends, family and fans. I did a Superman change into my dress and heels backstage and arrived on the scene to more comments about how wonderful I looked. It was so nice. AND I lasted 3 hours in 3 inch heels - that's an accomplishment in and of itself!

At the end of the night I ate too little (good food - I ate plenty of bad food) and drank too much - and I'm certainly paying the price for it today, but it was worth it. It's been a long while, and a lot of shows, since I felt like I belonged at an opening. But last night I brought it - and I'll continue to bring it from this day forward. I was complimented, flirted with and genuinely appreciated all night, and that felt so darn great. But the best part about all of it is that I finally got around to appreciating myself - and I realize now that that's what was missing before. Being a stage manager is tough. It's not about the glory. The audience doesn't applaud for you. But last night's sense of accomplishment was about so much more than just the show. And that's all that really matters!

*As of right now I have no pictures of myself last night - but I know there were a few taken, so as soon as someone posts one on Facebook, I'll steal it and post it here!
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