Being a part-time actor certainly takes its toll on me. I had the male lead role in a local production of a heretofore unproduced play written by a local celebrity who has been deceased for some time. The challenge in working on a play that has never been performed before is that you have no reference upon which to base your performance.Rehearsals were rough for a while as everyone started to build various aspects of their characters and there were points when I thought that we wouldn't be able to pull this show off. But, we did, and it was all worth it when we performed to a full house Saturday night which included the playwright's son who traveled all the way from New York to see our show. I'm told that he was so moved that cried at the end. And I got a standing ovation at curtain call.
Every night, I'd get caked in ghost make-up and have silver hairspray blasted all over my hair. I'm going to be scrubbing this stuff off of me for days to come. My skin was starting to react adversely to the blithe spirit make-up and I had nightmares about tearing my face off while removing the make-up. There was a small amount of behind-the-scenes drama as egos clashed and opinions were thrown around, but that happens in nearly every production. And, of course, there was a lot of hard work involved in memorizing the lines, memorizing the blocking and reaching inside my mind to dig up emotions that I could apply to my character's situation.
In the end, it's all worth it, not just for the applause, but for the chance I had to make new friends and re-connect with old ones thanks to being in the show.