Tonight was our fifth rehearsal for Imaginary Friends. We have sixteen more before we open. OMG! Sixteen, that's it. There are parts of me that are enjoying this process immensely. Getting to work with these talented people in a theatre that I have wanted to work in since I first saw a show there almost five years ago is very cool. Having to do research on the amazing Mary McCarthy and trying to understand how she worked and why she had this feud with Lillian Hellman has been very enriching and interesting. Both women were forces to be reckoned in the literary community. I admire them both, but would have liked Mary more, I think: possibly because she is who I am playing.
This play is pushing me in different ways than shows I've done in the past. No, I do not have to do the Cha Cha while dealing with my first trimester of pregnancy and the singing shouldn't be too difficult (no harder than any of the opera's I've been in, I'm sure). I will have to smoke on stage which is huge for me considering I successfully quit a little over three years ago. Cigarettes make me sick and of all the choices I've made in my life, starting to smoke is my only regret. But smoking was definitely a part of Mary's life and death (she died of cancer) so I'll be smoking (and trying not to inhale). Another challenge comes towards the end of the play: at the climax of a heated argument, Nora Ephron has written in the stage direction that Mary and Lillian kiss. I'm not too keen on kissing anyone besides Daniel ever, so this is a learning experience. Some of the cast and the director discussed the kiss this evening and we might not do it. A part of me is breathing a huge sigh of relief, but the other part is wondering if we are failing the authors vision by skipping over this part. There is a part of me that says we need to be true to the script and put personal discomfort aside for the sake of the drama, the play... but who knows. In the end, it's just a piece of stage business and the audience will probably not leave the theatre thinking "I really felt like there should have been a passionate kiss in the middle of that fight."
The hardest thing for me so far is the few minutes before I leave the house for rehearsal. The first night, I got all weepy as I grabbed my purse and script. I know it's silly, but I spend so much time with Zoe that I worry what she must think to have me be gone at night now. I worry sometimes that this is selfish of me to be doing this. Yes, it is important that I continue to feed my passions and challenge myself, but I don't know how often I'll be able to do this. I'm not the young, single girl anymore. I don't sit outside smoking with the cast or go out for drinks after. I don't feel like I fit in. Honestly, I sort of feel like an outsider. There's also the obstacle of learning all my lines. I have a lot of them and it is hard for me to find the time to work on them. I don't know how the famous, constantly working actress mom's do it. Frankly, I don't know how working mom's do it. It's a balance trying to be a mom and have outside interests and goals. I'm struggling so far to find my balance. I know it will take practice and perseverance. I know that it will be hard and rewarding and that when this is all over I will be proud of the work I've done, grateful for the experience and happy to be given the opportunity. What I'm not so sure about is whether or not I'll be doing this again.