There comes a point in every rehearsal period when it’s time to put all the hard work before a live audience. After just 6 rehearsal days, that point was a bit too soon for my liking. It’s not that I wasn’t ready but we only had one dress run and it didn’t go too well, especially the costume quick changes. But in showbiz there is a superstition that if you have a bad dress run it means you will have a good opening and vice versa.
Well opening arrived and whether I liked it or not I found myself standing in the auditorium about to run through the audience and scare them with our “green eyes”. It’s actually one of my favourite parts of the show. The audience hears the overture, it’s dark and all of a sudden they see a flash of green cat eyes right up in their faces. On a good night we will get some screams…hehehe.
Back on stage and just before my first entrance from the car boot I usually say a quick prayer asking for a good, safe show and that sort of thing. Being older and wiser, in my prayer this time around I asked for just one thing – to have fun. One thing I have learnt over the years as a performer is that when I get too caught up in the technicalities and worry about achieving perfection, I actually don’t perform well. I’m overly nervous and unfocused. The best thing I can do for myself is just let go and remember why I love performing and then just go with the flow. It’s impossible to have a perfect show so why ask for that?
This is a lesson I vow to pass onto my children with whatever they do in life. They should let their instincts guide them. If they take up something that makes them miserable instead of happy and fulfilled then they should quit it.
The opening performance came and went without a hitch and the double show weekend that followed was tough but, as with everything in life, it passed and the following week was much better.
For a start, Monday was a day off and it’s amazing how quickly the body recovers through rest. Aches and pains I thought would grow into injuries disappeared and everything became manageable. Also, I had no understudy calls which meant that even on show days, I only had to be at the theatre at 6:30 for an 8pm show. With an entire day, everyday to relax and explore Macao I certainly couldn’t complain.
Macao is an interesting place. It’s called the Vegas of the East and for good reason. Huge casino hotels dominate the landscape and while beautiful and opulent, do not really count as sightseeing “attractions” in my mind. I guess at the end of the day if you’ve seen one casino you’ve seen them all so I wasn’t overly keen to explore the famous Taipa strip. Modelled to look like the Vegas strip, Cotai Central joins the famous Venetian, which housed our theatre to the Holiday Inn, our hotel The Conrad and countless other restaurants, gaming centres and designer boutiques so that we literally didn’t have to step foot outside into fresh air for our entire trip. Not really my cup of tea.
Speaking of warm beverages, we did make our way out to Taipa Village, a quaint little section of market-style stores and coffee shops surrounded by some very colourful colonial style buildings. I loved the way Eastern-style stores and Wester-European architecture combined perfectly to create such interesting surroundings.
Farther afield, across the pond, is Old Macao Island. This area was one of the first Portuguese settlements and is over 400 years old so has some great old buildings and landmarks. I didn’t explore them this tour because I came to Macao about a year before and visited the historic Ruins of Saint Paul and the beautiful Senado Square then. Walking through those areas with their cobbled roads, street side cafes and Portuguese signage, you would be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere in Europe.
At the end of the day what I really enjoyed was spending time with my husband and baby in a new environment. Sometimes the monotony of home becomes too much, especially with a baby so it was great to have a break from all that but still have something really challenging to get through everyday. I found myself looking forward to each performance and it was great seeing the cast members relax into their roles.
In my next post I’ll reflect on the overall experience and share some amazing news for the near future…