opening night

I am sitting at my dining room table staring out at my new view -- a large oak tree between me and a park where dogs run like wild horses. Baby sleeps in my lap. He has just started to crawl this week and in his incredible mobility he is napping better and sleeping through the night once again. The trouble we left behind by moving at the beginning of the month seem to have cleared his little mind.

Tonight is the opening performance of Theatre Rusticle's new production, Birnam Wood. It is the most extraordinary thing I've been part of as an artist. Perhaps even surpassing the experience of working on April 14, 1912 with Theatre Rusticle (the company's previous production). The most freedom, the most precision, the most play, the greatest number of multiple realities channelling through our performer bodies. Big challenge. (Runs March 18-27th at Theatre Passe-Muraille

And of course that once-banished part of my psyche -- her name is Insecurity -- has returned from exile. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I am surrounded by some of the most gifted artists I have ever worked with -- from designers to crew to performers to director. Perhaps it is because the energetic make up of me has changed....I still feel like electric currents of baby in me, even though he is 8 and 1/2 months old now. His residue has shifted how things feel, developed new suppleness, new strengths: unfamiliar.

But oh so exciting.
I'd like to blame the restless self-criticism on being mercilessly ridiculed from grade 3 til the end of high school, but really that was long ago and far away and I don't even have the same name anymore so surely I am divorced from that psychological beating? (Besides I saw one of my tormentors on the subway last week and he looked miserable and liquor-bloated. I trust the universe to balance things eventually.)

With the opening of any show I crave a sense of great risk, of potentially opening myself to the point of exposed veins and tendons. Theatre Rusticle work is no exception. I am no longer afraid of this exposure. I trust completely my director, my castmates...and I believe they trust me. So why the rearing of the type-A personality?

I'm 5'8" and 125 lbs., but there's a whole universe inside me that can collapse on itself if I listen to that voice that begins each sentence with "should".

Dogs are running in the park behind the old, giant oak and Pablo is now awake in my lap saying "mama...mama...mama". No matter what, I will go on stage tonight and fling myself completely into the world of Birnam Wood. That much doesn't take bravery, it just takes a step.


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