Yesterday I suited up (or I suppose more accurately I was preparing to de-suit) for my performance of Brad for the first time in something like 7 or 8 years or so I had a real sense of nerves. We were also in theater one, the biggest space to accommodate the larger crowd that we were expecting for the show; I’ve performed in theater two nearly a thousand times and the bigger space only a handful of times.
I’ve performed Brad countless times (ok, I wasn’t counting, it technically is a countable number) on my time on the cast. I did a quick brush-up on my role before the show and as I did I realized the collective muscle memory of the thousand or so performances took root deep in my brain. It just felt so weird — like someone pressed play in my brain.
Despite that as I stood in the side aisle waiting to tag in I was dreading the moment I would go on stage. I couldn’t back out now — I would strand the rest of the cast and hurt the show.
I tag out the first Brad and take my place next to Janet.
The Time Warp’s final chords fade to silence. The Transylvanians scattered about on-screen.
Another deep breath. The spotlight began to swing over onto me and Janet.
“Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?”
Other than the blocking, which I kind of flubbed at times (and it wasn’t helped by being in the “wrong” theater), I knew even the little gestures. I think I did a passable job of the task. Somehow running around in my underwear was completely natural — like I had done this just last week. It was rather creepy actually.
It felt like my first show all over again, except that I knew how to do it as if by magic.
Most every time in the past when I was regularly doing Rocky I loved it. Sometimes I was reticent before the show, but after the show I just had energy.
And like in the past… I loved it desperately.