Opening night. The words alone evoke fear, and excitement, and nervousness, and joy, all in the same moment. The reality unleashes a flock of butterflies in the stomach, and gives a jolt like Red Bull never dreamed possible.
Tonight we open. Dress rehearsal was insane, and this morning I am in some serious pain from laughing until I had no remaining breath and there were tears streaming down my face. Today everyone involved, cast and directors, stage manager, crew, and costume people, are low on sleep and high on adrenaline, waiting in barely contained nervous excitement for 7 pm and the opening of the curtain, heads whirling with possibilities.
This morning when I came into my classroom I discovered that two of our cast had left me a gift - a room filled with gifts actually- a blackboard covered in doodles, random notes on my desk, and tables covered in glitter. As everyone knows, glitter is a pain; impossible to clean up, visible to everyone, and pervasive by its very nature. But in all of its mess, it creates beauty in the unlikeliest places. Maybe that's why in spite of all the hassle, I love it just a little.
As any artist knows, any art requires sacrifice - sacrifice of time, of self, of creative energy and thought, but as I approach tonight's event, I am made aware of perhaps the greatest sacrifice of all: the sacrifice of the art itself. After tonight, the play, the work we have done, the tears and laughter and craziness will no longer be ours - we are giving them to others to do what they will with our magnificent, if messy, creation.
Here's to an opening night that glitters.