“It has been so long since anyone has wanted me anywhere. It has, Frederick. And it seems so little to want. To have one person out of all the crowds in the world just to yourself. Doesn’t it?”
– My final lines as Rose in THE ENCHANTED APRIL
Every final curtain comes with some mixed emotions – through the course of a few weeks a small group of people carve out a piece of live art that was once just words on a page. Night after night you present it to a room of (mostly) strangers. And then it’s over. The curtain falls and within hours, every nail from the set and every hairpin from the dressing room is gone.Last night I actually wasn’t broken up. Yes, the life I’ve lived the past seven weeks has come to something of an end. But there’s a phrase in French that my doctor told me a few weeks ago. Evidently it doesn’t translate directly into English. And it was long. And I don’t speak French so I can’t even tell you what it was. But he said it amounted to, in such situations, “With one loss comes twenty gains”.
I met some incredible people. In particular a few ladies and a man named Jimmy I know I was meant to meet.
I found a home in an attic with a view of the water, a big bed and comfortable chairs to sink into.
I was treated to dinners made with vegetables pulled right from the garden, with warm light and conversation.
I found restaurants and beaches and vineyards.
I found many glasses of white wine and champagne.
I found a dog, in a shelter ten minutes from the theater. A sweet thing that will come home with me today and ease the transition from constantly being surrounded by people to working on a computer or in my kitchen, often alone. I don’t know whether I’ll name her “Mitra” (friend” in Sanscrit) or “Cocca” (Italian for “favorite”).
Along with costumes, lines about love, pre-show prosciutto and pinot, baking rosewater lavender cookies for concession, being a tour-guide to visitors (and THANK YOU to the many who came out here to see the show!), making robot books, sipping tequila with the ladies, walking Mia through the misty mornings, driving seemingly endless hours in my little blue car and connecting with audiences… the past few weeks have been rough. Somewhat surreal. A growing period. So with this final curtain I’m ready to go home.
Theatre is a magical thing. Connecting with people onstage and telling a story is an unmatchable rush. I’ve learned that I can trust my skill, my training, my acting muscles. My continued love for putting “Jacqueline” aside and just connecting onstage.
A special thank you to the extraordinarily generous people who have showered me with their faith and kindness, particularly Sarah, Jimmy, Diana, Rosemary and Jess. As well the rest of the company with whom I’ve shared many laughs and a few botched lines, or were so kind as to offer an arm.
Peace out, Hamptons.