I find the thing about theatre that differs most from film is that it’s truly “in the moment”. There it is happening live in front of you. If you didn’t go and see the show, well then, you missed it. You really missed it because you can’t hop down to the local Videorama and rent it.
Now, on one hand this makes me sad, because of all of the incredible work unseen by so many people. But then, on the other hand, that’s what makes it so special. The magic in that performance was there just for that moment and if you saw it, and it moved you, you’re damn lucky, because it will stay with you forever.
Tonight, I saw Annie at The Gateway. I have seen and heard and been involved in that musical it feels like a baaaazillion times! So, when I was heading to the theatre, I wasn’t brewing with excitement, or anxiously biting my nails in anticipation. I was relaxed… prepared to put on a pair of slippers i’ve worn so much there are holes in the toes.
But then, to my surprise, because of the talented Matt Palmer, I was reminded of that feeling you get when magic happens on the stage. When you watch a performance that surprises, excites and inspires you all in one foul swoop.
You know that feeling?
I love that feeling and I’m sure it manifests differently for each person experiencing it. For me, what happens is that my body begins to shift around in my seat and I get completely swept up in it. I become overwhelmed by the talent I am witnessing. I find myself desperately wanting to hit the arm of my theatre patron neighbor next to me and say, “Are you seeing this?!” Knowing that I am watching one of “those” performances. The kind you remember for years to come. Matt’s interpretation of Rooster was amazing. It was inventive, inspired, BOLD and most importantly, committed. It was honestly a performance that belonged in a billion dollar production.
side note: As an artist, I am a firm believer in if they “Loved it!” then you suceeded, and if they “Hated it!” then you suceeded. If you made someone feel strongly about your work, even if strong equalled hate, then you made a bold, brave and committed choice. Good for you! It’s when they “could take it or leave it” that you missed a step. In the words of Auguste Rodin “The artist must create a spark before they can make a fire and before art is born. The artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of their own creation.”
okay… side note finished…
There is also nothing better then when someone you know personally does this to you. Why? Because it’s harder to get swept up in a character, a creation or story when you know the person attached to it. So when it happens, you feel so proud, and, if you’re me, you feel like you gotta write about it. So, I got home and started to scribble my thoughts on paper.
Thats when the haunting began…
I was being haunted by all of the performances that I have seen in my life that left their imprint. The ones, so special, that I can actually replay them in my head. Those moments of pure magical talent that affect me still and that inspire me in my work today. Like ghosts, they were knocking on my memory door saying, “Hey, Hosie, remember me?”
And so, in no particular order…
My own father, Bill Hosie in The Great Adventure, Cherry Jones in The Heiress at Lincoln Centre, Colleen Wheeler in The Leisure Society, Samantha McKenna-Currie as Annie, Murray Utas as Murray the Cop in The Odd Couple, Tom McBeath in Tear the Curtain, The Prodigal Son by Shawn MacDonald, Dee Roscioli & Erin Mackey as Elphaba & Glinda in Wicked, Adam Brazier as Jesus in Godspell, Matt Palmer in the Last Five Years, Zachary Stevenson & Susan Anderson as Booth and Moore in Assasins, In the Heights choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler’s, My husband-to-be Kevin K. James as Pistol in Henry V, Rebecca Codling-Talbot as Louise Lerman in Ruthless, Colin Heath as Granny in the Number 14, Morris Panych’s production of The Constant Wife, Andrew MacDonald Smith as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, , Edges choreography by Shane Snow, Tom Wood as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Jeff Hyslop as Molina in A Kiss Of The Spider Woman, and the dearly missed Jeremy Tow in The Importance of being Ernest and Denis Simpson as The Reaper in Ain’t MisBehavin.
I wonder who my ghosts of theatre future will be?