Weekend 7: Anti-climax and Denoument
16 performances, and only 1 true rain day. Amazing.
As I expected, this weekend didn’t come close to approaching the quality of the fifth weekend, or the memorable insanity of last weekend, and so it ended, as these things so often do, with a whimper rather than a bang.
Saturday: Butt-screamin’ cold. (You know, the sort of weather where you walk outside, and your ass goes “Aaaieeee!” and clenches) Lots of folks wearing “weatherproofing”, including Mike, whose bear pelt poked out from the edges of his doublet, leading to a great many “Wookie” jokes. Kerri had added Greatsleeves to her dress (“Wow. Those are some GREAT sleeves!”), and Suzi dazzled with her ma’am-coat.
I was still gimping along–the sprain nowhere near healed, which definitely put a damper on the weekend’s proceedings. Allowed myself to be irritated by the lack of recognition from the ED and staff for my soldiering on and performing after the sprain on Monday. I stupidly figured (for a moment) that pulling off a Last Huzzah that people were raving about, while I was obviously injured, would lead to some kind of nod–a “Good Job” or “Thanks.” Alas, I should know better, as Laura reminded me. At morning meeting on Saturday, during the issuing of “Star” pins, the ED starts to talk about how his Star is technically a violation of the rules, since the subject has already been starred once. I think to myself–oh, maybe he’s talking about me…that’s kinda nice of him. NOPE. The Star goes to the Merry Widow….for performing in the rain on Monday, and not taking cover.
It was the perfect sucker-punch. The set-up line that made me think that there was a chance, and then the second-starring of someone who didn’t do anything that a couple of dozen other people weren’t doing on the same day.
I should’ve known better.
Other than that, it was a fairly standard day.
Sunday: I continued the weekend’s trend of getting pissed off during morning meetings, by finally letting our relentlessly-negative Court Lady/Violinist have it, verbally. I was making a comment to Mike about next year’s stage show plans, and she, as is her modus operandi, butted in with “that’s assuming you’re ALLOWED to have your stage show.” I informed her that if the ED decided to be pissy and not hire the act, we’d be more than happy to do every other Festival within an 8 hour drive (which is our plan anyway). She gave me a purse-lipped look and said “Good for you, but Jim does a lot of work” icily. At that point, I loaded the verbal shotgun and lit her up, telling her that I was tired of the constant negative comments (especially in conversations she wasn’t part of), and that I suspect that she’d have had a lot better time this year if she’d made the effort to be more pleasant to be with.
As I told Laura later, the bad part about that incident is that I didn’t get to vent enough to stop being pissed off, and it colored my mood for the entire day. According to other folks, who spoke to me throughout the day, apparently she was going around all day complaining about how I had called her a bitch—which is something that I didn’t do, but perhaps should have. Ah well.
The day was filled with lasts….last time performing this scene, last time going to lunch with Mike, etc. I made sure it had one “first”, though, as I took the opportunity to see the Chess match for the first time of the entire run.
I noticed with a small degree of consternation that I didn’t get the opportunity to go shopping ONCE during this season, due to a combination of a lack of time and a lack of spare cash.
The Last Huzzah got started late. The ED tells me that he wants me to do the “abbreviated ending” that I did on Columbus Day, which I do, although it doesn’t feel the same–the energy in the crowd was different, and it didn’t pop the way it had in the rain. What should’ve been the end gets hijacked by the Lord Mayor, announcing that he’s stepping down. As much as I appreciate the sentiments communicated, and the fact that many people felt very strongly about the pathos displayed, I’m afraid that I found it to be bordering upon selfish grandstanding, which had the effect of ending what has been an amazing season on a down-note. Maybe it wouldn’t have come off that way if we’d had the chance to get back “up” again with the drum jam and “Health to the Company” outside the gates, but we didn’t, and so it felt like the entire season ended being dragged down. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve always gotten the impression that Adrian doesn’t like me that much, and I allowed that to color my impressions. Who knows?
After that it was the expected round of hugs/kisses/accolades. Two things stood out: one–it always amazes me when there are folks who use this opportunity to essentially play grab-ass with folks they barely know. I had no fewer than three encounters involving hugs/kisses/gropes/slaps on the ass/etc. from young ladies that I *barely* remember from my Improv Classes, and whose characters in the lanes I couldn’t even begin to identify. Two: Alice (Princess Jane, and the wife of King Richard) with the make-me-feel-like-shit line of the century. She tells both Mike and myself Thanks for being so supportive of Ron (King Richard) this year, helping him get through the season. Us supporting him! He was one of the only things that made Court worth doing, in my opinion, and we supported HIM? But that’s not the made-me-feel-like-shit part: She also adds that we’re the reason why he’s willing to be King again next year. And we’re not going to be in cast, because we’re doing a stage show. Way to make us feel like we’re abandoning the guy…. Sheesh.
For me, when it’s all said and done, this year, despite the amazing amounts of positive feedback we received for the Scenario, despite the success, despite the nearly-perfect weather….this year is about the friendships that were created or made stronger during the past 6-7 months, as clichéd as it sounds. I know it’s hackneyed, and smarmy, and gooshy…but it’s true….and I’ll just have to say that you all know who you are, and I treasure each and every one of you.
(Now, I get to rest a few weeks before having to kick into high gear on prepping the stage show (we need to send out audition tapes by February at the latest)…oh, and putting together a regular game night! WooT!)