I have been on quite a journey, chomping off a show that was a bigger challenge than I ever anticipated – and even what I did anticipate was already going to be a bigger challenge than I felt I could face. Nine months of line memorization and character work came to an end when the smoke cleared on opening night of “Mistakes Were Made”. I was backstage, saying to myself, why am I doing this? I could be home relaxing. Doing nothing. And then my feet carried me onstage and the show started. It didn’t go perfectly, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It’s the best mistake I’ve ever made.
By pushing myself this hard, not only have I grown, I have built bonds with my team that are deeper than they can ever imagine. My directors will never know how seriously I took their notes, how much I respect their talent, vision and input. The people you don’t see, for taking care of the set every night, the lights, the outreach to the media – there are so many moving parts who don’t get to take a bow at the end of the show – and there work is just as valid, time consuming and incredible as anything I do. And I’ve had the luck and joy of having two incredible actors hide in the shadows to bring this show to life. It’s an insane dream that will have come to an end too early.
For the first time in my life, I’ve seen how being on stage can be work. It’s a good kind of work and anybody who should be so lucky as to entertain audiences for a living should recognize how lucky they are, but it is work none the less. Since opening it has never once been a case of me just enjoying my day, coasting in and doing a show. I make sure to monitor my energy and rest, run lines constantly and still have a lot to learn about how to give a consistent show every night. That’s been the gift of doing so many performances, in front of so many crowds.
Out of nowhere, I’m surprised that my favourite part of the show is the ending. It was the hardest thing to do, be vulnerable, emotional – not make people laugh but make them see something really different. I feel like I’ve shown a different side of what I can do, and I’m anxious to hopefully find new sides to explore in the future.
To know that the show has been, for the most part, extremely well received is heart-warming and it’s a nice moment for me to feel like I did a good job. I always knew everybody else involved would do amazing, but they could do as much as they wanted and if I wasn’t good as Felix the show would fail. That was a tremendous amount of pressure, and it’s why I chose the show, I guess. I’m realizing that now. To test myself and see if I could do it. I’m lucky to be working with the best talent in this city, the best artists, the best visionaries.
After all, I want to work with artists – it’s what excites me.
But for now, some rest.
And then the revolution.
“I was going to get so many things done, so many wonderful things. I thought of life as an opportunity to make things happen.” – Mistakes Were Made
This article is part of an ongoing expose on “Mistakes Were Made” premiering August 20th at Mainline. Buy tickets here.
(Original Journal Entry from August 1st, 2014)
So the show is off-book now. I’ve memorized a fifty-page script. Not perfectly. I’d say I’m at about 96.7%. I thought there would be confetti canons and alcohol to celebrate the accomplishment but instead I’m a bit…exhausted? Confused?