In a reversal of the norm, tonight's audience was actually even smaller than last night's. And I feel pretty certain that several of them left at intermission. There were about ten people there by the end. This is frustrating.
However, several people, including two friends of mine, were tuned into the jokes of the play, and hence this tiny crowd was more responsive than the bigger one from last night. That made things a bit easier to swallow.
The best news of the night for me is that I got to do all of my scenes! Nothing was cut off. Further, I got into no more scrapes with certain individuals.
Somehow the cast was high energy for most of the affair. Perhaps we were buoyed by the several laughs, or maybe we just reached the right point tonight, but either way the show seemed a bit tighter, at least from my view.
I really felt I began to connect with Hamlet on that "extra" level that I have been talking about. I won't say it was transcendent just yet, but I felt as though each of my scenes had a depth which previously had only shown up in places. I truly felt for those few moments on stage that I was out there performing Hamlet itself. Which was one of my goals for this show. With four more shows, I like to believe I will have at least one night where I feel at the top of the game. If history is any indication, that will be a week from tonight, mark me. For now it was nice to feel the lines come forth trippingly from my tongue, to paraphrase Hamlet from the source material. Not only is the character showing up more, but the language is becoming more natural as time goes on. I am catching a lot of the rhythm.
A friend of mine, and one of the founders of the theatre told me she loved the way I was presenting the Prince. This was very encouraging, as I have a great deal of respect for her theatrical viewpoints.
I totally botched my mini-set change in Act Three, though. I can't really see anything up there on the pod in the dark, and moving a lamp, lawn chair, letter, magazine and giant beach umbrella in such a small space has been a bit of a challenge this time, though it had worked out previously. This time when the lights came up, the umbrella was sideways, and the lawn chair was on top of the magazine. I tried to yank it out, but couldn't. So I had Hamlet sleep instead until my cue came up. Awkward and annoying, but really the only trying part of the performance for me tonight.
Tomorrow is a matinee and to be honest I don't expect much in the way of attendance or energy. I could be proven wrong, and I hope to be, but Sundays in general, and in this venue in particular rarely seem to break the mode of being poorly attended and somewhat flatly performed. Plus our director won't be there. Still, I think I will be able to take some of the internal lessons I learnen tonight about playing this version of Hamlet and apply it to tomorrow's show. It may not be a stellar day for the show, but I now feel I have a reference point for how I want things to feel for me. I have honed in on a few things now.