Thursday, September 10, 2009

The fire of Frida

I just love my life.

I wrote this the other night as I sat in rehearsal during the break between Acts I and II of Frida:

I'm sitting in the corner of a dance studio walled with cinderblocks. In the center of the studio, the choreographer works with one of the dancers. Other performers mill about, talking, laughing, memorizing lines, studying their scores. The walls of the room are crowded with tables holding endless props: a flask, flowers, lanterns, sombreros, paintings, pitchers, bowls. scissors. The conductor sits with the pianist on her small bench, going over musical details. A grown man, my compatriot, walks around wearing only tights, a black shirt, and a skull mask. Another little boy, four years old at the most, wanders around aimlessly with another skull mask on, stopping in the middle of the dancers that are rehearsing to gaze at himself in the mirrors lining one of the walls. The dancers have to stop so they don't trip over him. I am blissfully, completely happy. All these people together, paid and unpaid, to pay homage to what we love. The music, the story, the emotions. All come together to create a truth that is greater than anything we could create individually.

Each performance and production is like fire. It blazes with intensity on both a large and a small scale. Each time you step on stage it leaps up hotly and sears your belly. Each time the piece is performed from start to finish it blazes hotter and hotter until its ending, and then it smolders and dies as adrenaline levels return to normal. Each production, over its weeks, does the same.

And we performers, we live for the fire. We live for the flames of adrenaline, beauty, and exhilaration that each moment, each performance, each production creates. The fire is love, a love that each of us are sure of in the very core of our beings. It is creation and humanity and the life experience that draws us all together for this one brief moment.

Underneath each performance and production lies a certain sadness. The sadness comes from the knowledge that this particular fire will come to an end. They all must. But if you're very lucky there will be a next production coming up, and a different fire to warm your belly.

I hadn't expected to be so introspective and esoteric in this post, but there it is. A tribute to this Frida fire, and then to the next, and the next, and the next! Viva la vida!

P.S. The picture at the top is of my character, a Calavera. I am having so much fun being a nasty demon!
P.P.S. Come see Frida this Friday and Saturday in the Civic Center in Syracuse. Each performance is at 8:00 in the Carrier Theater. Tix are $15/$12 for students and seniors. You won't be sorry!

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