Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mrs. Warren February 7th

I am so grateful to be doing this show, as much as I dislike doing Shaw (at least if you’re doing a lead, because you NEVER shut up. Sorry Bernard.) This morning jackhammers and sledges were breaking up the sidewalk outside our apartment. Charming. Periodically they have someone with a LOUD leaf blower (is there any other kind???) blowing the construction dust around the breezeways. Don’t put your head out of your apartment then (especially with newly washed hair) or you’ll get it full of filth.

I got my hair chopped to a length I haven’t seen since I was 9 years old prior to departing for this gig. I told the hairdresser to leave me enough hair to put up in pin curls for the wig. She did. Barely. One always pin curls their hair with bobby pins prior to putting on a wig for a show. (Takes a LONG time.) Gives the hair pins going through the wig something to latch onto. Also neatens up the underpinnings so that none of your hair is hanging out in a non-professional way. Actually to ensure not one itty bitty stray hair escapes they throw a stocking cap on over it all. Dreadful things. (Imagine your basic bank robber photos.) They’re incredibly tight, uncomfortable and half the time you can’t get a damn hair pin through them without a struggle. In poorer theatres they often just cut off a woman’s panty hose leg end and throw it over your head. In more recent times, however, they have less onerous methods. A nice mesh web. Those are my favorite. Trent had a version I’d never come across before, however. He wrapped the circumference of my head with an ace bandage. Tan Badge of Courage?

When one is wearing a wig on stage, depending on the role and the amount of “activity” and the style, one may need to use the hideous spirit gum to keep the side lace close to the face. I’m speaking of wigs with “lace.” The wig you buy at the corner of 42nd street and Broadway or at your cheap wig store around the corner ain’t exactly the same. Those wigs don’t have “lace.” Mustaches and side burns also are stuck on with spirit gum. The only thing wrong with using spirit gum (aside from the fact that it stinks) is that you have to take it off. And the substance used to remove it is essentially acetone (nail polish remover). It’s one thing to use that on your nails, another on the soft skin of your face night after night.

We began by using spirit gum and Trent gave me a “new” remover which was a little pad infused with some removal fluid that was supposed to be less harsh than acetone. It wasn’t. After five days or so the side of my face was raw. The other option was double stick tape. It doesn’t work quite as well as spirit gum, but it’s a heck of a lot more gentle. You’re only ripping off some peach fuzz, not eating away your skin. And after a few days all the peach fuzz has been ripped off so it’s much nicer then. We opted for the tape.

The difficulty with the tape is trying to separate the stick from the non stick parts. You need a fine fingernail for that and a lot of patience. Trent managed most nights but sometimes the muse was not with him. I’d then say, “Give it me!” And I’d have a go at the separation. Eventually, between the two of us we’d manage to get the damn tape stuck on.

Trent was “fussing” like crazy tonight. I think it’s because “Mikado” opened (which he has been designing) and now there’s nothing for him to do. He was nitpicking at various things on my costume. I slapped him, fondly, and said, ”Stop it!” He is just a joy to work with.

Audience tonight - few, not terribly responsive. Some college ball game kept most away. But they gave us a standing O. (Ovation). We got more standing ovations in the beginning of the run then later. Why? Have we gotten worse?

Two a.m. random thoughts after dinner: I wonder if there’ll be construction going on outside our apartment tomorrow morning? So much noise here. Trains, sirens, sledge hammers, leaf blowers, 3 am parties with kids peeing off the balcony (I witnessed it - no joke). We asked the housing management NOT to have their handymen come into our apartment before noon to fix whatever needs fixing here as we get home from the show at 11 pm, eat at midnight and need three hours to digest. And when you’re having trouble enough sleeping due to trains and sirens and the demands of the show, you don’t need someone knocking on your door at 8 am to re-do kitchen and bathroom lighting fixtures that were put in incorrectly to begin with.

Tomorrow an “after talk.” I hear they've met their budget nut for the show already and we have another week and a half to go, so this is good.

Went to bed at 2 am. It was 68 degrees or so today, and I brought all the wrong clothing. I put the AC on in the apartment I’m sleeping in with the pussies. The other one, where the two of us are - is 73. It’s FEBRUARY for heaven’s sake! Going to thrift shops to buy clothes suitable for this type of weather because I brought things for a colder weather clime. What can I say, I’m still a Northerner at heart.

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