“Lost in Yonkers” opened last night.
If you know me from Evanston, then you aren’t accustomed to my doing straight shows.
My 40’s have had a theme.
They began with moving to the Pittsburgh area after 20 years in Chicago.
The move came with heavy bumps: financial, emotional, mental, physical. Those bumps created challenges to face and stare-down until they were forced to break eye contact.
I relentlessly sought after writing gigs. Pittsburgh Mom arrived.
A new business venture with Beachbody caught my eye and I attacked it. Voraciously. No looking back.
And the *last* piece of the “No Fear Tour” (and I hesitate to say “last”, ’cause who knows what God has in store next) was auditioning for “Lost in Yonkers”.
I HAD to play Bella. I adore her. I’ve adored her since seeing the movie years ago. With the goal of playing her ingrained in my mind, this girl who could once shoot from the hip quite successfully, researched the part, ran lines, and sought out advice from my favorite director back in Chicago. No more winging it. It was go-time. Do the work. That’s what I’ve learned since moving here.
Last night was glorious. The cast – absolutely delightful, and supportive, and forgiving (Monday night of tech, Bella was waaaay off game). I love the small size of the cast, as opposed to a ginormous ensemble. I dig the eye contact. The discoveries. The way Louie scares the sh*t out of me in the “chair” scene. In my head and heart I could hear the “click” of it coming together. Or, maybe that was just Bella hearing things . . .
I’m by no means cocky. I don’t know whether it’s nerves or age, but I MUST run lines everyday. My stomach is always in knots and my heart pumps audibly (at least to me) before I open the door in Scene 1. I dropped lines last night (pretty sure the audience didn’t catch it). I exited the first scene to find my chest broken out in hives. I needed to expel a huge breath after an intense scene in Act 2, but couldn’t ’cause I had to change clothes to turn around and re-enter. This is by no means “easy”. Bella is exhausting.
But, the bug has indeed bit again.
Time off was necessary. And wise.
Back in the saddle.