What it means to be on stage

I have this wierd thing about the stage – I have to be on it.  If I’m not there, if I’m watching from audience or even the wings, I get all shaky and nervous.  It’s only the thought of being out there again that makes the waiting bearable.

And when the moment comes, when the lights come up, and audience takes a breath…  I’m home.

Do I do it for the applause?  For the rush of adrenaline?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think so.  It’s certainly nice to be appreciated, and I admit to being wired after a performance so much that I can’t sleep easily, but it’s more than that.  It’s a deep-seated need to express something that would otherwise be lost, hidden away, and that would eventually fester inside.

You see, when I step out and perform, whether as a singer or a stage performer, it’s a chance to give all that deep-seated …stuff… away.  All I need is to do that, and I’m happy.  That’s what makes me smile, and there is a moment, in a good show, when the connection between the audience and myself is something alive, and I can feel the hearts and minds of all the people out there, feeling it.

That’s what keeps me awake at night.

It’s funny, you know, that I’ve always hated playing dress-up.  I hate costumes, and I don’t pay much attention to clothes or my hair or whatever.  But when I’m on stage, dressed as someone else, it doesn’t feel like that at all.  It doesn’t even feel like acting.  At the time it feels like… truth.

Maybe that’s what acting is for me – becoming someone else and telling the truth their eyes.  Something like that.

Oh, and by the way, I never, ever, rehearse.  I only perform.  Even at rehearsal, and ofter backstage, and sometimes at home.  Sorry if that makes me a pain in the ass.

More later – joel

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