Monday, May 30, 2005

The Show Is Closed

Boo Hoo. I mean, yippity yah.

Well, after a Herculean effort by many, the show closed this weekend. We added a matinee on Saturday because of the demand for tickets, which of course, just thrilled me. Doing the two o’clock matinee instead of a three o’clock made a huge, enormous difference when it came to the eight o’clock show. If I ever do this show again, that’s good information. I got to come home, eat something, take an hour nap, and I was as ready for the eight o’clock show as I would have been any other night. The audiences were great and it wasn’t too hot outside. I feel really glad about the whole experience.

I’m saying the show ran for ten months, when I suppose technically it was only nine months. We started to sell tickets Sept. 3, but we were in rehearsals all through August. That’s pretty much a year. And in retrospect, this is really all I’ve done for a year. It makes me feel great that a year ago, I was still writing this show, and now it’s finished the L.A. run. I’m not even sure at this point if there will be any more “runs.” I may just do the show here and there in a specialized way before I film it. And then, there is also still the possibility of taking it to New York, after this next year with Desperate Housewives is over.

My Aunt Bonnie, who is a faithful Catholic, and who is one of the most wonderful people I know in the world, keeps telling me, “Julie, this topic isn’t going away. You could do this show for years and years.” And that statement has stayed in my head and made me feel calmer about closing it. Yeah. I can wait a while and do this show again in a year or so. In the meantime, I will finish the book and the Cds.

Last night, after the matinee was over, we all took down the set. It took two carloads and a small pick up truck full of stuff to get everything back to my house. Steve Mallory helped me put the rug back down in the living room and put the sofa on top of it. We put my Stickley chair back in its place, and the round end table next to it and suddenly my living room was back to it’s old self. It was as if I had never moved that furniture and never done the show at all. Last night I sat on my chair, the same chair I use in the show, and read. Everything old is new again! Mulan was with us all day and sbe danced all around as people took down lights and cables and the star drop curtains and we loaded everything into electrical boxes. I am going to miss Zeke and Sabra at the theater, and my crew, Heather and Sean and Steve and Jamie – I mean we got to know each other so well over this year. We knew each other’s weekly frustrations and dramas. Oh, it makes me sad.

I am going to sell one of my video monitors to the Groundlings Theater, and I’ll keep the other one. Declan, who helped make the set and who did a great job on the book shelves on the set that hid a post that was in our way, suggested that I sell the video monitor to the Groundlings as they need one desperately and have a limited budget. My ex-husband -- Steve Hibbert, who I am still good friends with, is directing the new Groundings show and I bet he'll be happy to have that equipment.

Drew, my video and sound designer came by while we packed up last night and he convinced me that if I ever do a run of this show again, I can just buy another one and that prices are constantly dropping and if it’s a limited run, it’s easier to rent them than buy one. Drew took out his computer that had the sound effects on it, out of the booth. We are going to make all of this into one Keynote file on my computer so I can do this show with one set of images and one stream of sound where ever I go. This way I could perform the show at colleges, which really excites me more than doing a whole run of the show again. In the meantime, I have one more performance to give for the Independant Film Festival on June 23. But for that I only need one computer to run the show.

Heather came over last night at like, eleven or so and brought me the keys to the theater (which I have to turn in tomorrow) and we sat in the living room and talked. It was really a pleasant, easy, smooth closing.

I can’t believe how much Mulan has grown up in the ten months since the show opened. It seemed really stark to me yesterday because I can remember her so well when we put the set up! I mean, she was sort of a little kid then, just out of toddlerhood when the show opened. Four years old. And now she’s five and a half and she pranced between our legs last night dancing and everything about her is now a girl; her body, the way she talks. She can barely remember when I wasn’t doing this show. She has her crayons and dolls in my dressing room that had to get packed up – she knows all the terms, “the booth” “backstage” “the set” “house manager.” I wonder how much she will remember. I used to think, “Oh, she’ll forget all this.” But now, I think she’s in the realm of personal history. She was very excited last night when she realized that we now own a set of walkie-talkies.

I have been sleeping much better. I have been taking Arden on a walk at night. I was only able to do this, this last week, while Lisa was here to watch Mulan. So for three days I got to walk Arden around the neighborhood for an hour around seven or eight o’clock. When I used to see people walking their dogs at night I was so jealous. And it made a huge difference in my sleep. Just enormous.

Well, now I have to get ready for this Saturday when we fly to Hawaii with the Desperate Housewives writing and producing staff. I can’t BELIEVE how great everything worked out. I mean, I just cannot believe it.

I have felt so stressed out lately, with the pressures of the book and the show. But I can feel this deep psychological muscle just…relax. I already feel a thousand times calmer today than I did yesterday. I don’t know if it will stick, but I bet it does. Even though I love performing, I am fantastically relieved to be stopping for a while. This was a really great year. And it just got even better because now it’s over. It’s so funny how that’s the case. It’s like, now this wonderful year working on this show is something I can savor in my mind and I don’t have to be bothered with any of the petty details of making it continue. I was thinking last night, what if I never did this show again? Would it be okay? What if it was never a movie or anything? And I thought, it WOULD be alright. I mean, ten thousand people saw my show this year. Ten thousand! Right there that’s worth it. If only for them. And that makes me so happy, like I already won and anything else that happens is gravy.

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