Saturday, March 31, 2007
I love doing my Fantine track... it affords me much down time during the show to have some interesting and meaningful conversations with other members of the company, when they're in down time mode too.
Last night, I stopped by Norm Lewis' room before my final entrance. I sat on his couch and we started talking about people taking time off from the show, and how much he didn't like doing so. He then started a new topic, on how there is a current crop of youngsters now on Broadway who, for some reason or another, didn't feel the same way we do about what it is to be doing a Broadway show. My dresser (in a later conversation on the same topic) told me that when she was at another show, there was an "epidemic" of performers that would show up at work, then say they were sick and take the night off, knowing they would still be paid for that performance (Equity has since changed the rules to prevent that from happening). It's as if these kids feel a sense of entitlement, that they are owed something... that "don't they know who I am" syndrome. That kind of thinking really, really burns me, and makes me wanna just smack these kids upside the head. Hard.
I echo Norm's sentiments, and said to him that we are kind of the "old guard" here, in a way, a generation that still feels that doing this kind of work is a privilege, and not a right.
This is what I miss about doing theatre in Manila... there was an incredible sense of community and team spirit whenever we'd do a show. It was never about "how much so-and-so was getting paid (like it's anyone else's business anyway)," "who had the bigger dressing room" or "who was the bigger star". At the end of the day, we all had to haul ass to make the show work, and that created a strong team that really pulled together to make the magic happen. And yes, it certainly was magic. (I also missed that before the show started, we'd all join hands to pray. Doesn't happen too often over here.)
I am indeed truly honored to walk into the stage door everyday, sign in on the call board (with a happy face drawn by my name) and head to my dressing room to warm up and get dressed. I feel a tickle of excitement and a tinge of paranoia (only with my lyrics) at the same hour of the day. My entire body is thrilled at the thought of another night on Broadway, being able to sing for 1,100 people, and seeing some of them after the performance is over. I sign as many playbills and programs as I can, and pose for as many photos too, as my way of saying "thanks for coming to the theatre, you have no idea what it means to all of us."
This is a privilege. Not a right. And anyone who gets to walk into a theatre through the stage door is truly blessed to be bestowed with such a wonderful duty. This is the work I love, and it's where I am most happy. It is where I feel I belong.