It's now my last week over at Les Miserables, which means that I can now expect the number of Filipino audience members to rise at every performance. It's great, to be sure, but I have this sense of dread when it comes to the post-show stage door situation.
Last night, after the performance, I have a Sharpie in my hand prepared to sign autographs behind the police barricades set up by the Broadhurst to keep the actors safe and the fans at a safe enough distance. The barrier was successful in keeping a wide enough berth for us to sign happily enough, but once I got to the far end, I found myself surrounded, flash bulbs in my eyes and screaming and screeching in my ears. My personal space was invaded... people were way too close to me... I felt claustrophobic. I voiced my feelings, and thankfully, people gave me enough space to continue until the last autograph was signed, and the last picture taken.
But for a few moments on the sidewalk near the stage door of the Broadhurst, I found it hard to breathe.
Yes, I do realize that it's part of my job... yes, I do know that there are other performers that get it much worse... yes I do have to exercise patience and much understanding. My mother constantly reminds me of this... it is these people that enable me to do the work I love to do.
In this life, there will be moments when the world seems to just come at you from all sides... when you don't know which way to look... when things get so overwhelming you just want to drop to the floor and cry. Asking for some space to breathe when that happens is never a bad thing, and perhaps you get exactly what you ask for: a little room to get things done.