Theatre is silly, quite like life itself. Time is wasted on the small things. A task is accomplished, only to be undone soon enough. People have to communicate together, try to understand what vision is being shared.
We try to tame fate by scripting lines and preparing lighting and sound cues. When something goes wrong, we desperately attempt to cover the mistake. We think that, if we can get through the show, if we can make people laugh, or make people cry, it'll all be worth it. And it is, damn it! Those countless hours of intense work melt in the face of a smile, a gleam.
"Suspension of disbelief doesn't only apply to the audience" says Adam. And he's right. A comedian was sharing his (frightening) stories of sleep-walking on This American Life and mentionned that, to be a comedian, you had to be in denial, to a certain extent. You couldn't possibly keep on bombing every night at the beginning of your career and climb back on stage the next day if you weren't in denial.
Why do we even bother, again? No idea. But we bother, again. And again.
We had our last run of Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog at Touchstone today, only to bring the set to Moravian college, where the show will run for another week with student actors. That means I'm still stage-managing for a little bit. And that also means we performed a show, struck it and loaded-in, all in the same day.
And as Cathleen and I were moving the ladder foot by foot to secure a cable above the lighting pipes, we were reminded of Beckett plays: the tedious, repetitive and relentlessly comic gestures of characters focused on a simple task. It dawned on me: Beckett may have drawn his inspiration from theatre itself, from steady observation and practice of theatre. Because yes, I refuse to think of Beckett as some sort of abstract, brainy author. He was, in fact, quite the practionner, someone who lived in the active voice. Someone who very plausibly moved a ladder, foot by foot, to secure a cable above the lighting pipes.