Just the other actor

Filed in Events, They’re Playing Our Song (2007), Work

Today was another emotional roller coaster for me.

I've known for a long time that Sompor's character in the play is very special. Her character is spontaneous, energetic, mildly reckless and adorable. Sompor portrays the character extremely well, possibly because she herself has many of these qualities, and she has a very good chance of being nominated for an award for her part in this play. My character on the other hand is more down to earth, more… normal.

The juxtaposition of the characters is necessary for the play to work. If my character shares any of Sompor's character's traits, then her character won't stand out as much and the play will be mundane.

Sompor will be the flower in this play, and I'll be the sepals that hold her up for the world to see. When people leave the theatre, they'll be excited about, they'll remember and they'll talk about Sompor. They won't be excited about me. That hurts, because I have put more into this play than I've put into anything else in my entire life.

This morning as I lifted weights to keep in shape for the play, I finally accepted this truth. As I lifted the weights, emotion swelled within me. As I lifted the weights, I listened to my favourite songs. As I lifted the weights, tears gathered in my eyes.

As I neared the end of my weight training, I made the decision to be the best sepals possible, because I want the play to be a success even if I'm not recognised or remembered for it.

An hour later, I went to the neighbourhood fast food store and picked up the photograph that Chow Yun Fat kindly left there for me yesterday (you'll get to see it later). This was a very special occasion for me, one of the joyous loops in today's roller coaster ride.

My wife and I then took a walk down toward the beach. Even though she was with me, my wife felt pretty alone, because "They're Playing Our Song" had once again become my whole world. I listened to and mimed the songs (to save my voice) complete with performance actions as we walked down the road (people in passing cars must have thought I was very weird indeed). The music gave me a much needed feeling of freedom, of joy. The music gave me a new release.

So it is that I gave my all in tonight's full dress rehearsal. Perhaps in an attempt to make my character a little more special, I inadvertently gave it too much and Henry gave me several notes after the rehearsal, most of them regarding unwanted and distracting actions that had crept in with the added energy. I have to tame it down. There is no getting around it. My character has to be relatively normal and Sompor's character will always be the head turner.

I've accepted it now. I really have. It's become a fact in my life. Sompor will be the talk of the crowd, and I'll be just the other actor.