January 13, 2004

When we step behind the wing to wait for our entrance, I often feel like Im in the military, lined up to parachute out of a big green plane. We stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder, and then Kyle makes the first jump onto the stage. The only difference is that instead of camo uniforms, we wear red suits with white polka-dots. And funny white masks. And were barefoot. And were totally not in the military.

Walking to the theater today, my bag over my shoulder, crossing city streets, entering through the stage door, I realized that I am very much living my dream. The ten-year-old little me who waited outside the Colonial in Boston wanted everything, the whole package I wanted not only to be onstage and under the lights, but also to be able to walk into and out of the stage door with a bag over my shoulder, casually going to work.

I think about this when I walk down the concrete stairs into the lower levels of the Alberta Bair Theater, with bulletin boards and show posters on the walls. I drop my bag and take a piece of fresh fruit from the waiting basket. I change into my pre-show clothes and head upstairs to stretch. On the outside, I am cool as a cucumber. Inside, however, the ten-year-old is laughing with glee and clapping her hands. She is staring wide-eyed at the long tiled hallways of the theater basement, and at the bright lights of the dressing room. She is smitten with the rows of seats and the levels of balconies, seen from center stage, and not from her usual place on the orchestra floor. Little me is proud of not-as-little me.

I have already started confusing towns and venues. In Hermiston, where we had two shows, I saw a woman and exclaimed, She was in Monmouth! But then I realized that I actually knew her from the afternoon show, three hours before. Also, I have no idea what day of the week it is. It feels like summer vacation. (Except for the fact that it is rather cold here in Billings, Montana.)

Tonight were going out for dinner, and then we get to sleep in the same hotel room as last night (and we stay here tomorrow night too!). First I have to wake up Sam, who has been napping for over two hours now. Hes been working tremendously hard, twice as much as the rest of us. I started a poem about him today, but I (fittingly) couldnt finish it. Ill post it, and then Ill go.

i have run out of ways
to tell you how much i love you