So I have been in New York the past two weeks rehearsing a puppet show that we performed last night at the Henson Carriage House on the Upper East Side. Though I think of myself as a "theatre person" I haven't performed onstage in over two years. My sister, by contrast, is a professional puppeteer and puppet builder, and performs regularly as a part of her job (most recently on the Walking With Dinosaurs "arena spectacular" tour - I love that term, and wish I had more opportunity to use it in daily life).
Anyway, in mid-September she called me and said she needed an additional puppeteer for her show - that she wrote and built - going up at the end of October, and would I consider doing it? I considered it. I've never been a puppeteer before. But I had the time (see my current unemployment), it would be an interesting experience, and it would be time to spend with my sister. So, after my exhaustventure in San Fran, I flew to JFK on Monday the 17th and we started rehearsals the next day.
Y'all, puppets is HARD.
As of a week ago, we were rehearsing for 8 hours a day, and though it was still mentally and physically exhausting, and it was still hard, it also became fun. I had forgotten how much of a bonding experience doing theatre can be, how having the looming deadline of a show can force some of the best work out of people when they take it seriously, and how absolutely epic the inside jokes become within the cast. I definitely need to find a theatre community when we get to Sydney.
The performance last night went about as well as I could have hoped. We had a full house - it's a small performance space, so "full" meant about 60 people - and it was well-received. There was a talkback after the performance where she got some great audience feedback. It was such a high, so rewarding, to work so intensively on something and be happy with the results.
I'm incredibly glad I decided to do it and stuck it out, and truly have a better appreciation of what my sister does and how hard she works to achieve the level of success she has. It's truly admirable, and thought-provoking for me. I'd love to be as adept at and passionate about something as she is.