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Tonight Is The Hardest Performance

By February 14, 2020 No Comments

When you are involved in a stage play, after six weeks of rehearsal, the company is ready for the audience to arrive, the curtain to rise, and the actors to take the stage. They are hyped for the magic of opening night. As the cast and crew wait backstage, watching the clock slowly tick closer to that moment of truth, their focus and energy invariably becomes fragmented. They start to pace in the wings while their hearts speed faster and faster. This is the time when I, as the director, need to step in and help them regain their focus. I call the company together for one final speech. I tell them straight out that tonight is going to be their hardest performance. Everything that we’ve done these last six weeks has brought us to his moment, this one monumental night. Yes, we are all excited. Our families and friends will be out there, ready to be blown away by our talents. But to make sure that all goes well, we need to direct our energies by understanding that: 

TONIGHT IS THE HARDEST PERFORMANCE.

 

The company takes it to heart. Everything goes great, with lots of hugs and flowers after the performance. But before we know it, night two rolls around. Backstage feels a little different. Their confidence is up but their energy is down. So once again we gather. What can I tell them that will get them inspired for tonight? I look out and say; tonight is going to be the hardest performance. Their heads cock and puzzled expressions cover their faces. “Wait a minute! That’s what you said last night.” But it’s the truth, because tonight we must focus twice as hard to avoid that all-to-human letdown that comes from a successful opening. We need to regain our attention and energy for the audience that is coming tonight. That is no easy task. They are beginning to understand that: 

TONIGHT IS THE HARDEST PERFORMANCE.

 

Then the weekend arrives. We have a Saturday matinee. And that becomes the hardest performance. Why? Because it’s at an unusual time and we still want to give this audience our very best. Then that night we have another performance and that one becomes the hardest performance because it’s the second show on the same day. Once again, it is time to refocus and reenergize. Before too long, it is closing night, and guess what?

TONIGHT IS THE HARDEST PERFORMANCE.

 

With whatever we do for a living, we want to always do our very best, perform at your highest ability, give 100% effort. And that doesn’t come easily. The moment you take it for granted, the moment you think you’ve got it all under control, that’s the moment it all falls apart and you wind up flat on your face. Every audience member that sits out in the theatre in front of the curtain, is entitled to see your very best. And every company member behind the curtain must continually refocus their energy to make sure that they give their very best. 

Here are four hints to help you achieve your goal.

  1. Establish a routine. Arrive at the same time, do your preshow rituals at the same time, take those moments of solitude every night at the same time.
  2. Take good physical and mental care of your mind and your body. Don’t stay out too late, don’t get up too early, and don’t eat all the wrong foods.
  3. Review your topic. Even though you know your subject inside and out, never take it for granted, because that’s the moment it will all fall apart.
  4. Think of your audience (customers). You are there for them. Always give them your best.

 

So whatever night it is, whatever performance it is, whatever job it is, always remember that: 

TONIGHT IS THE HARDEST PERFORMANCE.