A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

May 5, 2008.

We had such a good time with the show this weekend.

On Friday a man called the box-office and asked if he could bring his six year-old daughter to the show because she was crazy about anything having to do with Joan of Arc. They explained that the show was long, wordy, and rather disturbing in places but the man said his daughter wouldn’t have any trouble sitting through it. They wound up sitting in the front row and the little girl was completely attentive through the entire play. Also in the audience were some dear friends from college. I happened to see on Facebook that my communications professor was currently in Los Angeles on sabbatical so I contacted him and he came to the show. And another friend and her daughter drove four hours from central California to see the play. We all had a mini college renunion afterwards and it was great to see them. Tony also showed up unexpectedly, which I didn’t know until after the show. On Saturday one of the guys in the cast had an agent who was supposed to come. The agent couldn’t make it so he sent two people in his place. They happened to be agents with CAA and ICM  and I heard later that they both loved the show.

Last night my acting class came and the incredible energy they brought, along with the rest of the audience, elevated the show to another level entirely. It was wonderful to perform for people who were laughing at all the jokes, gasping, and even making comments during the plot developments. I heard audible gasps of dismay several times during the trial scene. They were with us the whole way and the show also took on an incredible energy and speed it had never had before. It was truly a gift because I was so exhausted I didn’t know how I would even get through the show. But things clicked in for me in new and profound ways. When I went off at the end of the play I felt so much energy and emotion flooding my body that I couldn’t stand up. At the curtain call there was an immediate, and loud, standing ovation and when I came out people were yelling “Bravo!” The guys teased me when we went off, saying, “You don’t have any friends here tonight, do you?” But when I came out to the lobby later I discovered there was a group of complete strangers who had started the ovation.

I spent a few minutes greeting my friends, who were all amazingly supportive and enthusiastic about the show. Then an older man approached me and complimented my performance and asked what I was working on next. I said I wasn’t sure. He asked me if I did film and television and I said I’d like to but hadn’t yet. He said, “Well, do you have a good agent?” I said no. He pulled out a card and said, “I’m in film financing. And we need to network you with some people. E-mail me tomorrow. And I just want you to know that you have everything it takes.”

Next, a woman approached me with her husband. She took my hand and said, “Oh, I was so moved. I just have to tell you how moved I was. I’m actually still shaking. This should be playing at the Ahmanson. I spent a long time in the New York theatre scene, and trained as an actor, and this play is as good as anything I ever saw there. We have to get people in here to see this show.” She said a few more things and her husband greeted me as well. They went to leave and then she came back and said, “I just have to ask you to sign my program. I was so moved.”

Then another man stopped me who had already spoken to Adam and learned the difficulty we were having getting the papers and audiences in. He said, “People have got to see this play. I’m callingL.A. Weekly first thing in the morning and telling them that they must get in here.” He took a stack of postcards and is going to speak to everyone he knows about the show.

And those were just the strangers. By the time I had met those people and spoken to my friends, I was completely overwhelmed. Adam told me that at intermission people were sitting there saying, “Excellent. Excellent. And that girl is so good!” I didn’t have time to decompress until I got home and was getting ready for bed. I was washing my face and suddenly just had to bury my face in a towel and cry with joy and gratitude.

This morning I e-mailed that man with my information and he wrote back saying that he was going to try to get me some meetings for projects and with agents. He said, “You are truly a diamond in the rough.”

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