Saturday, August 29, 2009

the audacity of Mother Nature

It is difficult to describe just how disappointing it was to get rained out last night. At an intellectual level, I am fine and understand completely that there is weather related risk associated with any outdoor performance. The inner child, the spotlight hungry performer on the other hand, is still on the verge of stomping his feet and howling in outrage at the audacity of Mother Nature.

We started rehearsing for this show in April, seemingly about 15 minutes after we finished striking the spring show. For me that meant twice a week rehearsals, plus class and related strengthening work, for four months. As this weekend drew imminent, extra rehearsals were added, further chewing up free time to be with our partners and simply get things done.

When yesterday turned into the most perfect late-summer day with a blue, blue sky and warm sun, my heart was bursting with joy. This show is a real treat to perform, and it seemed like we had finally caught a break in the weather this year and would have two nights of performance. Then about 45 minutes before show time, we started watching a front move in. Out came the iPhones and Blackberries for live weather radar. It did not look good. There was a narrow but sever band of storm that was going to hit us without a doubt. We started prepping for rain; moving things into tents or covering them with tarps. The sound and light table got quietly powered off and bagged, then covered with tarps. The crowd was seemingly unaware of the gathering storm until the wind hit and the lightning became frequent. Many scattered for cars, bikes or other shelter. Some die-hards stayed in hopes that it would just blow over. It was not to be, however, and the storm hit with high winds and driving rain. We battened down the rest of what was still open and jammed into either the back stage tent or the sound/light tent. We had dropped the E-Z-up sound booth tent down to half-height and thrown a tarp over the whole thing to further protect the expensive gear therein, and eight of us jammed into there as well. The rain only lasted 20 minutes, but the timing could not have been worse. The entire crowd (2000+) had scattered. There would be no joy in Mudville this night.

This morning dawns hazy with a thin cloud cover. The NOAA weather forecast is for mostly clear and cool all day. Right now it's a chilly 56 degrees (F) and the high is only supposed to reach 66. It will be a challenge keeping muscles warm between the end of warmup and the performance itself. I desperately hope the weather is not a repeat of yesterday. I think my inner diva would win and I would stomp and shout my disappointment. With fingers crossed, I start my day and hope it ends in performance.

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