Eugene O’Neill Theatre

We’ll open for previews a month from today. This afternoon I went to the Eugene O’Neill Theater to choose a dressing room and make friends with the space. The moment I walked in, I knew we’d be alright together, me and the theatre. It felt intimate, cozy, welcoming. I stood on the stage (still dressed for the soon-to-close “Spring Awakening” which I loved and saw twice) and as I looked out over the seats and up into the balcony I knew it was a space I could own. I love my dressing room, too. It’s stage right and on the same level as the stage. I’m glad I won’t have to walk up and down stairs to get to stage level. Besides the dressing room itself, there’s a little sitting area where I can have a couch and a couple of chairs in case I want to lie down before or talk to visiting friends afterwards.

It’s all becoming very real.

I am not scared but I feel in limbo…neither one place or another, as though I am waiting for something but I don’t know what it is and this fills me with anxiety. I am aware of myself going through all the proper motions on a day-to-day basis: I’m polite, I show up at the vet with Tulea on time (She had to have her teeth cleaned), at do my Pilates workouts on time, I enjoyed being with my friends Pat Mitchell and Jennifer Buffett for dinner last night, but I’m not fully there…more like existing along side myself, watching myself, judging myself for not being in the moment, not quite with it as I am on most occasions. I choose to believe this is all as a result of my gearing up to be someone else. If I do this, then my discomfort becomes a positive rather than a negative. Still, it’s an uncomfortable and disconcerting feeling.

(It has crossed my mind that writing a blog may contribute to this feeling of not being fully present because it entails living while observing/commenting on the living.)

I’m noticing that the anxiety goes away only when I run lines with my new, part time assistant, Rachel. She is impressed that I already know all my lines. Learning lines has always been very easy for me. Inhabiting them appropriately is another matter. But I am growing very fond of this woman, Dr Katherine Brant, the one I am starting to inhabit.

Tonight at 6:30, Moises is coming over with the costume designer, David Woolard, to discuss concepts. I have a pretty clear idea of how Katherine should dress. I hope we’re all in sync.

See you next time

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  1. You have the very same dressing room that Sandy Dennis had in 1962-63 in “A Thousand Clowns” with my beloved “uncle”, Jason Robards. He was also a great friend of nmy Dad’s, Dort Clark. I hung out with Sandy there so much; I was 15 – 16 yrs., thoroughly theatre-struck and tolerated because of the respect and affection people had for him. Between shows, I would go with Sandy to Downey’s and hang out in the 1st circular booth on the left with Brenda Vaccaro, Mark Rydell…they must have thought it strange, but I was wide-eyed and quiet and Sandy’s friend! And Jim Downey was another avuncular friend…I remember all the talk round the table about “Strange Interlude”, and actually saw it, thus turning me on to Eugene O’Neill!

  2. Jane,
    It’s so great to have you back, with your play, and movies.
    I’ve missed you, I wail to some my friends, where are the great actresses today!
    So to see you and Shirley MacLaine and Sophia Loren back on the big screen just fills me with bliss.
    You’re doing a great job with this blogging thing, I’m finding it very interesting, and it makes me feel closer to you the person.
    Keep up the good job, and “break a leg” on opening night!

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