Deep Breaths

So, I finished up the lead sheets and the recordings that the singers will hopefully be able to use to learn the music with, and, for the moment, we are caught up on producerial duties, so I find myself in a bizarre position of being able to take a deep breath and reflect for a second.

Jordana got in a car accident which technically totalled our car, so we got a new car that Jordana named “Temerraire”. It is lovely and fuel efficient and big enough to fit three in the back, so we hope to still be able to give people rides to and from places. Jordana and I are so starved for our friends that when we get to be with them you can damn near hear child-like gulping noises as we relish every minute.

What I am going to say will make my sweet wife and her family pass out, but the show is in the best possible condition we could hope for. The director is marvelous, I hope to God his talent in the rehearsal room matches his talent outside of it (all indications of his past productions would indicate it does) because he has come to us with a thousand great ideas and I honestly feel, at this point, the show couldn’t be in better hands.

It isn’t often that we find ourselves at this point in the show with every single staff person hired, including assistants, and every single cast member hired and psyched. The auditions were incredible, for every role there were three fantastic people. It is a startling position to be in, all things considered. I was always really cautious as an actor, terrified of getting in with the wrong production, but this troupe of gypsies seem willing to jump in with both feet.

The music is much better, even just two weeks after sitting down with the music director. I don’t know if a director and a playwright have a similar relationship, but it stuns me how much I learn from just talking to a music director. I still treasure the relationship I had with the MD on Fleet Week, he was an ornery genius of the first order, and I completely trust the guy we have now.

The script is in great condition. Mac finally did the version that he’s been wanting to do for six months, and it’s always best to wait until Mac is happy with the draft. Unlike most playwrights, Mac isn’t happy until he’s dismantled the thing and put it back together eleven different ways. I’ve actually learned as much about writing music from Mac as I have from any one of my music teachers at school. You really have to write the thing, and then pull at it where it’s weakest and see if it rips. If it rips, you aren’t done.

All of this to say, last night Jordana was saying “I think I feel something, but I just don’t know”. I told her I could listen to her belly and see if I could hear anything. I mean, it’s crazy, I’m not supposed to feel anything for another three or four weeks, but feeling is totally different than hearing. I laid down with my shoulder in her crotch and my ear right over her womb and we sat like that for a few minutes. I thought I heard a little something, like a miniscule little bass drum, and Jordana said “I feel like I just felt something…”

I said I thought I heard it, but I didn’t get up. We sat there for another three minutes or so and then I distinctly hear a “thub thub”… quiet and deep. Like a kettle drum being tuned at the junior high school down the block. And right as I heard it, Jordana and I said in unison “there! there !”.

It was probably just, y’know, burrito or whatever. I definitely heard a shitload (pardon the pun) of noise in her belly, popping and bubbling and gurgling. I don’t know if those thumps were Esteban. But in my mind, we were lying down, the work was done and Esteban thought he’s stretch out and get comfortable. Maybe for tonight, we can all just hope, cautiously, that everything is gonna work out.