The Debut of our Opera, “Esh and Ee-ay”!

Saturday September 6th 2015

I actually wasn’t as nervous this morning as I woke up. Thoth lay in bed with me and we talked about the opera. “I want to do a bit of ‘Anya’ to open.” he said. “I think it’s better if the narrator starts. You need to allow the work to change and grow. We can’t sing ‘Anya’ before every show.” I said. Thoth playfully growled. It’s the sound he makes when he’s not fully in agreement with me.

I had to start getting ready at 1:15pm to give myself 3 hours to do makeup and hair. James Lapine and Sarah Kernochan were going to pick us up at 4:15 and get all the props. I started getting nervous. Doing a makeup look that satisfies me creatively when I’m nervous is difficult. I’m very aware how big the show is going to be and a lot of important people are going to see me. It’s an interesting experience.

I finally got myself together and had a half hour before pickup time. 
IMG_20150905_160609202 IMG_20150905_160620127 IMG_20150905_160625969 Thoth’s headdress is a sight to behold. IMG_20150905_160538913 IMG_20150905_160532811 IMG_20150905_160550862I didn’t get a shot of him in his coat. I’ll do that before tomorrow night’s show.

I saw James walk around the back. Both he and Sarah loved how I looked. “What about me?” Thoth said playfully. “You look amazing, too!” James said. We got everything in the car and Sarah ran over to get Thoth’s coat from the seamster who removed the sleeves. James was so sweet. “You’re going to be amazing.” he said. He’s totally in our corner. While we drove to Union Chapel, he asked about where I went to school. I told him about dropping out of University of Kentucky, moving to New York when I was 20 and going to Circle in the Square Theatre School (where he did Putnam County Spelling Bee.) Eventually we got around to him asking what Thoth and I call each other. “I call him Bunny Face.” I said and he started calling him that. “What does he call you?” James asked. “Girl. Young lady.” I said. “Oh yes, he calls her Young Lady a lot.” Sarah said. Such an interesting conversation to have with him! So human, so normal, so sweet and so charming!

Wendy, Caroline and Steven the filmographer were there setting up. We put on our bells and Suzzanne (the narrator) arrived. James helped us through the cues, just so we knew what props we needed for each scene. It was very helpful. People were standing outside waiting to get in. “Now just have fun and breathe.” he said. He couldn’t stay for tonight’s show because he had a previously planned dinner party to attend. He’ll see it tomorrow. We went back stage to get ready. I dropped two of my jewels on the stage so Suzzanne went out and found them for me. I actually wasn’t nervous because I felt so prepared! Having James directing us was such a pleasant surprise. He’s so fantastic at what he does, and he’s so casual, gentle and sweet. We’re so blessed to have him lending his talents to our cause.

At 7:07pm, Wendy called places and went out to introduce us. Suzzanne hit her cane on the ground and announced, “The story of Esh and Ee-ay” and we came out to our spots. It was so helpful for us to have someone speaking in between scenes. It meant we didn’t have to rush into changing and drinking water and catching our breath. We had decided for Thoth to do our opening number “Esh” center stage and me to stand back accompanying him. Despite that we had a lot of cues and props to remember, everything went very smoothly. There were many comedic moments. I tend to ham it up on stage when the moment is right. I don’t have an opportunity to do that in public. People laughed unexpectedly a few times and we got a big applause after “Transformation and Meeting” and after “Falling in Love.” It was interesting to have different variations of applause. Every piece didn’t end with us speeding up and flinging our hands in the air, which Sarah didn’t want. Two little girls who had been dancing and talking for half the show were taken out during, “Esh Revealed” and one of them loudly shouted, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” as we were in stillness. It was very distracting. I love having kids at our shows, but they need to be quiet! We ended “Birth” sitting on the floor holding each other and the lights when down. People instantly stood to their feet and cheered. We were even able to do “Pentagram” as an encore, which was fun.

We ran backstage to grab our things and get to the A Gallery for the reception. “You blew the roof off again!” Sarah said when she came backstage. People applauded when we arrived in the reception gallery. We sold lots of CDs and got great feedback. People were mesmerized. Sarah was so proud of us. “People are talking about you like you’re the real deal.” she said. “The comedy was wonderful. Thoth is more kabuki and you’re more Pierette. Also, people loved the story. They LOVED it.” she said.  I was so happy. I told her I was very calm and confident. “It showed.” she said. We have a show now!

Here’s Thoth signing CDs.
IMG_20150905_211545898Sarah with Thoth.
IMG_20150905_211655352Happy, tired me. IMG_20150905_211713640 We got a picture with everyone. From left to right is Sarah, me, Thoth, Wendy and Caroline. IMG_20150905_211758978

4 thoughts on “The Debut of our Opera, “Esh and Ee-ay”!

  1. susangoodbear

    Really glad your performance situation at Martha’s Vineyard is going so well and you appear to be getting the artistic support you need. I’m traveling right now (Scotland), so I haven’t been able to follow you as closely as it is generally my pleasure to do. But I stopped by tonight, having good solid wifi for the first time in a week, and I can tell you something has shifted in a very good way for you. Hope this is the start of a new era of legitmacy for Tribal Baroque in which you are recognized and appreciated for your unique genius. I can only repeat what Kaja said a few entries ago: “I love you guys.”

    1. la Post author

      Thank you so much Susan. It truly was an incredible experience for us and we hope for it to continue!

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