A lot of actors, myself included, create a personal ritual for themselves that they go through each night upon entering the space before the performance. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee or as elaborate as creating a routine pattern that incorporates the placing of props in a certain order, warming up, and fulfilling self created superstitions that were only discovered necessary a couple days before at dress or preview, but must be done before the stage manager calls “house opening!”
At dress rehearsal or previews I find myself interrupting the beginning of other actors exploring what their personal get ready ritual is going to shape itself into, as well as myself being interrupted in my own creation. The room has a clunky, feeling it out sort of energy. And then something happens where things suddenly click and a shared energy creeps across the space and actors start weaving in and out of their own ritual and interaction with the other bodies in the room doing their own thing and the ensemble suddenly feels ready to go.
I felt that click last night in the space. It’s time for opening night.