This is my favorite time in the rehearsal process… the week leading up to the show. Something happens to me as I put on my costume for the first time and begin to step in to the character I have been discovering for the last few weeks. I walk just a little bit different. In my charity woman costume, I smile just a little bit more. As one of Fred’s relatives, I stand more erect and speak with a higher pitch to my voice. In the ghost of Christmas Future cloak and in my stilts, I don’t speak at all and I have to put forth effort to be nice to the sweet dresser who helps me change. Its not really a conscious decision, it is just what happens. After the show has run a few weeks, I can divorce myself from my attire much easier and be in the present, but not the first week.
I like that. The lines I have had memorized for a month become new and fresh. Everyone on stage is alight with a new energy, and the world we have been creating in our minds begins to take physical shape. The kids run around and make sure everyone has seen their costumes and how wonderful they look. Though if I’m being honest, I do the same thing. I made it a point to leave my dressing room after trying on each costume to parade around a bit to make sure others had a chance to see me in my Dickensian dress. I even went into our rehearsal space and joined one other adult woman in twirling around in front of the mirrors to see how high our dresses spun out. That is one great thing about being an actor… you don’t have to grow out of playing dress up.
Ghost of Christmas Future