I’ve talked about being in a community theater play. The other night, my friend Suzanne, our director, told us that a friend of hers, a professional actor and playwright in New York, is coming to see our show. He’s currently writing a show that he’s done readings for producers etc. as he tightens it up; soon, he’ll be casting it. I immediately joked, “Hey, that means we’re waiting for Guffman!”
If you don’t get the reference, Waiting for Guffman is one of Christopher Guest’s comedy movies filmed as a fake documentary; it spoofs community theater:
From imdb: An aspiring director and the marginally-talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.
So the joke is that they’re already bad but think they’re great and can actually go to Broadway. Guffman is the name of the Broadway director who is coming to see their show. If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s worth watching, even if you aren’t in community theater.
(Little note: the movie has some cursing, so don’t watch it with your kids and then be upset that I didn’t warn you. 😉 )
Anyway, so here we are, our little show in South Jersey, and we (might) have a professional from Broadway coming to see us.
Now! Let’s start off with me saying: I am very well aware that we are amateurs, doing the best we can, taking that seriously, since people are going to spend money to see us. But we are not a professional New York (or any other city) show.
Even so, I’m excited that this guy might see us. That is, I’m excited if he happens to say I did some good things. 😀 I know some people don’t care or are even put off by that kind of thing. In fact, when someone mentions someone coming to review their shows, they don’t want it because “who are they to judge what I do?”. But I do like feedback, including –constructive– (that’s the keyword!) criticism. Last night, for example, I asked John about how I was doing and he gave me suggestions on how to improve. Plus, if someone in the audience or someone I know comes up, pointing out things that they enjoyed, it makes me feel good that I did a good job. I think this guy understands he’s not going to see professionals and will gauge the show by the amateur standard. If he thinks I did a good job and maybe has tips on what I can do better (as an amateur), I’d love to hear it.
Plus, he’s a playwright! I’ve written shows, so I’d love to hear what it’s like on the professional side.
Having said that, if he does come to see the show, I hope I don’t know until it’s all over, because otherwise, I’ll be nervous knowing he’s out there!
And if he does come and hates my performance, then I hope he’ll remember this very sage advice: