“Faires get the love seats on stage!”
Along with my other frantic faires, I meekly push the loveseats on the set. The play is getting closer, there is only a week till opening night, and along with that comes a more frantic way of going about things. We don’t catch a lot of breaks anymore. Costume and hair is starting to be done, and everything seems to be getting a bit more climatic.
On the afternoon of April 13, people bustle in, and there is an energy in the air.
“On stage! Let’s get going folks!”, barks the directors, tence looks plastered on their faces.
We don’t need to be told twice. We still have a ton of work to do, and not a lot of time. We Fairies are the first ones on stage, our job to push a bench onto the stage, through a swinging platform that opens and closes. We have to bring this bench on the stage while dancing and swinging around. We sometimes refer to ourselves as a ‘dressed-up stage crew’ — always pushing things off stage and dragging them back on.
We immortal fairies are supposed to be hide from the mortal humans. Suddenly, the staggered platforms rock with human voices and we shake in fear. From that point on, I will find myself hiding in the set, constantly peeking out behind wood beams, poking out through a hole in a large wood-constructed mystical looking tree, or on top of platforms. Constantly watching, but I never feel like I am engaging.
From that perspective on the stage, though, faires see a lot. We see the frustration when blocking doesn’t go right, we see the look on the director’s face when something goes right. But we also see the same scenes over and over, we sit on stage and are silent, but also must be constantly engaged. It’s a long practice full of revisions, exhausted faces, and sitting. One plus of all of this though is the makeup and hair. Halfway through Wednesday’s practice I, Moonbeam, am pulled out to get my hair done. For the next half hour, my hair is pulled on, braided, and real sparkling fairy lights are woven in the braids. It’s tedious work, but the people keep me entertained. Characters are bustling in and out, room full of chatter, laughter always a constant thing. All of this fills me with a feeling of contentment , and I am happy I am here.
When Thursday rolls around, just one week before Opening Night, everyone only has one thing on their mind, it’s run-through day. We won’t stop for anything, unless there aren’t characters who need to be where they are. Which happened, more than it should have. Cues were missed, and people were not happy about it. Some of the mechanicals ( humans putting on a play) were in the makeup room, chatting, and when the rest of their gang went onto the stage, they weren’t there. One of the directors came back three different times to grab oblivious characters. You could hear the anger in the director’s voice and see the intense look on her face as she walked past us fairies ,who were clustered on Titania’s bower ( a bower is basically like a bed, Titanias is supposed to be shaped like a crescent moon, an arc overhead a bed), waiting for our cue. “ Be ready”, was the only words she said to us.
At the end of Act 3, the longest and hardest act, the cast was called for a meeting. We still had a half hour left of practice and we were going to use it.The directors acknowledge how we did by saying, “That was sloppy, Opening Night is a week away, we are making some revisions.” Of course that involves us faires, so we hop up on stage, and we proceed to revise our shields( we guard two different humans two different times). We are told to portray energy, we always have to be connected. I was told to lay on the ground for one of them, and the other I am squatting for a while. It’s long, and uncomfortable, but it’s all for the sake of the show. Practice ends, and after a few farewells, people go on their separate ways. We need to be ready for another long practice tomorrow.