Tonight was the opening night of the play Decay. Good crowd. Relatively good performances from all of us. Very exciting backstage. Totally dark except for a red light or two. For an hour before we go backstage to start the performance everyone kind of jumps around the room, paces, mumbles incoherently, makes funny sounds to themselves, practices their lines over and over again, puts on their makeup, stares at themselves in the mirror reciting their lines or talking themselves up. fun. Backstage everyone just paces till it’s their turn to go on stage. Back and forth we pace throughout the first half of the play, trying not to bum into each other. Funny. Everyone goes from smiles to this intense look. Very different than putting on a rock concert, where everyone just kind of drinks and smokes and stands around and then maybe you let out a few screams and yells and then on you go up. actors are very intense. I have started to look at it like the difference between art and craft.
When you go up on stage to play a rock concert, at least for original music, it is like this spiritual artistic experience. Are you focused? I don’t think so. It’s more like you are lost at sea. In space. You are at one with the music and the audience and you are just part of the whole thing. Just flowing in the art of it. you have no lines to remember. Yea you have all these lyrics to remember but this isn’t conscious. You already know them subconsciously. They are just a part of you. so you’re not thinking about them. you’re not thinking at all. you’re just trying to play as well as you can and get into the art of it as much as you can, to capture some kind of impalpable, intangible, ecstasy for you and the crowd through your interpretation of the songs. And every night that interpretation can be totally different. The four of you may play each song totally different than you did the night before. you may stick within the same general guidelines or play roughly the same chords, but that’s about it. the way you play, and the notes you play and the notes you sing and your phrasing and everything really is totally different. That’s the fun of it. that’s the rush. That’s why we do it. that’s why people go to live shows. To see and hear that experimentation.
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