Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yes. I Read it.

Yes, people, yes....I read it.
So, I am sweeping the floor...with vigor.
I have a fabulous show to go do today in a couple of hours.
But...since I have been a self producer for the last many years I had to get into the horrible...horrible...awful....fucked up habit of reading my reviews....because I have to use them if they are good... but then live with them if they are bad.
When I did Les Miserables on tour in the US it was humbling....we opened in a new town every week. So, I got the moms of Little Cosette and Little Eponine to read them for me...if they were good they would tell me....if not...well, there were no words spoken...and in this blissful silence and ignorance I lived until we were in Amarillo, of the Moms said I got a great review in the Amarillo Armadillo....I don't think that is what the paper is called ...just for my storytelling purposes...I picked it up..."The weakest performer is....( oh god don't let it be..) Sharron Matthews." Then that mom and I had a little chat about the difference between a good review for me and a good review for little Maggie, her daughter.
The very next week I got a rave in both the Washington Post and Washington Times ....same show...same costume...same me. It made me a bit wiser ...but NO DOUBT my still hurts.
Hurts bad.
It is hard as an actor to try and figure out the right thing to we read them?... so we know why everyone around you is all of a sudden hushed, or not looking you in the eye....or uncharacteristically quiet the day after opening? Or do we just say " I DON'T READ REVIEWS!!!" and hope that no spoilers come out from your third grade friend on Facebook?
I don't know...I chose my own road...usually I cannot stop changes with every show really.
But now as I focus on branching out in the world with my shows and all... every thing little nive word helps, right?
So, I woke this fine morning to look at my Toronto Star online....when I saw the title of the review I should have stopped there....but no....macabre fascination drew me on...
"When Sharron Matthews starts narrating in a style totally devoid of all personality...."
Oh my.
That hit a chord in me and I suddenly remembered the other stinker that I got from the same paper...and in the spirit of saving my soul...I began a search rocks the shit....ah it is...from 2002....broke my heart it did.....
"Sharon Matthews tackles the other major role of the Narrator with mixed success. Her Rosie O'Donnell presence pays diminishing returns as the evening goes on..."
Hmm....maybe it is not me...there is only one R after all.
Narrating seems to be a sticking point for me.
Either too much or too little it seems.
I remember that hurt my feelings....for days...hurt bad.
It also made me feel fat....and WHO NEEDS THAT, RIGHT?!!?!?
Ah well...I breathe...I call Thom Allison who tells me I am pretty...I sweep the floor...and I move on...
The opening night of "Handmaiden" was a night for the memory took me right back to the other opening night..."Martin Guerre" at Canstage...where we had to come back onstage for a third bow dressed in our street clothes because the audience would not leave.
During the Prologue of "Handmaiden" all that I could think of was the faces that I was seeing... Jim Betts, Derrick Chua, Vincent DeTourdenett...actors young and old....Canadians supporting Canadian musical was an important night.
Leslie Arden rocks.
She is a Canadian treasure.
I feel very lucky to work with her again.
Also, LKTYP rocks!
And I think the show also is pretty damned fine.
Julain Molnar, Karen Wood, Susan Henley, George Masswohl, Regan Thiel, Tracy Michialidis, Andrew Stelmack, Jonathan Tan, and Larry Mannel tell a great story and will surely make you laugh!
As does my 6 year old friend Ella. a kicker I will take this part of todays review for my PR package...
"live-wire who electrifies the cabaret scene "

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