The Matinee Performance
The Platinum West Coast Swing and Hustle After-Party
After our amazing Friday night Opening performance, our West Coast Swing and Hustle cast went to the Platinum Party at You Should Be Dancing on 31st Street in New York.
It was the perfect way for our Connecticut-based cast members to dance the night away with other West Coast Swing and Hustle dancers from the New York City area. They got to tell the story of their performances to everyone, and some even got to chat with the reviewer who attended the show and the after-party.
Most cast members arrived around 9pm and stayed dancing until 12am, at which time a sense of responsibility took over. They realized that they needed to be ready to perform the next day and should get a good night's rest.
Anna and I did not even check in to our hotel until 2am, we hoped the cast would get more sleep than us.
The First Recovery
The following morning, Anna and I woke up at 11am. Let's call it a "performer's morning". We checked out at 12pm and moved our car from the Penn Station area to the block of the Ailey Citigroup Theater, where we would be performing later that afternoon.
Our legs were tired but we were excited about our next performance. We knew that we only had about an hour to eat before our next full-cast call at 2pm. We went to Route 66, a restaurant across the street from the Ailey Citigroup Theater, to enjoy a mandatory coffee. We also enjoyed their fruit smoothies, french toast and egg fajita.
We finally felt that we had enough rest and food to continue our West Coast Swing and Hustle journey as the opening piece to Kat Wildish's Performing in NY Showcase.
When we finished our "performer's morning" breakfast, we walked across the street to the theater where many of the cast members were already waiting.
This time our call did not have to be any earlier than the full cast. We did not have a tech rehearsal to worry about. We knew our blocking and all we had to do was repeat the successful performance that we had given the night before.
But, Anna and I did agree that it would be prudent to get a full-cast run-through before the audience was allowed into the theater. This was to burn off some of the extra nerves and juice the bodies back up to performance level.
Matinees are always a little strange in the theater world. One never knows how a matinee audience might react. Perhaps it's the daylight outside, or that people's biorhythmic cycles are different in the afternoon that leads to a more subdued energy. But as a veteran performer, I can tell you that they are still watching the show as intently as any other audience and for that reason you must not give a subdued performance.
Our matinee performance was great! We opened the Saturday afternoon program with a strong presentation of West Coast Swing and Hustle. We expressively told the audience that their Saturday matinee performance would be just as strong and powerful as audiences had seen on Friday night.
Although the audience response level was muted in comparison to the the prior night, they still responded to our dancing at the expected times. For me, the Matinee audience is always the test - can we as a cast, jump-start the emotional frequency of an audience. The answer on Saturday afternoon was yes.