What? It's opening night?

First of all, I think some apologies are in order. When I started rehearsing for "Over the Tavern" and said that I would blog my "actor's journey," I had grand plans. Truly. I imagined writing two blog posts a week, dissecting my character, profiling my fellow cast members, and talking about all the things I was discovering about myself in the process.

So, how did I do?

In reality, I haven't had time to update this blog since March 20. At that point, I was discovering that I was panicking and figuring out how I was going to get through the panic. I decided to put my head down and work...and work, I did. Over the last three and a half weeks, my cast mates and I have worked very hard to put a show that we can all be proud of. In that, we have absolutely succeeded...at least we have from my perspective. Last night, in front of a small, invited preview audience, we witnessed this show truly blossom and come to life for the first time...and it was amazing.

What have I learned about myself in the process? I have learned that no matter how much I try to tell myself something to the contrary, I am a performer at heart and from the depths of my soul. No other creative outlet fulfills me the way that acting does and throwing myself back into the fray like this has, without sounding too melodramatic, brought me back to life.

At Lyric Arts, I talk about the transforming power of the performing arts all the time. I can give so many examples of Lyric Arts actors who have told me about the ways in which this theater has changed their lives. I tell their stories over and over again. But, in the last two months or so, I have truly lived it. I have spent so many years pushing that part of myself to the side that I had lost all connection with my creative soul. In rediscovering this forgotten, but essential, part of my being, I have found a joy for life that I forgot I had. Not to say that I wasn't happy before, but I am lighter. I am happier. I laugh more easily.

And now, it all comes to this...opening night. This is my 83rd opening night here at Lyric Arts, but I can promise that for me, it will truly be like no other.

(More to come, I promise...)

Lyric Arts' Managing Director Laura Tahja Johnson is playing the role of Ellen Pazinski in Over the Tavern which runs through April 29, 2012. Tickets on sale now online or through the box office at 763-422-1838.