The Banjo Solo
Sundays are the best days here. Sunday means sleeping in, preparing meals, and taking long showers before heading to rehearsal at noon. Looking out the window this morning, I could see the rain trickling down the building across the way and knew it was a turtleneck kind of day. Not to flex, but Morna even complimented my outfit saying I looked like a local Scottish gal in the rain, shoutout to Portland for the 22 years of prep.
After having finally gotten to the point where we were able to run the show fully yesterday, and being memorized for today’s first off-book day, we were greeted with the sad news that the show was 15 minutes over and cuts needed to be made. Immediately, I knew my killer banjo solo was probably one of the first to go, but I held out hope. At 2:00 PM, we began marking the changes that had been made; taking out sung stanzas, lines, changing lines, talking about choreography that now needs to be redone, working different underscores, and so forth and so on. By the time dinner rolled around, we had flown past my glorious banjo solo and I thought I had been spared.
I ate my homemade linguine alfredo, because I could not find fettuccine or any Alfredo at the store and was determined to get my Alfredo fix, and returned to rehearsal where we were going backwards to “Tom, Ellen, and Lee”, the sweet pillow upon which my dainty banjo melody lay. I feel my heart begin to race. The tender lilting refrain that pulled on my heartstrings, that I had spent the last three months perfecting, was at risk when Davey announced, “We have to cut the banjo solo”. A gasp entered the room and I could feel the warmth of my oncoming tears. My fight or flight kicked in. “Davey, no!” I cried, as Davey shielded his face and body, hiding behind his acoustic guitar. The moment we all knew was coming because of the cuts had arrived, and there was no salvaging my now broken heart. I somehow managed to convince Davey to let me play the tune of the song I had learned underscoring Ellen’s singing, but unfortunately, the world will never hear my exquisite, marvelous, plush, luxurious, and charming rendition of “Poor Ellen Smith” in its full glory.
Although my poor banjo solo found itself on the cutting block and scraped into the garbage, I am very excited to watch how the show unfolds and rebuilds over the next week, as we are now nine days from opening. I am nervous to see what comes next, but I also cannot wait to share our work at the Fringe, whether there be a banjo solo or not.
To my beloved banjo solo,
You were my everything,
My sun and my moon.
For you, I’d do anything,
We will miss your sweet tune.
With lots of love,