Grease is the word, is the time, is the motion…
Grease is the way we are feelin’…
The buzz in the changing rooms as we pull our costumes on.
The long queues for stage make-up, the thick layers of foundation, the shocking red lipstick, the midnight-black eyeliner and mascara.
The styling ladies sitting us down, tweaking our hair, pulling it up into bunches and covering us with hairspray.
The anticipation rising, peaking, as the hall fills up- the audience taking their seats, their excitement making us excited.
The butterflies in your stomach as you stand in the dark wings of the stage, knowing that the show will start in mere minutes…
The rush to get onto stage in time, the intro song, the characters flawlessly interacting in a way that seems so natural: staying in their roles seamlessly, with no pauses, no hesitations, just pure acting.
The song that we sing. All attitude, anger, resentment… energy! Screaming it out, dancing away, the dance we spent weeks rehearsing now becoming a mere five minutes on stage.
The sound of the ‘school bell’, our sign to leave, the breathless run down through the audience, catching glimpses of their nameless faces, those that we must not look at, must not interact with, must not wave at.
The preparation for the next song, backstage, applying quick fixes to hair, make-up, making sure our belts are tight enough. Laughing quietly with those that in the last few weeks have become out best friends. Going through dance moves, singing snatches of song, preparing for going onstage.
The blazing lights that entirely block out the audience, casting them in shadows whilst illuminating us.
The heat in the hall, with the hundreds of audience, the energetic dancing, the running around, that makes it a sweet relief to go outside to the pitch black, freezing night, even for just a second- to gulp in the night air and pull yourself back together again.
The shoes that rub so terribly. It doesn’t help that for five hours straight you are on your feet, running, dancing, singing… and your throat! Can’t have a drink in case you smudge your lipstick, but having to belt out the words for the endless, energetic songs.
The finale. The teachers backstage, reminding us to smile, smile, smile… Waiting, once again, in the wings, trying to find your dance partner in the darkness, someone standing on your toes.
And then on stage, singing your very loudest, dancing energetically away with the moves so perfectly memorised, drilled into your head by the dance teacher. Skipping, smiling so much your cheeks hurt, kicking your feet and stomping to the beat.
You feel so alive. Then, running to the front of the stage, accepting your applause gratefully, sitting down on the ‘bleachers’, smiling, always smiling.
Every character coming fowards- Danny and Sandy, Rizzo and Kenickie, Marty and Sonny, Jan and Roger, Frenchy and Doody… the applause growing, the band playing.
And then, Danny’s last line, shouted to the rooftops- “A WOP BAM A LU BOB!”
Our triumphant, jubilant, deafening reply, so loud the windows shake and we must be heard in Australia…
“A WOP BAM BOOM!
Then, as one, all the lights go out. The final blackout. We sit there, soaking up the aplause, grinning for real now. The audidence is screaming, on their feet, yelling and clapping. In the dark we hug each other, so happy. Another sucsess!
This is what made performing Grease worthwhile.