It’s opening night. You make your entrance, hit your mark, and then – silence. Your mind goes blank. You can’t remember your first line.
It’s called “going up” on stage – a reference to the reflexive way people have of looking up and to the side when they can’t remember something. According to actor John Mahoney, “It happens to everybody. I’ve read stories about John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Noel Coward and Olivier.”
Knowing that such luminaries have had it happen to them may make it easier for the rest of us. And it’s good to keep in mind that, again according to Mahoney, “In virtually every performance, somebody forgets something.”
Not surprisingly, actors have plenty of stories, and you can hear some of them in a special extended interview conducted with Prime Stage actors Liam Macik and Sean Patrick Sears that is being made available as a special bonus to anyone who makes a donation to Prime Stage before April 1.
You can also hear excerpts of that interview with Macik and Sears on Episodes 4 and 5 of “The Play’s the Thing,” where you’ll also hear the conclusion to this season’s story of a stage detective who “goes up” on stage after solving a real-life mystery.
You can listen to Act 5 of “The Play’s the Thing” by clicking the player below, or – if you missed any of the previous episodes – by accessing the entire season on Apple, Audible, Deezer, Libsyn, Spotify, or the podcasts page at PrimeStage.com.
I’ll met you there!