Fan Photo and Encounter With Gale Harold- Orpheus Descending
I was quite convinced that I was only going to go and see the play on Friday and Sunday. Was tempted by the Thursday show but then decided that after my flight I would be too tired to enjoy it to the full. Or actually I suspected I was going to fall asleep before the play even started.
While I sat in my hotel and wondered what to do with my evening before retiring I decided that I was going to go and test the route to the theater so that I would know where to go and where to jump off the next day. Found the theater quite easily and stood outside for a while staring at the posters. Then I decided not to head back immediately but went for a beer to the bar next door. I sat by the bar and enjoyed my beer when a few girls came to order their drinks and I saw them holding the leaflets for Orpheus Descending. I asked if I could leaf through the program and said that I was going to go to see the play the next day. After I finished my beer I decided to head for my hotel. Somehow, however, I ended up inside the theater and before I realized it I had bought a ticket for tonight’s performance as well. Was feeling quite chipper so I thought I might be able to handle it. When I walked into the room where the play was going to be held I noticed that there were still places vacant on the first row. I sat myself down and decided to enjoy the performance.
read more after the jump!
As I might have mentioned before I borrowed the play out of my local library beforehand so that I would have at least some kind of understanding what was happening. It made the play a lot more easier to follow. Gale was wonderful as you might well guess. I kept staring at him most of the time but did remember to follow the other actors as well occasionally. At once point when Gale was practically sitting about one meter away from me, playing the guitar and singing, I was a very happy girl.
After the play I stood around talking with people and waited in case Gale would show his face. These girls I was talking with asked me how I had found out about the play and I said I was there because of Gale. They then told the director of the play that I had flown all the way from Finland just to see Gale. He immediately told me that Gale was already talking with people and told me to just go and talk with him. I found him, then politely waited for my turn and then asked for his autograph. I think I got it out quite clearly. I guess me showing the leaflet and a pen towards him were quite clear signs too. While he was signing I talked something random about me not supposing to be there that night since I was pretty tired and about the fact that by that time I had been awake around 29 hours. He asked me if I had traveled and I told him that I had just flown in from Finland the same day. He repeated Finland a few times and started wondering why he had been thinking about Finland just a few days ago. I was probably standing there with my mouth hanging open. He never remembered why had been thinking about my country. He was coughing a little and it was pretty clear that he wanted to get out of there so I didn’t bother him with a picture tonight. Hopefully will get a chance tomorrow or on Sunday. I did say to him that I hoped his cough didn’t get worse. He just replied that he was pretty sure the next day was going to be fun. I do hope he’ll feel better tomorrow. I did say to him that I was coming to see the show the following night as well. Explained something about having hard time understanding the accents a bit. He laughed and admitted that they are very southern. Then it was time for him to go. He once more thanked us all for coming and then walked away.
The next night I headed to the theater early to get a good seat again. Not that the theater really has any bad seats. This time around the front row was already full so I took a seat from the second row.
The play started slightly late. This time around I found myself being able to concentrate better on observing the play. Some things that entered my mind during the play:
– I’m pretty sure that at one point Gale’s line went something like “She thought I had the sign male stud hanging on me.” Hadn’t noticed that the previous evening. For some reason found it funny.
– Had liked Gale’s singing on the first time too but this time around it went straight through me. His singing voice was so different from the way he spoke during the play. I was glad I was sitting down. Otherwise I might have fallen down
– Several times during the play Gale looked like a kid in a candy store when his character was enthusiastic about something. So very adorable.
– I didn’t notice how flirty Gale’s character was constantly the previous night. It was very interesting to watch.
– There was one scene where I wanted to get up and go cuddle Gale when he was looking like a lost kicked puppy. It was a scene where he had been told to go away but he remained close by and tried to look invisible
All in all again a very enjoyable performance. After the play was over I stayed behind to wait for Gale again. Stood around with the girls who had sat beside me during the play. They knew Sheila Shaw from the play and were waiting for her. While we waited the director walked past me and said hello and thanked me for coming again. After some waiting Gale did show up. This time around there were quite a few others wanting Gale’s attention. I waited on the sidelines for my turn. He was talking with some people who mentioned Finland for some reason. Gale noticed me standing there and told them that I was from Finland. He talked with them a while longer before he came to me, said hello and then apologed before moving on with a promise to return shortly.
He did go to talk to someone but I guess it wasn’t who he thought it was since he returned to me very quickly. I had heard him coughing before so I asked him if his cough was already better. He wasn’t entirely sure. Then I gave him a picture I had printed out to sign. Before I had the chance to tell him my name he apologized that he couldn’t properly remember my name. He did remember something similar. He quickly signed to pic. After that I asked for a pic with him and he readily agreed. I asked one person who was standing around to take the picture. While we were posing for the picture Gale ran his fingers along my back. However, I had forgotten to put the flash on so the picture came out totally dark. Gale had sort of moved on from me already and was talking to some other people while still standing on the same spot. I waited until they stopped talking and then asked if we could take another picture with flash. He seemed okay with that. He looks good on the picture, I don’t, but that’s life. *g*
After the picture I quickly grabbed a small giftbag I had with me and gave it to Gale. I had gotten him some Finnish liqueur and chocolate. I told him the liqueur was something you could only get from Finland. He took the bottle out of the bag and tried to read the name on it. He then thanked me and gave me a hug. While he hugged me he also gave me a kiss on the cheek. After that he thanked me again for coming. Before moving away he still said to me “See you!” I hadn’t told him that I was coming again on Sunday but maybe he guessed that I would be there again.
Today it was the matinee show. Had plans with [info]debv3 to meet before the play. Got to the theater about 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet, only to notice that the bar we were suppose to meet in wasn’t open yet. Therefore, I remained standing outside the theater to wait for her. While I waited the director Lou Pepe came out and spotted me standing there. His reaction to me was “You again? Does this make four times already?” I told him that this was only my third time since I hadn’t been in the previous night. We talked for a while before he went back inside. A while later got some company from a woman from Australia. She had just flown in the previous day for the play and was going back home tonight. A few minutes later [info]debv3 joined us with her friend. We remained standing outside the theater and just talking about random things. While we stood there we saw some of the actors going inside the theater. Also Gale walked past us at one point. We said hello to him and he returned the greeting. We still remained standing outside for some time before they opened the doors for us to go inside. It was actually maybe a bit too hot outside to stand around so it was nice to be able to spend time inside the theater where it was cooler. I know I shouldn’t complain about the heat but should just be happy but still.
Inside I got my program. The producer, Ginger, remembered my name from the previous time and just crossed me over from her list. Then we just hung around talking. Soon there were some other people joining us as well. It was nice talking with people I recognized from the previous performances as well. They were still doing some preparations so we weren’t allowed in the actual theater but had to wait. I was planning on grabbing the same seat I had sat on the first night I went to see the play so I tried to remain as close to the door as possible at all times. At one point the director came to talk with us again and thanked all the people he recognized from previous times for coming again.
Finally the doors were opened and I headed for the seat I had planned on. However, I was disappointed to see that there were reserved signs on the front seats. Took a seat on the second row instead. It’s not like that’s a bad seat either. Was comparing experiences with the woman who was sitting next to me about the different seats. We did agree that Gale did spent a little more time on the left side of the stage so it was better to sit on that side. We also talked about the scene where he sits on a box right in front of the first row, plays guitar and sings.
They were again slightly late with starting the play. Here are again some of the observations I made during the performance. And some insane ramblings.
– At one scene Francesca Casale came to the stage too early. Her character was supposed to ask some other characters where Gale’s character had gone to. Too bad Gale hadn’t left the stage yet at that point. However, she did modify her line a little on the spot to make it fit the situation better. Gale also adapted and just ignored her. If you hadn’t seen the play before you probably didn’t even notice there was something wrong.
– There is a scene where Valentine talks about a bird that has no legs and has to sleep on the wind. Gale looked really intense in that scene. Even if I had seen that scene a few times already, it got to me stronger this time around.
– When Gale was playing and singing I wondered who had come up with the words and music to the song. I couldn’t remember reading any song words when I read the play. At the same time I started thinking that I should have been prepared with a pen and paper to write the words down since I really liked them. It was too late already then.
– At one scene Gale takes a letter out of his back pocket. It must have been stuck in some way because as he pulled the letter out the whole pocket came out and was then hanging out for a while before he discreetly tucked it back in. It looked quite funny hanging out.
– At one scene Gale character lights a cigarette and then throws the match away to the direction of the audience. The main female character then tells him to pick it up. I started wondering if Gale has ever thrown the match far enough that he has had to pick it up beside someones legs. That might be interesting.
– There is a scene where things are happening in another part of the stage but with Gale and Denise Crosby, who plays Lady Torrance, are sitting next to each other. On every time I’ve seen the play they’ve been fooling around during that scene. It’s been different every time.
– Found it interesting that during the first act the guitar Gale is carrying around has a strap attached to it but during second and third act there isn’t. Maybe it is just because in the first act he carries it around on his back but later just in his hand. Not that it really matters but just an observation.
– At one scene Gale’s character flings a watch to the floor. This time around the watch broke and pieces of it went flying all over the stage.
– I kept fearing that the guitar was going to fall down from the counter Gale kept placing it on. He most of the time placed it on quite near the edge with just barely one half on the counter and the other half hanging over nothing
– On Friday I thought that Francesca Casale had missed one of her lines but it seems she added one line by accident on Thursday since that line was missing both on Friday and today. And this point also shows that I’ve maybe seen the play too often when I can remember the dialogue *g*
– When the cast were taking their bows Gale almost stumbled over Claudia Mason when he was backing and didn’t notice she was standing behind him.
After the play ended I again remained behind to wait for the cast to come out. I had planned to get at least most of the main cast to sign my program. Managed to stop most of them when they walked past me. They were all more than happy to sign the program. Sheila Shaw remembered me from Friday and even remembered my name. Just when I was talking with Claudia Mason I felt someone breeze right past me. It was of course Gale. For a while I already thought he wasn’t going to stop and talk with people but then noticed that he had stopped to talk to some group outside the actual theater space. I walked there too and stood around waiting for him to be done with that group.
When I stepped up to him I said something about third time being the charm. He immediately asked if it had been. I was so surprised by the question that it took me a while to formulate an answer. By that time he already said: “It wasn’t huh?” I quickly hurried to assure him that wasn’t it at all and continued explaining that it was interesting to notice the small differences between the different shows. And that I had even noticed some small changes with the dialog. He then just something on the lines that it could happen if someone screwed up their lines and laughed. He seemed to remember my name this time around since he immediately signed to program without asking for it. I again asked about his cough and he again made this motion with his hand that it was a bit so and so. He told me that at the moment he felt totally congested and had been afraid during the whole play that he was going to drip all over the stage. (Note: There’s an image for you to think about…) He then continued saying that he was glad he hadn’t. He really didn’t sound like he was congested. My small moment with him was sort of over at that point. I again asked for a photo with him and got that. Then he moved on after thanking me for coming again. I moved away to wait while other people talked with him and just listened.
Then it entered my mind that I had a few more questions I wanted to ask him and wondered if I dared to bother him again. One by one people who wanted his autograph got what they wanted. Finally I encouraged my mind and stepped up to him again explaining I still had a few questions. First I asked what was the best way to keep up with his work. He didn’t really have an answer to that. I continued by asking him if he was involved in social media in anyway, even if I already knew the answer to that question. Gale quickly replied that he wasn’t involved in that in any way. He said he doesn’t have a website or even a fax machine. Not entirely sure what a fax machine has to do with social media but anyway *g*
My other question to him was about the fact that he had said on Thursday that he had thought about Finland for some reason just a few days ago but couldn’t remember then why it was. I asked him if he remembered now what it had been about. He thought for a while and then said he wasn’t entirely sure. Then he started rambling something about the world economy and bank crises and that maybe it had had something to do with that. I was all “huh” at that point. He then said something else that I didn’t catch but he seemed to find hilarious since he almost doubled over with laughter. When he got over that he again said that unfortunately he had no idea what it all had been about and the whole thing with the world economy and bank crisis had just been a joke. I then mumbled something about maybe seeing him again some day and he replied that maybe he would then remember what it had all been about.
Walked out of the theater and stopped to talk with some people. I mentioned that Gale had obviously said something really funny but I had missed the whole thing and was too embarrassed to ask him to repeat it. The woman I was talking with told me that on the previous day when she had gotten her autograph from Gale, he had mumbled something and when she had asked what he had said he had repeated “You are in my light”, which is a line from the play. This woman had almost replied with the line the character the lines was directed to replies with but then decided not to.
Was in luck tonight and got offered a ride to my hotel by the producer of the play. She was giving a lift to a few other people too. Was very thankful for that since it meant that I didn’t have to go and wait for the bus. During the drive we continued talking about the play. I asked her if she knew where the words to the song Gale sang during the play had come from. She told me that the words are by Tennessee Williams. It seems I’ve just missed it when I read the play. Have to check it when I get back home. I also talked about the watch that had broken down during the play. She said that it has been broken many times and they just tape it back together time after time. There was some other general chat as well but nothing too significant.
Many warm thanks to @piksa for letting me share her story!
See the rest of the photos HERE