Content. Joyous. Blissful. However the hell you wanna say it, I’m just so happy. Last night was the final night for my school’s dinner theatre for the play written last year called “Hairy Tale Rock”. It’s a pretty well-written and humorous play, but what really made it so amazing was the cast. Although I’ve always been a leader whenever we’ve had to work in groups and people really tend to look up to me, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy and included than with this group of people. If someone’s having problems with their song, there’s always someone to help with different vocal techniques. If a dance isn’t just right, there’s a self-proclaimed choreographer there. But the best thing is that if you’re feeling nervous, everybody, I mean, everybody comes to push you back up. There’s no one trying to upstage you because you’re working together ultimately to take your audience to another time and place with another plot. The conflicts you encounter in the story are watered down with a slew of laughs that stem from jokes you test out in the spotlight, and they put your REAL problems into a different perspective, making you realize that, hey, there are people who get it and are willing to cheer you up.
At practices we’d always have a good time just throwing different variations of lines, throwing some improv around, etc. But there’s nothing like before a performance, when we’d start blasting the most ridiculous songs and dancing around the stage and floor like a bunch of morons. It was like being in those blooper clips that are pasted all over the internet and such. I had my video camera set up on a tripod, so, of course, I had to get some of the ridiculousness that is my friends and me…along all three shows, obviously. And it was a dinner theatre, the cast served the audience food and everything. Not gonna lie, I kinda liked it, and I think that if I HAD to, I could do that as a job. The awesome thing about a dinner theatre is that you ARE your character the whole night. If you’re really into who you are and you’re loving it, people are also going to love it. If you’re merry, they’re merry.
Honestly, it’s one of the most fantastic things I know I’ve ever been a part of. I know people in majority just think it’s a stupid play full of stupid high school students, but there’s so much more to it than that, at least for me. I feel like my whole life has been about ‘waiting in the wings’, but this time, I have actual certainty that there IS a spotlight to walk into and things to look forward to. People are working to make sure that your mic works and that you’re heard and seen. In order to play a character, you have to find that oooooone little link or quirk that you have in common, and then work from there. I feel like I don’t have to be fifty different people on stage because although I can definitely see myself in the various characters, I have only to focus on the one I’m playing because the other ones are being covered. Acting is reacting, so knowing who you’re working with makes everything so much easier, and like I’ve said, the tech and rest of my cast bring a constant smile to my goofy face. I can tell that showed through my character because I’ve had quite a number of people that I don’t even know come up and give me the biggest hugs, telling me that I’m a natural and I was their favorite character, even though my name was only Narrator 2. (Not a typical narrator, though: this play really equalized everyone, so all the characters were ‘main’, if that makes any sense at all.) I was even told that my British accent was the best that not one, but two!, of the audience members has ever heard, and that I never strayed from my character once, not even while I was serving. And having my nephew, sister-in-law, and her aunt drive 2 hours just to come see me perform on one night, with my mom, sister, and grandparents coming yesterday…well, that meant the world to me, especially because it cost money that we really don’t have, and already so much was spent on gas driving me back and forth from practice for two and a half weeks.
Essentially, though, the stage, the crew, the music, the spotlight, the experience…it just feels like home. I’m not being a narcissist or over exaggerative: I’m being sincere. It feels like shared recognition and opportunity, something that says being melodramatic isn’t a bad thing, that artistry is critical, not optional. Different components, though there are complications, work harmoniously, and suddenly you have a songs within songs, stories within plots. The only tears were not of suffering, but of laughter and wishing that things didn’t have to end, (like with my senior buddies), and everyone was happy and content. I just don’t understand how life outside of that room can’t be as joyous.
A very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone: may your goblets be full and your worries empty, your hearts ever-pounding and your minds ever-thinking. Love who you are, and know how to share a spotlight. If there’s one thing that music and theatre has ever taught me, it’s that if you’re true to what you perform, you will never be acting, but rather showing an audience a clip into your soul: the show will always be a hit. And in the words of David, “…always stay hungry” because once you get an inflamed ego, I personally don’t think there’s any point in calling yourself an artist.
-your much appreciative
Satan Maiden \m/
P.S. Spending an early Thanksgiving with your family is always awesome too. Especially when your sister-in-law lets you drive your brother’s car to drop your older sister off at her dorm. :)