Three months is a long time; though it seems to go so fast.
Remember auditioning? Remember all those people in that small back room filling out paperwork and getting updated head shots? There were way more people then I thought there would be, and the evening had just begun! The heater was loud and when it kicked on we had to speak up to hear each other over the noise in that small, crowded back room; all of us waiting for our names to be called and wondering who else would be in our group – who would we read with?
I remember watching many of you get called on, at the time you were complete strangers to me. I watched as group after group was pulled away into the other room and as one by one the crowd began to disappear, many of whom I would not see again.
Remember getting the call? Would you be willing to take the part of ____? Your smile growing as inside you pump your fist and grin, of course you will! But outwardly your answer is calm and collective. You thank them very much for the offer and express your willingness to be cast in that roll. You hang up the phone and finally answer your family's ceaseless questions of “well, what roll did you get!?”. Vaguely you think back to the crowded room that cold night and wonder which of the many faces you'll see again almost every night for the next three months.
Remember the fist night of rehearsal? Unsure where to sit, where the bathrooms are, and wondering if the directors are always whispering about you when your doing a scene. Time goes on and moments are sculpted as memories are made – little inside jokes, new friends, awkward moments. Slowly you step into your character and out of yourself, all around you the world is painted into color with the sounds of each members voice and the practiced movement of their feet – though now it seems natural instead of merely a place and a time where you need to be. Three months is a long time.
Remember tec week? Yeah, how could you forget tec week? The flashing lights at odd times, the random rooster sound affect that wouldn't stop, the loudness of the mic as you hear yourself on that stage for the first time. The many laughs shared in the wings that were stifled behind closed hands, smirks shared. Ques missed, lines re-worded or missed altogether. But slowly the world is being painted once more, this time with lights and sounds, sets and props, all in a unique dance and rhythm.
Remember dress rehearsal? The first time you put on that pasty stage base makeup and exclaiming loudly how horribly spray-tanned you looked – or like a carrot, or a ghost? Trying out hair styles, working out costume changes, missing ques and lines, tripping over yourself. Touching up makeup, smearing a little red lipstick on your collar by mistake. Getting eyeliner almost in your eye. Oh, the good times roll.
Three months is a long time.
Remember the first show, and all the rest after that? The surge as you step out for the first entrance, the laughter of the audience and the serious face you have to try and keep. Every night is a little different, every audience special in its own way. Laughs, hair, more makeup – oh that makeup, though. Late nights and bright lights. Sweaty dressing rooms and freezing wings.
Remember the last show? It was bittersweet when it was over, we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, we each held a piece of the others in our hearts to remember. We brought the world to life and painted the strokes of time with our voices. We opened a new place for people to look in and see and experience with the rhythm of our movement. We cast shadows and played in another reality for a time; bringing it into being with the light in our eyes.
Though we part ways we will all remember each other, though perhaps each in different ways. That's the beauty of it; we all carry something different into the stage but unite the individual with the group and you create a beautiful masterpiece. Though time and miles may separate us, I'll always remember those months, that time, the theater days.
Three months is a long time.