So who remembers this post from over three years ago? You know the one… the one where I was “closing the door” and “leaving” community theatre because I felt dead inside and there simply wasn’t any joy in it for me? Where theatre was more of a parasite rather than something that I can truly enjoy and want to be a part of?
You remember that post…
And here I am eating my words in ways I did not expect.
I don’t know how it started.
I suppose it started when I agreed to help a friend out because he was going on a week long trip for his wedding anniversary which conflicted with tech week for a production and there wasn’t anyone else that could do the work. So I agreed to be the primary Stage Manager… again…
The show: Wheaton Drama’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Ironically a show that I once considered auditioning for had it not been for my desire to stay away from theatre, except I failed in that as well.
I agreed thinking it was going to be a one shot… that I wasn’t going to do anything beyond that. This was going to be a favor and nothing more. Right. This is me we are talking about here. Then for some reason I decided to attend a general membership meeting (something I NEVER did before) and it just so happened that the Vice-President was looking for a new Membership Chair. **blink blink**
A little history in regards to myself and the VP in question. We conversed a few years prior about our visions about membership in general and they strangely aligned, so when the possibility of being Membership Chair under him became available… my instinct dragged me kicking and screaming to text him during the meeting to throw my hat into the ring. In hindsight it was as if the universe was conspiring to pull me back into theatre in some capacity or another… and as thus I went in full throttle…
I suddenly had Membership Chair duties to do, needed to pull a Committee together… had to navigate how to set up the Committee in the most fair and democratic way and still allow input from all parties involved without stifling anyone.
Then came the streak of shows I was partaking in for various reasons:
With Wheaton Drama
– Shrek: Assistant Stage Manager
– A Christmas Carol: Stage Manager
– Elephant Man: Assistant Production Manager
– The Producers: Assistant Stage Manager
Yeeeeeaaaaah. I was going back onto the saddle to stage manage, the same job (essentially) as my day job… and also one of the reasons I wanted to leave community theatre indefinitely. Go figure.
But favors had to be fulfilled, and promises kept. Honestly I would have burned out following The Producers had it not been for a lifeline: Bard in the Burbs’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
You see, I have come to realize (belatedly) that the reason I burn out stage managing non-stop is because it is essentially my day job only in a different environment / industry. Why in heaven’s name would I want to do something that I get paid for during the day for free? Not only that, but stage managing doesn’t allow me to tap into my creative side. When I am not able to be creative I burn out faster and lash out quicker. Let alone despise people more.
So now I am learning to tell friends “no, I don’t want to stage manage anymore”. I am not passionate about it, I get bored doing it, there is no joy for it for me… it essentially becomes a job that I just don’t want to be a part of.
However… as long as I have something creative to offset (be it directing, writing, or acting), then I can be at peace, at least for a little while.
So next season I am steadfast in my intent of not stage managing. I’ll hit the boards again, audition again (though now I have to be picky with what I audition for), work on character for auditions. I miss all that most.
And all it took was to be pulled into a production that would allow me to play in ways that I haven’t been able to in the past. It has been almost four years since I have had the opportunity to really play and experiment without feeling like I was a human prop (AMND one nighter being the exception). To be involved with a group of people that are nurturing and fun… to just be able to create again.
Heavens… I miss that most of all.
So to Bard in the Burbs… THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for reigniting my love of theatre again.
I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun. – Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen