The amount of work that it takes to put up a production is substantial. Perhaps I am being a bit too blunt too soon, but I am by no means apologizing for being so because what I said is true.
It’s been quite a ride and it seems like only yesterday that I got that email notification announcing that I was cast in my first collegiate production for this spring semester. As an actress outside the official theatre curriculum (aka a non- theatre major), I’d decided to audition with the hope that I could be seen as a useful addition to one of two casts by our directors. My mind was positive, but not too hopeful considering the group of talented people that were around me.
Then I got a callback. Then that email came and I was over the moon.
Fast forward to the second Sunday of this month in which all of us were beginning the dreaded tech week. It was my first tech week for a college production and I had no idea what to expect. How intense would it be? The answer was, “very,” but that didn’t stop me from having the best time.
What’s my point in bringing all this up? Like I said… people don’t realize how much work it takes to put up a stunning show with all the resources available, or perhaps unavailable, to people.
After my first collegiate production, I learned, first and foremost, that context is very important to any scene and any character one plays. You must listen to what is being said and decide how to act accordingly.
After my first collegiate production, I learned to commit and make choices about a character so that that choice could be molded or expanded upon by your director. Creativity counts.
After my first collegiate production, I learned that breathing really helps to focus and that focus and energy are necessary qualities to have in order for the rehearsal process (as well as the performance process) to go smoothly.
After my first collegiate production, I learned that casts must be ready and flexible to adhere to any shortcomings or changes to anything show-related. Things happen and it’s always important to act accordingly so as to not set the production back.
After my first collegiate production, I learned just how important unity and trust are between the cast and crew. Though friendships are not technically necessary between cast and crew members, it does happen often and the teamwork that results from such relationships is mesmerizing.
After my first collegiate production, I learned that respect is so very important and that everyone’s job is needed. Theatre is about harmony and how each skill can come together to create a fantastic production so whether one is an actor, a stage manager, an assistant stage manager, a costumer, a sound/light operator, a mechanic, a carpenter, etc- everyone is a respected part of the team.
Finally, after my first collegiate production, I learned that enthusiasm and commitment are essential not only if one wants to leave a production feeling content with how it turned out, but also if one wants to leave a positive mark on everyone involved.
Theatre can be magical, but there’s a method to the magic and only after these experiences can you truly see how intricate of a process it is. I’ve learned a lot and what I’ve learned will definitely carry throughout my life.