This is the word always said backstage right before you start a show. This is the word that brings instant butterflies to your stomach. This is the word you spend months waiting to hear with a waiting audience. This is the word that all thespians live for.
There is nothing more thrilling to see and hear than a crowd applauding for a show you and your cast mates just performed, but to get to that stage; you have to start on average two or three months ahead of performance time. One thing people may not realize is just how long it takes to get to what they see on stage. The perfectly timed comedic flow, the perfect harmonies, are just as complex as where to stand or what to do with your hands in a scene. The number of late nights in the theater would shock people, you could go into rehearsal at six p.m. and not leave until midnight. You could be there all day (shoutout to set design/builders/sound techs/directors, etc.)!
Rehearsals are where groups of people become family. You could go into a show knowing not a single soul and leaving with great friends—another family. If you are friends with any one in theater, you hear them talk about their “theater family” and don’t understand why. Maybe this can help you understand.
Think about this, rehearsals are often three nights a week for three hours or so. In that time you are not only rehearsing a show, but you are bonding. Wait, how do you bond while at rehearsal, you ask? Bonding comes in many different forms. It can come from figuring out your characters and how you think they would say a line, how they would react to something, how they should interact with others, and jokes—lots of jokes. They come from trying to figure out your character, to be totally honest! Sometimes comedic moments have the most inside jokes but they could just as easily come from serious moments. Maybe even the best inside jokes.
Getting ready for shows are often the best. Everyone talking having a good time, trying to shake the jitters or trying to make sure your voice is back because you went all out the night before. This is also where you realize how open theater people are (or in some cases this happens before). By this time, we are a family, one happy and dysfunctional family.
I want to thank anyone I’ve been in a show with because you guys have helped shape my love for theater as well as for your friendship. If you haven’t known how much I appreciate each and every one of you, consider this my sincere thank you. I seem to find more of who I am with every single show.
I also want to thank my friends that I’ve met outside of theater but we bonded over theater. You have helped me broaden my theater knowledge as well as push me to pursue things I didn’t think would be possible.
I just want to say, I love you all!
Break a leg, my friends!