You have to have done it to understand. The nostalgia. Why I cannot stop grinning as I stand behind a curtain. Why the hairs on my arms stand up as the curtain opens, and why I find myself in tears when it has come to a final close. For a cast, there is no season’s worth of upcoming games with variable results, there is no movie premiere- our last and final thing to bond all of us is this. The experience ends with this- a work combining all of our efforts, all of our ideas, all of our quirks, all of our voices. This show, which several months ago was a bunch of scripts in everyone’s hands, a bunch of planted feet with unplanned movement-- an art that would gradually evolve into our own. Between the rehearsal and the days of the shows, it develops into a message brought to life by all of our distinct interpretations and contributions, through the thoughtful, meticulous set and timing and nuances and facial expressions and lighting and comedic bits and props and tone and costumes and the dynamic between each of us. We honor the conceptual framework with which the piece originated, while, through our team of unique individuals, delivering a distinguished creation that has never been seen and will never be seen again. Thus, it is ours. It is our gift to the audience and to one another. It has become our own. Temporarily.
Every time I go through this, I want to hold onto it forever. And I know I am surrounded by those who feel the same way... So I have often edited behind-the-scenes music videos. For all of us, so our memories of the entire journey do not have to fade into foggy visualizations. And as I edit, something magical happens: the song that I hear countlessly while I make my revisions of precision becomes ours. And every time I hear it afterwards, the distinct feeling I have associated with that particular experience comes rushing back.
Truly, while the bond between cast-mates is typically universal to every production, each bond is unique. It is not like any other. I have simply cherished this sense from each production in my heart. Until I had to write an essay for The Common Application- the topic being, “Describe a place where you are perfectly content.” Somehow I found words to express this bittersweet warmth in my soul.
Before my freshman year of college, it occurred to me to bring my college essay to life through all of the footage I have collected throughout my years of theater. However, I did not have the chance until second semester when I received a “digital story” assignment in my Computer Tech course. Learning that “digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their life story,” I seized the opportunity to carry out this idea, offering it as a gift to each of my “families”.
As a thespian, writer, and a person who enjoys video editing, this was probably one of the most rewarding and personal projects that I have ever put together. I hope you enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: I neither own rights to the copyrighted audio of "Arpeggio Theme" from the August Rush Soundtrack, nor "Firefly" by Jim Green; I simply used them because they were PERFECT for the mood. Also, every clip in here is my own, except for 0:39-0:44, 1:05-1:07, and 2:46-2:50- all rights to those clips go to the very talented Jamye Luu, who created a fantastic video for a production I was involved in.