Before summer began and I was still at college, I was trying to figure out what exactly to do with my summer. I had figured it was probably too late for a summer internship and a feeling of defeat made it more difficult to apply to more places if I was only going to be rejected. So, after a long search and somewhat on a whim, I found this local theater in Naperville and applied there as an assistant stage manager for two productions. That organization, my current employer, is The Summer Place Theatre. And what can I say? I think "interesting" is too insufficient of a word to use to describe my experience so far. Although, I currently have just finished one production and am about a week away from tech week (known as hell week) for the other show I'm working on as well.

Quick side note: for those who have no clue about the details of what goes into a theatrical production, you need to know four things:

1. The phrase "I can't, it's tech week" is REAL.

2. During tech week, many caffeine addictions are created and made into habits when sleep is no longer your best option.

3. Appreciate everyone you work with (especially tech because you would look and sound like a crazy person without us).

4. Most of all, know what you're supposed to do and enjoy it (after you accomplish what you need to do - don't be a slacker).

While there have been so many ups and downs, I'm happy to be back in theater. It's the memories that I've made from picking up coffee to learning fun facts about people I've met (like the fact that they may never have had a bundt cake or know what it is before), or talking drama and taking stupid pictures or even just being able to work with all of the amazing people I'm so lucky to have met and gotten to know.

Theater has always been a huge part of my life, something I've been involved in for over four years. Despite the fact that in high school I was an awkward tech kid, now I would just say that I'm a little less of an awkward tech kid with a bit more authority and knowledge. Since I started tech freshmen year of high school, I've learned a lot. Not only about theater, but about myself and the world around me. I've figured out what path I want to take in life and where I want my career to possibly lead me. It's refreshing to meet so many people and not have to worry about judgements, despite the fact theater is known for being "judgement-free," but in reality, we really judge the most because we come together collectively but are still so very different.

Overall, I'm glad to have made my way back into being involved in theater. Even hearing strange comments from rehearsals, like singing into another's mouth or that our female lead is actually a train (not the character, but cast suspicions) and even when characters aren't the brightest (in a laughable way) or they just randomly say weird things to each other. You take in your environment, the people that you've met, the love you have for what you do, the show that's hopefully not a full train wreck and everything and you see it for what it is. It's people bonding over a love of theater, a love that has such a creative outlet that it's almost like your parent telling you bedtime stories. You sit down and hear tales about fantasy worlds and characters you might relate to a bit too much.

The world of theater is a complex place, but once you've mastered the maze, you'll find your directions from there and your love for it will only grow as you find more and more to see and hear. This summer will be an adventure like most shows I've worked on, only fading into the back when it's your time to shine.