Depending on which chapter of my life you came to know me in, you may or may not know that I was pretty involved in the theatre. Deeply. Heavily. Sickeningly. I graduated in it, for the pity’s sake.
Since 2005, however, I have been only cursorily involved in a few things. Lately though, I’ve seen a lot of shows… more in the past two months than in the past year, I think…
- All’s Well that Ends Well
- Dinner Theatre/Melodrama
- Noises Off
- A Little Night Music
- Sound of Music
- Les Miserables
- Jersey Boys
The problem is, seeing all this theatre has made me super “trunky” for going back and doing it again.
Before you get any grand visions of me being some kind of Gene Kelly or Frank Sinatra, just stop right there. While I really enjoyed performing in High School and College, I was enough of a realist to know that I could never actually get people to pay money to see me do it professionally. My talents were always more geared toward the business and management side of entertainment.
Mostly, I worked as a stage manager, which is basically a middle management position between the producer and the actors, where you manage the actors. It has very little to do with sets or lights or sound or “techies”. The stage manger is little more than a coordinator for those other technical elements.
Working in the theatre is grueling, both physically and emotionally. It involves terrible hours, low pay, few perks, and an insane amount of stress. So why exactlty do I miss it then? Why would I want to go back?
I think it’s for the people; those amazingly creative people who are (generally) such a joy to work with. There are exceptions, but on the whole most everyone who can make a career out entertainment is just happy to have done so and is not too full of themselves. The others (divas) find that they don’t work long in the industry, because for some magical, mystical reason it gets harder and harder for them to get hired. (read: managers and producers openly and consitently talk about who the problem children are that should be avoided in the future)
So what am I to do? Well, I’m not sure. I’ve thought about trying to stage manage or perform in some community theatre, but after having worked professionally, I’m afraid I’ll just be turned off by the amateur-ness of it. I have some ideas about producing some local events or concerts, but that is a financially risky endeavor and I’m afraid I lack the local contacts to make that much of a reality in the short term…
Any ideas? How do I scratch my itch?