Student finds place behind stage curtain

posted in: Opinion | 0

I am definitely not the most sociable person. I have always found it easy to be quiet and smile and nod and agree with other people. Coming to Pacific and joining the theatre department has started to change that.

When I decided spring semester of my freshman year to go into theatre here, I had no idea what aspect of theatre I wanted to be involved in. I was going in blind, only knowing my passion for writing and wanting to know where that could take me. That all changed when I jumped at the opportunity to be the stage manager for “A Doll’s House.”

I was never an aspiring actress because I never wanted the spotlight, so instead I wanted to work behind the scenes.

Being behind the scenes of a production, watching the rehearsal processes with these actors was really interesting for me. Starting from cold readings to first rough blocking (a character’s movement on stage) to final blocking, and adding costumes and lighting during the technical rehearsals has been such an amazing journey. It has allowed me to see the entire process unravel and see how it all comes together. As it got closer to the show, I was given the opportunity to run the sound cues. For each performance I sat up in the sound booth and called light cues and made each sound cue happen along with calling the start of the show and ending the show. It was definitely one of the most fun learning experiences I have ever had.

One of the responsibilities of a stage manager is working with the actors on their lines and knowing their schedules and conflicts with rehearsals. When I lacked in getting the actors to focus or be quiet, I made up for with keeping the actors organized and on time. Even though I might have been very persistent and slightly obnoxious, they listened to me and that made my job 10 times easier and more fun.

Theatre is one of the smallest majors on this campus, but because it’s smaller, everyone knows each other really well. The bonds are strong and close and that’s what I admire most about this family that I have joined. These people that you are cast with are people you have most of your classes with and are people you will probably end up spending most of your time with.

However, didn’t feel that close to many people in the beginning of the production. I still felt somewhat like an outsider, until recently, when I shared a moment with the cast before the curtains opened one night. I felt like I had gone on this journey with them and we were all going to finish it together.

It was then when this feeling of closeness and family consumed me. I couldn’t see myself being anywhere else or doing anything else with my life but being there at that moment, running the show and being part of something special.

I feel confident that I am finding my place in theatre. Although stage manager feels like a good fit, I still want to try my hand at writing and directing plays.

I had this moment at the end of one of our rough run-throughs of the show where the director asked us all to say what we felt at the moment, me included. I said that I liked being part of something important. I feel like that in itself has been the most rewarding part of this experience.


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