It isn't always easy to explain why I love performing so much, especially at this little old theater. You rehearse to ungodly hours of the night (I sometimes didn't get to see Hans, because as soon as he came home from work I had to leave for rehearsal, and when I came home from rehearsal he was fast asleep in bed). You deal with the oldness of the building - broken air conditioning in the middle of July, dust, feathers and bird droppings (and sometimes whole birds) are constantly falling from the rafters and invading your senses. The water gets shut off and you have to go hours without a bathroom during performances. Our tiny backstage area is always ripe with drama - the kind that doesn't entertain or make anyone feel good. Oh, and did I mention the being pregnant while performing part?
Many think that theater is a self-centered hobby. That we like it because we like the attention. That's true. But I wouldn't dismiss it as anything less than a meaningful and worthwhile art form that enriches the souls of both the actors and the audience. I don't have many opportunities to step in someone else's shoes, or truly sympathize with an infamous character in literature. In fact, I always thought Cinderella was kind of a drag. This show allowed me to not only find worth in this short fairy tale, but to inject it with the spunk I'd always felt was missing!
And then there are the people. The "community" in "Community Theater." People from all walks of life - small business owners, insurance agents, district attorney assistants, physical therapists, teachers, stay at home moms - somehow manage to come together in this musty old theater and share their love for music and acting, and breathe life into their characters in ways I hadn't thought of. They are a joy to watch, and a pleasure to know. I treasure these people like my own family, and every show I'm involved in expands the family a little more.
And isn't that what community is all about, anyway? It invites new people to play a role in our lives - allowing them to influence us, love us, and remind us that our separateness is a lie. The truth is not that we all long to be connected, but that we already are.
Photo credits: Nick Schale Photography