Some directors call it “Hell Week.” We don’t. The hellish part is hopefully past by now.
Production week for me begins right now, this morning, when I’m alone with my thoughts and my butterflies. The coffee doesn’t taste as great or feel so good going down as it usually does.
I think back to the beginning of this month, when I received a Facebook message saying that my friend Jenn (the coordinator for everything having to do with the “Dinner” part of Dinner Theatre) and her family lost everything in a fire. Suddenly, my big show didn’t seem so big anymore. Perspective was dealt all around, and priorities changed. Still, in the back of my reptilian brain, I knew we had to soldier on.
Enter an amazing group of smart and committed women, who took over an enormous job (RtB fiend Country Mouse can attest to this) and made it run like a clock. Everyone’s working together to make this monster fly, and 606 tickets later, they’re ready to put it all on the floor.
Now we have to do the show, and there’s precious little more I can do to make it much better. At some point this week, I will hand over the reins to the cast, and retire to my role as pit musician and nothing else. Giving up that control is difficult.
In the big scheme of life, I suppose a theater production is small spuds. But to me, and hopefully to these young singers and dancers, it’s something special and life-changing. Anyone who’s ever been in a theater production gets it, right? I look at my seniors this year, and I think back to when they were 7th graders and I told them that doing theater is like a drug: once you experience it, you want more. I see it in their performances now; they love it. They’re hooked. I like that. And even if they never do another show in their lives, they’ll remember forever what it felt like to work with a troupe of like-minded people who get together to make art that hopefully brings some joy to folks. You can’t measure that.
Time, however — you can measure, and I’m clean out of it. Good to be back yapping at you. Have a great week — here we go!