I’ve been doing some soul searching, folks. A bulk of my time has been devoted to staring into the abyss. Here’s what I have to say: The Abyss is abysmal, and either get busy livin’ or get busy dying.
In my youth (which I still claim) I spent the entirety of my time outside school devoted to performance art. When I wasn’t in class, you could find me in audition or rehearsal. If I wasn’t cast, I would volunteer to be at every rehearsal regardless. That is how I began to stage manage.
I stage managed at least one show a year at Clark, and usually another at Edison highschool. When I went to college I declared a double major in Technical Theatre and Acting/Directing, and I Stage Managed the first show my freshman year (which was The Screams of Kitty Genovese, an opera based on the true 1964 story of New Yorker Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death outside her home while 38 neighbors watched from their windows). It was important for me to stage manage The Screams of Kitty Genovese because I wanted to be in the rehearsal room whether or not I was cast (I wasn’t, though I killed my audition and earned some respect as the only freshman to make it through to callbacks for the role of Betty) – and stage managing meant I could observe. I was lucky to be at a university that fostered my interests in both ways – many universities would have directed me one way or another. There are those that argue that SE did me a disservice by allowing me to declare both a tech and performance major. Perhaps it would have been better for me to come against the decision earlier in my career, but I am thankful I got to explore both paths to their fullest extent.
I think I’m a good stage manager. I run a tight room in a nurturing way. I take my job seriously, but with a lighter touch than some Stage Managers. I will admit, that sometimes I need a heavier hand. There’s always room for improvement. But I do my best and I’m proud of the work I do.
I moved to Chicago to perform, but fell back to stage management pretty quickly. And why not? The shows I’ve worked on have been interesting and wonderful experiences. I live my life by the rule “never stop learning” and I have accomplished that in every project I do. Hell, I worked on my first world-premier show (with the playwright in the room) this year. Every experience is a learning experience and I’m thankful to work with talented professionals who keep me learning.
When Katrina: Mother-in-Law of ’em All closes, I will be taking a hiatus from stage management. I’m certain that this decision is right for me, but it’s bittersweet. I’m humbled and grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have the spark of creation and I’m looking forward to fostering it in other avenues.