Live theatre, how I love you. How I miss you! In Bristol I got very involved with the local community theatre. Theatre Bristol became my home away from home, the people there were my second family. It was a community within itself. I had the best times of my life there. Theatre is full of drama, I mean who would have thought right? I am basically stating the obvious, but everyone is in each other’s business. News always got around; if you didn’t want anyone in your personal life, then do not say anything. No matter if the person you tell is extremely trust worthy, it will get back to you somehow. If you know what I mean. I mostly did tech work, which in some ways, is more fun that actually being onstage. Don’t get me wrong, I adore performing. One of the best feelings in the world, but with being a techie you get to know the ins and outs of everything. You are the ‘cool’ person so to speak. I mean, you are basically invisible, so you get to do whatever you want. Sure the actors get all the credit, but the techies form their very own community. If I was an actor I would want to be hanging out with the tech crew, they have permission to make fun of who they want to, do whatever they want and get away with everything. It is pretty fun.
Even though tech work is a lot of fun, being onstage has impacted me the most. I think everyone should do a play at least one time in their life. It is the best experience ever. I auditioned for Suessical the Musical and was casted as Jojo the Who. One of the lead roles and I was totally not prepared to take on such a big part as that. That show really helped me break out of my shell. I was an extremely shy person, timid and really closed off. I had done plays before, but I was always ensemble. I was able to blend into the background. I am sure a lot of people can relate to that feeling and this type of experience. I am thankful for those kind of moments in my life that force me to step out and become a better person. The director had to really work with me because Jojo is a very animated, bold, full of life kind of character and I was still that shy girl. By the time the show opened I had no problem singing my heart out in front of a crowd and being as big and bold as I could. The encouragement and support I gained from my family gave me confidence in myself. It was the most amazing time of my life. If it wasn’t for that show, I would not be the person I am today. Theatre gave me a lot of confidence in general. I had to “step into the light” and show who I was. It definitely prepared me for this horrendous speech class I had to take in college. Everyone was so intimidated by the class and with them being scared it freaked me out. But that class was a breeze for me! I felt natural standing up in front of everyone and just talking to them like it was the most normal thing in the world. It was a good moment.
My dad is currently in a play and I am actually traveling to Bristol in about a week and a half to see the opening show. The show is a musical and my father has never been the most musically talented person ever. He will even admit that, but he auditioned and they casted him for a main role. This show has caused my dad a lot of sweat and tears. No joke. It has been a crazy emotional ride for him just because he has to strive for the confidence he needs in order to execute this role. My family is extra supporting to him so he will keep pushing himself. I know he will do an amazing job; I cannot wait to see him perform! A lot of times live theatre is all about facing your fears and just going for it. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a huge crowd and sing or perform. There is a fear of rejection and criticism; it is hard when people tell you that you did a horrible job. But we have to learn and move on. Theatre is definitely a big part of my life and a big part of family’s life as well. I mean every single member got really involved, my mom currently works there was secretary and box office manager, so the theatre has enriched us and brought us together as a family.
So I encourage anyone, whoever you are, if you get a chance to do theatre, to be in a play: Go for it! You will not regret it. It may seem impossible at first, but I promise, you will feel like a different person afterwards.