So, I am sitting in my apartment on this deliciously hot day, with a Caribbean flavored popsicle in hand, going over material for my current show, and pondering the fleeting quality of this profession I have chosen. The show is Into The Woods. A classic, a masterpiece, a giant heap of complicated music. The first day of rehearsal can feel a lot like the first day of school. Everyone is secretly scoping out one another, sizing each other up, and forced into the ever-tedious "Hi my name is..." game.
We've passed that point and have now found ourselves in the limbo position between wanting the show to just open already, and knowing that once it does it will all be over much too fast. Most of us have only known one another for these three short weeks. But in this world, and in these woods, relationships form fast. Jokes are tossed back and forth at lightning speed as though we've known each other for years. We've already grown accustomed to each others habits, and look forward to what treats our baking-maven stage manager has brought us each day.
It's hard to believe only one month ago I was in Utah sharing similar bonds with an entirely different set of people. All of whom have different jokes, different lives, and different stories. I can't think of many other professions where such things are true. In what other life do you meet someone for the first time, and then a few hours later find yourself having to kiss them, or cry with them, or yell at them? Well, I guess in some ways that could be a typical Friday night...but that's another story.
But seriously, you work so closely with your fellow cast mates. The rehearsal process is often fast and furious, especially in these dire economic times where funding for the arts is disappearing. It's almost a test of how fast and how cheap can we get this show up, set, and open. And then...poof! The show is done. That magical thing you'd been holding onto, giving all your attention to, suddenly disappears. To many friends outside of this world, it's as if it never happened. It becomes that show or that job you mentioned in passing but they only vaguely remember. "Is that the one about the boat?...No, no the one in French? Wait...it's all fairytale characters? I'm so confused."
I have no answers. Not even many questions, mostly just musings I guess. I'm constantly in awe of this life I live, and the way I've chosen to do it. I cannot imagine a world where I was not passionate about what I do. How lucky am I that I get to play dress up every day? And while the projects change, and the people who play with me change. Each show, each job has such specific memories. Memories tied to very specific people. And although we may lose touch here and there, or not see certain friends or colleagues for extended periods of time you will always have that show. That nugget of time that you shared working on that production of -insert show title here-. I don't look forward to saying goodbye to my Into The Woods family, it's always bittersweet. But like the end of a school year, you always know there's another first day waiting just around the corner with a new set of faces, laughs, and rounds of dress up to come.