I’m so sick of this stigma that theatre geeks’ favorite musicals can’t be High School Musical or Les Mis or Wicked or Phantom or Hamilton or any other popular musicals. Like. There is a reason it is popular, and that’s because it’s good.
Both RENT and Heathers take place in the same year. While Mark Cohen begins filming his documentary, Veronica Sawyer is recovering from being responsible for three different murders and the death of J.D. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
So my mom and I went up to New York last weekend to see The Lightning Thief Musical (amazing by the way). Being the theatre-loving-techie that I am, I decided I really wanted to meet their stage manager. So afterwards, while everyone was waiting for the actors to come outside we hung out in the very small lobby. The director was out there and wasn’t really having any of this “random kid asking him questions” thing so he was a bit dismissive, which I totally get because directing, and especially directing a sold out off-broadway show, is very stressful. However, the conductor of their small orchestra was out there too and when he heard my request he was very eager to go get the SM. She was so nice and so happy to have someone genuinely interested in her job! She even helped me find a big theatre near my city that does high school internships to get me some extra experience before college. So I guess my point here, other than the fact that Leigh'Ann Andrews is amazing, is that if you’re a crew member or high school/college SM or anyone interested in what goes on “behind the scenes” of a play, if you have the opportunity or might even have a little chance, talk to the stage manager or sound/light designer. They rarely get recognition from fans of the show and they just deserve so much.
The next time you see a techie, stage manager, director, costumer, props master, backstage ninjas, or make-up artists (basically any backstage help) tell them that you appreciate them and thank them for everything they do! These people do so much work and get little credit for it. So take the time and tell them how important they are! They are the foundation to the family!!
I remember a much simpler time in my life. When I had normal dreams. Dreams to become a doctor, teacher, chef. Now this, two years from graduation so sure of what I want to do. And somehow still paralyzed with fear.
An actress? Really? What a pathetic dream. Do you realize how hard it’s going to be? Make sure you have a backup. What else do you want to do? Don’t rely on that dream. Oh, honey, you’ll figure it out.
But mom, dad, teacher, great aunt Margaret, I have figured it out.
That’s what sucks about having this dream. I eat, sleep, and breath acting. And for some worldly reason, everyone is telling me to fall in love with something else, something normal. I hate it so much. I am ashamed of knowing what I want do. My classmates have no flipping idea and I’m the one being embarrassed?!
Theatre ruined my life. I could have been normal. Be stuck at some dead end desk job unhappy like the rest of our country. But that’s not an option for me. As an actress, the last thing I want is to be normal. Or unhappy.
Right now, it might seem like theater has ruined my life. The smirks on adults who think my dream is ridiculous. The disapproving glances from my older, more successful cousins. The worried look on my moms face. These are all things I will have to put up with for years to come. But theatre did not ruin my life. It saved me. Saved me from the fate most Americans will face. So thank you theatre.
To all those considering a career in acting, please make sure your decision is yours and yours only. It might be tempting to go into a career that’s more “practical”. But in the end, will you be happy? Your happiness is at stake here. So do what makes you happy not what’s practical. And never, ever think that theatre has ruined your life.