It feels like the end of an era.
I spent the last two months working on a theater production as Prop Master and Back Stage Manager. The final performance was Saturday evening. It was stressful. It cut into my sleep schedule. And I loved every minute of it. But now it's over, and not just for the summer. At the end of the run the cast was informed that the production company was putting an end to their summer musicals. The director and producer have a two year old daughter together and they want to spend more time being parents. The producer has been doing these summer musicals for eighteen years and it just felt like time to end it.
Of course that's when the water works started. Stage make-up was running all over the place. It's kind of a let-down for a lot of these kids. They don't have an outlet to perform or sing or dance. Sure, they can do it at school, but what do they do when they graduate? Or what do they do if they go to a school with a piss-poor drama club? Then what? These summer musical productions had been a constant in many of their lives for their entire lives. For me, I had worked with them since I was in high school. Nearly every summer I would work on these shows-- usually free of charge. I literally grew up in the theater.
I became who I am in the theater. And although I never sang or danced on stage, I still loved every minute of it, no matter how much I complained or stressed myself out or cursed and swore about what I was doing. I learned so much in these productions. And I guess, at the end of the day, that is what these productions were all about. The producers didn't assume that the cast and crew were going to be around forever. The producers and the directors were inspiring everyone to go on to greater things. Many of the people who were involved in the summer musicals have gone off to New York City or other places to be bigger and better, whether as performers or teachers or dancers or producers.
And now that these summer productions are over, maybe that's my sign to do something bigger and better. Do I try and find a larger theater group to join? Do I look to go to school for theater production? Do I start my own production company?
There are so many options.
Either way, it is the end of an era and I need to figure out what my next step is going to be.