succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, July 06, 2007

I found an old essay I started writing about the Footlighters. It was an exercise for class - to start writing about something you loved, as a way to just let the words stream out. This is my blog, so I'm indulging in re-typing it here, just to save a version for me. What I found is a rough draft, I don't even remember if I ever finished it, so you get disjointed paragraphs.

I walk into the room and immediately feel my throat constricting. One person sits at the piano, while two more lean on either side of it. They ask me to sing one of Mary's songs, which is above my miniscule vocal range. Pleading for something an octave lower we settle on King Herod's song. The other three graciously agree to accompany my timid voice so that I won't have to suffer through the sound of its smallness bouncing around the room. "Sing louder, please," from the director, as I stumble over the notes. It's been eight years since I tried to read music and I've forgotten which are the half rests and which are only a quarter. After a painful few minutes they politely say thank you and send me back to my new friends waiting in the hallway. We've quickly bonded over the trauma we share - we are all auditioning.


When we go to see shows together you can tell what aspect of theater we each typically work on. Seth wonders why the director had the lead use that accent. JP loves the dramatic climax of Mein Heir when Sally gets to throw the microphone stand. Mark and I marvel at the shadow cast on the floor as if light was streaming past a slowly rotating fan.


Standing in the back of the chapel I pause a moment to watch the cast work. Pieces of wood get screwed together on stage left, a flat is erected stage right. Slowly the church is transformed into a moonlit forest as more set pieces are put together. I change the CD to yet another musical and watch Ken and Jared painting, Beth and Christine sewing, Josh doing homework in the corner, Nate cleaning. This show has become our lives. A half dozen extra people have moved into the Ford apartment, and it's beginning to resemble a commune. We've all been taking shot little naps before wandering bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed to class. We have to remind each other to eat at least one meal everyday - I swear forcing Seth to consume something, anything, other than coffee has become one of my official stage manager duties. Yet not a single one of us would change a thing about our current lives. After the show is over, we'll walk around in a daze, feeling lost and disconnected from people we've come to rely on.

Why would someone put herself through that? Only those who haven't could think to ask such a question. Only those who's hearts have never pounded moments before bursting into the light on stage could ponder life without it.

Damn. I miss that.


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