This past week I did something I haven’t done for years – I ran the sound for a rehearsal for a dance recital.
I spent (almost) all of my summers in junior high and high school at Trollwood Performing Arts School, an outdoor 8 week summer school focused entirely on performing. Though I auditioned for the musical every year, I didn’t get a part until later in high school (my singing voice wasn’t very strong). That was OK, though, because there was still lots to do! I learned stage makeup, built props and sets, and was on the stage crew.
Summer wasn’t enough for me, so thank goodness for the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater. I ran the sound board, the lighting board, and started assistant stage managing.
When it came time to choose a college or university course of study, I was blessed to have parents that encouraged me to major in something I enjoyed, and not just something I was good at. So I went for a Bachelor of Arts in Theater.
The school I went to required that students take part in both the technical and the performance sides of theater, which I appreciated. After all, as we used to joke, “Where would performers be without technicians? Screaming naked in the dark.” So at university I built costumes and sets, found props, and focused lights, as well as acting and directing.
I found I did not like the countless “no’s” to get to “yes” that came with auditioning. After university, I focused on the administrative side of theater. I was an usher and worked in the box office for many, many years. Even now, I still work in theater, managing rentals and overseeing the box office.
Last week we had a dress rehearsal for a dance recital, and no sound technician. Because the scheduling mix-up was partly my responsibility, I said I would jump in. The show must go on, right?
It was fun, and thankfully very simple. Stage equipment has come a long, LONG way since I was in school.
Now, it looks very likely that I will be working as the sound tech for another upcoming production. It’s exciting – it’s neat to reconnect with that part of my past. However, I’m anxious about it as well. It’s been almost 20 years (!) since I graduated. I’ve got a lot of brushing up to do. It also means extra hours of work, which in my busy schedule are extremely precious. There’s a point where trading hours for dollars isn’t worth it anymore. However, the production is being put on by a friend of mine, and I want her show to be a success.
The show must go on. It’s in my blood. 🙂