Last week I had one of the most wonderful/terrifying moments of my theatrical career.
I work part-time at AD Players Theater in Houston as their New Works Festival Coordinator. I was an acting intern at the company for their 2017/18 season and have working with them on-and-off ever since. On Wednesday morning, I had a meeting with the Festival team, and as I was leaving the cast and crew of The Hiding Place, a new adaptation of the 1975 film of the same name (also a bestselling book and a true story,) was preparing for a school matinee. A few of them asked if I was seeing the show that day.
“No,” I replied, “but I’ll see it this weekend!”
Little did I know that I wouldn’t see The Hiding Place that weekend. I would be in it.
Several hours later I received a frantic phone call from Kevin, the Artistic Director. One of this season’s performance interns had an accident in a rehearsal and needed to be rushed off to the hospital. They needed someone to cover her roles.
After work, I rushed to the theater, got a script, and was thrown into a put-in rehearsal. I stayed up late memorizing the lines, only to have the performance cancelled the next night because of Imelda’s temporary shutdown of the city (fun fact, I started working at AD Players the week that Harvey hit…and they were doing the show Harvey. You know, the one about the rabbit?)
Friday night, the performance actually happened. I went on stage, said the lines, did the scene shifts, and drowned my anxieties in Key Lime at House of Pies.
Needless to say, I didn’t get any applications done this weekend. The play is 2.5 hours long, and I did two shows on Saturday and the Sunday matinee. I didn’t get home until 7:00pm on Sunday night, and then I had to go to the grocery store, meal prep, etc.
Of course, I’m a millennial and we’re notoriously hard on ourselves for not getting enough done in a day. So I’m trying not to berate myself for not also finishing my New Works Festival obligations, writing 2 more personal statements, folding and putting away my laundry, and squeezing in a workout. Instead of doing all of that, I performed in front of hundreds of people and struggled to remember how to speak with a German accent. I don’t think I could have accomplished much else.
Instead, I’m coming up with a list of how this weekend was a marker for how far I’ve come in my professional career:
I’ve maintained good relationships. Not just with the company, but with the people of the Houston theatre community. It was much easier to go into a show knowing half of the people in the cast.
I’m a fast learner and a flexible performer. It was an easy track, and I definitely kept my script off stage, but I picked everything up quickly and hopefully no one in the audience noticed that I was new.
No matter how tired or anxious or confused I am, I still love it. Can I shout that from the rooftops? I love theatre. I love directing, I love performing, and I love pushing tables on stage in the dark.
The actress whose roles I covered for the weekend has been cleared to go back into the show. I’m glad she’s making a full recovery and that I get to go back to the application grind. I don’t know how much this delay will affect my fairly ambitious deadline (November 27) but hey, if I don’t make it, at least I have a good excuse and a great story to tell.