This semester I had the privilege of being asked to be the Stage Manager for the spring musical,, “13”. I learned a lot about myself, the people around me, theatre, Jesus, plus so much more! Anyway, I thought I would share 13 reflections about “13”:
1. I’ve learned that I second guess myself all the time. I’ve known for a long time that I second guess myself, but I never realized how bad it was until I started Stage Managing. Thankfully God gave me an amazing cast and production team, and whenever I got overwhelmed, stressed&started second guessing my ability to do this job, someone would “happen” to cross my path and reassure me that I was doing a good job&were supporting me.
2. I’ve learned that a 1 minute scene could result in the most complicated blocking notes of the entire play.(Kendra Dream Sequence)
3. Cues seem scary, but they are actually really fun to call once you get the hang of it. (You say “Light cue blah blah blah, go!” and they GO!!)
4. Encouragement is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful thing.
5. Though I say all the time that Jesus cares about every aspect of my life…I often forget. He SO cared about that project, and He SO cared about me.
6. Speaking in an accent is jolly good fun, even (& especially if) the accent doesn’t actually exist.
7. Even a “simple” musical can get MAD complicated MAD fast.
8. The first time I ever called “Light cue 300 warning…Light cue 300 go” was one of the most satisfying things ever and it actually almost made me cry.
9. Sitting for too long/being too tired results in 2-3 minutes of walking with Jack Sparrow swag. (Tech weekend)
10. The things I’ve heard and said over headset…that’s just all I’m going to say about that.
11. This reflection is a tad more serious and lengthy, but it was one of the most beautiful things that God shared with me through “13”.
When I was 13, my family found out that my Dad had brain cancer. He passed away when I was a few months shy of 15. Most of the memories of my adolsecnce are framed within the events involving my Dad’s sickness and death. So, sometimes, working on this musical was not easy for me, as it brought back many memories that I’m not fond of remembering. One of those times was the first time that I ever heard, “Being a Geek”. Though the song is extremely comical, the first time I actually listened to the lyrics in a musical rehearsal, it wasn’t comical for me at all. The main character sings, “But when you’re cool, you can rally when the blues attack. Every problem just rolls off your back. You can handle every slip and slide, without breaking your stride! When you’re cool, you don’t care that people disappear. You don’t care that your Dad’s not here. You don’t care that your life’s been uprooted and bent, without your consent. A geek’s afraid it’s never gonna be OK but the cool kid knows it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s the difference between being fine at 13 and the lonliest thing.” When I first heard those lines…all of a sudden, I remembered what it felt like to be a scared 13 year old who so desperately desired to have a normal life. I remembered how awful it felt when when my Dad wasn’t home due to his multiple hospital visits (and eventually his death). I remembered how my life had been “uprooted and bent” without my consent (literally) overnight. I remembered what it felt like to be afraid that it was never going to be OK. I felt like a knife had been stabbed in my gut and I was on the brink of tears. If they had rehearsed that song for much longer, I was going to have to step out of the room. Thankfully they didn’t and I was able to carry through w/my SM duties that day. From then on, it was really hit or miss whether or not “Being a Geek” bothered me, since it was supposed to be a comical number. Sometimes it did bother me. Sometimes it didn’t. During tech when we had our first dress rehearsal and saw the number to the full effect for the first time, the entire production team was DYING of laughter. When it came to the chorus, and I realized that it was actually the chorus and that it was not bothering me in the least, I said silently to Jesus, “Thank-you.” Right then, quietly&clearly I heard Him speak to me, “You see how I just redeemed that for you? I’m going to do the same thing with your actual grief.” I started laughing again, but this time it wasn’t the piece, it was because Jesus is crazy and I was SO happy about what He had just done. Who would’ve thought that Jesus would speak to me through a Motown-style song featuring haze, karaoke and dancin’, snappin’ Rabbis? (bahahahaha that song…)
12. I have one dang memorable opening night story. We used two big rotating walls that we used as part of set changes. On opening night during a scene in Act II, I had the horror of watching the SL wall come unhinged and almost fall. Thankfully, no one got hurt and the show continued. Due to previous stress plus the scare, I wound up breaking down crying at the end of the night. Thankfully, I had my friends and director to carry me through the tears and point me to Jesus. So what initially was a terrifying experience quickly became a story that I can now laugh about as well as thank God for.
13. In so, so, so many ways, SMing this show was a great experience for me. It gave me a chance to really bond with people at EU and form some really wonderful friendships. I learned about not relying on my own strength and letting Jesus carry me. I learned that sometimes the set actually comes close to falling down. I learned that people love me and are looking out for me here. I learned that God really can speak through anything. I could go on, and even if I did, I still wouldn’t be able to adequately describe this experience in just 13 reflections (this reflection in of itself was a bit of cheat). However…I can say that,
“I’m a little bit braver, a little broader, a little bit brighter, a little bit. “