Bleached overalls, Superman shirt, suspenders. Yup – the earliest memories I have of a theater performance would have to be my church-at-the-time’s production of Godspell. It was being put on by the youth choir there, which my big brothers sang in, so my mom and I would watch the rehearsals. In fact, I think I remember the rehearsals more than I remember the actual performances. The feather boa worn by the girl who sang “Turn Back O Man,” the angry face my one brother made when he had to freeze during “We Beseech Thee,” the way Jesus’ head hung upside down as he was being carried away after the crucifixion.
Through the years I’ve discovered that when I watch people on stage, I’m moved in a way that words can’t quite describe. It’s not just the “aww” moment when a couple kisses or the blood boiling when the main character gets beaten. I sense a unity between the actors, a bond formed only through countless hours of rehearsing, and I feel like I want to share that bond. I don’t just want to watch the magic, I want to make the magic.
Many people (and I’m about to make some huge generalizations here) will only think about the performance for the couple hours they are there. They’re not thinking about the show two weeks before when the lead actress sprains her ankle or when one of the light fixtures breaks. They can’t feel the sweat caused by having run that one dance number eight times. They don’t know the stories told backstage or the inside jokes created when someone messed up his line. They’re not stressing out three days before over a ripped costume or a missing prop. They simply attend the performance. Which is great, because that’s what an audience is supposed to do. They’re not supposed to know what goes on behind the scenes. But I don’t want to be just an audience member. I want to be onstage. Not for the fame, but for the family. There’s just one little problem.
I don’t act. Or sing.
Sure, I’ve been in a couple productions in school or in the community, but I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. Okay, so I’ve taken one acting class. But when I’m on the stage I feel like I’m missing something. And I can’t figure out what.
I have great admiration for those who can take words on a page and bring them to life. That’s what I want to learn to do. Yeah, I’m not great at it now, but I’m going to change that. I’m taking voice lessons to make my voice stronger. And when I can find where to take acting classes/lessons, I’m going to do that too (if anyone has any recommendations where to go, feel free to tell me!). Will I make a career out of it? Highly unlikely. Will I be an amazing actress? Also unlikely. What I am going to be is the best actress and singer I can be, and learn all I can in the process.