What exactly is a curtain call? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “an appearance by a performer in response to the applause of the audience.”
In the past, I had written blog posts in response to the closing of a show. And typically, I had been cast as characters who taught me valuable lessons, or I had been cast in a show with a greater spiritual or emotional tangibility. Collectively I have learned a lot in Theatre. But with the closing of my first show at Louisiana Tech, Six Women with Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know, I can hardly reflect upon anything that I learned spiritually or emotionally.
Instead, I learned practically: every night is opening night for someone.
Perhaps I simply needed to remember what it’s like to be submerged in a world in which you can laugh at yourself – a world where you can dream and be anything you want to be. Maybe not all Theatre is supposed to teach you meaningful, wise lessons. Maybe the point of some Theatre is “to entertain.”
Personally, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around something so surface-level as sheer entertainment, because I yearn for what Peter Brook calls Holy Theatre – a Theatre in which we call to the Heavens, a Theatre in which we latch onto the spiritual realm, where wisdom comes down from the clouds and helps us notice our fragility and brokenness.
But Rough Theatre must have its place as well, mustn’t it? Even though I long for the intellectual, the discussion. . . So be it.
Immediate as Six Women with Brain Death was, I still longed for something deeper. But maybe this was the perfect show for me to come back into the Theatre. I got to do a few different voices as a voice over actor. I got to know the other students in my program. I got to learn marketing from some really cool people. I got to learn a little bit more about sound operations. And I spent many nights laughing at the six talented women who brought each and every character of theirs to life, over and over again.
It’s a slow start, but it’s a start.
And I’m back in a world that I somewhat understand.
Overall, I don’t regret my choice to come back to school for Theatre. I look forward to the next five quarters – and whatever they may bring. Most importantly, I’m thankful that I got to have two months with these two very best friends of mine, all three of us – quite different from the past – working backstage instead of onstage:
“IT’S A HAPPY PLACE, A HAPPY TIME, WHERE MOUNTAINS ARE MIRACLES MEANT TO CLIMB. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DREAM FROM THE HEART, AND YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE.”