Thanks. For filling me up.

I’ve been keeping myself from writing this blog entry because it’s my last Laramie assignment and it puts a level of finality that I’m only just letting myself feel. I cried every night of this show, and in most rehearsals. Instead of boring y’all with my emotions (they are many) about this show, I thought I’d give a short list of things I’ve learned.

What Laramie Taught Me

1) How to be in my own skin. Also aided by the yoga classes I began taking and my study of Spencer, I became hyper aware of my body in ways I had never been before.

2) How to breathe. Whether it is to support (read: scream) over 12 people or not mumble (I’m a mumbler), my lungs were so full!

3) I love working in the shop. I spent full days during Spring Break working on the set, and it’s certainly something I could do everyday for a long time.

4) Life is about rediscovery. I think this lesson can only come through something like the rehearsal of a long play. It surprised me every time I heard something new or different, because most times, it wasn’t new or different, just the way I was hearing it.

5) I will never be able to pronounce the word “theater.” Although Andy tried to help me, many times, it was pretty impossible. That word was consistently a huge problem. I think that’s an omen.

6) Blogs can be a living document of theater. Also, Ben is hysterical.

7) Smoke breaks with a buddy are way better than smoke breaks alone. Also, never smoke in costume.

8 ) Impromptu Disney Sing-A-Longs are common in theater. I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen sooner or more often. Our set was also perfect for pretending you were underwater.

9) I need to see more theater. The one person in my life who likes theater is my dad. And he can always count on me to go with him when I’m in San Diego. But I realized that he’s the only one I ever go to theater with. I’m certainly going to fix that this summer.

10) I’m terribly jealous of those with family nearby. No really, it’s a problem. I think I’m going to adopt myself all of your families.

11) I’m never going to get these lines out of my head.

Okay, so these are clearly only a few, mostly silly things. But as I said in our final cast meeting, I am filled with more gratitude than I can quantify. Clearly, I was terribly spoiled with this being my first show, with the relationships formed and the amazing direction from all the “real adults” involved, and the plays and talks we all went to together, and the interest from the larger campus community. Maybe it’s a good thing that it’s my first and last because I don’t quite know how to follow something like Laramie. Except puppets with Torry, of course. And a Duke-Durham theater collaboration. Laramie didn’t just open one door for me, but it offered an array of folks and projects that are just, well, perfectly me.

-Summer Puente

2 thoughts on “Thanks. For filling me up.

  1. Summer —

    Love that your list (in the words of Spinal Tap — which I *know* dates me terribly) “goes to 11”. It just marks so simply the over-full experience I think we’ve all articulated having over this semester.

    Now as a dramaturg I particularly love #s 4, 6 & 9. I missed the Disney sing-alongs 🙁 I had a sister of a friend, many years ago, swear that I had been the voice of Belle from *Beauty and the Beast*. I hold that memory dear these days, figuring I’ve kind of mutated into a more exaggerated character like Lumiere or Mrs. Potts. ; )

    Of course the best part of this post is the information that you’re simply beginning a new phase of your work with theater in the area. So I’m going to say “au revoir” vs. good-bye because it’s just “until the next”.


  2. Summer,

    I learned so much from all of you. Every time I do theater it is like I am doing it for the first time. This after 40 years!!! Each new production is like new fallen snow and I fear and am excited by the tracks I will make.

    I so enjoyed having you in this production. I knew from your first reading that you would bring the kind of talent, strength, and passion that the production needed.
    You have grown so much as an actress during this process. Your voice work and the choices you made for each character grew stronger in every performance.

    Romaine would have been proud of you.

    May the little bit of leather you take with you be a reminder of all you have accomplished this year. It seems to me to far out weigh those pesky losses.

    If I can every be of help to you let me know. We are always looking for volunteers at Manbites. So if you stay in the area I hope you’ll come over and play with us some time.

    xoxo Jeffrey

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