Well it’s over now. How crazy is it that I auditioned for this thing about a year ago? Possibly exactly a year ago…I’m pretty sure it was right before finals. Regardless it has been quite the experience.
Tempting though it may be to sentimentalize and glorify the process in the relief of its conclusion, I’m not going to say it was the most amazing experience of my life. The show was good, but it could have been better. I had very high expectations of professionalism and quality that were not met in some aspects of the show. I met with disorganization and ineffectiveness far more often then I would have preferred, and I also don’t believe that the middle of the process was given the necessary breathing room and attention to create an absolutely outstanding final project.
Despite these complaints, there were many positive aspects as well. The collaborative nature of this show lent itself to much greater interaction with new people. I did really appreciate that I was able to work toward the same goal with a broader range of people. It was nice to have a 120 person team rather than a 40 person team, which made it much easier to focus on my job as an actor rather than trying to collaboratively micromanage other aspects of production. I also really enjoyed the new resources we had with regards to the more technical aspects of the show. After working with so little in Hoof ‘n’ Horn it was great to finally have the sky as the limit as far as time, money, and dedication to these aspects. I think the shows biggest successes can be attributed to the collaborative nature of the process.
In summation I suppose I leave the process conflicted. There were many things that were more frustrating than other shows, but there were also pleasant episodes of relief and satisfaction. My biggest disappointment on a personal level is how little I learned technically that is applicable outside of the specifics of this show. I was looking forward to this opportunity to really make positive progress in acting, singing, and dance. However, I find it difficult even now to think of something that I can take away from this to apply to the next performance I am involved with whether on or off the stage… That being said I definitely picked up a few things, good and bad, on a personal level that I hope I can learn from.
Overall I am thankful for the people I’ve met and proud of the work I’ve done. I enjoyed the show itself despite minor complaints, and I am glad I did it. But, the journey was made rougher and less rewarding by some of the unnecessary speed bumps we met along the way. It is possible that these things came out of my (admittedly high) expectations for this particular group, but I don’t think that I was unreasonable in my hopes. However, the problems I encountered are fixable. I think many people learned from their mistakes, and were we to start over, the path would be exponentially smoother. It just would have been nice to be in that enlightened position from the start.
I suppose my parting thought would be a reminder that, while what we did was great, it could have been better. We all know what could have been done to improve the show and the process, and it is important that we remember those things in the future. Hopefully we can all leave this experience content but not complacent in the things we need to improve upon.
As I said earlier it has been quite the experience.
Obligatory shop work mention: I tabled for about 3-4 hours. I also walked for light cues for about 5 hours one day and then I helped strike the set until the end, including handling almost every individual piece of wood from the stage as I unceremoniously (but strategically) shoved them all into a dumpster. And there is video proof! Ha!