Still playing catch up from the A-Z blogging challenge from April... Guess it is better late then never... I am also trying to get ready for the upcoming blogging challenge in June... I've been using Word to blog as ScribeFire isn't being very nice to me lately... it is nice to blog while we are out and about and not necessarily connected.
I is for Identity.
In theater do you really have an identity? You are your character for that show or you become the job title for your part in the show. I’m not saying this is a bad thing it just is. No matter what show I did I identified with the character or the job I was doing. When we were doing a larger production if your part wasn’t a large part you were usually grouped together with the rest of the “chorus”. One show in particular I remember well… Our high school’s production of West Side Story; the cast was over 80 and included 2 teachers, our campus safety officer (a local law enforcement officer), and 1 of the guidance counselors. The auditorium was located in the junior high as we didn’t have our own on campus, this was fine with me as I had just moved up to the high school and the junior high auditorium had already been my second home for the previous year. I didn’t have a large role but had fun being in the cast. We painted the backdrop on the wall of the stage; several of us choreographed pieces in the show, and generally had a lot of fun. The hours were long and hard but every minute we were growing closer as not just a cast but as a family as well.
We became the cast, not individuals but part of something bigger. This became apparent as we began working with costumes and dressing rooms… For the most part the cast had 3 costume changes. For the “chorus” we didn’t have a set dressing room assignment, we really weren’t sure what we were going to do… A small group of us decided it didn’t matter that much and we placed ourselves in a community dressing room at the end of the hall. All the dressing rooms were in the basement below the stage, the walls were concrete and in the larger community room there were 11 compartments with a closet rod. Each compartment was about
4 feet deep and 3 ½ feet wide, enough for 2 people to share a compartment/ cubby. The only rule we came up with was partners were same sex, no co-ed cubbies.. The room was co-ed and for the most part no one cared… We no longer had individual identities and as far as privacy it didn’t matter; the girls all work leggings or tights and most of use wore a sports bra or similar and some kind of briefs since we were dancing anyway. The guys all wore t-shirts and shorts of some kind and no one thought otherwise… There was no silly giggling or off handed remarks, we just were. We were a cast of characters in a show, a family that grew together on the stage, some of us had been friends for 2 or more years and really saw each other as siblings more than anything else.
For 2 more years following West Side Story many of us continued to work on productions together. We remained a family even after… I remember my first high school reunion and reconnecting with some of those same people once again, we were still family. Now 20 years after that show many of us have reconnected thanks to social media, oddly enough we are still part of the bigger picture..