This Crazy Art/Business by Cody Nickell

Well, here we go, my first blog post of the season. And according to our “New Blog Policy,” I will be writing a post every Wednesday. The Producing Artistic Director, the General Manager, and the Marketing Coordinator have also been assigned blog days during the week, so you, dear reader, will have a lot more access to the inner workings of The Playhouse this season.

Where do we start? Okay, first rehearsal today for Venus In Fur (well, actually yesterday now, because I am writing this Tuesday and it will be posted Wednesday, blah, blah, blah). In between my normal office activities of reading scripts, working on grants, staff meetings, emails, and preparing for the shows I am working on as an actor or director this season, I was able to sit in on the table read this morning for Venus, and the cast is spectacular. This show is gonna be a lot of fun. And, now that I think about it (and I literally mean right now, leaning back in my office chair pondering this blog post, this dawned on me), I think this is the first time I have been to a first read through of a script without being creatively involved.  I have always been at the table as an actor or director. Huh. What a cool new perspective.

First reads are always a bit like the first day of school. There is a lot of anticipation leading up to that moment. You finally get to meet the rest of your cast and crew, meet the people you will be spending the next few weeks (or months) of your life with, get to hear the play out loud for the first time, and it can be an exciting and nerve-racking moment.

But it is also a magical moment, because the play is literally starting to come to life. Breath and voice are being given to the words. Characters are beginning to come off the page. If it’s a comedy, there will be laughter for the first time (and what a glorious sound that is for actors to hear). It is a moment, at least for the actors, when the abstract starts on its journey to becoming concrete.

Today, I got to watch other actors go through that for the first time. And I have to say, it was equally satisfying watching as a non-participant as it has been in the past as a participant. Making theatre is such an incredibly rewarding job, and whichever of my many hats I am currently wearing (actor, director, grant writer, play reader, Gulfshore Playhouse team member, whatever), I am just thankful to be a part of this grand experiment of making theatre. It is a crazy art/business. But it is my crazy art/business. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So, stay tuned for more from me next Wednesday, and check back every day with this blog for interesting and unique insights from Gulfshore Playhouse team members, as well as guest bloggers like actors and designers. This is shaping up to be a great season, and I can’t wait to keep you up-to-date, as long as that “date” is on a Wednesday.

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