A funny thing occurred to me the other day. I have chosen to have a career making theatre, but I don’t actually get the chance to see plays very often. I know that there are many reasons for this circumstance, but there are some days that I wish that I could spend a little bit more time being an audience member.
When I speak to people about working in theatre, they automatically assume that I am a performer and their guesses couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, growing up, I spent time on stage, but I can assure you that I have not stepped foot on a stage in front of a large group of people since high school and I do not plan on doing so anytime soon ( I wouldn’t want to put an audience through the jumble of nerves I would be!). For many people who choose to work in theatre, they discovered their love for the art as an audience or crew member. I fall firmly into that category. I love the whole experience of going to a show: picking up my tickets, being shown to my seat by the ushers, the hush that falls over a crowd when the house lights go down, and then, of course, the beauty that takes place on stage. I like to be one of the masses in a theatre watching artists bring a story to life right in front of my eyes.
So, I found a way to make that a part of my daily life and moved to Naples! I’m present for (nearly) every performance at Gulfshore Playhouse, but I usually only see each production twice or three times. And considering I am writing this blog while a performance is taking place in the theatre, I assure you I would never be able to get my job done if I watched the show every night! So, the other option: go and see theatre in other places. The arts community in Southwest Florida is growing, and there are definitely options to see shows being produced by other companies, but it gets tough when you’re already at your own performances 6 days a week! And on the 7th day, sometimes I just need to do laundry.
So, it looks like I need one more option. Perhaps adding more time to the clock, or convincing other theatre companies to do a 10am matinee? But seriously, I have found a new joy in theatre since I’ve started my career: I get to play a small part in the beauty that ultimately ends up on stage. It’s not the same as getting lost in the magic of a story I know nothing about, but it feels just as good.