If you follow me on Twitter, are friends with me on Facebook, or are just a close friend, you know that I have been working hard on the Penn State Thespians’ Children Show: Rainbow Fish. It was the first time I was ever a lead role in a show. I had a lot of responsibility.
How I came to be Rainbow Fish is a funny story. I told it to the cast for the first time today at Ceremonies (our celebration at the end of a show run which happens in both Main Stage and Children’s Show). When I audition for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Thespians Main Stage Spring Musical, I thought I banked it. My singing audition was so-so but I hit every move in the dancing audition. I was extremely disappointed when I was not on the cast list. I would have loved for this to be my senior show. Sometimes I feel invisible in this group and it’s frustrating. Children’s Show auditions were the following Monday night and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the show.
Upon talking to my friend and I realized how badly I wanted to perform this semester. Jokingly I said, “I’m going to walk into that audition and come out with Rainbow Fish.” I went to the audition and I did my best and more but still wasn’t expecting much. You sort of get that way after a few auditions where the casts end up the same as the show before.
You can imagine my surprise when I received an email from the stage manager with the cast. Surly this meant that I received a small role. Low and behold my name was on the top of the list right next to Rainbow Fish. I was shocked and very very excited. For the past month I have been rehearsing every day with an amazing cast and a great crew to make one beautiful Children’s show! This past week we had a performance on Thursday and two performances today. The gang did a great job! The show was a hit! The kids LOVED it!
For this to be my last show, I can honestly say, I am going out with a bang. This was the perfect way to end my 4 years with the Penn State Thespians. It has been a blast. However, the process as a whole wasn’t easy. Whenever you perform you are going to run into problems with either your cast or your crew. The crew was amazing and, for the most part, the cast was too. There were people who were very hard to work with. People I disagreed with on many levels and who’s attitude I simply disagree with. When you commit to a show, you commit to every rehearsal, you commit to your cast and to your crew. It makes it very hard to rehearse when you are the only fish at rehearsal. Now there was never a time where I was the only fish, and I understand people have exams and other things, but I was on stage the whole show and never was able to do work at rehearsal. My work load piled up and I was stressed, but I showed up to every single rehearsal and stayed as long as was asked of me, with the exception of once, when I had a presentation to give and we stopped 5 minutes early. I don’t understand why people don’t respect Children’s Theater.
I can tell you that being able to perform for kids is the best thing in the entire world. You get to see their eyes grow wide, their smiles touch their ears, hear them giggle, and watch them as you simply blow their minds. Everything you are doing amazes them, or most of them. They really believe in what you are doing on stage. They believe that you are that character. It’s AMAZING! It’s a true form of theater. It’s so rare and so pure. The great thing about Children’s Show is that you have the ability to be so creative. You have the opportunity to act and think like a child again. Because in order to reach children, you have to be a child at heart. You need to believe in everything and let your inner child shine through. It’s a freeing opportunity.
So for those of you interested in Children’s Theater or theater in general, remember the reason why you are preforming. Are you really going to be dedicated to the show or are you doing it just to do something? Do you really believe in what you are performing? It’s worth examining.