Being in plays is fun. It’s also a big commitment. You have to be available for at least a couple hours at least 4-5 days a week. Depending on the show, this could be for up to 4-6 weeks. And then there’s the actual run. Some shows only go for a couple of weekends. Some run for months. There are two-show days, Sunday matinees, school performances, and your standard 8:00 performances. Where we live, it is often for low or no pay, unless you’re union. I’m not union. so when I say we’re doing it for the art, I’m serious.
Theatre has been my “thing” since I was in kindergarten. I have been studying, writing, working backstage, and performing since that age with few extended breaks. Even when I was pregnant, I was participating in staged readings and other projects. Since Ethan came along, however, it has been difficult for us to work on anything. Figuring out work and childcare isn’t easy. Trying to make sure that it’s “fair” – that one parent isn’t getting to do all sorts of projects and the other can’t even audition – is also frustrating.
On the one hand, I’m not really interested in committing to a full production for at least a few more months. While we’re in the middle of teething and trying to get Ethan to sleep through the night, it would just be too much to take on. Adam feels the same way. I am currently in a short play (a recreation of a seance from the 1880s in which I am playing a “spirit guide” – also known as a fraud!) and it has been a bit hectic trying to figure out how I can get to rehearsals. Adam’s schedule allows him to stay home for a couple of the evenings, but not all of them. My brothers-in-law can help for a couple of other nights. Two different friends offered to babysit. My mom might be able to take one or two. Without one usual babysitter or Adam consistently home at a reasonable hour, it is quite the headache to figure all of this out!
Even so, I’m so glad I get to participate in this show. It has been a long time since I have done any projects that require an actual rehearsal schedule – the last time was in September of 2011! It’s nice to be in a “real” show. I just hope it isn’t going to come at the cost of Ethan’s rest and well-being. He really thrives on routine, and I worry about the disruption. We’ll have to wait and see how all this pans out.
No, seriously, I had the greatest night.
Not only did I get to get all dressed up and spend time with my husband, in-laws, and practically the entire Richmond theatre community (a.k.a. basically all of my friends), I got to watch people I love, admire, respect, and see as inspirations be recognized for their hard work and achievements throughout this season.
A local awards ceremony for a small city’s theatre community might not seem like much to those who are accustomed to things like the Tonys, but believe me – it matters. While I had those Broadway dreams as a kid, I soon found that what I really wanted was to help expand the local scene. It is in no way “settling”. It is cultivating. It is an exciting time to be in Richmond if you work in theatre. Our theatre culture has come so far in just my lifetime and has changed so much that I really feel we are on the cusp of something amazing. More risks are being taken. More original works are being produced. More fringe and independent companies are cropping up. People are returning to this city to continue their growth as an artist. People are coming here to do one job and loving it so much that they choose to stay.
I have always loved my hometown. Nights like this remind me why.
Congratulations to all of the winners of this years RTCC Awards. I am so proud to share this community with you.
I’m debating whether I want to participate in National Novel-Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I have participated five times and finished twice, and I think it would be really nice to have a project for next month. I’ve been feeling a bit adrift lately as far as my hobbies go. Since acting has more or less been a no-go since about halfway through my pregnancy (apart from the odd staged reading) and I just haven’t had the focus or inspiration to do much writing. I do think it would be a lot of fun and a nice thing to do for myself, but I also worry about my utter lack of ideas.
It’s not that I don’t have ideas, actually…it’s that I don’t have any good ideas. NaNoWriMo is more about the experience of writing a 50,000-word novel in one month than it is about churning out something marketable. However, since I really am trying to develop my skills as a fiction writer/playwright and truly would like to be published someday…I kind of want to write something that could at least be a rough draft that could go somewhere. It’s terrifying to think of putting my “real” writing out there in any way, but every time I have, I have gotten mostly positive feedback. It seems that I may actually be good at this hobby of mine.
So we’ll see. If I have an idea floating around in my head before November 1, I’ll probably go ahead and give it a shot. Anyone else who is considering participating, please let me know! We can be writing buddies!
I’ve wanted to do this for my entire life, but now I’m really itching to do it. I want to open a theater here in Bon Air.
I grew up in Bon Air and have always adored it. It’s a beautiful part of town that still has a lot of its charm from its days as a Victorian vacation spot. There are some great restaurants and locally-owned shops, and it’s close to just about everything. The one thing we’re missing? Live entertainment. I know we must have some somewhere over here, but it’s hard to find it. If it’s out there, I haven’t found it yet outside of the schools.
When I was in high school, a lot of my friends were interested in trying to get some professional and community theatre credits, but their parents wouldn’t let them audition. This was usually because it was just too inconvenient for them to go “all the way downtown”…but for some, it was because “downtown is too dangerous.” Okay, I’ve worked at and/or attended shows at every theater in Richmond and Petersburg at least once. I’ve never felt like I was in any kind of danger. I’m not quite sure why so many people seem to think that the moment you cross into the city limits you’re going to get mugged. It was a shame to see my very interested and talented friends be kept away from the opportunity to experience professional theatre.
While I don’t get the fear of Big Bad Downtown Richmond (don’t drunkenly stumble down dark alleys and you’ll likely be okay), I do understand the convenience issue. A lot of parents are already struggling to balance family activities, and I don’t know a single person who isn’t insanely busy these days. That’s another reason why I think this side of town could really benefit from a theater…it could open doors for a whole new crop of people and provide a more convenient location for actors and technicians who have moved to this area!
I know it’s incredibly difficult to start a theatre company. I know it will take a lot of learning and sudden business know-how on my part. I know that I certainly can’t do it on my own…but I also know that if I don’t at least try to make this happen, I will regret it! There are so many talented people living a spit away from us (seriously, Bon Air is quickly becoming the spot to where young theatre couples move and make babies happen). I know that if this happens, it could really be something special.