Scintilla13 Day 10
Sometimes we wish that we could hit the rewind button. Talk about an experience that you would do over if you could.
I’m not sure if by “rewind” and “do over” this prompt means something I would go back and change, or something that went so well I’d like to go back and experience again. Because the latter is less depressing, I’m going to go with that interpretation.
As an amateur actor, I could list any number of of stage experiences. There are a few that stick out in my mind most however, and if I had the chance to rewind and experience a performance of one of them, there’s a good chance I’d pick a local performance of the musical Scrooge!
To begin with, I had two solos in that show, and it was the first time I’d ever had any amount of singing on stage. I still don’t do musicals much, but that was the first time I ever sang by myself. I had multiple roles, but the one that included the solos was that of Tom Jenkins. You may recall his most famous number from that show. It’s called “Thank You Very Much.” It’s played a lot on Christmas commercials.
I’ve rarely been more nervous before a performance, or more satisfied and proud of myself afterward, especially after that number. Eight nights and only one mistake that I recall. I had the entire huge company singing behind me for that number, and my first number, (the lesser known “Father Christmas”, though that one wasn’t as big a moment in the play.) Felt good.
I didn’t befriend everyone personally. But by the time we opened, the company showed me great respect by working so hard to get that number right. I won’t lie and pretend their attentions were always so sharp as a group throughout the play, but they always came through for me in those big moments, and I always did my best to come through for them.
I was told it was because I was seen to take such pride in my work that I inspired the similar commitment from the 30 or so others in the scene. I can’t explain it directly, but I’m grateful it happened. Some of those people I never saw again, but the scenes meant more to me because they meant more to them.
Sadly, the musical director of that show changed the ending, thus eliminating the chance for the audience to give us the applause we were due. I never liked the choice for obvious reasons. It wasn’t at all fair to us. But the commitment that the company showed me during the performance of that scene almost made up for the fact we were denied our applause for one of the biggest numbers in the show.
So, I’d rewind and do that again.
But not just because of the power of performing. Like I said, the magic of just getting to know people that become friends, (some of them important friends even all these years later) made that show unique in my career. It was the largest cast I’ve ever been a part of, and again, most of the local theatre friends I have now, of any level, were connected with that show somehow. If I had never been in that one, I would know considerably fewer people today.
Some of those people have betrayed me. Some are still casual friends, and a few are intimate friends. But to experience them entering my life again…to see those first few awkward moments of talking, getting to know each other, complaining together about something in the show…I’d like to rewind that. Even knowing how some of the chapters would end.
Finally, it was a better time for that theatre. The current terrible management of that venue has sort of turned it into a corporate shill these days, and I don’t perform there anymore. But I’d like to go back to a time before all that happened, and enjoy that venue once more.
So there you have it. Respect, making friends, building my own confidence, and memories of a better time in some ways. All reason I’d rewind and play my performance in Scrooge! if I could do so without negative effects.