It was only two days after I posted about how I’m trying to get through Noises Off! in one piece that I had the worst day ever stage managing.
It was the Sunday matinee and I was doing everything wrong. I forgot to reset a door handle and set a prop before the show and I heard it from the actors during the intermission.
Usually I would be on top of stuff like that but the night before there was a talk back after the show and I didn’t do my regular post-show routine.
I felt absolutely terrible after the first act that I almost missed a cue in the second act. I was letting my emotions get to me and lost all confidence in myself.
I hate it when I make mistakes and with theatre you don’t have a second chance. All I could do is finish the show and make sure I didn’t screw anything else up. I second guessed every cue for the rest of the show but everything else went fine and to my surprise the applause was louder than the night before.
Then something really weird happened. As I turned on the booth lights to start cleaning up the back row of the theatre got up to leave and saw me through the booth window and stopped in the aisle and gave me a round of applause. Through the glass the strangers told me it was a great show and with that they left with big smiles on their faces.
I couldn’t help but crack a little smile of my own after that.
As I put an end to my show this weekend I know that I’m totally burnt out with theatre and I’m going on a big break before I accept another job. I originally returned to theatre a year ago to make new friends and meet new people and while I’ve certainly done that this past year but I need to take some time for myself now.
Stage managing is a thankless job and you take a lot of abuse in getting it done. It takes a lot of inner strength to get it done knowing that you can’t depend on your cast, director, or producer to always tell you that you are doing a good job. Right now I feel that I’ve used a lot of that strength up over the past few shows and it’s time to recharge.
How do you get through the thankless parts of your life?