WHAT DO COMMUNITY THEATRE PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY ARE NOT ON STAGE ....by Barbara Biddison
Hamilton-Gibson is between shows right now, and I've been thinking
about that time when a show is over and the actor asks something like,
"What did I used to do before I was cast in this play?" All of a
sudden there are 3 or 4 or 6 hours a day when I'm not memorizing
lines, or learning blocking, or trying on costumes, or rehearsing
scenes. After the last performance the actors often help with returning borrowed stage pieces or costumes, but the real question has to do with what was my normal life like? I remember asking others when a show was over, "What are you going to do with all your time now?"
I think my favorite more-than-once answer has been "Balance my checkbook." Which may say something about actors' priorities, either just letting bills go during the play process OR resolving to pay bills right away as soon as time allows. Some answers have been brief: "Sleep." "Spend time with my family." "Play with the dog."
"Cook real meals." "Don't know...I've forgotten what normal is." OR "I've auditioned and been cast in the next musical. No spare time for me." And, of course, most community theatre people actually live in
the "community" and they also have jobs and actually "work." which really is a challenge when it comes to the cast where everybody works, and each one has a different work schedule.
Bless the directors who have to figure all this out as they try to plan rehearsals.
So I guess the answer is different for everyone. And I know this: There are strange and conflicting feelings when the play is over.
Some young parents are happy that they'll be able to put their young children to bed on time. Some oldsters like to plug into regular activities again. A few just appreciate returning to "normal" whatever that is. And many of us simply miss the activity on stage and all the challenges that go with it. No matter how we feel when
it's over, most will return for the same challenges with old friends and new ones who come to "tread the boards."