By: Sarah Verespej
Over the course of a mere 3 months I’ve truly learned a lot. I’ve learned to always have cough drops handy at a 5:45am call time. I’ve learned that confidence, but not cockiness, is key in theatre. And I’ve learned that a small group of misfits can create something truly spectacular. Looking at the group of people we had to work with from the outside in, we’re quite the jumble of personalities and relations, but nevertheless we all came together, in one way or another, and pulled together a great show. I think one of the most important lessons I learned this trimester is that sometimes in life you have to work with people that you don’t get along with very well, and you can either choose to be negative about it, or positive. But regardless of the attitude you decide to have, you have to collaborate with them anyway, so you might as well choose to cooperate. Not just for the good of the rest of the cast and crew, but also for your own personal good. Fighting with other people doesn’t get anything anywhere. It only causes tension that will poorly impact the entire production.
“Sometimes in life you have to work with people that you don’t get along with very well.”
Despite everything going on in our personal lives, overall I think we did a good job of sticking it out and remaining unified throughout the trimester. No matter what happened, we always cared for and helped each other, and maintained a shakable, but most definitely unbreakable bond. I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to work with such a talented group of people; I really do love every individual that I had the privilege to work with and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Especially since not only the people meant the world to me, but the show did too. Over time I found ways to deeply connect with my character, and not just understand Agnes, but really get inside her head and become her while on stage. Having lost people in my life (both friends and family), and having many friends that are a part of the LGBTQ community, allowed me to fill Agnes’ shoes and gain more insight on what she was experiencing over the course of the story we told. Not only that, but I thought it was awesome that we had a show that touched base on relevant topics like that. I really enjoyed getting to show my support for sexuality equality/acceptance with people that I love doing something that I’m passionate about.
We not only came together in class, we connected after school and on our own time too. Almost every single week from sub-district on, we always had a “team dinner” to spend time together as a group and really become a team on a mental and emotional level. Our character’s words and actions can be connected to one another, but if we, as actual people, were disjoined beneath the surface, it would have hurt our performances and each other. I remember that almost every single judge that gave us feedback after a performance always complimented us on how unified we were and the deep bond we shared. I think our hard work, both before and after 2:37pm really shined through in that aspect. Going to every level of the competition, especially to state was truly a blast from the past for me from when I went to dance competitions all the time. I miss the atmosphere and community, so it was quite the treat to have a similar experience.
“The audience does not care about you. They care about your character.”
I definitely think that my performance improved as we advanced; I became more confident and selfless and stopped myself from thinking too hard, and made sure that I let go and was present on stage at all times. And just as this experience allowed me to grow as a person, it allowed to me grow immensely as an actor as well. Something I learned throughout this process that really stuck with me was something that the instructor of the Musical Improv. workshop told our class: “the audience does not care about you. They care about your character.” Those words reminded me to always take risks, be completely fearless of “looking stupid”, and examine your character on the deepest possible level.