Wednesday, February 18, 2009

True Life: Diary of a College Stage Manager

Yes. I'm stage managing The Diary of Anne Frank at my college. In the end, I'm sure it will be wonderful; it already is. But, as always, there are complications. Not only am I stage manager, but I'm light board operator, as well. My head of props dropped the class (and her Theatre major!) yesterday and the show goes up a week from tomorrow. This was more of a relief and I have an incredible replacement...everything's going to be just fine, but as far as student responsibility/involvement in a show, stage management is the most stressful and all-consuming. I have a great team, though, and I'm incredibly lucky.

How has this affected my health?

As with the last show, The Vagina Monologues, I've relied a bit on medication. Not so much Ambien this time...I'm so exhausted after my 5 hr rehearsals 6 days/wk and 16 hour days every day that it hasn't always been necessary. But I have refilled a prescription for anxiety, just in case. It seems to help. Also, there are other natural supplements that assist in relaxation. I am grateful for the opportunity and this subculture really brings people closer. More on that later, I suppose.

For now, I just found out my group in "Dirt and Desire in the South: Seminar in Literature" received an A- on our A Streetcar Named Desire project...I was very lucky there, too. I was in a group with a fellow Theatre major and the third student is a senior English major who has only two classes-- so she volunteered to put all of our research together. We were the first group to go and had much less time than the others, so our professor said she'd be more lenient but was surprised about the volume we turned out. Yesss! A big chunk of this grade is already high. Fabulous news!

Soon I will write about how I've managed the pressures of stage management...which does include breaking down a little and crying...but pulling it together for rehearsal. As I was breathing deeply and putting things into perspective during my escape from rehearsal...I was thinking of how I must write this in an entry here. And I will. But now, I must go to a production meeting with the design staff and print rehearsal reports, etc., on my way in the lab. ...I need a printer, but I'm holding off until I can get a nice one with a scanner; the cheap ones just aren't worth it.

Be well!