I did a dear crew members post early on in my blog and this inspired me to do another one that applied to a few more people involved in the process.
You are a creative representation that I discovered early on in my childhood. You first come to mind as a feeling of excitement and anticipation of what will happen next, evolving eventually into an appreciation of all that you are made of; singing, dancing, acting, storytelling, a beautiful set, a strong and hardworking crew and a lot of people centring their energies on one magical production. Then the next one and the next one after that.
So frankly, I wanted to write you a letter to show you how appreciative of you I am.
When going to see a play or musical there is this instant joy that fills the room of theatre goers before the show is about to start. There are many reasons unique to each audience member, but personally I feel this joy because I realise how amazing it actually is.
You have performers up there who have decided in their careers to work extremely hard at singing dancing and acting which are is not only impressive but it’s damn hard work to master. They take consistent time and effort, and require a big amount of energy, focus and spirit. You have to want to put in the hard yards as a performer. Yes it is a fun, rewarding job to be able to put on a show each night and you get that theatre family who you earn that close bond with but there are tough times as well. It is an incredibly tiring and long run to be able to do many shows a week and maintain the best performance you can.
You have to battle sickness, personal stuff, exhaustion, wellness, vocal strength and physical stamina. On the other side of this there is also the audience reaction to your performance and how you manage criticism and challenges that arise throughout the musical’s run.
However it’s still a fantastic thing to watch all of the work and effort translate onstage. When the actress who plays Elphaba rises amongst the shadows and smoke to hit that final note in “Defying Gravity” or the actors in The Book of Mormon marvellously tap dance for three minutes whilst gleefully singing about the Mormon faith. Or even just watching a high school production of something and that kid who doesn’t have a lead role says the line perfectly and the audience erupts into laughter, and you swear that kid is glowing for the rest of the performance.
This is for the producers, writers, directors and others who help the project become more than just an idea. The people who are there from day one. The fact that you are able to have faith in something that you cannot really see the end result of takes a lot of guts. The creators are the ones who are so focused and are able to channel all of their creative energy into a musical and understand that they have to go the hard yards in order to get the musical up and running. They have to find money, research past productions, acquire rights, plan and plan again, go through edits of the script, contact professionals to help with the logistical and design requirements and be able to sell what they have to the people in power. This can take years and years to do, but when they receive the green light, then you are in production and have to bring everyone else in. You have to cast actors, find choreographers who share the vision you have, organise the orchestra and musical directors, the list goes on. The creators do some very brave, passionate and often heartbreaking work. They are the first ones who let hope and determination drive them and have to maintain the support of the production. They are the glue that keeps everything together the whole time.
These guys as many of the theatre blogs and websites stress time and time again are the unsung heroes. They solve all the problems that the production encounters from sound, wardrobe malfunctions, missing cast members, to catering, to scheduling, to safety. The crew do the heavy lifting and ensure that we as an audience feel the magic that is theatre. That we understand the symbolism in the story through the colours and lights onstage, that our emotions connect to the music and story that is being told in front of us and that we are well and truly transported into the world of the production for a few short hours.
Without you, things go wrong, actors miss their marks or can’t put on the best show possible. You are waiting in the wings, prepared for anything and you are as team orientated as they come. You are smart and resourceful, fun and supportive and you aren’t doing what you are doing for the recognition. Love your work crew, you have a special place in my heart.