It's always weird when a show's over. It's Tuesday night and instead of coming home from another night at the theatre – where I'd spent my past couple weeks warming up my actors, cracking jokes with the musicians in the orchestra pit, making mental notes for how the performance could improve – I spent my evening teaching voice, playing Super Paper Mario, and chatting about Ukrainian politics with one of my roommates while we ate popcorn and drank cream soda. A very different night than I've had in a while, indeed. And though it's been a good evening, filled with conversation and coaching and frivolous fun, that first night without the show always feels a bit empty, like something's not quite right.
Perhaps that's why theatre artists keep doing theatre. True, we hunger for that space, that experience of presenting a story to others, that appreciation at the end of the show. Even more, though, we hunger to get out of that gnawing sense of loss, of the story leaving our possession, ready to become someone else's opportunity for connection. Tis a sad business, this cycle we get ourselves into. And yet, I wouldn't want it any other way.
As I write the above, I realize the irony of my words, as I intend to take the summer off from doing theatre, defending myself from well-meaning encouragement from my peers to audition for Orpheus' Spring Awakening (guys, seriously, I don't think I'm the best one to represent the characters' struggles in the show). I do know, however, that though the cycle is paused for the moment, eventually the five minute limit will release and I'll be thrust back into it, already rolling along at speeds double what they were before. For now, though, I'll just sit here this regular Tuesday night and reflect on what Tommy was for me: an incredible experience to practice what I preach, in an environment that allowed me to grow as a voice coach and learn the inner workings of musical production. I am amazed at the kindness and encouragement of my peers throughout this process, gaining so much more than I could ever have hoped to give. Ladies and gents, Edmonton will have a new voice coach yet, just mark my words!