Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Something Missing

I don't know how many times I mentioned to Kirk that something was missing from EYT this year.  Costumes were being sewn, dances rehearsed, set painted, but still - something was almost tangibly missing.

Well, certainly sleep was missing.  But that is my EYT usual.  8 hour rehearsals and a family of 5 leaves very little daylight to prepare for the next day.  Thankfully, the standard day comes with a full 24 hours, and when necessary I have the stamina to draw from the extra eight hours inconveniently placed between 10 pm and 6 am.  

So the lack of sleep certainly wasn't the difference.  Something else was missing.

It turns out that something was STRESS!  While I felt a whole range of emotions during the three rehearsal weeks (frustration, exhilaration, exhaustion, excitement, motivation, disappointment, pride, humor, contentment, worry, preoccupation, distraction, gratitude, annoyance, accomplishment), there was a big, expected chunk missing: STRESS.

I attribute that to being surrounded by incredible people.  You know that Utah pioneer story about the individuals who just know their handcart was too heavy to push alone?  In that time of need, it was clear that angels had picked up where sheer willpower had failed.  In my case, with a handcart full of 72 kids and the unlikely destination of a completed show in only three weeks, my angels came in the form of real people.

Photo credit: Deanne Jones
Some I could see.  These angels surrounded me on a daily basis, toiling away in the EYT trenches.  Not only did Michelle spend her days banished to the lobby to work vocals with whomever I could spare, but she spent hours at home working on projects that needed her careful eye.  Logan split his time between running scene rehearsals and fixing/making/inventing anything I decreed necessary.  Kaylin never once complained about my crazy costume ideas, revisions to work she'd already done, or late nights spent at her sewing machine.  Chris motivated his half day boys, took on the boring job of supervising odd areas of the Empress, and agreed to stick with the show long term behind the light board.  And Perry did as Perry has always done: whatever I asked without complaint.

Photo credit: Deanne Jones
Other angels popped in to lighten the load when it was clear we needed more hands.  Jeff came back several times to make sure we had everything we needed for our set.  Julie adopted the stumps, knowing without her attention they'd never amount to anything.  Kirk lent his height to securing the leaves of the tree.  Amy was there to orchestrate a survival bag full of M&M's, to listen to me whine, or to work alongside me depending on what the day required.  Cindy spent seven last-minute hours creating a beautiful butterfly in a way no one else could.  Jamie donated her time and talents to create beautiful makeup sketches for the full day cast, then donated more time to teach the techniques.

And then there are the countless others who labored in the shadows: running errands, vacuuming the Empress, sewing alone in the toy shop, and picking up whatever slack needed picking up.  Countless costumers who helped Kaylin survive.  Dedicated families of EYT kids filling in wherever possible.  And my mother, whose huge contribution was to watch three crazy grandsons and one beautiful granddaughter so Michelle and I could live at the theater.

And this doesn't even scratch the surface of all the people who just continued to make the same sacrifices for the theater they make during every show.  Jake.  Marie.  Michele.  Amy.  Curtis.  Devin.  Front of house.  The board.  

If I made a comprehensive list of adults whose volunteer hours contributed to the success of this year's EYT, it would easily hold 150 names.  And so, something was missing this year as I hoisted the responsibility of this huge program onto my shoulders.  

If I missed the opportunity to recognize and thank you in person...

If your name doesn't appear on this blog individually...

If you were one of the real-world angels lessening my stress...

Thank you.

Because I didn't really miss that thing that was missing!