Thursday, January 26, 2012

this crazy theatre thing

The past two weeks have been some of the craziest of my life.  Good, wonderful, full of memories--but crazy.

Emma opened Friday the 13th, and the week before that day was a blur of extra rehearsals and crammed homework time.  The semester of my one online class ended, and with it, pre-calculus, which has been the curse of my existence since September.  I got an A, proving that miracles do happen.  JESUS IS REAL FOLKS.

Your sweet little comments about Emma made me ever so happy.  Seriously, thank you guys.  Sometimes I feel like I ramble on about things, but this play has very much been taking up all of my life recently, and I'm glad you all enjoy hearing about it.  I enjoy hearing back from you.  *hug*

The day before we opened, we had a massive snow storm, which made our crowd on Friday a bit smaller than it otherwise would have been.  And it was deathly quiet.  I don't think I've ever heard an audience make so little noise.  It was a smooth performance, but rather depressing.

Saturday and Sunday's performance were exceedingly better in that area--laughing and clapping at all the appropriate [and sometimes unexpected] places.  That's the thing I have the hardest time with while acting--not breaking character and keeping a straight face.  Let's face it, we put on an entertaining show.

I don't think I've ever been sufficiently grateful for Martin Luther King, Jr. until that Monday.  I needed sleep, I needed homework time...and thank the Lord, I got a little of both.  Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with classes and waiting, waiting, waiting for the next weekend.

our dear little cast.  from left to right:
(back) Mr. Elton, Mr. Knightley, Mr. Woodhouse, Emma (me!), Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax (Cassie), Frank Churchill,
Jane Austen, Harriet, Mr. Weston, Mrs. Elton, Mrs. Weston, Mr. Martin
(front) Mrs. Bates, "Juan" the servant/backstage help

We were just going to have three more performances the next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (this past weekend), but tickets were selling out so quickly that we added last Thursday as well.  Our second Friday, this past weekend, was our worst performance ever.  I mean, sure we had flubs in the other performances (like the curtain falling on me the second night...), but Friday there were just more screw-ups than usual.  With the lights, with lines, and our dance...ehh. *covers face in shame*  Annnddd guess what?  Friday was the day they filmed.  Perfect, right?

Several of you wanted the link if the filmed show ever found its way to youtube.  I'll consider it, promise.  It just depends on how humiliating it actually is for me.  Meanwhile, here are the official photos--looklooklook!  Sadly, our dear Harriet (played by lil baby Megan) is not in these.  She got the flu and wasn't at our last dress rehearsal, when these were taken.  Thus some awkward pictures where I appear to be talking to myself.  (ALSO--in these photos, my hair is probably the best it's ever been.  Score.)


After Friday's lousy performance, Saturday rolled around and basically the whole cast was in a sour mood.  We'd done it so many times, and we had yet to have a show that we all felt exceptionally good about.  So as we were cranky backstage listening to music and readying ourselves as we always do, amid the pop music we usually listen to came a worship song...and another...and another.  And of course we all sing along, and I'm telling you.  I got so much happier just because of that.  God is seriously so good with his timing.  And then we went out to do the show--and it was our best ever.  It was an incredible night--great audience, great everything.  Like, basically flawless.  Haha.  I think we all needed that.

Sunday was bittersweet.  Yes, I was ready to have it over, to never wear those dresses again, to give my face a break from those Emma-ish expressions, to have my life back.  But with every scene--especially our favorites--there was a sad little realization of this is the last time.

So, it ended.  We ended well.  I had friends come to every performance except one, and I cannot tell you how thrilled that made me, to see familiar faces after each show.  Even better is when people you don't know come up to congratulate you, to ask you how the heck you memorized that many lines [I have no idea].  Oh, and my cast got me a bouquet of flowers last performance.  Day made.  I still can't get over the fact that I am--er, was (sniff)--Emma.  Geez.

We ended with a grand old time at Tim Hortons--lots of laughter and memories and signing-of-playbills-and-napkins.  Goodbyes, and hopes to see each other again.

At the risk of sounding totally stuck up, I'd like to say something.  Ian, our Mr. Knightley, is very experienced in theatre, and despite his annoying moments, he's really good at what he does.  He's also 11+ years older than me, and the running joke between us is that I'm "just a kid, and he has no hope for me" and that he's "an old man who does a bad job of acting like he likes me onstage."  Needless to say, we teased a lot.  But I think what with me teasing him constantly and his already--*ahem*--large ego, Ian has a hard time paying compliments, even when he sincerely means them.  Anyway, Ian paid me a very nice compliment, basically saying I was good at this "crazy theatre thing" and to keep doing it because I have a gift.  It just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, not only because he thought it, but because he said it.

I've learned a lot from this show.  It wasn't all fun-and-games.  Sure, I had a blast, but we worked a lot too, and I really do feel like I've grown a lot through it.  I think you can't help but become a kind of family with your cast.  I've come out with some extraordinary friends and memories I'll treasure forever.

And ya know, I totally plan on keeping on with this crazy theatre thing.  I love it terribly.

This week--sigh.  This has been a dreary little week.  Because of lack of sleep and a crazy homework schedule, I've been more emotional than usual.  But I--yes, even I, the-one-who-detests-Dr.-Seuss-with-a-fiery-burning-passion-of-a-thousand-suns--am going to admit that the man possessed a little wisdom.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Also, that's a comma splice.  Agh.

But I'm smiling, for sure.  I'm so grateful, so glad it happened.


  1. It sounds like you had so much fun! Acting is amazing--like you said, you really do become family with the cast! I was in a play at church and we really got to know each other. It was so sad when it was all over.

    Are your plays put on by a theatre league, or do you just get together with a bunch of friends? Either way, I'm sure it was amazing! :) I hope it gets put on youtube!

    1. thank you! I do it with local drama production company--and no, I knew only one person (besides my sister) beforehand; everyone else I met and got to know during rehearsals. it's small, but still pretty decent for community theatre. (:

  2. I would love to act in a play. Sounds like you had a great time!

  3. YAY! I kept checking your blog for a new post, in case there was a blogger feed malfunction... :) Love this post so, so much. So glad that you got to have the * perfect * performance. The pictures are amazing--you look so gorgeous. And it looks like you nailed this scene (such an awesome part)

    ALSO--way to go getting an A in calculus! That is pretty dang amazing.

  4. Ohhh my goodness. So happy for you! And I seriously love this post.

  5. wow. what a time you've been having! those pictures on flickr are amazing. you look beautiful and your hair is gorgeous.
    ditto what polka dot said about that scene. woah, mr. knightly is 11 years older than you? he doesn't look it!

  6. I hardly know what to say...but I'm so happy for you, Jenn! Congratulations on your AH-MAZING acting, and an A in calculus :)
    simi//soul sister

  7. I understand the whole sadness-after-a-show-ends thing. I've been in four theatre productions with OBPC and you really do become a family with the cast.

    My brother, sister, two friends and I came to Emma on the last Saturday and it was amazing! I've never been a big Emma fan but I think you may have convinced me. :)

    ~ Madison (

  8. Oh, Jenn. You make me smile. Someday, you will realize that Dr. Suess was far wiser than you reckoned him to be. Then I will simply smile to myself and say, "I told you so."
    *watching you*

  9. Jenn, I'm so happy that you had a fun time!! Congratulations : ) It looks like you put on a really nice play!!

  10. Thank you so very much for the sweet comment! It really means a lot! Oh, that song is so beautiful. I love Narnia. :))

  11. Even if they are just ramblings, they are so much fun to read! I think it's cool that Cassie was in it, too. I didn't know she was. My brother was in a play once, and it was really fun to watch. PLEASE consider posting the video! It would be so much fun to watch since I "know" you through your blogging. However, I would understand if you were too embarrased. :)

  12. Sounds like you had an awesome experience with the theater group. :) Love your thoughts about it!

    P.S. I checked out that video link that you posted on your comment, and it was simply lovely! Thank-you for telling me about it. :)

  13. jenn jenn jenn jenn jenn. I MISS YOU TOO! and i cannot seem to fix my post-not-coming-up-in-feed problem. *sigh* so i've just been posting anyway. i've kind of decided i should blog more for myself, not people. BUT - i do enjoy ya'lls comments, and i really miss them anyhow :/

    i'm glad you like my header.
    kay. thanks. :)

    and your comment really made my day.
    jussayin'. :)

    anyway. on to your post. my friend katelin does theatre and she has this same bitter-sweetness at the end of each play she's in. from what she's told me, the cast becomes like family for such a long time and then it's just.. over. but, like you said, don't cry because it's over. smile because it happened. Jesus let you shine bright, make some amazing friends, and memories to hold on to forever.


    oh. and you looked stunning by the way! just positively radiant. i can tell you're meant to be on stage :)

  14. I was Emma once!!! I loved it!!

  15. Oh I would have just loved to see you in the play! I saw the official pictures, and you were so pretty :) It looks like a ton of fun :)
    -mal :)


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