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CABARET: the whole story, part 1 (plus, FEED CABARET!)

so, my comrades, i’m gonna split this blog up into a couple pieces because i got too much to say and it’s gettin’ too lengthy-like.
….barely a few days passed from the release of the #UkuleleHead record, and we’re onto project number Next.
yes, it is time for “cabaret”.
here’s the poster….
01
some background:
i’ve wanted to do THIS show with THIS director, steven bogart, for almost 10 years.
it all started back in 2001 when bogart did a production of “Cabaret” with the students at lexington high school, my alma mater.
i was well out of college at that point, but i’d stayed in touch with bogart. i showed up to help the kids with the german pronunciation, and i helped with the make-up backstage at all three performances.
why’d i do that? this one, i think i finally need to fully explain.
where to start?
hm.
first, a story: i was having dinner with an acquaintance a few years ago, and explaining with extreme giddiness how i was going to go back to the high school to create a new show/musical with bogart & the kids.
(which many of you saw, and if not can SEE NOW…it wound up being titled “With The Needle That Sings In Her Heart” and was inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel’s heartbreaking album “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” and the diary of Anne Frank).
this person said to me: “amanda, when are you going to grow up & leave that fucking high school for good?”
dude. he didn’t get it. i was sad.
here’s the thing.
steven bogart was a mentor to me in the old-school sense…a real, fundamental inspiration to me. the real kind of inspiration where your mind is opened up to WHAT YOU CAN DO with art and HOW YOU CAN DO IT and how there are no rules in art…just ideas, impulses, and actions.
this guy was creating theater with 14-18 year-olds that was pushing the boundaries further than “pro” stuff i see nowadays at “risky” fringe theater venues.
moreover, and more importantly i think, he encouraged the students to CREATE their own work from scratch. every year he helped organize a weekend of student-written and directed plays…and it was through that outlet that i first started my love affair with making shows.
all of the plays that i wrote in school were BIZARRE. they had mostly no dialogue and were focused around music and slightly surreal stage action.
they were more like long music videos with plots, put on a theater stage. i was a child of MTV, it’s the world i knew. and my favorite fucking movie was “the wall”.
shakespeare didn’t really interest me. neither, much, did plays with words and people just moving around on stage. i like stranger images.
my freshman year, i didn’t write or direct, i just acted and observed. i was cast in an absurdist play called “JUSTICE” written by eugene mirman (who’s since gone on to become a kind of famous indie comedian; it’s that lexington water, dude). the play was about a man trapped in a kafka-esque nightmare in which he’s arrested for no reason, and thrown into an insane asylum.
my part involved coming onto stage with a greek chorus and screaming
“PANTS PANTS PANTS PANTS PANTS”
at the protagonist and later, in a drug-induced dream sequence, bursting onto stage covered in blinking christmas lights and dancing around like a total nutjob.
i think it was around then that i decided i was not going to try out for the lacrosse OR the soccer team my sophomore year.
and there it was done. i forsook my position as goalie (yes, i’d been a soccer, then lacrosse, goalie for a good 7 years at that point…learn something new every day. i had a trick that involved diving into a pile of kicking soccer feet and grabbing the ball unafraid of getting kicked in the head and impressing the shit out of everybody. and getting my head kicked a lot) and instead, i did every single theater production and started working on my own pieces.
my sophomore year, i took a crack at writing, directing, and acting in my first play.
it was called “Don’t Drop The Minds of The Vegetables (or How My Insomnia Turned LHS StereoType)”. it was a surreal bunch of scenes attacking the idea of conformity (oh, high school) and i barely remember what the thing was about…but i do remember loving the process. i loved the fact that anything i could dream up would then come to life on stage, no matter how fucked up. bogart approved, or at least, he didn’t disapprove.
meanwhile, i auditioned for every other production in the drama department (bogart directed everything). in addition to the fall musical, there was the spring play (which was usually some weird twister interpretation of a classic…i remember my freshamn year we did a production of “a midsummer night’s dream” with the set and costumes inspired by the painter Miró) and most significantly, there was what we called “globefest”, which was an inter-high-school competition. lexington high got the reputation as the “weird” school and we always wrote our own pieces, created from scratch out of improv. we did heavy, deep work. we took risks. bogart encouraged us. we would look at the other high schools and wonder how they could survive doing productions of “our town” and other mostly boring stuff. we were lucky. we didn’t quite know how lucky, because when you’re that age, you don’t.
my junior year i did a play called “i’m sticking with you”. it was birthed while i was listening to the velvet underground song, and the last scene of the play appeared in my head. i worked backwards from there. it was about a girl named caroline who was addicted to water and caught in a cycle of abuse handed down to her from her parents. i used music by my favorite bands…the legendary pinks dots, king missile, lou reed solo stuff.
the final scene played to the VU song – with caroline getting tied to a chair by her tormentor and danced around the stage like a puppet.
i was 16.
bogart encouraged this sort of stuff. digging stuff, real stuff. personal, crazy stuff. i kept going.
the next year i wrote my most ambitious undertaking, a 45-minute piece based fully on my favorite record by the legendary pink dots, called “asylum”…written mostly by me but polished in rehearsal by the actors, who were all bogart-trained to take risks and follow weird impulses. it was put up in the student directed festival. bogart didn’t have time that year to run a workshop for globefest with us, so he selected my play to be entered instead, which was a giant honor – one he’d never given t
o any other student. when we got the preliminary round, the show was disqualified because the judges claimed it “wasn’t theater”, more or less. it was too weird, didn’t have dialogue. bogart went in and fought on my behalf, and though i didn’t get re-qualified, they festival rules were changed for good and – to this day – the festival now has to consider plays that aren’t just straight, average fare. since then, lexington stopped competing, since they started winning first place every year and it was getting ridiculous.
i got my first fan letter ever after that show. a girl from another high school (Wellesley, i think) wrote a letter addressed to lexington high school with my name on it. it got delivered to me one day in homeroom.
she said she was sorry i’d gotten disqualified, and that she’d never seen theater like “that” before. she said the ending of the show made her break into tears and she wanted to thank me for opening up her heart.
that letter changed my life a little.
bogart, through all of this, was calm and always present, but he wasn’t the sort of teacher who chummed around, befriending students and acting hip, getting all involved in our personal lives like some after-school special. at least, he didn’t do that with me. he was always just There.
he asked us to do real, profound things in rehearsals. we would find true places, locked-up places, strange inside places. he taught us to learn to trust and LISTEN to each other. we would do extended warm-ups and exercises that tuned us into stillness.
anything went. there was no judgement on his part, just an unending desire to see us push ourselves as far as we could creatively.
he taught us to respect things. the space, the words, each other.
and in turn, we respected him. here was the thing: he treated us like adults. he didn’t patronize us.
he expected us to do the work that people in their twenties might do…and so we did. he created a space for us to create madness in, and we filled the space.
i remember feeling very alive in that auditorium. like theater and making things move on stage was what i was built to do. i remember endless rehearsals for shows where the cast would feel like a secret family…a crew of a huge, important ship that was going to land in the audience’s brains and hearts and change their courses. and we all traded massages. maybe it was the massages.
i remember rolling myself up in one of the huge, heavy curtains of the stage (like a little sausage with a casing of velvet) and smoking pot out of a coke can before i started my first rehearsal for “asylum”, my magnum opus. i remember feeling that life possibly didn’t get better than standing stoned on a blank stage, about to fill it with actors, music and images.
and THAT, more or less, is why i kept going back to the high school. staying connected with bogart, especially after the band became successful, was a way of staying connected with an authentic source, a home-base.
after i graduated, i went of to college and found myself feeling lost and alone at wesleyan. the theater department didn’t feel welcoming and safe like it felt in the high school. it felt business-like, impersonal, impenetrable.
so i turned my back on it completely (i turned my back on just about everything, but that’s another blog).
but i would show up at bogart’s new shows when i was back home, always impressed and amazed at what he was doing. and the older i got, also slightly amazed that the audience for his work was so limited to this ONE town and on a high school stage. Bogart is also a fantastic playwright (and painter) and had productions going on outside the school here and there, but i was always aching to see him bust out more, be seen by a bigger audience.
so back to 2001. it was the early days of the band, i was long out of college and living in my own apartment in boston (not too far from lexington).
i asked bogart if i could help him with his production of “cabaret”, which was the school musical that fall. or spring? i forget.
i’d seen a few other “cabaret” productions, but’d never been mightily moved (one was in harvard sq at the teeny hasty pudding theater, and one was in germany when i was living in regensburg, which does stiuck out in my memory because the dancers bopped around the audeince handing out swastika flags in one scene – and the swastika is ILLEGAL to print in germany…people’s reactions were fascinating).
but my feelings about the show changed when i was bogart’s production, with a cast of TEENAGERS, no less – holy fuck. the power of the show finally walloped me on the head. i thought: we have to do this show. someday. we have to. me and him.
and i said it to him then, as soon as the final performance was over.
he didn’t believe me.
and now, almost ten years later, we’re doing it.
it’s real.
we’re doing it.
here’s me & bogart at the photoshoot with kyle cassidy for the poster image…
he’s got great tits:
02
i’ll write more in Blog Part Two about the show itself, the cast, crew, etc. but for now, before i forget (and i’ll repeat this in blog 2)….
presenting….
FEED CABARET!
are you or near harvard square or boston? are you bored? can you cook? do you have a garden over-sprouting with vegetables & fruits and don’t know what to do with them?
do you want to feed us? YES YOU DO YOU DO YOU DO!
i tried this during the play in lexington last year, and it worked like a charm, so i repeat for “cabaret”:
if you’re up for it, BRING US FOOD! we are hungry, always.
we’re rehearsing our collective asses off for the next 5 weeks and are taking dinner (& sometimes lunch) breaks EVERY DAY while we kick this shit into shape.
there are TONS of us (the cast and crew total about 25+ people) BUT anything is welcome, since most everybody in the cast is a broke actor.
if you even just want to drop off snacks, we’ll happily take ‘em.
please only relatively healthy food – if we get inundated with cupcakes and cupcakes only, we’ll all be fat and fucked for the show & you’ll be sad when you come to see us and all you see if 20 actors lying on a stage in a sugar coma. if you’re game to bring ANYTHING, e-mail my girl hayley, and she’ll hook you up with the address, directions, and times & talk to you about how to organize what you got to offer.
when you come to drop your stuff off, you’ll (probably) be able to kick it with me & the cast during the break, but no promises since the schedule is CRAZY & just know that when we start work again we’re gonna kick you out, so don’t be offended. and THANK YOU – when i told the actors about this they were SO EXCITED.
note: about half the cast eat vegetarian/vegan…bring o
ptions.
and if for some reason you’re far away and want to MAIL something, go for it, hayley will give you an address (you can send things via the ART).
someone wonderful last year sent us a coffee cake every week. it was fattening….but splendid. hit us with love, please.
and there’s plenty more coming up in the help department….we’re going to need tons of local boston help to promote this shit (43 shows, i must be mad) so stay tuned.
goodnight, goodnight.
love,
AFP
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  • http://twitter.com/meahmeah Meaghan Berry

    I wish I could be there T_T I wish my theater experiences had been that wonderful.

    Also, you should encourage LHS to get into Destination Imagination (because somehow if they can make kid friendly 8 minute theater it seems so fucking right up their alley)

  • Man With Hat

    You… You were so damned fortunate. You learned things in high school I had to wait until 2 years into college theatre to learn. Hot damn. Hope the show works like one million dollars.

  • http://twitter.com/StarlitHome TropigothMama

    I wish I was in Boston so I could Feed Cabaret… And when I read about your highschool theater experience it *almost* makes me wish I actually went to highschool (I was homeschooled, booyah).

    Been listening to WKAP all day, interspersed with UkuleleHead and Do You Swear… – you rock, AFP.
    love you so much.

  • tkeeper101

    Wow, you used to be a goalkeeper? I’ve been playing soccer as a goalie for almost 9 years now (I’m 14) and this has given me a whole new appreciation for you! You indeed do seem the type. :]

    Anyways, good luck with the production. I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Santnamor2013

    I have never checked on so many stories of a single artist, like I do with your “blog power”!! LOL….so nice……for me, your blog is like a book that is still being written!
    I got a climax on your story when you spoke of your first fan…how it was important to you…interesting.
    I also want to comment that you were already doing art so freely since youth! I could imagine, but to read about it is certainly cool…I wish I had this kind of theatre/young artists in my school! well, we did not even had a theatre!! hehehe….but we played soccer!
    regards,
    ciao!

  • Ryan_Anas

    I was in the theatre program in middle school. I always got the part of the bad guy, bwa ha ha! But I’m sad to say that my High School didn’t have a theatre club. What. The fuck. I always felt left ou of the kind of amazing world you had with Bogart you describe in this blog because of that. I wanted to be a theatre major in college, but my folks (mainly my dad) would only let me major in something that would make MONEY!! So I decided to become an English Education major. Having been a part of the educational world I can speak firsthand about how special Bogart was, and how few and far between those opportunities are for young people these days… creativity isn’t on the state funding test, so it seems. But looking at someone like you, who inspires so many young people to follow their hearts an create original art and beauty in the world really drives home the idea that one man can cause ripples in the universe endlessly reaching.

    I can’t say how happy i am that you have thins opportunity to share Bogart’s vision with people outside the community of Lexington Mass. Last night I took advantage of the tv hookup the couple I’m petsitting for have to their computer and watched “the needle” again, and I was as moved as i was when I saw it live last year.

    Thank you for going back to High School, and thank you for reminding us that we can all have a young, open mind ready to make art if we choose to.

    Love,
    Ry

  • Darryl Stephens

    I am way to far away to … borrow a poster from the area. Would love to purchase one of those! Any chance?

  • http://atrus.wordpress.com/ Atrus

    I wish I had a Bogart in high school. Our theatre director loved to talk about improv and student participation but then he was a strict controlling bastard who never kept up to his promises. I remember in my last year I agreed to play in a production of Romeo & Juliet as long as I could play a crazy, lucid Romeo walking himself to destruction rather than the dumb, lovestruck adolescent Romeo you usually see in the play; it ended with me having to play the most boring Romeo ever because that was his idea and he was sticking to it. Not surprisingly, when he asked me to join his theatre school the following year, he didn’t understand why I said no.

  • itrademyoldshoesfornewfeet

    ooh i wish i was near boston to see you….

  • jessepacheco

    you’re so lucky.

    we moved on from the first round in the massachusetts drama festival for the first time in like 10+ years or something last year. it was a play about teenagers making choices. woooooooooo.

    i’m so jealous of you.

  • http://twitter.com/josiah93 Josiah S.

    I am almost as fortunate as you. Not in the form of theater, but of food. I am going to be the first senior class of a technical school in Las Vegas. [I know you hate it, but it is not all that bad]
    Trying to get away from my conservative family after coming out gay, I joined the ProStart program after school. It is a national competition for high schools. Staying after until almost 6 o’clock in the afternoon, all of us became a little family.
    I have two amazing chef mentors at my school, who have taught me so much about food, people, and life in general. I followed them blindly, and with their talent and lots of hard work, we placed 5th at nationals.

    I have several Steven Bogarts.
    & one of them is you. <3 – Josiah

  • http://twitter.com/chamara455 Angela

    You are such an inspiration.

  • http://twitter.com/dunnogr Nikos Dunno

    plz oh plz oh plz oh plz make the poster available for purchase.i definitely want one of these for my walls, and my viewing pleasure

  • Caroline

    I really needed that, thank you. Good luck with the production. I hope there are nice, heavy curtains for you.

  • karohemd

    Why does the US have to be so far away?
    Thank you for this blog, it’s a fascinating read.

    Wow, you were lucky during your show in Regensburg that the show wasn’t shot down and fined (or worse). Swastikas on stage you can get away with but handing them out to the audience is a different matter entirely.

  • Ashley

    Reading your description of your relationship with Bogart and the discovery of feeling at home in theatre made me recall so many of my own happy memories of my college theatre department, with both fellow students and professors. Thank you Amanda…I’ve got a smile on my face and it looks like I’ll be sending some “catch up” e-mails to old friends today.

  • http://twitter.com/scarlettsiren Siobhan

    I’m really hoping that I get to see this, since it sounds like it’ll be fabulously wrenching! Bogart sounds like a really phenomenal person and teacher- as someone who was a screwed up teen who sought refuge in the theater, I can only imagine how many kids have been changed for the better because they had a safe space to release their madness onstage.

    And the “globefest”- since you’re from MA I’m gonna say that’s the MA high School Drama Guild show, right? My when I was in high school, my school did it every year, and ALWAYS hosted Semi-finals. The way I remember it, there were always at least 3-4 sleeper plays where you’d fight to be on outside door-duty, but then there were usually a couple that were really fantastic. Of course, I’m a few years younger, so we got the benefit of the adjusted rules. Thanks by the way, a couple of the shows that I really loved from that wouldn’t have made it otherwise.

  • http://www.howlinhobbit.com/ Howlin’ Hobbit

    It’s blog posts like this that confirm to me that I’m right in putting Amanda Fucking Palmer WAY up in my heroes list.

    I do so love being right.

    Thank you.

  • Alex_druchii

    amanda, I do understand you completly! I have a Boggart too (she’s called silvia :P) we produced cabaret a few years ago in mid school, I was the MC and I loved it!!! now I’m a few years out of college and I want to work with her again producing spring awakening…a heart breaking musical…

    but above all this

    OMG

    I love youu!!! amanda palmer as MC I couldn’t belive it!! it’s a fuckin’ dream!!!! but hey!! you HAVE (not can or may) you HAVE to release the play CD for god’s sake!!!!!! I think THEN I’ll be definetly happy :P

    luck!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/i_justdontknow i_justdontknow

    I used to walk the stage of my theatre back home, when all the lights were down and I was the only person in the building. I would run my hands along the curtains and over the railings backstage, let my fingertips linger on the whitewashed stone walls. I felt dangerously alive and ready to burst with creative energy. Life could not be better than when I was closeted away like that, meditating on greatness and preparing for the performance that evening. I felt like a king, wandering the halls and discovering all the secrets the theatre held for whomever was willing to seek them out. I miss that feeling now. I want to go back home to theatre.

    That I will not get to see you perform in this show is absolutely wrenching. That I live on the opposite coast and can’t be a part of Feed Cabaret is frustrating (I enjoy cooking immensely, especially for large groups of hungry people). But the fact that I can catch such a vivid glimpse into the heart of someone I admire so deeply is utterly moving. As in, causing me to get moving. As in, inspiring me to get off my ass and create, work, dream bigger, and stop making up excuses. You amaze me. Every minute, you amaze me. Thank you, Miss Palmer. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/StylishPeril Charles Henahan

    Bogart sounds like such an amazing man! I wish my drama director were as admirable. Regrettably the drama program at my high school is a little lackluster, but I get by. I mostly do tech for school shows, but I hope to get back on stage for community theatre and college.

    Break a leg in all your endeavours! I’ll do my best to make it down to Cabaret, or else I’ll be in Boston Halloween night. ;)

    Respectfully yours,
    – CPH

  • http://twitter.com/dangerousalice Alice

    Man, how did I not know about the awesomeness that is the Lexington theater department? I grew up one town over (Winchester) and had NO IDEA.

    This post is a great reminder of how much fucking creative power there is in adolescence. The one person who takes you seriously and encourages you and pushes you do things that are real can make such a HUGE difference. And when you don’t really know what’s impossible, or what’s normal, or give a fuck what people think, such amazing things happen…

  • PolitelyOffend

    I’ll probably be bringing dinner or something. I emailed Hailey. I hope it’s on a day when you don’t have to work through the break or anything. Any preferences for food other than vegetarian/non vegetarian?
    Also, I adored theater when I was in high school. My first significant role was in my public school when I was 16. It was a student directed one-act-play where I played a cue-card girl who had to make up for the lack of sound effects by standing downstage and showing cards to the audience that say which effect they should make. My character accidentally steals the scene by “messing up” the sound-effect cue cards. I basically got to improvise the whole thing and have a hissy fit onstage in a Vanna White costume with an updo, high heels, and elbow length gloves. It was a blast.
    Weirdly enough, it wasn’t until I went to a strict Catholic school that I got to be in plays with controversial themes. The director managed to slip some by the school. Where she really shined was with drama class, which we actually recieved credit for. She had us perform scenes where we played characters who were abusers, victims, gay, raped, or just insane. We ended up performing in dramafest (we couldn’t compete that year, but the judges told us we would have been selected for the next level). I got a lead in that play as a holocaust survivor who spends the whole play talking to the audience about her story, which plays out center stage while she narrates. That fall, we did an all female version of 12 Angry Men. The first play she cast me in was Seussical (yeah, i know…) I played the Sour Kangaroo, the villain. I didn’t like the actual play but I loved playing my part. It was literally described in the script as “Aretha Franklin, with more attitude.” I got to belt it out the whole time, I got to let loose on stage, no amount was too much…I got to do a Z-snap. It was awesome.
    We also had a play called “Meeting of the Minds” which was a debate between the ancient philosophers and the moderns in a political debate scenario. It was our final exam in philosophy class. My teacher told me I had to play Nietzsche, period. She had me read 5 books, some of his writing, some of others on the subject of nihilism. I had to sit in the audience before storming onto stage as Nietzsche, the angry heckler. I improvised pissed off reactions at every philosopher while they delivered their arguments. Then, I delivered a 7 page rant I wrote from the philosopher’s point of view. I got to angrily scream at an audience of devout Catholics, screaming GOD IS DEAD! and then listing several reasons why each and every church lady in attendance was a hypocrite and how they were responsible for the death of faith. That was easily the best part I got to play. I loved that director, and that school. I understand what you mean about one person or one environment pulling something out of you that you never thought you had.
    Anyway, I wrote wayyy too much, but this blog made me remember a lot. Thanks <3.
    I can't wait to see this show <3

  • thebruce

    wow, that sounds amazing amanda. Good for you to be doing something you’ve wanted to do for so long.
    thats so awesome. i wish i lived in boston to bring you all treats..
    good luck with everything! you are so fucking rad. <3

  • DolphinedSea

    I both loved and hated/feared theatre in high school and in the community. I’d get a panic attack, almost pass out and/or vomit before getting on stage, but once I got on stage that simply wasn’t an option; my persona took over and my former body and self was inconsequential. Our high school theatre department saw six directors in one and a half years, and we even did a one-act version of Grapes of Wrath, which only went to the middle giving it a somewhat happy ending… I played Jim Casy. We only spent one week on mime, but I made several people cry (the song to it was Sugar Water by Cibo Matto), and that meant so much to me, evoking that sort of reaction. It never saw an audience beyond the classroom though, nor did anyone else’s.
    What I suppose I’m trying to say is that it is absolutely wonderful that you not only had Bogart in high school, but that he wasn’t driven away from the higher-ups for not playing it safe. It seems he invested in his students, not only as students but as ripe, great minds who were capable of anything. There needs to be not only more like him, but more administrations that can look beyond what is safe and easy and let the teachers and students explore their own spectra.
    Sweet questionable messianic figure! I wish I was in Boston to see the production! Break a leg.

  • KwanTi

    I have to agree with i_justdontknow’s comment about it being frustrating to be here on the Pacific Coast and unable to see the show. The ART’s Kyle Cassidy poster is now the wallpaper on my computer. I spent the morning at work listening to the Cabaret soundtrack (New Broadway Cast Recording with Alan Cumming).

    But the theatre memories you’re bringing back have kept me smiling most of the day. Our school had a good theatre department. Although not as experimental as and much more conventional than Lexington High School, we had three good teachers, two of whom I’m still in touch with. I did my last stage role (a supporting role in “The Odd Couple”) back in 9th Grade. I still have some pretty vivid memories of the final performance when our Oscar Madison dropped about two whole pages of dialogue and we had to improvise our way back into the script.

    I kept doing the tech jobs. Stagehand, electrician, carpenter, painter, stage manager. That kept me in theatre through high school and into college. Those were the best and most fun jobs. There was the time during a production in the old theatre building (a converted 1920s assembly/study hall with “vintage” wiring) I had to stay downstairs by the main circuit board for the second half of the performance and hold the circuit breakers in “on” position because if we brought the lighting dimmers up too fast or too full, it would blow the breakers. This was the same theatre where, if you crawled through the attic space behind and between the lightbooth and the follow spot booth, you ran a real risk of getting a shock from the knob-and-tube wiring.

    When the school built a new modern theatre with a full light grid and fly system, we really had fun. Then working in pretty-much professional level theatres at Cal Berkeley. Then you got to climb to the top of a 20′ A-frame ladder to pull and focus lights, one hand above your head to steady yourself on the boom and one hand to adjust the lights. Or working the dimmer board from the lightbooth and talking crap about the actors to the stage manager over the headsets. The single best job I can recall was working as the deck electrician during the annual dance production. I’d get to walk around stage before the show, calling dimmers and checking focus, while 20 or 30 super-attractive dancers warmed up on stage around me. And since there wasn’t much for me to do during the show (mostly, just resets during intermission), I hung out with the dancers off-stage. Nice.

    The best, though, was working as stage manager or chief stagehand and having the keys to the theatre. Being first there to open the theatre and last to leave and lock up. Coming and leaving the theatre and stage would be dark with only a single “ghostlight” on stage for illumination. Like i_justdontknow says, that’s a special time when you can feel the creative energy around you, gathering or ebbing like the tide. There’s a potential for anything in an empty stage.

  • http://twitter.com/dreamijo andrea

    I love the fearlessness that theatre, especially the kind you describe, embodies. I love and envy it because it’s something I lack.

  • Justin Orlando

    Feck off!! Don’t ever grow up, this is precisely why I love you. Well, this AND your closet soccer skills.

    Everythin irie,
    J

  • http://twitter.com/IrishPirate28 The Irish Pirate

    I am amazed at how small the world is. I was IN that production of Cabaret, in Lexington, in 2001 (I still have my cast shirt). As a Kit Kat Girl and sang the Nazi sympathizer song, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” (red spotlight, downstage right – doubt you remember, but it was always my favorite part). And being in a production like that, a creative environment like that, lead me to some really interesting authors, like Terry Pratchett, which lead me to Neil Gaiman, which led me to Amanda Palmer, and brought me full circle back to LHS! Incredible. Good luck with the new production – wish I was still in MA to help! :)

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