Words could never express how wonderful it was to see my little girl backstage at a Pittsburgh Savoyards performance. Watching her interactions and her curiosity, as well as her calm demeanor and attempt at singing along, has only fueled my desire to work in more theater productions. She could learn so much from the people both on the stage and behind the scenes that can influence her future so positively. It makes me wish I started in theater younger than I am now but better late than never!
When I fell in love with theater, I was a college graduate dealing with the pangs of unemployment. No outlet for art can make for a very miserable artist. I had been exposed to it at an early age, watching my sister on stage, but I had always wondered about the sets, the people back stage. The well-oiled machine that keeps the whole thing going from start to finish. A dear friend of mine, who has served as a giant influence in my theatrical (and all other) pursuits, showed me all the beauty (and the ugly) of working in theater. I felt like my daughter must have felt, listening and learning with a huge amount of wonder. And like a domino effect, theater took hold of me and we rushed forward together, celebrating triumphs and moving forward from failures, always taking away the lesson. Always grateful for the chance, any chance, to be together.
I was 22 when I met my friend and embarked on this new chapter, and the many chapters that followed. Now I have a tiny co-writer to continue my book of life. I have met and mingled with so many hard-working, interesting, talented, and different personalities. The diversity is endearing, and each show brings in someone new with a different take on life and work ethic. And this is why I never give up reaching out and trying new things, new companies, new artists, and new journeys. There is always a more challenging and ugly side to things, but those sides also teach lessons. How to keep your composure, learn professionalism and move forward without allowing obstacles in your way.
I am grateful to have had the chance to see my daughter’s face backstage when she noticed the colorful dancing and singing that was happening through the black curtains. She was mesmerized. The only reason I had to take her away was not due to panic or crying. She was simply trying to sing along. And when she was on stage, oh the face, looking out into the empty audience before the house was opened. I could not have asked for a better reaction to the vast space, the echo of voices shouting direction from the balcony, the orchestra warming up. She drank it all in and remained so composed for a toddler in a loud room with a bunch of people running back and forth.
If there was ever any doubt that any of my pursuits weren’t worth it, I can see in my little girl that there are many reasons that they absolutely are. And my husband, who tells me that he will never worry about me, because he knows I have the strength and conviction for anything I set my mind to.
Seeing her backstage, seeing the wonderful people I surround her with and the lessons that can be learned for her future, I know for a fact that I am doing a magnificent job.