When I entered high school I had one dream, to be a lead in a show. I wanted to be the star character that everyone loved and was the central aspect of the show. I wanted to entertain and be recognized. I wanted what any actor has ever wanted. I thought that would be my happiest moment.
I recently just got done with the second show I directed this year. The show is entitled Circle Mirror Transformation, a show where there really is no way to describe the plot. It is a show about five people in an acting class over a six week period. The reason I love the show is that it is not a comedy or drama, but instead it is real. The show is about the relationships me make and lose, our own self discovery, and those awkward moments in between. It is a relatable show that invokes multiple emotions and is not plot driven, but character driven. The show is not a piece of theater, but a piece of life.
This show meant more than the world to me. Though I directed another show earlier this year, which I love and will always cherish, this show has a deeper meaning. Unlike Alice in Wonderland where I directed with someone else, this show was under only my control. I got to chose the show I wanted to direct and had free creative control. It also meant that I had no safety net and was truly on my own as a director. It was a great experience for me to spread my wings and try something new, it was a chance to grow and transform, something that is echoed in the play.
One of the reasons this show was so special to me was my cast. I could have not been more blessed as a director. Though there was a last minute addition, my cast was unbelievable. They were always fully committed and never gave up. The show is not easy material. It is a mature show that does not work if it is not realistic. Realism is a hard thing for most actors and my cast could have not done a better job. They took it head on and created something magical. The show became a piece of life because of them. No amount of directing can cause this. I could push them in the right direction but realism is something that cannot be forced, it must be felt and every single one of my actors did this.
As a director though the best moment was being able to see them all grow. The rehearsal experience echoes a lot of ideas that are found within the play, this being self discovery and growth. It was an honor to watch every single one of my actors transform into something new. They all changed and grew over the course of the show, and though it might not seem like it to them, to me it was noticeable. It was something beautiful and an experience I will never forget.
Though Alice was an amazing show and will always be one of my favorite experiences, Circle Mirror Transformation was something special. It was realistic and something everyone could relate to in some way or another. Though I am in another show at my high school, this show is truly my swan song. In a way, I wish I had ended with this. It was my last big contribution and was the thing I poured all my heart into. I will never be more grateful for my cast. This post will never be enough. I will never be able to give them enough praise or thanks. Praise and thanks for putting on a beautiful show but for also giving me something to hang onto. As the uncertain future gets closer and closer it is comforting to know somewhere in my mind I will be able to think about the show and feel okay. The future is not so scary when you have comfort and support, and as awful as life can be I will always remember how much happiness this show brought me. How much love it gave me, and how it refueled my passion for creation.
One of the exercises we did to help get into character was I asked my actors what their character's happiest moment was in their life. One of my actors then asked me later if I could think of mine. Life has many happy moments, in fact we rarely notice them because they are the norm. I, however, do have a concrete answer. Despite being leads before and having the center stage, it is not them. They were good moments, but not the best. My happiest moment was watching my actors take their final bows and receiving applause and all the attention. It was watching them take in all the love that was being sent their way and the smiles that took over their faces. It was seeing them being payed back for all their hard work. It was seeing them happy and proud of what they have done. It was knowing we had all created something beautiful that had affected people positively. We had created something that was not just a good show, but a special show. It was the moment in which I could have not been prouder. It was being back stage not center stage.
I love my cast and will am so proud. I hope you remember this journey and never forget it. You all created something beyond belief and I am so proud and I hope you all know this. No words will ever be enough.
"Do you ever wonder
how many times your life is going to end? Like how many times your life
is gonna totally change and then start all over again? And you'll feel
like what happened before wasn't real."