Sunday, April 22, 2007

Onstage with the VM

UPDATED 5/8 to add: Pictures from the Spring Show are now up at this link.

Saturday's Spring shows were my first appearance onstage with the Vocal Majority.

Mind you, when I say I was "onstage" with them, I mean it in only the most literal sense. I helped push a grand piano out to center stage for an appearance by "Liberace," and then helped remove it afterwards. That's right, I was a stage hand -- but it was still a blast.

After the final show, I was in full rookie "grunt work" mode, collecting pocket squares, sweeping the dressing rooms for trash and any stray costume pieces, and then loading the tuxes, sets, etc. onto VM's truck. The show ended around 10:10 p.m., and I and the other rookies were done about an hour-and-a-half later. Tiring, but not too bad.

The guys in the group are so encouraging. Many of them, including director Jim Clancy himself, came offstage, shook my hand, and said that I could/would/should be onstage next time -- presumably meaning more than pushing a piano! That made me feel pretty good. I also have had several men console me as I labored after the show, saying things like, "Don't worry, we've all had to go through this," and "All the hard work is worth it."

I'd smile and thank them for the encouragement, but... honestly it isn't necessary. You see, my dirty little secret is -- I love the grunt work. Being backstage at a show like this is an incredible experience in and of itself. You get to hear the show, soak in the audience response, and even contribute in a small way. (There were several of us rookies backstage singing along from time to time!) And hey, unlike the men on the risers, I occasionally got to sit down during the show! Even the post-show work is fun in its own way.

I've worked most of the positions in various (pre-VM) shows -- from lead roles to chorus positions as a performer, and stage hand and tech crew backstage. Each has its own rewards. Mind you, the goal now is to get onstage (for the whole show!) and perform as a fully-qualified member of the Vocal Majority, and I haven't lost sight of that at all. But I find I'm also enjoying the path that it takes to get there.

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