The show this weekend was fantastic.
I have only ever been in one “stage production;” that was a version of the fairytale “Cinderella” put on by the Missoula Children’s Theater when I was a sophomore in high school. So I had a few trepidations with participating in this weekend’s Variety Show. Namely, the diabolical beast called makeup.
See, I am a terrible girl! Until I put on the benefit concert last year, I didn’t even OWN any cosmetics beyond a basic concealer. I knew nothing of mascara and eyeliner and blush. In my performance career, it wasn’t ever necessary. Restaurants and bars hardly ever have any kind of “stage lighting.” It’s either natural light, a business version of home lighting, or dim. Performing in such venues is also up close and personal, so there’s really no need to enhance anything.
Not so in a theater.
For the benefit concert last year, my husband (who has a fair bit of stage experience) and the lights/sound guy had to help me. Imagine how silly it feels being a 28-year-old female having your husband and a 60-year-old guy discuss and apply the best color of lipstick and eye shadow for you! (They did a wonderful job, by the way.) This time around, I knew I couldn’t leave it any longer. With three shows and two dress rehearsals, it was unreasonable to insist the guys take care of me: I had to learn how to do apply makeup myself.
It was a tricky job, but I managed. I still can’t see how some women wear it every freaking day, though…
But the extra effort paid off! I was able to be seen by those in the balcony back row, and I could focus on the largest part of my performance: the music.
It seemed this weekend was to be a weekend of firsts. I got to use a wireless headset mic for the first time, and it was quite an interesting experience. Removing the traditional mic and stand truly removes any barriers between you and your audience — the first time on stage with the wireless set, I did feel quite exposed. But the awesome thing is, with nothing to anchor you to one spot for presenting the lyrics, there’s a crazy sense of freedom to be had. Suddenly, you can creep up on people in the front row! You can dance your way across the stage to grin and wink at the jammin’ little kids on the other end of the row. While I still do prefer the simplicity of a traditional mic (you don’t have to tape it to the side of your face, for starters), I can easily see why many performers have turned to wireless setups.
But by far the best part of this experience was the people. Theater people are simply So Much Fun! There’s always a joke to be told and laughter to be had. And this particular group of people were great. There was a total commitment to putting on a great show and having a blast doing it. What a wonderful thing to be a part of!
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I felt very privileged to be part of such a wonderful and enjoyable thing. I look forward to the next time I will have the opportunity to participate in a theater production.