this essay is not quite good enough for her, but damn it, this is the final copy, and i like it!
It was the middle of the third act of the second performance of The Lord of the Flies. I see a bright white flash of light out of the corner of my eye. I check the screen of the light board, thinking "Great Kris, you hit something and screwed up your own design in the middle of a matinee performance. Real slick." Half a second later the same light flashes again.
"Please exit the building. This is not a drill. I repeat; this is not a drill. Please make your way to the nearest exit. This is not a drill." The recorded voice was one I had never heard before in the two year old Mugar Performing Arts Center at The Cambridge School of Weston. I quickly realize that the voice and strobe are the fire alarm. I turn on the wall panel house lights and turn off the light board before exiting the building. Once outside, I help move the audience a safe distance from the building. It would be at least ten minutes until the Weston Fire Department would work their way across town.
It is a mild fall afternoon with the sun shining bright and a decision is made for the performance to continue. Two of the actors go into the woods and collect rocks and sticks to replace those props we had left inside. The rest defined the boundaries of the performance area on the hillside.
I stood on the edge of the audience with my director watching the cast recreate the feeling we were all forced to abandon just minutes before. I felt helpless. There were no buttons to push, no cues to call, and no real reason to still be wearing the cordless headset. The adrenaline rush from that show was truly amazing. The complete lack of control drove me nuts, but it made me realize why I do this -- the unpredictability, and the structure surrounding it. This is the thrill of live theatre.
That Friday afternoon is an example of why I am involved with theatre. There are many more stories that I could have recounted for this essay that would better have shown my level of skill, involvement, and dedication. I cannot say which has affected me or shaped me more. Theatre has touched me in such a strong way, on such a deep level. It has provided me with focus, been a channel for my frustrations, built up my confidence, and been the seed of many meaningful friendships. Theatre has not just shaped who I am, but has helped define me.
As much as any event shapes a person, those I have experienced through theatre have definitely been the most influential. My decision to pursue theatre as a career has not been made lightly. I have reconsidered it many a time, but have never been able to see myself not doing theatre. It is inherent to who I am, and shall continue to be so as I pursue my love of theatre further at Emerson -- or wherever the winds take me.
yea yea, i've written better but dude.... the question, (see subject line) and there was no choice. and it's 512 words vs under 500. bite me