I’ve always been most attracted to the performance side of musical theater. While the technical aspects are fun and possibly the most important part of the entire show, I’ve always wanted the spotlight on me.
In ninth grade, I teched for my first show. It was a middle school production of “Alice in Wonderland.” I was put on running crew since I really didn’t know how to do anything else. It was a lot of fun, but, eventually, my tech director realized that I couldn’t lift anything, I couldn’t push anything, and I’m incredibly loud. So, I was put in charge of the sweeping department. Thrilling.
I was also put on running crew that year for a show I understudied for competition. After our first scene change, the adrenaline got to me and I ran off the stage in the dark, taking with me an entire strip of glow tape. I don’t know how it happened, but needless to say, that got mentioned in our list of critiques.
I strayed from tech for a while and just stuck to performing. It was what I did best anyway.
By eleventh grade, I was ready to try technical theater again, but, this time, something more my speed. I volunteered to be the Assistant Musical Director for a middle school production of The Little Mermaid Jr. That was an entirely different story. I got to work with the kids everyday, teaching harmonies, working on song interpretation, warming them up, I felt like I was really making a difference. This side of technical theater really appealed to me. It was almost like performing, but behind the scenes, and I got a rush watching the kids I had worked hard with for months get out there and sound amazing. If I could do it again, I would.
So, for any performers out there who might be reading this, there are so many sides to technical theater that can incorporate your skills. Maybe you’re not the strongest and the light board kind of scares you. That’s not you’re only option. I highly encourage all performers to experiment with technical theater. You’ll learn some very important lessons, and it helps you appreciate everything those techies do so that you can get the applause.
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