The jittery feeling of upcoming excitement rattled my bones as I hopped nervously from foot to foot backstage. Why did I feel so nervous? I knew my lines and cues by heart and all around me stood kind, supportive people. How could I get stage fright this late in the game?
I knew my fears would soon die away, and be replaced with exhilaration, enthusiasm and most of all pride and confidence. Soon I would be back to where I belong – the stage. Silence fell as the lights dimmed and the next hour passed in a blur of color and sound. The theatre had drawn me in again.
It seemed seconds later that I found myself herded back onstage for curtain calls. The sense of unity and cooperation left me breathless and dazed. The cast knew me so well, it just seemed scary, and I had just poured my heart and soul out to the dozens of people sitting before me, engrossed in the story I brought to life for them. I belonged here.
Hours of hard practice and careful study seemed insignificant in comparison with the overwhelming feeling of pride I experienced as my mother’s tear-streaked, beaming face swam into view before me. I felt similarly wonderful as I embraced each cast member and chatted with other actors in the Green Room.
The Green Room is second only to the stage in my opinion. Half-costumed actors lounge and sprawl on velvety green couches and squabble over politics good- naturedly. Half-eaten candy bars lie everywhere, and panicked cast members frantically wipe away chocolate smudges and perfect their makeup. Everyone joins in, and there’s really no time or space for being shy.
I admit, as a girl raised on the stage, I pity every child and teen who has never felt the thrill of the stage or the companionship of a crowded Green Room jam-packed full of laughing and singing actors. For any kid or adult who feels a lack of self-confidence and needs a boost, I recommend auditioning for a play at your local theatre. It definitely made me a better person. The theatre has made me who I am. What do I believe? I believe in the power of the theatre.