Ramblings

Things I write when I am feeling
especially (insert strong emotion here).
19. Anxiety. Forever searching.

The Cheap Seats

We got there too late and the rows had been filled, except for the two at the end of the row in the back. They were too inexpensive to draw the eye of the real buffs, but just expensive enough that we still felt classy. It was a date night after all, and we weren’t about to waste a good label.

We watched the show from a corner. Some would argue that these were the worst seats in the house. We couldn’t see half the dancers and we watched the backs of the majority of the actors. We missed a lot of the tears in the actress’ eyes as her character fell to pieces, and we missed anyone standing further left than the number marked 20 on the ground. Despite the distance, my eyesight never fails. Critics said that this was a remarkable show, that the costumes sparkled, that the music was inspired, and that the actors emoted with grace and style. You could see the joy on the male lead’s face when the girl he loved ran into his arms, you could see the hurt in the supporting female’s body as the male lead picked another girl over her. All of these characters shone through on stage and lit up the house. But we couldn’t see that from our cheap seats in the corner.

But what we could see was remarkable. The reason why these are deemed the “bad seats” is simply because you have a view of the wings, where the actors stand in anticipation of their cues, where the stage managers run frantically to make sure everyone is in place, where costumes fly and shoes are torn off, all to makes sure that what is seen on that stage is perfect. The show we saw that night had no spoken lines. We couldn’t bear to watch the stage that was lit up with glitter and sequins. We saw an actress shed her costume like a snake sheds its skin, only to be shoved into a new dress for a new scene. We saw the trepidation in the faces of the understudies who could only pray that they could hold a candle to those who were cast in the part. We saw the stage manager console a male dancer who seemed to have twisted his ankle in a dance, which you couldn’t even tell while he was on stage. He smiled through it for the people in the good seats. But in the bad seats, we got to see him break down at the prospect of being out of work while a woman in black iced his ankle and gave him support. We watched as the madness ensued, as the company went through the roller coaster of the show together. We saw the deep breaths, the centering exercises, the secret kisses, the triumphs, and the failures. When we left the theatre, we couldn’t tell you what the show had been about because we had just seen the show of a lifetime. Real, passionate people who love what they do, taking a journey together.

Now, we are thrilled to sit in the corner seats in the back; It’s like watching the gears of a clock work together to keep the time. They say that theatre is the exploration of the human experience, and that has always been true for actors, but when we watch the wings instead of the stage, we experience more humanity than ever.

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    I like the way you think.
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    This is my favorite thing in the world, and just what I needed to start off tech week.
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  18. in-cupsofcoffee reblogged this from hiddenpoet and added:
    Ahh this is so beautiful. Anyone who loves theater should read this.
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    theres more to us than just faces on a stage
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