This blog is usually used to share my reviews. However, I’d like to take some time to share some personal thoughts.
I got into this review gig for two reasons: as a means of moving my career in a new direction and as a way to be involved with local theater despite being unable to actively participate due to my work schedule.
Two years ago, I approached the then News Director and asked if there was a possibility I could ever be a news anchor. Bored with producing, I wanted something new. And, having theater in my background, I figured anchoring would combine my knowledge of news and performance. To my surprise, he was keen on the idea and told me anyone interested in anchoring should start with something with which they are passionate. Since I have an acting background, he suggested I review movies on air. It’s something I know and a step in the right direction. That’s how I started.
Sadly, that News Director is no longer my News Director. He’s moved on and I’ve worked under two other News Directors since. Since the most recent one didn’t regard me as “on air” and even had my bio removed from the website, my hopes for advancement were dashed. The thing is, I don’t like others completely controlling my life. So, of my own doing, I started reviewing local theater productions.
I’ve long loved being a part of the theater. Unfortunately, my schedule does not allow me to participate at this time. (I get off of work at 7:15 on a good day, which is usually 15 minutes after rehearsal begins.) It’s just too much and is hard on my partner, who doesn’t like not seeing me for weeks on end. Reviewing theaters, however, means I get to experience some of the excitement without the time commitment. It’s a somewhat empty experience, as I often leave a show I’m reviewing in tears. Not because the performance was bad, but because I regret that I cannot be a part of it. I regret and am saddened by the fact I can’t be up there on stage myself. It’s a longing so deep, I actually cry about it.
There is a bit of solace, odd though it may be, that follows each of my theater reviews. The day or weekend after I review a show, I find one or two friend requests on my Facebook account. At first I thought it odd, as I don’t really know these people. I just watched you on stage, ofter criticism of your work and you want to be my Facebook friend? In fact, the first request came from someone who received a bad review from me, if I remember correctly. I found it quite odd. It continued, though, to a point where I now look for a friend request or two after every theater review.
Odder than the requests from people I don’t know is the fact they’re somewhat comforting. There are two things I love about the theater: performing and the community. There truly is something to be said about the theater community. Friendships are fast, but true and can be lasting. Not being able to be a part of any shows, I am unable to experience that community. Or am I? With each friend request, I feel a part of it. They’re comforting and, rather than feeling like an outsider criticizing a show, I feel like a member of the community offering my thoughts to praise performances well done or to press for stronger performances in the future.
So, to those of you who’ve requested a friendship with me on Facebook, I thank you. And to those of you who will request one in the future, I thank you, too. I welcome and appreciate your friendship, even if it is not face-to-face, but, rather, facebook-to-facebook.