Bucket List Item #2: Direct a musical

Since I participated in my first real musical in 2009, I have been hooked on them. Sure, I listened to many soundtracks before I was cast in Starmites. I had original cast recordings of Phantom, Wicked, Cats, The Sound of Music, and many more. But once someone actually acts in a musical, it changes the dynamic…usually, for the better.

When I accepted the job at FACS, it was understood that I would direct a spring musical. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what musical I would select. However, by September, I had decided on Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! I selected this musical because of my fairly recent association with it and the small cast. Little did I know the depth of the pool in which I was about to jump.

It was hard. In fact, it was very hard. I had never done something like this before. Directing a one-act play in the fall was a task, but not nearly as daunting. Creating the rehearsal schedule, making sure we were abiding by all the rules set forth by MTI, determining who was going to do what, taking headshots and combining them with cast bios, getting the program designed, printed, & delivered, casting, securing props and costumes, etc. It just went on and on and on.

And let’s not forget that my wife had a baby in the midst of all this.

By the time show week came around, I was at the “Stick a fork in me, I’m done!” moment. I was tired as heck and ready to be through with this show. However, after the incredible three-show run over a weekend, I was so very happy with what came of it. The kids pulled it together and entertained some very happy theatre patrons. I got to jam with two other great musicians and a music director who was more patient with me than anyone else.

So there we are. I can cross it off my bucket list. Several have asked what I learned from this experience. I actually learned a lot of things. I learned some things that I will do in the future, I learned some things that I will never do again, and I learned what should bother me and what shouldn’t. But above all of that, I learned that the harder you work for something, the sweeter it is when you reap its benefits. I certainly felt that on Saturday afternoon when the final curtain call took place.

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