Today, I find myself sitting alone on a couch that I didn’t buy in a city I barely know, and I love it.
Light is pouring through the windows, birds are chirping, and the air conditioner is lending it’s faint hum to the music of the day. Meanwhile, my apartment back in Illinois settles without me. The thermostat there is firmly in the “off” position. There is probably a mail person trying to figure out how to shove the mail that I forgot to forward into a teeny tiny little mailbox, and the neighbor kids are probably playing or buying ice cream from, objectively, the scariest sounding ice cream truck that has ever existed. My couch, my bed, and my desk all listen without me. I won’t be home soon. I’m working at a summer stock theatre about four hours away.
If you aren’t familiar with summer stock, think of the best theatre you’ve ever been to. Now imagine that theatre pumping out 3 or more shows in just two months with limited staff, limited budget, and scorching heat.
Right now, my roommates (there are five of us who live in our little house) are off running a production of Mary Poppins. When the show ends, I’ll scurry back to my little office in the basement and work on the props for our next production. We probably won’t see each other tonight, but, sometime in the next few days, we’ll sit down at a table and pull out the Uno Flip deck and laugh until our sides hurt.
That’s the beauty of summer stock, it’s a beautiful and hectic balance. Some days, you work to the point of exhaustion. Some days, you have hardly anything to do. Some days, you don’t see another living being. Some days, you tire yourself out with friendly antics. Every day, you grow as an artist and a person.
Summer stock will never be home – it is the very definition of temporal – but it is lovely in it’s own way.