You may have picked up on it from the Daily Beautiful lately, or all of the other bajillion little times I have mentioned it in the last several months, but I have had a rather large thing consuming my life lately, namely: writing and directing a play. Yesterday was the performance and it unleashed all of the feels so I thought I’d share them with you.
In August, when my class was still in the hype of “we’re seniors; we can do anything!”, a bunch of my theatre friends and I were convinced that we were going to do a senior play. Better yet: a senior musical. The musical idea fell through pretty quickly, but the idea grew a new limb in its place. One of my friends approached me about writing the play. After all, the last senior play had been written by a senior and it was positively darling.
Initially, I turned down the suggestion citing lack of time and the inability to handle the onslaught of stress that would come with it. But it festered. As the months wore on, I began to actually consider doing this insane thing. Eventually, I conceded.
I took an independent study class so that I would actually have time to write and I set to work. Two months later, the show was complete. Despite the help of numerous people in the writing process, it was still mostly my project. The characters were still only inside of my head and all of the content was filtered entirely through my personality. No one else had really had the chance to make it their own.
Then came auditions. I was blown away by the number of people who wanted to be involved with this random thing I wrote. And random is pretty accurate for a script entitled “Space Crustaceans” that involves humans, crabs, and crotchety old people all in space. I don’t want to flush out too many of the details because that would be long and boring, but needless to say the script was a little more than a little bit strange. And people still wanted to be a part of it.
In fact, once I had auditioned people and gotten over 30 (thirty people!) to sign up, everyone loved the script. I cannot even begin to express the amount of gratitude that welled out of my soul that first read through. I had never imagined that it would be accepted not merely out of politeness but with genuine enthusiasm.
From there, we got into a whole new chapter: directing. This is where I had to let my baby go a little bit. Suddenly, this show was no longer just something that came from the furthest recesses of my brain; it was a collaborative creature that was growing and changing in ways that I couldn’t control. That was a little scary. But as my cast began to make the characters their own, the play really started to come alive. The words left the pages and became people, namely my classmates. Some of them were experienced actors, returning naturally to the stage with little guidance. Others were people who had never set foot on a stage before and they grew into their roles beautifully.
The entire process was beyond words. So many people gave me so much support throughout everything. I am sure I was a little infuriating as an inexperienced director, but everyone stayed nice to me and didn’t hate me for my mistakes. There were so many elements that could ever have happened without all of the amazing people around me using their God-given talents and abilities to bring this show together.
Finally, we made it to show night. I was nervous, but I was more excited than anything. The actors were all absolutely stellar. As in stars. Like in space. That’s a bad pun but I’m going to keep using it forever.
But in all honesty, I could not have asked for any more perfect performance. The audience was overwhelmingly large, and unbelievably supportive of the cast, the show, and me. Every time the audience laughed, my heart swelled a little in pride for my cast and their amazing work. It was so strange to stand backstage the entire production, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
After the show, countless people approached me with nothing but heartfelt appreciation. I am so glad that my little play was able to brighten a few lives because that is always one of my goals. Everything about the play just filled my heart to the brim and then some.
This sort of experience is not one that I’m likely to have ever again. I have formed such a close bond with my class over the past couple of years, and this was kind of our one last hurrah together as a class. We are done in two weeks and I will probably never see some of these people again. But for today, God has placed some pretty scintillating people in my life and I am so thankful for them and for the time that God has given me to get to know them. I will never forget the blissful repose from the everyday grind that I got to share with my amazing classmates.
After the show, the thing that overwhelmed me the most was the gratitude. People were glad that I had written the play and they were eager to share that appreciation with me. It was something of a shock to see just how many people came out to support me. I have five bouquets sitting around my house right now from my cast and my audience alike and I can’t stop smiling whenever I see them because they are so cheery and thoughtful.
I have found it far too easy over the past few years to forget that people truly care about me. Perhaps I don’t forget; I merely take it for granted and the beauty of their care is dulled. But it is times like this that show me the magnitude of how very much I am loved. Thank you to every one of you who care about me and love me through thick and thin. You are honestly the coolest people I know and I hope you know that.
The most beautiful part is the fact that, as truly wonderful as all of this human love is, it is only a fraction of the love that God has for me. As much as I feel undeserving of human love, I cannot even come close to adequacy in the eyes of God but he still loves me. If he expressed his love to me in bouquets, my house would be as covered in flowers as Nick Carroway’s when Gatsby brings Daisy over to visit. And it would be like that every single day for my entire life. He truly is good all of the time and he has blessed me beyond any measure. I am so full of his love that I feel like it is leaking from every pore because I simply can’t contain it anymore.
So thank you for your love and thanks for being instruments of God’s love for me as well.