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BWW Blog: A Love Letter

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I thought that the mourning period of quarantine was through. It's been almost five months-at this point, I should have accepted the situation. But, as the worldwide nightmare drags on and a second wave comes crashing down on us, I can't help but go full-circle and return to the emotions of the early days of COVID. Everybody misses something right now, whether it's as big as a cancelled wedding or as small as seeing the smile of a friend anywhere other than a Zoom screen. I've found myself looking back and reminiscing on productions past.

There are the big things that come back almost immediately-the way that the dust near the prompt corner always made me sneeze; the warmth from the stage lights radiating across the matte black boards of the deck; the itchy red fabric of the auditorium seats that I would camp out in for hours. It's easy to romanticize these things now. It's easy to look back and laugh at my complaints, knowing that right now I would give anything to set up another riser or spike tape another scene.

I miss the weary nights when I would fall into bed, knowing that there was still homework hanging over my head and class first thing in the morning, but satisfied that tonight we had finally gone off-book for a scene. I miss the mishaps-when an automated light goes rogue and the only thing you can do is sit back, hope it doesn't get worse, and laugh. I miss fixing problems as they appear, flying by the seat of your pants and hoping that the next two-or-so hours don't bring any major disasters. (Or, if they do, hoping that the disasters happen behind a curtain, away from audience view.) I miss the friendship and the frustration and the annoyed ranting behind makeshift dressing room doors when it's the final dress rehearsal and everything is off the rails.

The wonderful thing about the theatre community is that these are universal experiences. We have all encountered a fly that will never be properly weighted, a fellow stagehand that will never remember their set piece, and a prop that breaks nightly. Even when we're apart from our beloved catwalks and wings, we can sit around and trade stories of jammed prop guns and missed cues until we've lost our voices. This is how we keep ourselves going now, by fondly reminiscing and trying to hide the heartache.

There are more pressing problems in the world. There is suffering and injustice beyond measure, and in times like this, when decisions weigh heavy and hearts weigh heavier, listening to the soundtrack of a certain show can break the dam and force some of your happiest moments forth. Someday, the curtain will rise and the lights will snap on again. I'll be wearing a headset that's too tight, never taking a day of cue-to- cue rehearsal for granted again. Wait for me.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Sydney Emerson