My Thoughts on Think Pink’s Return to Values and Becoming a Theatre Kid
You may have heard that I was recently in a play...
I know, I know, you are probably really tired of hearing about my stage debut in the Warren Nicholson original Return to Values that was put on by Think Pink Productions this past weekend. This is the last post I swear. I thought about just doing a quick Facebook post saying "Hey, it was so cool!" but I'm much more wordy than that. I wouldn't be able to properly convey one of the happiest experiences of my life in just a few short sentences. I'm not sure I'll be able to do it in several sentences either, but I'm gonna try my best.
I got involved with Think Pink Studios by pure accident in the summer of 2016 when they were doing Toxic Avenger: the Musical. I was a fan of the cult-classic film so Kensington Eck (director/creator/everything at one point or another) came on my show to talk about it. I went to see Toxie and was blown away by how much they were able to do with so little. And that's not a slight against them, that's just how it was. They accentuated the positives, while downplaying any negatives (of which there were very few). After seeing that show, I realized that I would eventually want to partake in something in the realm of theatre.
Over the next year or so, I went to every Think Pink show (as well as shows at D'Alto and the Civic Theatre) and sat in the audience thinking "I think I want to do that." I'd also then talk myself out of it and convince myself that I'm not really an actor. I was sad, though, because everyone looked like they were having fun and for some reason, I thought I wasn't good enough to partake in such an activity. I was even offered a part in Think Pink's October show Silence: the Musical, but was unable to do so because of scheduling conflicts. While scheduling conflicts were a real issue, I also talked myself out of doing it because I'm not a great singer and I assumed I'd be terrible. Watching Silence was great, but I was disappointed in myself because I missed out on being part of something wonderful.
One of my New Years resolutions for 2017 was that I was going to get on-stage and actually perform in something. I didn't care what it was, I just wanted to perform. And up until 3 weeks ago, I wasn't on pace to keep that resolution. Auditions came and went, I always had an excuse as to why I couldn't do it. Thankfully, I have friends who hold me accountable to what I say I'm going to do. Gennie Adams (who played Elizabeth in Return to Values) texted me asking if I'd be interested in being an extra in the show. Finally, this was my chance to actually be part of something. I accepted the part of "Agent 1" and started rehearsals that weekend.
I was intimidated by the thought of performing on-stage. I have done some acting in short films as well performing stand-up semi-regularly, but live theatre is a completely different beast. I was nervous about working with people that I respect and look up to. I didn't want them to think I was showing up and expecting handouts nor did I want to be resented because of my inexperience. That never happened. I was welcomed with open arms and treated as an equal, even though I only had three lines total.
I loved the entire process of putting on the show. It was just as fun as I thought it would be: working late trying to get everything right, the inside jokes, the bromances, and the "I've spent so many hours with this people that privacy is no longer a concern and I'm OK with it." I could have not asked for a better first experience.
The show itself was bold and daring, and despite being written years ago, was a reflection of the time we are currently living in. The talent required to put on a completely original work is daunting, yet Think Pink did it with ease. The final product reflected the hard work and dedication by everyone in the company.
So much of this dedication comes from Kensington. Her direction and guidance helped me shape a character that was literally forgotten about during the audition process. She treats everyone with respect and sets a great example. I'm so happy you let me come and play with your group of misfits. And to those misfits, (Kara, Logan, Gennie, Ashley, Colin, Rebecca, Jeffrey, Brandon, Aaron, Kole), thank you for accepting me and showing me the ropes. I don't always feel like I belong, but you all made me feel at home and I truly appreciate that. And to everyone behind the scenes, you guys truly deserve all the credit for putting on a slick production every time. And to Evansville, thanks for coming out and supporting a show that you probably had no idea about.
Evansville theatre is something truly special and I'm glad to finally be a theatre kid. It suits me well.