For most students at Lincoln High School, today is no different than any other regular school day. For me however, it’s the day I’ve been looking forward to for over a month. Today is the day when our hard work during numerous evening rehearsals pays off. Today is the day when the hundreds of hours put into making costumes, building the set, and intricate make up designs are displayed. Today is the day we open the show.
One by one the students filter into the theater room. For the first evening performance, call is at 5:00, but by the time I’ve arrived at 4:30 room 220 is already filled with students busily preparing for the show. Costumes begin to disappear from the costume closet and a thin layer of powder and cream makeup appears on the counter. I manage to squeeze my way through the mob of people standing around, chatting, applying makeup, or curling hair and find myself a wonderful seat in front of the mirror. As I sit down I’m overcome with a thick, chocking cloud of hairspray.
Over the next hour students slowly transform into their characters, no longer the same people who walked through the door earlier this evening. The director enters and shouts “Twenty minutes until show!”
Myself, and everyone one else in the theater room echoes in response, “Thank you twenty!” You can almost feel the level of excitement rising. The chattering gets a little louder. Soon after the announcement, the cast gather around the tables and began to stretch. The chattering dies down, and I begin to reflect over what we’ve accomplished over the last month and a half.
Five minutes until the show starts. Everyone circles up and join hands so the seniors can continue on the tradition of “The Energy Circle”. “Are you ready?” Everyone replies in their stage whisper, “Yeahhhhh!” “Then let’s get ready to rumble!” The wave is started around the circle. It goes around once, twice, and than dies out. It’s time to report to our places.
As everybody waits, cramped in the wings of the stage, my mind begins to race with questions. What if I forget my line? What if I miss a cue? My thoughts are intercepted with the dimming of the lights. Black out. Everyone quickly, but quietly gets into their opening position and freezes. The lights come up, and the show begins.
Time starts to fly by. We are performing the show better than at any rehearsal. Before I know it I’m taking a bow. The crowd is cheering wildly. The lights go out and the cast exits off stage. Only moments later, the senior dip begins to fill with parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. I am overjoyed to see some of my friends, and immediately I am bombarded with hugs and positive reviews.
Soon, people begin to pull away from their family and friends because there are duties and chores that need to be taken care of before anyone can leave. Costumes are gathered, neatly hung up and the makeup grime is wiped off of the counter. The floor is moped, the tables are cleaned, and the chairs are pushed in, ready for students in class tomorrow. The room is spotless, and we are allowed to go home and rest to prepare for another show tomorrow night.