As our cast prepared for tonight's show, I stood and watched the players gather on stage while the curtain was down. What I saw made me smile. It was a cast who truly loved being together.
The scene before me made me think of a conversation I had with a dear friend about the arts in Utah. He said that most of the art in our state is supported by free labor. It's basically true. He and I have discussed this phenomenon many times. There are so many opportunities to perform in our state, and some shows, the performers are actually required to pay in order to participate.
Over the past twenty or so months I've been involved in numerous shows, a couple of them were paid gigs, but only a few. The rest, I volunteered.
So, is there a benefit to giving up so much of one's personal time, a non-financial benefit? Looking around before the curtain rose, I believe there is. We come and put on costumes, apply makeup and perform for different reasons. One loves to see friends. One is going through personal troubles at home and uses the theater as an escape. Yet another wants to make performing his or her career and sees the change to be in another show as a stepping stone to bigger and better roles. Whatever the reason, there is a happy side of theater, and I saw it on display tonight.
Being in many shows you see how casts interact. Some get along and every once in a while, a cast gels like a sports team, each member showcasing their talents for the betterment of all. That's when theater's really fun, and really worth it.