Post-Production Processing

It’s been a little over two weeks since I presented my Emerging Artist production of 61 Unused Pages by Vincent Terrell Durham at the Studio@620 and I’ve had some time to process on my experience on the night of:

I have to be honest. The day of the production, my mind was all over the place. I’d gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before, overthinking about what the next day would bring. Would it be well received? Would people show up? Will my artistic vision be understood and accepted? These thoughts and more sat with me most of the day. I arrived at The Studio early, to walk through things with our stage manager. We sat in the back of the house going through sound cues and that’s when it hit me. “It’s happening,” I said sitting quietly. Marcus, grabbed my shoulder and squeezed it supportively. Now, if you know me personally…it doesn’t take much for me to cry and I did just that. As the tears flowed, the worry and anxiety lifted and allowed me to finally appreciate the work that I’d done with Lance to create the story that the audience would see that night.

Fast forward to that night, as I stood nervously in the back of the house as people began to come into the lobby to mix and mingle. Many familiar faces: my co-workers from American Stage, cast members from the production of Ragtime, fellow artists, community members, as well as friends and frat brothers. They’d all come to support this moment in my artistic journey. We all settled in our seats and as the lights dimmed and I heard the familiar sounds of the Temptations, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”…I knew that this was exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing.

It was joyous, amazing, stunning and beautiful. I blinked and the show was over, the audience stood to their feet roaring with applause. I spent the remainder of my time, following the the post-show discussion shaking hands and receiving congratulatory remarks. Now as an artist, I’ve experienced this moment before…”We loved your performance…it was so moving…” The typical notes of celebration that audience members give actors, but this time something was different. The words rang fresh and new in my ears and as a director, I noted their responses as a map of sorts showing me if their experience stood up to my goals of what my hopes were for the piece.

That night…I slept like a rock, filled with the warmth of the love and support of my village.

Photo Credit: Dr. Keesha Benson

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