"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Monday, August 27, 2012

Opening New Doors Because We're Curious

Stage Manager in action
School started back today for my son and the rest of the local kiddies and it got me to thinking along the lines of a "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" post. Obviously I don't get a summer vacation anymore, actually summer is the busy season for me, but that didn't stop me and my family from putting the above quote into action. I think that's my favorite Walt Disney quote of all, it wraps up for me what makes a life fully lived. It's the quote at the top of this blog, if you've noticed, and "Moving Forward" was an early suggestion for the name of this thing. That suggestion, and my introduction to this quote, came from our friend Jen, and so did the invitation to spend our summer opening up our own new doors.

Way back in the spring of this year, Jen decided to stage a production of The Wizard of Oz with our local theatre group, Brunswick Little Theatre. Jen's no stranger to the stage, she's been acting since at least high school and this would be her 8th production as director for BLT. When she told me about her latest project I mentioned to her how I'd always been fascinated by the theatre but couldn't ever imagine getting up on stage in front of an audience. I suppose she took my interest seriously because a few weeks later she asked me to help her out as a stage manager.

Lisa put thing together, it's the Wizard's Chamber!
Set Painting
Well, I was curious and now a new path had opened up to me. It was truly new, too. I didn't know what a stage manager was, for crying out loud. But I learned. I learned A LOT. John and Lisa joined in on the adventure, of course, and together we were led by Jen and the rest of the wonderful Brunswick Little Theatre family down a new and very rewarding path. We managed to insert ourselves into all sorts of things, from set painting and construction to costuming and props to promotion. And that was before we started dress rehearsals. By the time the opening night rolled around, we were well and truly a part of the show. Lisa took charge of the female leads' dressing room, even going so far as to help carry the show straight into the audience at one point. John worked as a sound tech, minding the microphones and learning how to operate the sound board. He did it so well that he ran it himself for the final show in front of the biggest audience of the whole run. I learned through experience that a stage manager does pretty much whatever needs doing. I can't begin to list all I learned or all I did, but I tried to soak up all I could and loved every minute of it.

One of my favorite things, learning to make trees "fly"
I think this summer experience was exactly what Walt meant when he said those words at the top of this post. We took on something entirely new for all of us. We learned and grew and expanded our horizons. We let curiosity lead the way, and our lives are forever better for it.

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