Last night we had another performance of Wizard of Oz. We have a cast meeting at 6:30 where we get notes, warm up, have a devotional and prayer, and get ready to perform. At 6:45, the director still wasn’t there to begin the meeting. When she came in, she looked very upset. Somehow the lighting cues had been wiped out. And when they tried to run the light board manually, the numbers weren’t corresponding, either. Light #2 would light up as #5, and so on. They were keeping the audience out of the auditorium while they tried to get things figured out, and were going to try to start 1/2 hour late, at 7:30. If they couldn’t get things working, they would have to send everyone home and hope they would come back for a different show.
She asked Bill, who was doing the devotional and prayer, if he could please ask for a special help and if we could use our combined faith to ask for heavenly help. He gave a beautiful prayer, asking for help with our technical difficulties, so that we could perform for friends and family who were in attendance. He asked that we could put on the best show that we could possibly do.
The director disappeared, and we continued getting ready. At 7:30, the show started, so we assumed they had gotten it worked out. During the show, I didn’t notice any extremely awkward dark spots or light spots, although I’m not on stage all that much, so maybe there were some. I did hear from someone that the stage crew were moving scenery and it wasn’t all the way dark, but generally it looked like they had somehow managed to either manually operate the lights, or program them in time.
I am thankful for small miracles.
After the show, the cast goes out into the cafeteria/auditorium they call the cafetorium and greet the audience members. It gives people a chance to meet or take a picture with their favorite character, and gives the cast a few more minutes to bask in the after show glow. The director walked up and I said, “You must have gotten things figured out, right?” She gave me a hug and said, “That was the worst show of my life. I don’t ever want to go through that again. But we made it through.” I’ve seen her rattled and I’ve seen her stressed out, but I’ve never seen her as emotional as I did last night. I told her that my wish for her was to sleep in the next day and enjoy her day off. I don’t know if she was able to do that, but I hope so.
As actors, we often forget ALL the work that’s going on behind the scenes. Sure, we know of scenery changes, and we help with all those things back stage. I myself spend a few scenes behind the witches castle just to help open and close the window curtains so the witch can make it through. One of my friends climbs underneath the castle to help the witch unhook her skirt to help with the melting. But we don’t realize the magnitude of the technical aspect of the show. We can be as talented as Broadway stars, but if the audience can’t see us, or can’t hear us, it won’t matter.
It’s like that in life, too. Each of us has a support staff to make us “look good on stage”. We have teachers, parents, spouses and friends who keep us in the spotlight. Friends who rescue us from stupid mistakes or unfortunate experiences. People who help us laugh at ourselves when things go wrong and help us make the best of our experiences. But more than that, we have heavenly helpers. Angels who are there to help us look better or sound better than we actually are. Angels who help convey the message that is in our hearts when our words are not doing a good enough job. We have a Heavenly Father who rescues us from our own stupidity and an older brother who paid the ultimate price so that we can repent of our sins and make it back to live with him some day.
I’m thankful for my tech crew–those that I know about, and those unseen. And for all the miracles in my life.