A brief moment of calm on a train to take a deep breath in the middle of what is the busiest period we have ever had at Best - 9 full public shows and 3 private showings in the space of 4 weeks. Add on the dress rehearsals and techs for each show and the costuming, marketing and administration and you'll start to get an idea of what we've taken on.
If we total the casts in each performance we get 364 young theses treading the boards at 6 different venues.
The house is totally chaotic, my to-do list is ludicrous and yet...
...this is what we do!
We (Annette, Lisa and I) often discuss the realities of working in the theatre world - 99% of it is plain hard work! Loading vans, lugging stage weights, packing costume, screwing bits of wood together, painting wobbly bits of set, sorting out non-functioning tech, sourcing bizarre props from unlikely sources, organizing casts etc. at Best most of the cast and the parents are totally removed from all of this and perhaps it's only when they get to TheBYTE that they begin to appreciate some of these aspects. And for people like us it becomes what they love about the theatre. Getting shows on no matter what the odds. Doing the jobs that need doing. Putting in the hours. All without complaint and with a smile. All for one and one for all!
We insist that our students show absolute aspect to any member of theatre staff they meet, whatever their role. This is why we were so thrilled with the way TheBYTE conducted themselves at The National Theatre in 2015- exemplary. And hopefully they will exercise the same courtesy whatever exalted heights they reach in their careers.
It is this kind of grounding that makes a true professional - not someone seeking shortcuts through reality TV or the diva histrionics so beloved by gossip columns. A true professional understands just what it takes to get a show on and even if they are called to the stage from dressing room #1 or to the set from a luxurious Winnebago that grounding in reality will earn the respect and cooperation of any crew. Never forget how much hard work of so many people has given you the platform for your success!
Anyway, enough musing. This Sunday we're at the Hertford Theatre with our wonderful Hertford school for Dreamcatcher. The glitterball is arriving on a motorbike, the rest of the tuffcrates and costume rails will be piled into Lisa's van and five months hard work by the cast will have but one day to blossom. Then it all gets packed away and we move on to the next one...