It’s been nearly two months since I joined the team of Carrie: The Musical for tech, and then shows.
There have been a lot of bittersweet moments in those last nearly two months regarding this production. I was severed from my social life (lack of weekend availability will do that) but I also got to hang out with some pretty cool people backstage. I felt exhausted at 10:30 at night but I probably got more exercise from resetting tables and chairs and windows than I have in two years. The list goes on.
Someone asked me before closing night if I was going to get emotional. Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it. “Maybe?” I responded, and laughed, because that’s silly, right? Why would I get emotional? It’s not like I get emotional while watching TV commercials, or while seeing patrons come out of a sad movie all teary-eyed, or while watching a bee identify its dead friend on the sidewalk. No, I never get emotional. I am an emotion-free human being.
Guys, I get so emotional.
So I can’t believe I didn’t expect to get emotional about Carrie. I mean, for crying out loud, the last stage production I worked on had people walking out during the show (it was still amazing, screw those people), and I still got emotional after that.
So, closing night. It was a near perfect night, in terms of my ASM responsibilities.
There’s the big moment at the end of the show, which anyone who knows the story of Carrie will know, and after Carrie leaves the stage, I follow her through backstage from Stage Left to Stage Right, collecting bloody items from her so she can go back onstage in the next scene.
And as we’re walking around the set, I notice her shoulders are shaking, and yes, the lead of our production is sobbing. Covered in blood, just having murdered a bunch of teenagers at a prom, and she’s crying. Not because of the emotional impact of the scene — she had done this fourteen times before, no problem — but I imagine because it was, in fact, the last time she would be doing it. Ever.
There were a lot of moments throughout that last performance where I took that fact in… This is the last time I’ll rip this shower curtain off the stage. This is the last time I’ll put this chair out on stage. This is the last time I’ll have to move this evil sewing machine that breaks with every move. This is the last time I’ll slam this window; now this window. This is the last time I’ll sit under a table and play Magical Powers. This is the last time I’ll headbang with the Kids backstage before we change scenes, the last time I’ll dance with a woman holding a knife behind Stage Left. This is the last time I’ll hold the doors shut as the Kids try to break through it with panicked ambition. This is the last time I’ll clean blood off of six or seven different prom outfits.
It was emotional.
I am so happy that I took this job, even if I did lose a lot of my social life. And I am so sad that it’s over.
For those of you who saw this show, you will know how technically intense it was compared to anything that at least Open Stage has done before. And you’ll know that everyone put their hearts into it. Both cast and crew became a living organism, with laughter and heartfelt moments and inside jokes and secret dance rehearsals before scenes started, and with the passion of an assembly of artists making art.
I’ll miss all the death and destruction. I’ll miss all the mistakes I made backstage. I’ll miss the comradery we had, and I’ll hope to continue some of those relationships as best I can.
Thanks, guys. It’s been a Carrie great time.