A young actor's reflection on performing with Silver Kite's theatre troupe
Almost a year ago I auditioned for Silver Kite's Intergenerational Theatre Company. It was one of the most interesting auditions I have ever prepared for. We were supposed to write our own monologue and then perform it for our group and improv with people I'd never met.
As the audition progressed I had such a lovely time, I got to hear sweet vulnerable stories from women I'd never met before. I didn't think I was going to see them again, but both women I auditioned with that day were cast in "Umbrella" with me. When I got the call from the Assistant Director I was ecstatic, I couldn't believe it! I didn't know how I was going to make it work with my schedule, but I was determined to do it.
My first rehearsal I was nervous, I didn't know what to expect. But as my first rehearsal proceeded the nerves melted away. We talked about our days, a very therapeutic experience. After that we got to tell stories about ourselves based on the words that Jen provided. It was great, we got to have everyone's undivided attention to talk about ourselves, every extrovert's dream.
Each rehearsal we progressively got closer to creating our show, taking specific stories, staging them, cutting them down. All the while our cast, became more emotionally vulnerable. At that point in time I didn't have just my life to think about, I got to hear about the many perspectives of my cast members: how their kids were doing, a visit to the zoo, the achievement of a business license, the balance between working and doing theatre and the application process for colleges.
What was so fulfilling about this show is we performed for people of all walks of life. After one show one audience member had broken down crying completely touched by our performance. Even if it didn't seem as apparent during the performance, the talk back afterwards always reinforced that our shows were appreciated and our vulnerability well received.
Each performance I was terrified of what was to come, but by the end I could see the uniqueness of this work. I got to share a part of me and in response the audience gave me a part of them too. Within only an hour or two I got to share a special memory and connect with many different people. I got a small window into their life, with countless amazing stories I'd never get to hear otherwise.
This show was a real gift. It forced me to come out of my shell and talk to many people I would've never imagined. It's pushed me to reach out to people in my own life, and to not be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger at the bus. This show taught me we all have our own stories to share, no matter who we are, and if we listen carefully enough we'll get to hear these hidden gems for ourselves.