13 years ago, back in 2001, I started dating my very first boyfriend, Chris. He had been doing a lot of different things and I wanted to be around him a lot, as you do. He was in band, which is where we met, and working backstage at the theatre. I decided to join the theatre for him. He ended up slowly fazing himself out, but I fell in love with the whole rush of working backstage.
I graduated and went to Ball State, thinking I was going to be a high school band director. The entire time, the only thing I could think of was being backstage. I started working for Sursa Hall, but that wasn’t enough. I picked up my first opera as an ASM my sophomore year. We did Madame Butterfly in Emens and that rush came back. After another year in the music education program, I knew I needed to get back into stage managing. I changed my major from music education to B.S of General Studies, music performance and technical theatre. Five years later, I still know I made the best decision I could have. Am I going to make a ton of money? No, probably not. Am I happy? Oh yes. Do I work way to much? Of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve never really been able to sit still for very long. My brain always has to be working and I really need to be moving. When I was in school, my leg would be shaking if I was sitting down. Being a stage manager keeps my brain thinking about a million different things and it’s nearly impossible to be seated for an entire show, even if I’m in the booth calling cues. There is a rush knowing that I’m helping create the magic that is happening on stage; every quick change, every hard sequence of cues, every emergency that I have to solve makes me feel amazing.
Life is never really what you plan it to be; I got a lot of resistance when I made the decision to change my major. But the future is not something you can plan out. Ten years ago I didn’t think that I’d be living in Valpo, tending bar to pay the bills while I stage manage nerdy parody burlesque in Chicago. It doesn’t matter though, the path that I’ve been following has led me towards some amazing people and experiences. If I hadn’t followed Chris all the way back in high school, who knows where I would be. I probably would be here in Valpo with a group of amazing friends, and I know I wouldn’t be working with Gorilla Tango with some of the most amazing women I could ever hope to know.
My life isn’t conventional, but I don’t think I’m a conventional person. I can’t see myself being more happy with my life than I am right now. I feel like I am the best person I could be, doing the best thing that I can be with my life. Screw conventions, my life is fantastic.