Stars

When I first saw this word on the list of prompts, I figured this would be the easiest one. I mean, this entire blog was formed out of my obsession with stars and a specific lyric that talks about a favorite activity of mine. But then I stopped and realized, “I just finished doing a pretty big thing.” I was just Meg in A Wrinkle in Time, and while I haven’t fully processed the end of it yet, I am definitely tired. The book the play was based on (also called “A Wrinkle in Time”) focuses heavily on science, math, experiments, etc. Space and other planets and worlds are a huge part of the story. But that’s not what I’ve been thinking of when I think of stars in relation to the play.

As many of you will know, I struggled horribly with feeling like I was good enough for this role. It wasn’t until our final rehearsal that I sat down with my director, and was finally able to say that I was proud of the work I had done. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could do it, and it wasn’t that I was wasn’t doing my best, it was that I didn’t think my best was good enough. So I spent five weeks trudging along, memorizing lines and blocking, and doing as much as I could to make up for the fact that I didn’t think I was capable. Like I talked about yesterday, I went on a lot of walks during the run of this show. When I would walk with others and we would talk about it, a few of them would often say that I was the star. Then they would say that they knew I didn’t like being called “the star,” but that it was still true. They were right, I didn’t like it. It felt that I was walking around in shoes that I had to grow into. Still, they were right about the other thing, too. I had the lead role. For all intents and purposes, I was the star. Even so, I am uncomfortable with that. I didn’t like the idea of calling myself a star. I didn’t like the idea of placing myself above everyone else.

When I look back on the people who have lead roles in shows I’ve done in the past, they were never “showoff-y” about it. They were humble, but also proud of themselves. Even so,they didn’t let themselves put down their ability in order to life others up, because that’s not real humility. They were just really nice to everybody- other cast members, crew, directors, etc. When I think about how they affected my experience, I can’t help but hope that I was able to make A Wrinkle in Time a good experience for others as well. Not because I was on stage the whole time, but because I was part of big group of people making something beautiful. My only worry in not being willing to call myself the star, is that I won’t be giving myself the credit I know I deserve.

Because the thing is, I did work hard. I was at rehearsal an hour early every night, and during tech week was there for five-six hours a night. I spent hours memorizing lines and blocking, I gave up some stuff in order to give this show the attention it deserved. In saying I don’t want to be called the “star,” I don’t want it to seem like I’m putting myself down because I did work hard, and I am proud of myself. But other people worked really hard too. In the grand scheme of the whole show, I was a small part of it. There were other (extremely talented) actors, an amazing tech crew, a director and stage manager who put in hundreds of hours to make it as good as it was. I am so lucky to have been privileged enough to work with such wonderful people.

I am proud to have been able to play Meg. She will forever hold a piece of my heart, much like she did when she was just a character in a book I dearly loved. I loved playing her, but I still wouldn’t call myself the star. I may have had the lead role, but I would consider everyone else to be the stars. The director and stage manager who worked with me to help me realize that I was doing okay? Stars. My friends who went on extra walks to help me process emotions when things got tough? Stars. The actor who had to leave halfway through? A star. The actor who came in to take over? A star. My two friends who had to stand stick straight for about two hours while three of us ran an emotionally charged scene over and over again? Stars. Those who, in early days of rehearsals, came for the entire rehearsal to have us not even get to a part they were in? Stars. The tech crew who worked so incredibly hard to get everything together in time? Stars. I am lucky to have worked with them. I wouldn’t have been able to do this if it weren’t for them. I hope to work with them again, but if I don’t, I hope they know how much I loved working with them. And even more than that, how I much I love them.

We all have stars in our lives. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many, so much of the time. If you are also surrounded by your stars, tell them. Give them a hug or a kind word. Don’t take them for granted. Tell them you love them. This world is full of stars, and I am sure that the more we look for them, the more we find.

While Emma (who also played my mother) did my makeup and Emily did my hair.

While Emma (who also played my mother) did my makeup and Emily did my hair.