The first Spotlight of 2020 goes to The Majestic Theatre! I’ve written about them before; however, I wanted to go into a bit more depth about why The Majestic is one of my favorite places to go and be.
I’ll never forget the first time I walked through the doors of The Majestic. January 2015. The lobby was packed. Tables, chairs, people with sign up sheets, audition numbers to affix to your shirt–or where ever- and auditioners warming up, talking to each other, or sitting casually trying not to look nervous. It reminded me of my old audition days in LA. I wasn’t nervous. It didn’t matter to me if I got cast. The show was Les Miserables and I wasn’t really a musical theatre singer. I had been in musicals and I LOVE musicals but most of my recent singing was done as the front woman for Summer Rental, a local cover band, or church choir, or back in the day– commercial jingles. I loved the show. It’s dark, depressing, beautiful, and just the kind of music I never get to sing for an audience. Even if it’s just for the director and her panel, it still counts as performing a song for the show on stage. At the time, I was depressed, insomnia had it’s grip on me, and I was itching to step out on a relationship which, in my mind, had promised me more than it intended to deliver. I didn’t tell anyone I was auditioning. I didn’t want to hear all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Work. My son. The boyfriend who… well, anyway. I kicked ass with my rendition of On My Own, naturally. Walked away feeling accomplished. I achieved my goal, so now who cares what happens next? Well, a few days later I get a call from the director–Mary Jeanne Reynales– offering me a spot in the ladies stage ensemble. I try to refuse because, frankly, I think I’m out of the their league. What I mean is, the other singers were soooo good and I’m basically a cover band singer. I can fake it okay, but I don’t read music. A challenge often over-looked by my church choir. Such nice people. She says she really wants the sound of my voice so I say okay. Best decision of my life. I worked on Les Miserables for the next six months. It lifted my depression. Took away my insomnia and my itch. Yes, my son–who was in middle school at the time and often drug to the theater for rehearsals- could sing Lovely Ladies right along with me; but it’s culture! I learned a lot about myself, the reality of my relationship, and met some amazing people who I consider life long friends. The show opened and closed, sold out every time, and once it was over, I wondered what I would do next. Luckily, a new show pops up pretty regularly and by fall I was in deep. I was writing again. Short plays for Majestic Madness and participating in the Playwright’s Lab. I was hooked. Oh, and by then, my old relationship was over. With new lessons learned, I was ready to be, and be with, someone worthy of love. Plus! I submitted a short play for production, Fear Camp, which was featured in Love and Unexpected Places while at the same time (I know.) directed Picasso at the Lapin Agile! My life had literally flipped right side up in ONE YEAR.
After many productions later, teching like a mad lady for Reader’s Theatre, directing for Reader’s Theatre, and a bunch of other things like concessions, box office, and house manager, I stepped away from the Majestic. Not because I didn’t, or don’t, love them. I do. I just wanted to see and experience theatre from the audience perspective for awhile. The last year has been so fun supporting my theatre people. Clapping, cheering, laughing, crying. Showing my support by purchasing tickets. It’s like a family reunion every time I’m there. Sharing their posts so others will see them and attend their shows. Community theatre is so important to me. Like breathing or eating. Theatre Supervisor Jimbo Ivy always ends his sound bites or speeches with “You are Majestic”. I think he’s right. The community support is majestic, in its own right; but you have to create a space for people to feel majestic once they’re there otherwise it doesn’t translate. Most of the time, the theatre hits its mark. There are some things to improve–which they have been doing the last number of years since Jimbo came on board–like updating technical things and safety stuff as well as the POS system and eventually the seating. The cool thing is, they’re always growing. Always looking to be better versions of themselves.
I’m still a member of The Playwright’s Lab, which is reading one of my recent short plays, Box of Memories, from the Veteran’s Voices show. But, I kinda miss walking the halls late at night after closing a show. Taking out the trash, checking the bathrooms, making sure the doors are locked and lights turned off. I used to turn around, look up at the marquee, and dream about owning and operating a place just like The Majestic. One day in the near future, I think I will. In fact, I know it.
Check out The Majestic Theatre’s upcoming shows by visiting their website HERE.