On March 28 as I was sitting on my bed in a post-shower trance contemplating my college offers of admission and wondering if my hair would dry in a way that wouldn’t thoroughly embarrass me, a glimmer of creativity sparked in my brain. I was disappointed that I wasn’t involved in any sort of Spring production. I was looking forward to whatever show North County Coalition for the Arts would produce. I have made it a habit of working tech for their spring musicals the last few years, but alas, the NoCCA well was dry this season. Similarly, MTC’s spring calendar was also empty. I knew there would only be a show if I rolled up my sleeves and took matters into my own hands.
I wasn’t ready to sign on for a full production. I have directed two for MTC in the past, but if we are counting Summer Arts Camps, which are a category unto themselves, I have directed a total of seven shows in the last four years. I know the time and stress that goes into it, especially if you want the production to be the best it can be. I didn’t want to sign up for something I couldn’t adequately contribute my effort to.
However, then, in my post-shower trance, I recalled my time at Brawley Union High (oh so many years ago) and my stint as a member and president of the drama club. Every so often, we would hold variety shows where we sent out a call to performers around campus to join us on the stage of Palmer Auditorium for a night of entertainment. It was quick, easy, and fool proof. I thought it would be perfect.
I quickly learned that nothing is what it seems, everything is hard, and sometimes life throws so many curveballs at you, you have no idea which way is up. My initial idea for the show was to feature many of our campers from the last few years as I could, have two fully integrated opening and closing numbers, and bring the house down with a hyped up performance of a song from Hamilton. My ambitious dreams quickly got away from me with scheduling conflicts, a ticking clock, and people suddenly bailing on their commitments.
Five and a half weeks, my mother’s unforeseen shoulder dislocation, a funeral for my cousin, and a very surprising bout of food poisoning six days before the show later, I am confident in saying that this was not quick, easy, nor fool proof, but it was and will be worth it. I am so grateful for the team of talented actors and singers that you will see on the stage on Saturday. Their talents and abilities deserved to be seen. I am so happy that the show is meeting the stage. You have no idea how many times I was ready to throw in the towel, but it just isn’t what I do.
Unfortunately, I do not have a place in this the 2018 Summer Arts Camp. It is really a shame as this will be my last summer in the Imperial Valley for a while. I could go off on a tangent of how much I enjoyed working with the kids and teens, but that should definitely be it’s own post. I could go on forever. Long story short, I wasn’t going to be hands on this year, but I still wanted to contribute. What better way than to show the valley what our kids can actually do, what they learned, and how much fun they have being a part of something as unique as this?
I highly recommend this showcase, Summer Arts Camp, and getting involved in the arts any way you can. They are truly a lucrative part of society. I have been involved with theatre for the last 18 years both on and off stage, and I have found fulfillment in more ways than one. Please join us this Saturday in support of your local artists. The show will begin at 7pm and we will be at the First United Methodist Church 312 S 8th St. in El Centro. The show is free, but we are asking for any donation you can spare to help up fund this summer’s camp.
I hope to see you there!
MTC Board Member