The show is finally over.
It actually finished last night, but I didn’t get around to finishing writing this until tonight. It’s also very long.
I’ve posted a little about this before, but I never really explained it. To be honest, I’m not really expecting anyone to care that much; this is largely for my own benefit, since I want to talk about it. It just means a lot to me.
Every year, my school puts on a musical or a play. In the first semester, it’s one for grades 10, 11 and 12, and in the second semester, one (usually a pantomime) for grades 7, 8 and 9. Tonight was the final two performances (a matinee and the final evening performance) of this year’s senior production, which was a self-devised musical. The students and the teachers came up with the ideas and wrote the script and the songs. There was some doubts (myself included) that it wasn’t going to work out. But it did, and it was fantastic, and I’m so glad that I had the chance to be involved in it.
I’ve been stage manager for our school productions since I was in Year 9. I’m now in Year 12, so this was my last production. Stage managing has been tiring and stressful but I’ve loved it. There hadn’t been much for the stage crew to do in this production, but I’m glad I ended on this anyway, since I also got to help out with writing the script. It’s the first time the school has ever done a self-devised production, and it was brilliant.
My mum also helps out with all the costuming for the productions, so we’re usually there quite late. On the last night, the teachers and the sound and lighting guys and my mum always stay back for a couple of hours and have a few drinks after all the other students have gone home. Usually I leave early and don’t stick around for that, but this was the first time that I did stay. I’m really glad I did. I didn’t drink, obviously, and all I’ll say is that some of them let go a bit after a few glasses and it is hilarious.
At the end of each senior production, on the final night, there’s a sort of presentation thing at the end of the last performance, where the teachers say things and the students give gifts to the teachers and the other people who have helped out. The teacher in charge who organizes most of the production, Mrs C, also gives each Year 12 student a stuffed animal that she picked out for them, which is a really nice farewell and thank you gift from her. I got a little lion who roars. It’s incredibly cute.
Anyway, I’d gotten Mr L, the sound guy, and S, the lighting guy, gifts. I got Mr L a cute stuffed bear that kind of reminded me of him. It’s also S’ birthday today (Sunday), but we finished the show on the Saturday, so during the presentation I gave him his gifts. It was a card signed by the crew, a little toy gecko, and a book called Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, a philosophical novel. S had been talking about the book a lot lately. It’s really important to him. And he’d been saying how he wanted to buy it, and so I got it at the beginning of the week and just hoped that he wouldn’t buy it before Saturday. I got pretty lucky, actually. When I asked him about it tonight, he said all the places he looked in for it had sold out – the bookstore he hadn’t looked in, the one in the town where we both live, was where I got it, so that was really good.
He was kind of really touched by…the whole thing, I guess. That he was involved in this self-devised production and that he got a gift. He wasn’t really expecting to get anything from me, at all, and especially that book. I don’t know. He said it means a lot to him. Both the book itself and that I gave it to him. And he said that he’d cherish it and always remember who gave it to him. And that, that means a lot to me. Some of the other Year 12s cried during the giving of the gifts, and even though it was really sad, I wasn’t that upset. The closest I came to crying – which was very, very close – was when S said those things to me and we said goodbye for the night.
We weren’t really always that close. We were friends – as much friends as you can be when you see each other twice a year during productions – but I never really got to know him until this production. And I’m so glad I did, but disappointed that it only happened now, when this was my last production. Somebody actually asked me last week if I used to go out with him, which was weird. S is a total sweetheart, but that never even occurred to me. Not him. Not to mention he’s engaged. He’s just. He’s so sweet and can be kind of silly and he always makes me laugh and he’s taught me so much about so many things. I am really going to miss him.
The set of this production we mostly built out of palettes, which were hired, and have to be returned by Monday afternoon, so we have to take the entire set down on Monday. I have a focus day (every second Monday, Year 12s have focus days where you might spend two or three hours of the day on just one subject, but if your focus day timetable is free on one of those days, you can just stay home and work), but I think I might come in. It’s such a great set, and even though I won’t be much use taking it down, I can still clean up a bit and maybe get some work done. I think Monday is probably the last day S is coming in, and even if it’s not, whether I see him while he’s in all depends on when I have my drama classes.
So that was the last production for me. I wish it wasn’t, because I’ve had such a great time doing them over the years. And it’s probably what I’m going to miss the most about high school.