Briefly Unretired

Programming Sound Board while the kids rehearse

I’ve briefly mentioned before my previous career doing Sound for professional theatrical productions.  I’m retired from that business now, for a multitude of reasons.  But, in a nutshell, my time in the business had passed.  And it took me awhile to accept that.  And it wasn’t an easy process either.  I don’t think I really got passed it until I finally threw myself fully into writing New L.A.  Now, I look at it as a part of my life that is passed. It’s kind of like when you graduate from school.  When you were in school, it dominated your life.  But when you graduated or left school, your life drastically changed.  You have moved on to a new phase of your life.  And that is what happened to me.  I moved on to a new phase of my life.

Wireless Mic rental package set up in front of the booth while Michelle programs lights.

For the past week and a half, I have briefly revisited my old life.  A friend of my wife and I ran a two week theatre day camp for kids.  It built up to this last weekend where the kids did four performances of The Little Mermaid Jr. in our church space.  My wife and I were asked to run tech for these performances and we agreed.  Now, for the sound end, this wasn’t a simple little tech job.  It was almost a full blown musical for me.  They rented seventeen wireless mics to put on the kids and I ended up spending a good day programming a show into the sound board.  The only thing that kept it from being a full blown musical is I didn’t have to deal with an orchestra or band as the show was tracked.

Little Mermaid Jr. Finale…photo by Heather Polk

Initially, I expected I would be writing that this experience has proven to me that I had moved on from my previous life.  Part of me was viewing doing this show as taking me away from writing my next book.  I expected I would be writing that my theatre flame had died and my heart wasn’t in it anymore.  And that was the kind of things I was feeling going through the tech process, particularly after my wife put in an all-nighter programming lights for the show.  But then, during the second performance, something happened.  I started playing with the mix, trying to make it better, and having fun with it.  I was having fun doing the show.  And I realized that the fire is not fully out.

So does this mean I’m coming out of retirement?  Nope!  I think both my wife and I have moved on from that life and are enjoying laying down some roots where we are.  We also both have new passions.  She, her work with our church; me, my writing.  But there is enough of a flame that I am looking forward to the opportunity to do more shows like this.  In fact, there is talk of possibly remounting this show in a couple of months to raise some funds.  I look forward to it.

Show done by Bay Area Performing Arts and Casting

Ariel and Triton…photo by Heather Polk
Ursula…photo by Heather Polk
My wife Michelle before a performance.


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