My head is swimming now. It is with many, mixed emotions that I write this. Today is November 1st, which to me signifies a few things. Fall is in full effect, Halloween, probably my favorite holiday is now 364 days away, and tomorrow, I turn another year older. These facts are true every November 1st. But this year, November 1st holds more significance. It's our Thursday night show of The Fantastiks, as we always have a Thursday night show during closing weekend, but I am not working. Elaine, the new Box Office Manager of The Altarena Playhouse is working her first solo shift to see if I have trained her well. See, she will be taking over my job, now that I am leaving for Costa Rica. So, in a way, tonight marks the end of an era for me. Even though I will work the rest of the weekend and close the show on November 4th with my Altarena family, tonight I feel the reality of this chapter ending, and a new one beginning.
Another significant thing about today being November 1st is that we launched our Kickstarter Project today. It took a little more than a month to put the whole thing together when you factor in writing the short script for the movie, story-boarding the scenes, finding out where we were going to shot, lining up everyone's schedules, writing the whole profile and written portion of the project. We put a lot of work into it and I am proud of what we have created. I am also confident that we will reach our goal of $5,000, thanks to the amazing network of people we are surrounded by.
In the past three years I have gained so much inspiration working at the theater and being around such artistic, passionate, talented people. Not just the actors, but everyone who works crew, our stage managers, our costumer designers, our Board Members. I have been so lucky to be influenced by so many creative minds and I really feel as though this project, this Kickstarter, this motivation to follow this dream and go for it, ties into my experiences at The Altarena.
The first full show I worked was Man of La Mancha. I had never seen the show, which was odd considering my background in musical theater through my family in Fullerton and the fact that my Grandma has played the role of Dulcinea. I was not in the most mentally stable place at that time, February of 2010, as I was still quite shaken at our financial situation and our daunting task of starting over. I don't know if you know the story of Man of La Mancha, but I think it was pretty fitting for me to start working at the theater during the production. The story of this man, Don Quixote, who struggles to fight the good fight, against all odds, "To dream the impossible dream,... To run where the brave do not go,....This is my quest, To follow that star, No matter how hopeless, No matter how far." These lyrics spoke to me and reassured me that I would reach my goal, one day. And that was the hope that I needed. Little did I know, that the people involved in that production, would play such large roles in my life afterwards as well. LaMont Ridgell, who played Don Quixote, moved me to tears night after night with his beautiful voice and portrayal of that character. Donna Turner was a wonderful Dulcinea and she and her husband Stewart have continued to inspire me through their work at the theater. Chris Ciabattoni and Sydney Michaels first entered my life during that run as well. Fiona McIntosh was involved. Ryan Lee Short and Laura Domingo, who got together during that run and are together still! Perry Aliado, John Hale, the list goes on and on! I know I'm leaving people out, because there is no way to include everyone who made the production special. Then, there's the fact that so many of these folks have been repeat participants in other productions at Altarena!
So, this beautiful little family was born and has evolved since then, with the latest incarnation of wonder, The Fantastiks. How fitting that for my last show with Altarena, LaMont is back along with Chris, both as leads, Fiona is working crew, Sydney is on costumes. I couldn't think of a better way to end my time here. Although, I don't want to say end my time, because while I am going off to try something new, and have an adventure, my connection to the theater runs deep and this will always be My Little Theater, along with it being Alameda's Little Theater. Oh, it's all too much! I'm going to get all weepy. Basically, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been involved with Altarena. The love that I have watched people pour into their roles there, their jobs, and all for the love of art, all so that we can have something beautiful to enjoy, it has given me such strength to strive for beauty, to reach that unreachable star. I feel so blessed to have had this job, to have met these people, and to set out on my quest with such an amazing group of friends supporting me. Thank you all!