In the winter of 1999, I moved back home to Toledo from metro Detroit. My first marriage had just ended badly, and at the ripe old age of 26 I felt like my life was over. I moved in with my sister Cheri and tried to rebuild.
Poor Cheri had been abandoned four years earlier, when my parents left town at the same time I did, and most of her old college friends moved on to different things. She needed to meet new people, and she’d always been interested in theatre, so one day, in what I consider to be a badass move, she called up The Rep to ask if they had any volunteer positions available. They responded with, can you be here tonight? After that, working backstage as a techie became a huge part of her life.
When I came back she said, you have to do theatre. Come with me and do theatre.
Now, I’d been hearing all this time about the huge commitment and the late nights, and was definitely not interested. I wanted stay home on the couch and feel sorry for myself. But she kept insisting, and I’ve always done what my big sister tells me to, so in the end I agreed to be 4th spotlight operator on The Who’s Tommy.
I was having fun at first, but not really getting why this was worth all the effort, when somewhere in the middle of the second weekend it hit me. As the show ended and the audience rose to their feet in applause, I felt this elated rush of joy. I was a part of this amazing thing that we’d all created together, and it was incredible. I ran down the stairs and backstage to find Cheri, so I could jump up and down and yell, I LOVE THEATRE!!!!!
I was hooked, and still am today.