On & Off Stage – It’s ShowTIME

As I sip my coffee on this rainy morning, I can’t help but hear the quiet ‘tic-toc’ of the grandfather clock that stands tall and elegantly in my living room. It’s a relatively simple looking clock – a basic face atop a deep brown tower-like body. A wave of nostalgia hits me every hour when I hear the Westminister Chimes. It’s a magical feeling indeed.

 

Naturally, it reminds me of my Grandfather and his Mother, my Great-Grandmother, both of whom lived in this very house. Now a place I call my home with my growing family.  In the past 5 years alone I’ve learned a lot about my Great-Grandmother and Grandfather. They both carried themselves with confidence and grace. They were both calm and content. When we moved into the family home, the backyard was a stunning display of beautiful craftsmanship in the gardens. A showcase of the tireless effort, energy, creativity and passion my Grandfather had for his property. Growing up I rarely got to see him working on the gardens directly, but today I can certainly appreciate what he put into it as I enjoy the (many) fruits of his labour. My appreciation goes beyond words. Something I recently learned about my Great-Grandmother is that although she’d often be in a lot of physical pain, she’d never let on. When asked “How are you doing” she’d reply with “Oh just fine dear” when in reality, she was experiencing absolute agony on the inside. Still, she ‘performed’ for the others, wearing her pearls and a smile with the utmost elegance.

 

There goes the clock chime again. This time I look up, and through the glass door watch in awe as the pendulum swings and the weights slowly descend. It makes me think of the inner workings of the clock, all the gears working constantly just to make it all happen. The sound of the chimes, the direction of the hands, the swaying of the pendulum – working hard on the inside behind the walls of the clock while the face shows us the time on the outside. Like the glass door of the grandfather clock, our program at Purple Stage Door Productions wants to open our Door to the inner workings of what goes on offstage during a theatrical production. The ‘effort, energy, creativity and passion’ that my Grandfather had when working on his garden truly mirrors the actions and feelings that are expressed backstage, where the inner workings of the show take place. It’s an unseen show except by those who are creating it together. Without it, the audience would see nothing more than a reflection of themselves on the other side of the room.

 

Like the grandfather clock with its hands and face to tell us the time and its gears and pendulum making it happen, a theatre production of any magnitude needs the storytellers and the writers to create an overall magical experience. Whether it’s time spent in the past tending to gardens or in the present developing relationships, it’s important to be aware and appreciate the inner workings and efforts that are put forth by each and every one of us to create beautiful results and lasting connections. At Purple Stage Door Productions, we’re all stars, even if you never once step foot on stage. Your role may be as a stage hand, set painter, or singing your heart out under the spotlight. We need everyone, working together to tell our stories.

 

It’s like the saying goes, “It takes teamwork to make the dreamwork” just as a clock face needs that team of gears to tell us the time. Speaking of time, it’s already noon. There’s still so much to prepare before guests arrive. It’s not a true tea party without milk and sugar, tea cups and saucers. Tea time (or should it be teamtime) starts at 2pm. Time to grab my pearls and a smile. It’s almost showtime.

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