Welcome to a page of my book, "Exploring Home." This is an excerpt from that book- pages 150-151.
As an actor, there’s no feeling comparable to stepping on a stage for the first time, feeling the heat of the stage lights on your skin, looking out onto an audience that you can barely see past the blinding spotlights, and delivering your first line. That feeling is one you will never forget. I can recall every first line I delivered, sometimes to audiences of hundreds, but more often an audience of less than ten. But no matter how many people sat past that visible first row, we as a cast always gave each night our all as if each show was our last.
The final spotlight streamed onto my face in 2006, around the same time that my best friend’s dream to open and operate a local theater met its demise. Live theater wasn’t what it used to be. The popularity of the internet, YouTube, and Netflix made it hard to keep theater alive.
This theater is one that fell to ruins way before cell phones were invented. I couldn’t help but see it and think back to not only my early days of performing on stage, but to those many years when theater was so grand that elaborate dress was not only worn by the actors, but by the theatergoers as well. Those days are dying, as now it’s common to attend Broadway shows in t-shirts, sneakers, and jeans.
This is my goodbye to that last spotlight. It is my farewell to the days of grand playhouses, flouncy, flamboyant gowns, crowds in synchronized laughter, uproarious applause, and to the unfortunate day when the last theater will shutter its doors. The lights will go dark, and in that moment, every actor--past and present--will never experience again that feeling they did standing on a stage.