It's already been over a month since we closed this comedy, Java Tacoma: Episode 38. A lot has happened since that show closed. A lot happened during the production of the show as well.
It's funny. Even though this is the second installment of a comedy series that Randy and I are producing, there were a lot of "firsts" in it as well.
It was the first time I performed on stage in a role I had already played. Yes, the episode and the script were new, but I brought the character of Linda out of storage and tried her on for size once more.
It was the first time I invited the local Tacoma media to come and review what we were doing. Three reviewers came. One loved the show. One was so-so about the show. The other one hated it. Even though the third reviewer never mentioned names, I knew he was picking on me a bit.
It was also the first time I had to deal with major conflict among some of the production personnel. I won't mention any names either, but being put in the middle of someone else's war challenged my conviction, my self-esteem and my sense of success/failure.
When you put yourself out there for the world to judge your work, your mission, and your ability to act and produce, it puts you in a vulnerable position. Some people will believe in and support your mission, others will scoff and find ulterior motives in your work. Even those within the production staff may or may not be on board with what you are trying to accomplish.
I don't do theatre simply because it's fun. I don't do it primarily for an opportunity to be on stage. If that's all I wanted out of theatre, then I would be auditioning all over creation for any show, anywhere, just so I can put myself on the stage.
Dukesbay Productions is about telling stories about people whose stories don't often get told. Java Tacoma tells the comic story of middle aged folks from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities, for instance. Future productions and staged readings will involve still others who are under-represented on stage, by virtue of age, gender, ethnicity or acting experience. The playwrights are under-represented simply because they are local writers who are not "famous."
Theatre is not just about what "sells." I know young, beautiful and Euro-American is what appears to sell. But not to everyone.
Dukesbay is about everyone else. I'm proud of that. It's only a drop in the bucket, but (at least here in conservative, white-bread Pierce County) we're giving it a start.
And, we're making them laugh.