farewell, therefore, hero

for the past four months i dove into the world of shakespeare in sterling playmaker’s production of much ado about nothing. and let me tell you – it definitely was not nothing. it was a crazy and intense experience and so here it is, a recap and a way to get some closure. how lucky i am to have experienced a show like this. i can’t even believe it’s over just yet, i keep feeling like i’m supposed to go to rehearsal tonight – how strange that is!

Hero Costumes

hero will always be particularly special to me – she was my very first lead role. she taught me so much about myself and let me explore the different people who could come to life just from words on a page. hero was ideal for my first lead; often seen instead of heard, she let me take on the challenges of being center stage without as much stress, and for that i’m grateful. i learned how to take control of the scene with my expressions and movements since most of the time i was silent. it was a really big challenge trying to figure out how to play this delicately written character.

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photo locations: george c. marshall’s dodana manor & the bungalow lakehouse; photo credits: paul gernhardt & iryna kruchko & rachel veal

the pr for the show was especially fun and exciting. i’ve never done photo shoots for a production before nor been featured so much. it really made me feel like a celebrity. taking some time out to meet people and try to create behind the scenes moments in the show made it feel all the more real and truly exciting. the show also featured technology, giving a modern twist on shakespeare – i had so much fun sending in selfies for hero’s social media profile!

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although there was a lot of fun, this show also came with challenges. i experienced my first real hiccup with tony and i had to take a good look at what my priorities were. the responsibilities of being a lead in a show taught me new boundaries in my relationship with tony and with others. of course, tony and i communicated (almost too much) and worked everything out, but it was something i had to learn, and i’m glad i did because tony and i came out so much stronger because of it. it also helped us to really miss each other. i was at rehearsal so much that we only got to see each other in the wee hours of the night. i suddenly became very aware that i had overbooked myself and i hope now i know how to not do that again.

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not only that, but i’ve never had to deal with someone so difficult before and hold my tongue. i’ve always been the type of person to say exactly what’s on my mind and clap back at people when they do things that i dislike, but for the first time i had to swallow my normal demeanor because i knew that the show as a whole would suffer if i didn’t. one cast mate specifically was very difficult to handle and there were several days that i dreaded coming to rehearsal because it meant i would interact with them. they pulled the mood down like an anchor and didn’t hold back in criticizing others thinking that they were somehow hilarious.

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despite all this, we were able to create really great inside jokes from all the nonsense, including comics and memes to get us through the drama (no pun intended.) it’s sad to say that people tend to bond over complaining, but i came out with some really amazing friends once we felt comfortable enough to vent to each other.

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downtime backstage included a lot of card games. i’m really regretting not getting a picture of us playing hello kitty robot uno (yes, you read that right.) but i did play quite a bit of war when the amount of people was sparse. this was an especially excellent moment when we had a three-way war! so much laughter was born from these card games and playing became a big highlight for everyone.

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so many people came to see me in the show – i felt so incredibly loved! i received tons of flowers and got so much loving feedback. i really felt i’d proved myself as an actress. tony’s parents in particular drove four hours from pennsylvania just to see the show, which honestly brought tears to my eyes. i wish i had gotten pictures with all the people who came out, but each night was its own whirlwind!

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i’m truly so sad that much ado is over. i grew so close to our cast and crew that i find myself missing them already. everyone worked so hard to make the production great, and for that i’m forever grateful. i also was able to realize a ton of friend crushes before the show closed, and became close to some exceptionally wonderful people.

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so now it’s time to say goodbye, and my heart is exceeding heavy. 

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