Monday, October 17, 2011

Three Decisions

It's funny, for most of my life I can think of the decisions I've made and honestly~ most of the decisions I've made haven't impacted my life in major way.  Ultimately, I think my life would be in roughly the same place if I had made some choices differently, but there are three decisions in my life (all of them fairly recent) that have completely shaped my life as I know it.


Senior year of high school.  The volleyball season's just ended.  I've decided not to play club volleyball.

I didn't want to play club, I was pretty much done with volleyball at that point in my life.  It was too late to audition for the school play, so ultimately I decided to sign up for the technicians list instead.  Shortly after I had put my name on the list, my Shea found out that she was going to Nationals (or something like it, I was never quite clear on the details).  My family decided that we would all go with her (across the country) and miss a few days of school and make a vacation out of it.

My classes were difficult and missing them would mean a lot of work for me, but I was initially all for skipping school in favor of a vacation.  But, then I found out that the play was the same week that I was supposed to be out of town.  I was props master for the show, but really, they could have found someone to replace me.  I decided to stay and work on the show though.  In retrospect, I'm not even sure why I decided to stay and work on the show, but I did.

And, here's what happened that never would have happened if I hadn't stayed: I became extremely close friends with a group of people who I am friends with to this day, I got to know and started dating Boyfriend, and I discovered a love for technical theatre and agreed to work on the dance show the following week.

I never though that not going on a vacation would be (probably) the most life altering decision of my life, but it was.  I still think I made the right decision.


Easter of senior year of high school.  Boyfriend's couch.  Making college decisions.

The choice was easy for Boyfriend, he got into exactly where he wanted and had already sent in his acceptance letter long ago.  For me, it was a lot harder.  I hadn't gotten into either of my top choices and to make matters worse, when I had done college applications, I hadn't been into theatre yet and so I hadn't chosen colleges based on their theatre program.

I spent a long time hemming and hawing about which college to go to.  I had gotten a large scholarship to one, one had a good (if small) theatre program, and one I had debated applying to for months and ultimately ended up doing so (in truth it was my safety school).  I finally decided to go to my safety school, the one that Boyfriend had already committed to.  It had an excellent theatre program, was in an area of the state I liked (and was you know, actually in the state), it was cheaper than all the other schools, and Boyfriend was going there.

Even though a lot of people still would doubt my motives, I honestly did weigh the choices.  And, I ultimately  am extremely pleased with my decision.  I loved my college, I loved the theatre department, and I got to stay close to Boyfriend.  That's not to say we couldn't have handled long-distance (hell, we're doing long-distance now), but life would have been different.  I might not have even have majored in theatre.

At least this decision was supposed to be a big tipping point in my life.  I don't regret my choice at all.


After our stage management class.  Second year of college.  Fall quarter.

Me: Hey! Laura, wait up for a second.
Laura: Hey Kaylee, what's up?
Me: I heard you mentioning that you need a stage manager for the show next quarter (Laura was the production stage manager for the student theatre board, the role I took over the following year).
Laura: Yeah, do you know anyone?
Me: Actually, I was wondering if I could have the job.  I haven't stage managed before, but I've always wanted to and I've worked with so many stage managers before.  I know what it takes to do the job.
Laura: Oh, let me talk to the board.  You're definitely more qualified than everyone else the board has suggested.  I'll get back to you next week about it.

Laura did get back to me (albeit it closer to two weeks later, when I'd just about given up hope) and told me that they'd love to have me stage manage the show.  I warned her that I would be in a sling for much of the show (the result of my shoulder surgery) and she said it wasn't a problem and that she could help me out as needed.

The rest of that story is that I realized that stage management was exactly the job in theatre I had been looking for (I had been experimenting with all sorts of things: light design, sound design, set design, being a master electrician).  Spring quarter I asked a friend of mine if he needed a stage manager and as it turned out, he did, and after that the jobs just kept coming (a stage manager friend of mine did warn me that once they find out that you stage manage, you'll never escape (at least while in college)).

It's conceivable that I would have tried my stage management even if I hadn't taken that job, but it's far more likely that I wouldn't have.  And thus I would probably be working in theatre but probably in a job that made me significantly less happy.

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