Tonight, for the first time in 16 years, I was at a theatre rehearsal. When I walked in and was handed a script to take production notes, it was like running into my teenage self. You see, from the ages of 7-20 I lived and breathed theatre. It was my entire life. When other kids had a break over school holidays, for me, it meant working doing 8 shows a week. All my life, especially every single teenage drama took place backstage in the dark or upstairs in the dressing room or at the local park where we spent time between the matinee and the evening performances.
In my teenage years, my parents would drop me off at the theatre on a Friday night and not see me again until Sunday afternoon when I turned up at home. Looking back on it, I was given a hell of a lot of freedom, but they knew I was working. If I wasn’t acting on stage, I was working backstage or doing sound or was a highly caffeinated stage manager. Life was lived in between scenes in hushed whispers, homework was done by the dim shine of a flashlight, and romances were conducted in secret.
When I was almost 21, I walked away from it all and headed off to university to study science. I told myself that it was time to grow up, but part of me always missed that life. Today, I reclaimed that part of me and my teenage self is happy again.