Hi Family, this is part 2, find the first part here
I stand watching the screens in awe and amazement. Amanda is calling cues from stage left and she is blind, she is only using 8 cameras and has no way to see the stage. She calmly calls ques and flips switches for cue lights. I would have been panicked by now, I find myself getting lost in the music of the night. The cast is in a constant dance even off stage. The run crew is even doing their own choreography moving tables, props and helping people change into their next costume.
“If you ever find a moment, spare a thought for me…” The stage is transformed, gold columns that are the boxes of the opera are visible. Christine’s slave costume is switched to a beautiful white on stage. The mirror that was on my right, is taken on stage and I can see, the Phantom standing in the mirror, holding his cape. I see the stage, the colors so different than they are from the audience. They shine on me, the amber and pinks warm my face. A technician is dancing in front of me, the actors looking at her smiling, laughing at her.
“Insolent boy, this slave of fashion!…” the lights fade out a single spotlight on Christine and the mirror. I see Christine take a hand without a body, my eyes flick to the monitor, the audience sees the Phantom. Tears in my eyes. the music swells and changes. The actors run. My eyes go back to the monitors, there is no way they will get to their next spot in time, they are clipped in to a secret harness, the set rotates and they are on stage. They never came off stage the secret of the magic. I am awestruck… and try to get my emotions under control.
People dance off stage in the dark, the actors smile at them and laugh genuinely, now I understand. We are all the same, in this moment, I am apart of the madness and it fills me up. I remind myself that I am there to observe the technical side, not watch the show that pulled me into this world. I take as many notes as I can, how to better write in my own cues for future shows, how to be more organized and confidant. The Mirror is back on my right side and I can not see the stage, I watch the stage on screens. I am in awe of the woman and her talent standing to my left.
The stage is blue again, the rooftop scene, there is one question in my head, where is Eric (the Phantom) hiding? I look around the corner, I look back at Amanda and she smiles giving me a wave to watch. “No more talk of darkness…”The actor playing Raul looks off stage, my head peaking around the corner, our eyes lock, he is looking for Eric but finds me instead, in a serious moment, his lips curl up and I know that he broke for a second, I know that my head looks like its floating in the blue strip lighting. I feel my cheeks go red like I have been caught seeing something I shouldn’t. I start to take a step back into the shadows but he keeps me locked in his gaze and as if telling me to stay and watch. He turns and he is talking to Christine again.
My eyes go back to the task of answering my question. I look over at the Apollo statue and down the backside. Derrick Davis, who plays The Phantom, or Eric as he is referred to in the novel, is sitting on the ground getting covered in snow. The mask flashes at me as he stands. The technician who is back with him smile at each other and brush the snow off, he flips his cape dramatically and the snow swirls and billows gracefully, it looks like they are dancing. He climbs to the top of the statue as the music swells and sings of his heart break, I am still frozen in place.
I am exactly where I want to be. This job, stage managing for a tour, I need to do this job. It is my passion, my addiction, the reason I will do whatever I must to get back right where I am standing… well two feet back and one foot to the left where Amanda is standing to be exact.
Dear Phantom of the Opera,
You don’t know me, my name isn’t in the program. You seduced me into your world of theater 6 years ago in New York. You stoked my flame 2 years ago when you came to Denver. Tonight, you made my soul take flight with the power of the music of the night. I will see you soon my friend, and you will know me by name.
You are loved