This past Monday, I got the chance through an #InstaMeet to explore the the Lyric and Alabama theaters in downtown Birmingham. The Lyric, which hasn’t been operational in quite a while, is currently undergoing massive renovations to revive the landmark, so it was pretty cool to be able to wander around the various parts of the building and get a glimpse of the old grandeur of the place (albeit, a rather dusty glimpse).
The Alabama, on the other hand, has been thriving since 1927, hosting concerts, movies, ballets and more through the years. I had been to see a few movies there before, but Monday was the first time I was able to explore the on- and backstage areas.
As I walked onto the stage to gaze out upon the sea of plush seats, a lump rose in my throat and I felt a few tears roll down my cheeks. I’m pretty sure no one saw it, thankfully, but it did happen.
I miss performing, you guys. It was my lifeblood for so many years, basically from birth until high school graduation. I was in One-Act Play, the spring musical, church children’s musicals, the praise team…whatever I could get my hands on. But then came college, and it all just stopped. And now I’m really beginning to feel the effects of it.
It’s not that there weren’t any opportunities for me in college; in fact, there were plenty. And I participated in a few, but nothing that really gave me an audience. Step Sing was the closest I got, and it’s definitely one of the reasons I became such a Step Sing fanatic. I was always too nervous and scared to try out for even the smallest School of the Arts productions, so I just kind of let it slide and satisfied myself with being a regular audience member. There’s too much other stuff in my life going on, I told myself. I don’t need to add a rehearsal schedule on top of it.
But that itch to be on stage, to sing and act and perform, it never left me. And it’s been resurfacing more and more often in the year-ish since I graduated.
Hence, the tears on the stage of the Alabama.
There’s a very special brand of joy I feel when I’m performing, and I’m verging-on-desperate to recapture it.
All this to say, if anyone in the Birmingham area knows of any opportunities for amateur actors/singers or any opportunities to work with children’s theater, please do let me know. I’ll be incredibly grateful.