The Girl Who’s Behind the Lights
The lights of the Tony Bennett Concert Hall at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) dim as a hush rolls across the audience. Headset on and ready to go, she waits for her cue. It’s her cue to hit the lights at just the right time, or the show could fall apart. So much goes into making a performance worth while, and many forget the people who work behind the scenes that make it all come together.
It’s been a grueling week of practicing to make sure she gets the timing just right for the lights to go off and match with the performers’ movements. After school every day, she’s in the concert hall running the show, perfecting every detail. She wonders if all this time and effort will even be worth it in the end, after the large toll its taken on her social life and even her school work.
Andrea Mejuto, a senior art major at FSSA, needs to make sure her job gets done in the best way possible. Sitting at the light board ready for her signal, she hopes after all her dedication, that the show will go smoothly. Yet something inside her lets her know that ever since she started stagecraft sophomore year, this is what she was supposed to do.
Stagecraft taught her everything she needed to know like how to hang lights, use power tools, build sets, etc. In her own world, focusing on the keys of the light board, no one can stop her groove. Once it’s over, the rush of relief overcomes her because it really was worth it. Seeing how great the show went and the reaction of the audience makes it all matter.
“When you finish on opening night and you’re so proud of your work and how all the hardship is worth it, you’re just so fulfilled,” Andrea said.
She mentions that being in stagecraft has changed her life in more ways than she ever imagined. In a way, it’s showed her the type of person and hard worker she is. Through the blood, sweat, and tears it opened up a part of her she wasn’t even sure was there. The downsides of stagecraft are tough, but it shows one the extent of just how much one can handle under pressure.
“It does affect you emotionally,” she added. “I feel like the stress and high stakes takes a toll on you and clashing personalities really take a lot of energy out of you, even if you don’t want it to.”
The personality struggle being figuring out if you really want to be dedicated to something so time consuming and giving up all your free time. Finding out if that’s really who you are as a person and what you want to do.
Fortunately for Andrea, she realized how much she loves working hard in stagecraft and how being a part of a big production, no matter how small, makes everything come together to create something truly amazing.
– by Diana Deluca 19