Working with Team StarKid has been a fascinating experience. A charmingly old-fashioned Mickey-and-Judy-show-in-the-barn vibe pervades the rehearsal atmosphere — perhaps aided by the fact that most of the cast and crew are in their twenties — but this show is also distinctly contemporary because this musical could not exist without the conveniences of the Digital Age.
StarKid gained wild popularity through YouTube, and this production of Twisted was funded by its legions of dedicated super-fans through Kickstarter. Because there isn't a lot of money in the budget, everyone involved wears many hats: the librettists-cum-producers are also in charge of props, publicity and accounting.
A.J. has taken on countless extra responsibilities where the score and orchestra are concerned. I helped my sister Jama touch up paint on the set she co-designed, and I've done my fair share of photocopying and printing. No one's asked me to make a coffee run yet, but I wouldn't mind making a trip to Starbucks if asked.
There's something oddly romantic about crashing on couches and floors and making late-night mad dashes to the copy center. As this crazy experience winds down, I'm acutely aware that, for all their flaws and frustrations, these are the good old days. I'm here for no other reason than that I am passionate about the show, and I want to please the fans who made it possible in the first place. Of course, making some money would be nice, too, but as I always say, if money were a priority for me, I'd have picked a different career.
We open in two days. All week, this ticking clock has put me through a succession of rapid mood swings, from, "This-show-will-be-great-and-I-love-you-guys-so-much" to, "How-the-hell-are-we-going-to-pull-this-off-we're-all-doomed." At the moment, I can't begin to fathom the impossible process by which it will all come together in time for curtain at 7:30 PM on July 4, but I know that it will. It always does.
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