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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.504

When my role in a drama club at junior high was still lower backstage work, I was assigned to give the cast members a cue on one school play. I needed to cue them in the dressing room when the show before us was about to end. I counted down from forty minutes before the cue to make their preparation easier by watching the show in the wings. The stage was far from the dressing room and I had to go back and forth between them to tell them the time left. On that play, the heroin put on makeup and got dressed so slowly, and I felt sure our play couldn’t start on time. I rushed her while reporting the progress of the show before us by running laps between the stage and the dressing room. But as I had thought, she couldn’t make it. The previous show had ended, the audience was waiting, and she remained wigless. Those who helped her dress got hysterical and began to take it out on me who kept on cueing. Back in the wings, the teacher in charge of the school event stormed at me. We had to start without her and I asked other cast members to prolong the opening scene by improvising. They got panicky and complained to me. Eventually, everyone yelled at me who was just a cue person. While they were desperately improvising the play, I took her from the dressing room plowing through the people on the crowded hallway for her. Then I had gradually promoted to the higher backstage work play by play. As the curtain drawer, I needed to learn how to draw the heavy main curtain smoothly. If it opened or closed in several separate movements according to my tugging, I would get reproved. The curtain was used frequently to shift scenes and drawing it seamlessly was such a tough job. As a prompter, I was pointed out that my prompts were too loud. Then as the stage lighting, I needed to get the knack to create a blackout on the stage by turning numerous switches off in one quick sweep by my hands. The switches were too many and big, so I had to hold my breath and put my whole weight on my stretched hands to slide them all. All those years, I didn’t quit because I really wanted to be cast and play on the stage some day. It must have been a strong aspiration as I spent a good three years just training and working backstage…

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