So, I’ll be sharing my latest updates on my cantata journey in what seems to be legitimately the best ever for me emotionally.

The script is very different and more simple than the previous years. So, we have time, to get a simple task done. If we bomb this, we suck. Really.

Let me tell you what the cantata is going to be like. We’ve thrown out the tabluex in a sense that we no longer have people all dressed up and sitting still like a “living picture”. Instead, we have a group of actors who, similar to the tabluex, are going to act various scenes out as a narrator…narrates…

There used to be a big staging area that had its own complicated lighting scheme that I organized. In the next two years, I was moved out of that area while I had people in there controlling the switches. We always had radio contact so that wasn’t an issue.

Anyway, that’s the major difference. Because of this difference, my load is actually reduced in half. In all honesty, I am not needed, as I suspected before. The new director mentioned how “several” people recommended me to be her lighting director so I felt honored about that. My assistant, who worked with me last year, also said she was not doing any lighting unless I was doing it. That’s pretty cool.

A side note about my assistant. Besides the fact she’s into the writing field as I am, she helped me out last year as a 10 year old. By law of time, she’s 11 years old now. I have plans for her to grow in her role now that she has a year of experience. That’s a leader’s job: His team gets better as he does. This is the fourth year we’re doing a cantata with the current theme and in these four years, I’m the only one that has done it each time. My helper, Nia, is the only person to help more than one year. I’ve had a rotation of people come and go. With Nia, I don’t have to go through all of that “let me tell ya how this works” thing. She’s already there. Yay.

The script was so stripped, it almost seemed like she wouldn’t be needed. However, we already agreed to work together before the details so she will be doing something.

In all my years, I’ve never had a chance to actually plan out things. A time to rehearse and to understand the flow of the script. This time promises to be different and I’m glad about that. I’m gonna keep Nia up to date constantly. In years past, things were so last minute that, if something were to happen to me, nobody else would be able to step in. She’s only 11 but I think she could fill in if I fall. I have time to train her and she’ll know about the plans as much as I will.

That makes me so comfortable and confident.

My two areas of lighting is the choir and actors. I’ll have to know the timing of the songs as well. So, I’ll be attending choir and acting rehearsals to know what is going on. I couldn’t do that before because things were so f’d up. Y’all don’t understand.

It’s my chance to shine, really.

Sadly, the fire and passion I had from my first year is gone. Did you know, during the first rehearsal on Saturday, I was acting as if it were the last week of November? I’m so programmed to work as if there’s no time left. I need to relax. Enjoy the process. I always tried to make sure I don’t take out my stress on my teams over the years. Make sure they have fun. Let me take the pressure.

When given the right opportunity, I can excel with the best of them. It doesn’t have to be 100%, but I have to have a chance. I think that the lighting team…or duo will rock the house. We’re gonna be on point. I pride myself in leading the best. I hate being a leader, but when it happens, we’re the best group. Not really a competition, but, if something goes wrong, it’s not on me.

I’ve prepared plenty of notes per scene for Nia and myself. She’ll be taking on a larger role. I’ve stressed how important it is for her to grow but I understand that, if she’s not comfortable, then she doesn’t have to do it. She’s just a kid, you know? Still, I wouldn’t have picked her again if I thought she couldn’t handle it. If not her, somebody will be my assistant and training to be my replacement.

As much as I love this job, I have a feeling it won’t last. My ultimate goal is to prove that if little Nia can handle things, anybody can with the right amount of time to prepare. And then I can take a seat. However, if this experience proves to be easy and relaxing, then I might want to hold on for a long time. On the other hand, if I screw up even this easy script, then I need to sit down somewhere. No matter how I look at it, I’m still taking a seat.

The next note will probably be in a couple of weeks once we iron out some rehearsals and details. I’ll talk to you about what shape we’re in and maybe have showtimes for you. I’m also hoping you’ll hear from Nia herself as I try to score an interview with the young lady.

Until then, just know this is the most optimistic I’ve felt about the cantata in three years. Sha-boom!

-DALANEL

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