Sometimes, history, no matter what you’re doing in the present, will always repeat itself. Like a scientific law, no matter what you do, the result is the same.

And so, that brings us to the latest rehearsal for the cantata.

History would tell us one thing: We will never be able to run through the show without stopping.

If you’ve been part of a play, or whatever, you know the ultimate goal before showtime is to be able to go through the entire performance without stopping. There’s no stopping when you’re on stage, right? And so, you want to be able to have a production go without stops.

In the past four years that I’ve had a directing role, our church has failed miserably at it. We have never gone through a show non stop. And it’s alarming because the script has changed. It’s not like we’ve been on one show and keep screwing it up.

Sure, you could say that doing a different show each year means you have growing pains. I get it. But nah, the previous version was the same for three years and we still couldn’t get it. And wait…there was no acting! All the cast had to do was stand/sit still while someone read a narration of the scene.

And now, this year, we’re running into the same problem. What’s interesting is that this year was also the first year that we started the process and rehearsals BEFORE November. We started early (August) and still found a way to be in trouble.

As lighting director, I need to know where people are going to be. I need to know transition points from scene to scene. I know what to do; I just don’t know when. And, with only two rehearsals left, I fear that history will once again prevail.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I’ve told my team that we can only do the best we can. Each rehearsal there’s a change. And another. And then I have to try to keep up. No problem. However, at this stage of the game, we should be wrapping things up; not just now figuring out something.

If this were my first year, I’d be fine right now. But no, I’ve seen so many failures. And, like I said before, I was emotionally scarred last year because I wasn’t able to do my job right because nobody else was prepared and yet, somehow, it was my fault.

Now is not the time to panic.

I have to try to keep my cool. I’m leading a team. I can’t crumble because what happens to them? They’re not even teenagers. While they are mature enough to handle the assignments I have given them, nobody is gonna be feeling good abut things when their leader is ready to cry in a corner. I cried last year. Not again. Not like this.

I have to keep my cool. Maybe the next rehearsal will be better. It’s our first dress rehearsal, so we’ll be trying to go through the show with no stops. Sounds easy but…like I said in previous updates, the lighting equipment isn’t here yet. It’s not gonna be here until Thursday. I have to train the team to use it. Our first time with it is the dress rehearsal.

Because we have yet to see the show run through, while we know what to do, and we have an idea of the timing, actually doing it is gonna take some getting used to. Like, watching a how-to video. You get what is going on, but, until you try it, it’s all just a thought. And then, when you go to try out what the video tells you, you find that there are some things you didn’t expect. You might have to go back to the video and see exactly how it’s done because how you pictured it in your mind was a little different from reality. We’ll be a little sluggish, which is obviously not a good thing considering where the head director wants us to be. So, I have to train my team just before the rehearsal (since that’s the only time we can get together) and go over the ever changing notes and be ready.

Can you see why I need to keep my cool? Can you see why I’m struggling?

I almost regret doing this again. Why did I allow myself to get into this position? Year after year. And you know what’s funny? People from years past and this year keep telling me what an amazing job I do. Yeah, ok pal. Let someone else do it. People keep telling me I’m the only man for the job. And, I’ll admit, I put a great deal of time into preparing for this stuff. I studied the script. I took so many notes. My team will tell you; I killed a lot of trees to get this ready. I laid out the extension cords and power strips to make sure we can hook all of the equipment up. Last year, we almost burnt the church down because one of the strips we were using couldn’t handle the power and the outlet got screwed and it was just a mess.

To have all of these behind the scenes efforts go to waste hurts. All because someone else couldn’t/wouldn’t prepare. I think anybody can do this job. Maybe not as dedicated as I, but it’s nothing crazy. I still stand by me training my replacement next year. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the reason we keep getting backed up. So, I’ll chill. Go sit down.

But hey, I’m not asking for a round of applause. And again, there’s always pressure to perform. I just wish there was a real chance of success.

Each year. And I didn’t come in expecting things to go like this. I really didn’t. I was feeling optimistic. It was a new director with a new script who had the same attitude that I had: Get things done early. I had to chance it; it seemed like a sexy recipe for minimal stress.

Next update will probably be this week. When the equipment comes, I do a little behind the scenes video to show you all of the stuff as well as how it works. And then, after the second dress rehearsal (the day before the big show), I’ll hit you with another update.

I’ll keep everything in prayer. I’m praying for my team. I’m praying for the cast, readers, directors, choir, and more. That’s all I can do at this point.

Some of you could say, “it’s all about Jesus”. Almost ironically, the story isn’t even all that Christmas themed. If you don’t know the Christmas story; the real story of Jesus’ birth, you still won’t after watching it. It’s the story, but from the point of view of some random people that were there during those times. But they don’t hit on key points like Mary getting pregnant or King Herod or even the no room in the inn. Then you got Jesus dying and rising again. It’s a lot going on. I can’t even.

Price of admission is free. What’s that saying…you get what you pay for, right?