It has been 42 hours since I woke up to leave Scotland for the second time in my life. I am 3,264 miles away from Edinburgh as I currently sit here waiting for my flight out of Newark, and a million more miles away from a good night sleep. Needless to say, we have had a rough day of traveling. From leaving Edinburgh at 5:00 am to waiting in Newark Airport for 7 hours until we could find a hotel to house 19 people last minute, we have had quite an experience. However, in these last 42 hours, I have had plenty of time to reflect over this trip as I stood in customer service line after customer service line.
The first ten hours reminded me of how hard we have worked on this project. For some of us, we have been working for over a year in preparation for putting on this show. 63 days ago, eight of us embarked on the task of fitting all of the needed supplies into six small trunks. Seven days later the trunks were gone and we were on our way Thinking back to our time in Glenelg with our wonderful hosts Donna and Eddie Stiven – we spent some intense hours pouring over the intricate details in each page of Davey Anderson’s script. While we were overwhelmed with the beauty of the highlands, we were also overwhelmed with the duty that we had of portraying this script faithfully and artistically. In Glasgow, we spent approximately 252 hours in rehearsal over a period of less than a month. Our company produced amazing work through blood, sweat, (some) tears, but also laughter. I wouldn’t change those hours in that room to spend it with anyone else. Then we went to Edinburgh, and our hard work paid off as we receive many great reviews and met many amazing people through the process.
The next twenty hours reminded me of all the joy that we had. Yes, we worked…a lot… but it was the times of gut-wrenching laughter and bright smiles that I remember the most. Throughout our time in Scotland, we saw 11 shows as a group, but we saw even more as friends. From Pride and Prejudice (sort of) to Ulster American, we truly saw a whole gamut of theatre. Thank you to people such as Isobel McArthur, Cora Bisset, and all of the other playwrights that we got to meet and work with during this process. Through their work, we were able to see the joy that is produced in theatre by telling stories. We have at least a dozen inside jokes and hundreds of moments that we remember together in fondness. I bet that if you yell “square go!” at any of the company members that they will yell back to you quotes from the show. There are also all the times that we quote The Abode to each other now. In the last 42 hours, the show has been quoted approximately 583 times (may or may not be counting). The joy that we had during this process continues to bleed into our lives as we readjust back to life in America.
The last ten hours showed me how hard it was going to be to leave all of these people who I have grown to love. We are all tired and cranky from traveling 42 hours and being stranded in airports, but we are all still kicking and wanting to spend the final hours with each other. When I traveled in 2016 with The Interference, we had to say goodbye to a couple people who were graduating and leaving Pepperdine. It was sad to see them go, but I knew that I would get to see everyone again at school. Now, in 2018 with The Abode, I am one of those people that have to get said goodbye to and might not see people again. I don’t want to say goodbye to Scotland. I don’t want to say goodbye to these new friends. I don’t want to say goodbye.
But we have to.
We have to say goodbye to those who have taught us and shown us the way so that we can go on to do good things. We have to say goodbye to friends so that we can move onto the next chapter in life. We have to say goodbye to the current show so that the next show can be made.
So here is what I am going to tell the group that is coming in 2020:
Remember your times of joy when the work gets hard.
Embrace your friends and enjoy every moment that you can have with them because an end will eventually come.
Work hard and people will see it.
See some theatre. Be inspired.
Have fun…I know that I have.