Last weekend was the Regional Competition for our One Act that we won at states. The location of Regionals was about 3 hours away, so the group of us made a weekend out of it. In hindsight, I almost wish we hadn't. Not gonna lie - overall, I was not impressed.
The simplest way I could put it was States felt like a professional competition, and Regionals felt like one of the lower rings of Community theatre. The location alone was so poor. The town itself was ok. It was a college town with a cute main street and enough to do to keep us occupied, but the theatre was horrendous for a competition. It was impossible to load sets in anywhere other than through the audience, the staff was pretty unhelpful in all aspects, I had to tell them how to program their own board, and they weren't going to store our set overnight which is a requirement as far as I know. In the picture above, that little red addition on the back of the theatre? That was the backstage area. That's it. And it was all stairs with tight corners and uneven landings. We had a refrigerator. What on earth were they thinking? And it's not like they didn't know the location or were surprised by it. Apparently they chose this same exact theatre every other year.
Not to mention we weren't allowed to park there (thank god the hotel was only about 4 blocks away), it was impossible to ever get a stright answer about anything in under 5 minutes, and we had to pay to be in our own show. We had to buy tickets! To our own show! And it wasn't an option - if my cast or crew didn't want to watch any of the others before or after us in our session, the ticket was mandatory.
We made the best of it, because that's what we do. We went to the movies and went bowling and took advantage of the fact that the state had no sales tax. In the end one of my actors walked away with an acting award, and we put the show to rest. While I did enjoy that show, it's time for it to die. It had a good ride, was a lot of fun, and I have no regrets.
The whole weekend though I was in a pretty bad mood. I attributed it to stress and anxiety and allergies, but once I was home Sunday I looked in the mirror and my lymph nodes in my neck were so swollen I could see them which has never happened. I've basically been in bed ever since with the exception of going to the doctor Thursday. They still don't know what I have, but they put me in antibiotics and it seems to be helping. I get this sick once maybe every 5 years. I know I'm lucky, but boy does it knock me down and make me hate life.