MIRANDA HAYMON '16
I am the stage manager for In the Heights. Most people don’t know what that means. Most people don’t know what I do. When you come and see the show, it is very likely that you will not even see me. I am the first person to arrive and the last person to leave. If something goes wrong, it’s always my fault. I must know the answer to every question that someone asks me; not knowing is not an option. I know everyone’s lines, everyone’s movements. Any time anything moves, sounds, gets lighter, gets darker, leaves, enters, comes, goes, closes, or opens, I know. I have to verbally command into a very tight, uncomfortable headset for these movements to happen. For each movement, I give a one minute warning, a thirty second stand by and a perfectly timed GO when it needs to go. And yes, I always know what time it is.
If you are acting in this show, I know your first name, last name, email address, phone number, class year, voice range, the color of the t-shirt you wore to audition, the song you auditioned with, how well you can read music, what number you were between 1-85 when you danced for us, what point in the video recording your audition is at, your waist size, bust size, shoe size, pants size, hat size, ring size and any allergies that would relate to make up. Oh, and I know exactly what class, commitment, or conflict you have on any given day.
I listen to them when they cry. I laugh with them when they laugh. But if they laugh for too long, I have to cut it off. We have this thing called Gossip Circle where we sit in a circle during our ten minute breaks and cram everything that going on in our lives. When they roll their eyes at me, I smile and tell them they are great. When they yell at me, I smile and tell them they are right and I was wrong, even if I’m not. When they are sick, I give them a hug anyway and tell them to feel better soon. “I need you,” I remind them. We keep a list of funny quotes. If their shoes are a little too tight, I make sure they get new ones for the next rehearsal. If they need food, I go and get it.
I tell them to shut up. I tell them to pay attention. I tell them they have to stop talking or I will go insane. I tell them if they are late to rehearsal one more time, I will have an anxiety attack. I tell them if they leave food in the CFA, I will eat their brains. I tell them I just swept the goddamn floor and if they step on it with their shoes it will destroy me. I tell them I planned a wine post-rehearsal party in my room and that they should all come. I know that they’re all free.
Please come see the show. I want you to support everyone who has been working hard. I want them to see how many people came out to support them. My one selfish wish for this show, though, is that my friends come, too, and see what I’ve been doing this entire semester. I hope that they love the show, but I hope that they forgive me. For all the missed lunch dates. All the frantic conversations in passing. All the unkept promises. I hope when they are asked, “Where has Miranda been this semester?” They reply with a heavy, yet understanding -- maybe even proud-- sigh, “She’s stage managing In the Heights this semester.” That is my one selfish wish.