The Final Days of Being a PAC Rat

February 4, 2013

Freshman year, I learned to smoke.

Smoking Lesson

Sophomore year, I became a very small actor.

Small Actors

Junior year, I fell under the shadow of a dune.

Dune Shadow

Senior year…I just got angry.

Twelve Angry Jurors

Every year, I became someone new. I learned more. From props crew, to Jason, to Will, to Juror No. 8…I’ve worn different faces and gone by different names.

But the thing that’s remained constant is that I’ve loved every second of being a PAC Rat.

The pesky Year of Lasts is at it again, though…and my final year of PAC is rapidly approaching. As I write this, it’s Friday night and we just had opening night of Twelve Angry Jurors. And it was everything I hoped for and more.

The show went great and, from what I could tell, it was well received. After the show, I went out to Applebee’s quickly with some of the Cross Country Guys and they all seemed to have enjoyed it…It’s great to have friends like that. Friends who will come out and see you doing what you love most.

Anyway, I think the oddest moment of the night for me was just before the show started. A PAC tradition is that we start off every show with “The Jump”, an exercise in which we attempt to connect on another level and jump in unison with our eyes closed.

The Jump is traditionally lead by a Senior. And this year, on this day, that Senior happened to be me.

Suddenly, I was explaining the Jump to everyone, and as I was talking I heard all the past Seniors talking with me. I saw Ryan and Kendall, I heard Sarah and Greta, I recalled Emily and Sam…And I felt this eerie feeling wash over me.

I had finally reached it. I had finally become a Senior. I was here, at my last PAC Show Weekend…And I was leading the Jump…

***

Now it’s Saturday night. The show went really well again. My parents spared no expense in bringing family friends and relatives from across the state to see the show. Carly came, too. She drove down from Interlochen to see the show. It was great to see all of them.

After the show, some of the cast and crew headed out to Applebee’s to celebrate. Nothing like a plate of chicken tenders to top off a great night.

***

And now it’s Sunday. I just got home from the show and I feel…drained. The show went well, but I’m still struggling to swallow the fact that it was my last PAC show.

After the show, this hard truth wasn’t made any softer by the fact that it was time for the Seniors to paint our names upon the walls of the stage, joining the many other names of our PAC Rat Legacy.

Before we’d even started painting our names, though, Rachel announced the winner of the PAC Jacket for this years show…And it was me. And I can remember feeling my jaw drop and my face freeze as I heard her call my name out. I shuffled out from backstage and nodded a: “Thank you.”

In the end, the show was awesome. I was proud of the Performing Arts Company. I was proud to be Juror No. 8. I was proud to be performing with twelve other talented teenagers. I was proud of the hardworking technical crews that made it all possible…

***

Now it’s all over. All over. Once again, I find that my Senior Year has struck. I’ll never perform in another PAC Show. I’ll never act in the name of Gull Lake. I have to say goodbye to PAC. I have to paint my name upon the black walls of backstage and leave it at that.

Sure, I’ve still got a One Act to direct…and lord knows One Acts are a lot of fun…but it’s hard to realize I’ve Lived through my Final Days of Being a PAC Rat.

I’ve loved every second of PAC. I loved learning to smoke and I loved becoming a small actor. I loved falling under a dune’s shadow and I loved getting angry.

I suppose I’ll just listen to the words of Dr. Seuss…

I won’t be sad that it’s over. I’ll be glad because it happened.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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