Lessons from working at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
The waves hit the shore as the music slowly dies out—a moment of pure peace, followed by a roar of applause all-encompassing. The energy from 1100 people engulfs you as you take a deep breath—another show down.
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is something different. There’s something magical in hundreds of people coming together under the stars to experience a historic art.
As a member of the team, there is something magical about being a part of something greater than yourself.
No one knows that each day we prep the venue for hours. No one knows that I spend an hour watering down the sand only to have it nearly dry by the time the show begins. No one knows that we spend time picking up (empty) wine bottles following the show.
No one knows that while we’ve seen the show hundreds of times, we do the same tasks each night to ensure that this show is just as special as the last.
It’s humbling to be involved in the process. To know that, although maybe no one knows, the show couldn’t have happened without your work. That is takes several individuals to put on the production and create the magic that happens at Sand Harbor.
Being a performer myself, it was difficult at first to be a part of the show—a part of the show that didn’t get audience recognition.
As I took a deep breath as the music died away at my first show one year ago, the energy took over me.
I swallowed my pride and learned one of the most valuable lessons of all.
It’s okay to do things for no recognition. In fact, it’s more than okay. To do work that contributes to the greater good of something, that makes something beautiful happen for those lucky enough to experience it—that is what it’s all about.
Whether it’s an internship, a cause or helping another—I will always remember that it’s not about getting applause. It’s not about being seen.
It’s about the outcome—it’s about the greater good.
And so, as the final curtain closes on the Shakespeare Festival tonight, I will take with me life-long friends and family (shoutout to the best people ever), and in my mind and heart, I will take with me the humbling lesson of hard work. What you do when no one is watching—that is character. What you do to contribute to something much larger than yourself—that is what makes life worth it.
Cheers, Tahoe, give us a pretty sunset tonight.