For the rest of November, every day, the Brelby Buzz will be bringing you the second installment of the November Blogathon. Thirty days, thirty original posts from Brelby’s Company Members and collaborative artists of Season 8. Each post will revolve around a word that artist considers to be integral to what art and Brelby means to them.
By Annie Ballesteros
My first introduction to Brelby came through Devon (Mahon). It was just over a year ago, when Brelby was playing Revenge of the Space Pandas. I had never even heard of the play and I wasn’t looking forward to driving for two whole hours to Glendale from Tucson, but I missed my friend, so into the car I went, and the adventure began. If only I knew what an adventure it’d end up being.
I think about it now and it’s kind of hilarious how quickly I was thrown into things. I walked through the doors for the first time, to see this show I didn’t know and was asked to fix a pair of pants and repair some Velcro that had come off of a Panda. Someone passed by me as I sat sewing in the lobby and remarked, “Oh, you brought in reinforcements!” but that was it. It was completely open and friendly; like a love of theatre was all that was required of you to be part of the family.
That trip turned out to be the first of many two-hour drives, but after that, it was no longer just for Devon (sorry, Bud). It was for the company as a whole. I’ve since worked on 12 Days of Christmas, Fools and Fangirl, building costumes and being an extra in videos used during the shows. I could not be happier to have found a place that enjoys having me around as much as I enjoy being there.
I have never felt more appreciated than I have when I am working with BreIby. I needed a place that needed me, and that’s what Brelby is. They are always ready and willing to take in new people, to teach the skills they may need to learn, and to be open to pushing through their comfort level to get them to a better place.
Even though I have a job outside of Arizona right now, Brelby will always be a place of comfort for me; a welcome home and I couldn’t have asked for more. Whenever I walk into that studio, all it takes to realize that I’m in the right place is a smile from the cast, a hug from Brian, the approval of my little brothers and I know I have it when they laugh and ask, “When’s the next show??” I’m the pioneering force introducing the theatre world to my family, so I need every little bit of justification I get from them.
Sometimes, working in theatre is just that: work. A job like any other, but some days- those special days when you realize the difference you’ve made in someone’s life are the best. And then your job becomes something more. It becomes fulfilling.