I believe there is something very special and, yes magical, about the theatre.
I feel that way when I see a show (especially a good show). The way all of the elements come together for the performance. Seeing a story played out in front of you. Feeling the energy around you from the actors and the rest of the audience.
I also feel that way being on the other side of things (in my case the tech/production side of things). To actually be a part of the process in any sense (stage manager, designer, etc.) can be just as magical in its own way. It can be amazing to witness and be a part of the creation of a show. Being there during rehearsals and seeing everything come together from practically nothing, it’s fascinating.
It’s fun as an audience member to see the tricks that are accomplished onstage and to wonder how they were achieved. It’s also fun learning the “secrets” of how these tricks were done, whether by figuring it out yourself (sometimes from multiple viewings), being told how it’s done, or by actually being a part of it when it’s in a show you’re working on. For me, knowing doesn’t take away from the magic, it’s just a different kind of magic. And it can be fun knowing how something is done when other people don’t! Even just watching a show and seeing the lighting changes or the transitions or whatever, and knowing that offstage somewhere a stage manager is calling all of those cues and operators and crew are making it happen, is fascinating to me! These people make the magic happen (with the actors too of course!)
There is magic in the physical accomplishments on the stage and there is magic in the ability that theatre has to make the audience feel; happiness, sadness, whatever emotion you can think off, it can be presented onstage and impact you as an audience member. There is magic in calling a cue just right and seeing everything onstage look just as it should. There is magic in seeing your favourite actor live for the first time. There is magic in hearing people laugh at a line you wrote. There is magic in finally seeing the show you’ve been dreaming of, having listened to the cast recording for months. There is magic in hearing a soundscape you put together playing through the speakers in the theatre. There is magic in seeing your first show or your 50th show (or however many shows you’ve seen). I can’t speak from the actor’s perspective but from everything I’ve heard it can be pretty magical too!
There’s really nothing like seeing a show live, or working on a show for that matter. A lot of my favourite memories have come from seeing shows and some of my most rewarding moments have come from working on shows. There’s a thrill that comes with it, in both cases, and that’s part of the magic! And I’m so glad that the theatre is such a big part of my life!