My surprise at the Texas Thespian Festival


Members of the Sachse Mustang Theatre arrive at the Gaylord Texan for the Texas Thespian Festival

Kristin Gooding, Writer

Imagine you’re alone in a hotel room FaceTiming your friends, when you get an exciting and unexpected text.  That was my experience when I found out I qualified for nationals with a perfect score in stage management at Texas Thespian Festival.

I repeated the message aloud multiple times, “I qualified for nationals!” that phrase seemed unreal but it was real I started jumping up and down like a 5-year-old and screaming at the top of my lungs. I told my friends over FaceTime then ran out of my hotel room to tell everyone else in Mustang Theatre. I was so excited that I accidentally locked myself out of my hotel room so the celebration lasted a little longer in the hall since I had to wait for my roommates.

I think anyone would be surprised if they found out they got a perfect score, but I was even more surprised considering I’m an actor, this was my first show to stage manage, and I was incredibly nervous during my presentation.

For this event, you face the judges’ table and present your speech with the other stage managers listening and watching you from behind which really psyched me out. I even asked Mrs. Rotan and Mr. Murdock, two of the theatre teachers, to sit in the judging room with me because I was so nervous. None of the other stage managers brought their directors with them, and they all seemed very prepared and relaxed.  Then there was me–a nervous wreck who couldn’t keep still.

I was shaking the entire time of my presentation and 30 minutes before I got called up, I reorganized my whole speech. About halfway through my presentation, there was a loud banging noise above us from a dance workshop.  That caught me off guard, and made me lose my place.

My speech was so long that I was very close to reaching the cut time of 8 minutes. When the judge said I had 30 seconds left, sheer panic hit me and made me scramble to state my conclusion.

After my speech, the judges were supposed to ask me questions, but they couldn’t think of any and said I had already answered all of their questions. I walked out of the judging room feeling 100% more confident than before.

I wasn’t the only one for qualified for nationals from Sachse. Seniors Mason Walden and Lucas Sanders, junior Mari Primm, and sophomore Kaitlyn Collins qualified in group musical with a number called “Security Meltdown” from Calvin Berger the Musical.

I’m so immensely grateful to have qualified for nationals and have the opportunity to go to the Texas Thespians Festival this year. I can’t wait to travel to Nebraska this summer for the International Thespian Festival.