Platos cave is real and it stole my entire grade ten year – or the story of that time I, Jordan Chambers, costumed almost an entire musical by myself.
So in my Grade ten year (last year) our musical theatre department did Beauty and the Beast for our big production. Somehow, I thought that it would be a good idea to sign up and take charge of the costuming department. What I didn’t know was that I was the only person who signed up for this task. I honestly can’t even blame anyone else like who in their right mind wants to make almsot 100 costumes for a fantasy musical? Previously in theatre I had done lighting which was very low-effort (for the most part) and even allowed me to take naps during performances and while I was not new to sewing, I was new to the art of costuming which is like sewing, but you dont have patterns to follow and no one tells you what the budget is, only that you cant spend a lot of money which is fine in theory but then im expected to make ball gowns and wardrobes and organize quickchanges and glue masks to peoples faces twice a day and I’m getting away from myself but long story short i had no idea what I signed up for but hell if I was gonna step down from the task.
So ironically enough, my Platos Cave was being the person creating shadows, and when I left the cave, instead of seeing the sun I got stuck in a small room with piles and piles of clothing. And when I say that Platos Cave stole my entire grade ten year I quite literally mean that from November to mid-May, almost the only thing on my mind was these costumes. I went to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas in this timeframe and I would like, stand on the edge of this huge crack in the earth that can be seen from space and the other side is so far away it’s hazy and I would be thinking, “Man I wonder how I’m going to make an actual teapot that someone can still act and dance while wearing.” It was wild. (That’s like, the part in the allegory where the newly freed guy is just wandering around kind of blinded by the sunlight and wondering why he’s out there.)
But as the actual run of the musical got closer the process became easier (who am I kidding it was like the second show before things got settled) and I knew why I had left the cave of lighting to explore the wide world of costuming. But jsut yesterday actually, I reentered the cave to teach new students hwo to use the lighting board. And it was just bad. I don’t even want to go into it but I understood the emotions that our Platos Cave explorer must have felt when he reentered the cave and was baout to get brutally murdered by it’s inhabitants. Luckily, (and obviously) I didn’t get killed but the whole experience widened my eyes and reminded me not only that lighting is not for me, but that I still had this blog post to write.
So there we have it. My Platos Cave was the lighting booth, and the stressfull process of being freed from it was that time a young, grade ten me decided to costume an entire fantasy musical.