I’m getting ready for work at the Central City Opera today, and as I fill my bowl with ripe raspberries and crunchy cereal, I pull out my container of soy milk—or perhaps I should say soy milk that has been frozen into a block. I’m not quite sure why, but every time I try to turn the fridge temperature down, it still freezes food in the fridge, even though I’m turning the dial the correct way. I’m beginning to think that since Central City is stuck in the early 1900s, maybe that’s why the appliances go a little haywire every once and a while. It’s not to say that I don’t like the town, it’s just a very unique place. I’ve had my fair share of small towns, but most of them also have modern pieces in the grand puzzle, such as a local Taco Bell or Safeway. Unfortunately the most modern piece of Central City are the casinos; I would much rather see a bookstore or a King Soopers or a movie theatre. I suppose the locals had their reasons for a smorgasbord of casinos instead.
One thing I often wonder is what kind of entertainment is around here, which is followed by the quick realization of: Not much. My choices are consuming endless amounts of alcohol and partying, gambling my paycheck away and then gambling to get it back, taking the same walk around town multiple times, reading about five different book series, and Netflix. I’m sure there are worse ways to spend a summer, and you can get bored in almost any place you live, so you just have to find something to do and make the best of it. Very soon the Netflix option will commence for me . . .
What I am interested in seeing is what Central City is like when the Opera opens in the summer. It’s very intriguing to see how a small town is affected by a successful and well-known theatre company that draws in many tourists. From what I recall in previous summer stock theatre, the town in some cases comes to life once the plays begin. The streets bustle with people and everything seems a little brighter and there’s a sense of renewed energy. Local businesses, of course, love the extra revenue from tourists who flock to the town with eager curiosity and a hefty pocketbook. There are complaints, however, when the tourists bring unwanted traffic and other numerous situations that the citizens will have to clean-up once everyone has left. The citizens of the town may also not want to be known strictly for the theatre company, after all, don’t they have plenty of other attractions and events to offer people? It seems that this love-hate relationship not only dwells in small towns with large theatre companies, but it also is necessary and will never disappear.
So, before I have to peel myself off my dining room chair and head on out to work, I put my dishes in the sink and head down the winding road to the opera. Perhaps it’s the elevation or the cool brisk air, but I begin to realize that Central City might have more to offer than I assume. In theatre/performing arts, there is also a trend of it feeling like summer camp; most people are new to the area, we live in temporary housing for a couple of months, we make friends and bond because of survival and entertainment, and when it’s all over and done we hope to see our new friends someday in the future or the next few years. Once this process has completed we move on to the next show or company and it starts all over again. It’s fun and exciting, but not always easy to deal with the constant state of change. However, I must say that I like making new friends, I enjoy the challenges and new territories I get to explore, and always like being able to get my foot in the door with a company I’ve heard so much buzz about. Something I constantly remind myself is to enjoy and appreciate what I have and not cry over spilled milk . . . or frozen soy milk.