Do you know the feeling of rehearsals?

Learning your lines and blocking,

Getting costumes and props and sets

And trying to practice your play

Do you know how fun it is?

Laughing and playing with the cast and crew

Making mistakes and laughing at the bloopers

Having so much fun and bonding together

Making friends and becoming family

Do you know the feeling of waiting?

The feeling of waiting on the sides

In the cluttered backstage, filled with props and people

Pulling the curtains or listening for your cue

Do you know the hushed tension?

Everyone quietly, carefully walking around

Unable to sit still from too much excitement

Whispers of "good luck" and "you'll be great"

Hissed at actors and actresses about to go on

Do you know the feeling of the beginning?

When you get that last "good luck"

And you prepare to show your stuff

And give your lines

Do you know the nervous feeling?

The 'what if I mess up'

And 'what if I forget my lines'

And then when you go on

And you lose it in an instant

Do you know the feeling of the stage?

When you're up in front of the audience

Saying your lines that you've learned so well

Telling the story that your play tells

Do you know how great it is?

Even with the dropped cues

And missed lines that every play has

It's still amazing

And still so fun

Do you know the feeling of the curtain call?

When you go and take your bow

And get the applause that you deserve

For being onstage or at least backstage

Do you know the last bows?

Taken by the lead or leads

The loudest cheers are given

And do you know how much better it is

When you're the one taking them?

Do you know the feeling of the end?

Everyone's scream of joy

"We did it" and "We're awesome"

And then you all go to the cast party

Do you know the party?

How crazy it is, everyone running around

Giving hugs and saying

"Don't forget me now that it's over!"

And "I'll see you in the next one!"

Maybe you do, or think you do.

But do you know that it's sad?

That after you leave the cast party

You know that it's over

And that it, like you, has taken its last bow

Do you know how you feel when it's over?

The most weird and wonderful

And strange and sorrowful

Mixture of sadness and relief

And joy and grief

I do.

This is what the stage has taught me.

This is what I've learned.

This is how it feels.

I would know.

I lived it.

I know.

Do you?