For the past three years, Pioneer’s Louise Scoville worked behind the scenes of the popular FutureStars event, taking her seat as the stage manager. This year she ditched the chair, pulled open the curtain and walked on stage with a microphone in her hand and a nervous excitement in heart.
Going from off stage to center stage helped Scoville fully realize just how incredible this event is and the intense rewards it offers not only the participants but everyone involved.
“The one thing that I really took with me as I walked backstage after performing was how lucky I was to be able to participate in such a great event,” she says. “Everyone has been putting so much work into this show and it was great to see the result.”
Scoville, a senior, performed a group number with Maddie Jelic, Mia Ramirez and Mia Galbraith, and also sang a solo version of the Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” She performed on both Friday and Saturday and said walking on stage was simply “amazing” and the support she received from everyone backstage helped calm a few of the nerves she was feeling.
VIDEO: Watch Louise perform “Across the Universe.” https://weloveannarbor.com/2019/01/23/video-futurestars-2019-final-competition-takes-the-stage-on-saturday/
“The environment is so supportive,” she says. “Everyone backstage was cheering everyone on.”
Scoville, 17, admits to being “very nervous” before going on stage.
“Getting on stage was the hardest part, but once the music started it was really easy to enjoy myself,” she said. “It isn’t often that you get to perform with an amazing live band. All of the feedback I got from the judges was really nice, and everyone had very specific things to say and took note of. And when I was finished, I had a bunch of hugs waiting for me backstage.”
Backstage is where Scoville spent her first three years with the Pioneer Theatre Guild. And she wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
“Becoming a stage manager was probably the best decision of my high school career,” she says. “I got to know so many amazing people through the job. When I was just starting, I had so many amazing mentors on the team that inspired me to continue. Now, being that mentor for someone else is a really cool experience, and I can’t wait to see how much they grow in the position.”
The stage manager for Future Stars organizes the rehearsal schedules and conflicts to make sure that the performers and the coaches can both be at rehearsals at the same time. They send out the rehearsal schedules, and pretty much do whatever they can to make the whole process run as smooth as possible, which can be anything from making copies to helping actors calm down before an audition. During the shows, stage managers ‘call the cues’ live.
Scoville’s work with “so many amazing directors, producers, and technical designers” helped give her a front row seat to everything that goes into a theatrical production. It takes an incredible amount of passionate people offstage to make the people on stage glow.
“My favorite memory of being a stage manager would have to be the opening night of our spring musical (“In the Heights”) last year,” she said. “I have never seen so much work, from everyone involved, put into one show. We were adding light cues up to the last minute before the show began. Calling the show live was difficult, but when we got to the last song of the show, I have never felt more proud.”
Being the head stage manager for last year’s show ranks among the many highlights of FutureStars.
“Last year I worked with the producer and student producer to deliver the results of every show which was always really exciting,” she said. “The fabled ‘decibel reader’ is real, I promise! I loved being able to work with the lighting designers and sound crew to make sure that everything technical was in place. I was able to channel some creativity into staging and designing as well.”
But FutureStars is always about the stars – and everyone who steps on that stage is a star.
“For the most part my highlights of Future Stars has been just being witness to so many talented people on show nights,” she says. “The stage management team would always marvel over every act, so it is kind of surreal to be the one on stage this year.
“Everyone working on the show, both backstage and onstage, are so passionate about the process. It is such a fun and supportive environment.”
Scoville also is in Pioneer’s A Cappella Choir and is a member of Sha Bop Shoppe (an extracurricular A Cappella group). She is still figuring out her college plans but hopes to study something either involving humanities or education.
“I love working with other people in creative settings, so anything involving the arts and collaboration sounds perfect to me,” she said.
Performing also seems to be a perfect fit for Scoville.
“I am just really excited to be able to perform again,” she says. “I have loved getting to know everyone and I am really excited to see all of them perform again this weekend. This show is amazing and the talent is unreal.
“I have really enjoyed performing and I hope to take what I have learned from onstage and offstage with me as I graduate.”