PEQUOT LAKES - Just because you're shy doesn't mean you can't find a place to belong. Jenny Moon, the technical director on Pequot Lakes Community Theatre's "Crappie Talk," is proof of that.
"All my friends were in plays, and most were acting," said the 18-year-old, who graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in the spring. "I knew I wasn't going to be comfortable on the stage, so I started doing lights and sound.
"As a kid, I was really shy and still I mumble sometimes and don't like talking. I like to see how things work, and creating things."
"Crappie Talk," which continues at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium, is the first play where Moon has full reign over the technical crew. She had worked under technical theater professional C.J. Anderson at PLCT starting with 2006's "Take Me Along," where she handled lights.
Jenny Moon, 18, monitored the sound board Tuesday in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium during a rehearsal for Pequot Lakes Community Theatre's "Crappie Talk." While many of her friends took up acting, Moon felt she'd have more fun backstage.
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When Anderson chose to focus on his acting on "Crappie Talk," Moon took the main chair in the tech booth.
"I'm more involved in how things actually get put together," Moon said of her new job. "As a normal techie, I start work two weeks before the show opens. On this show, I started a month before it opened. I was involved from the beginning, and I was involved with the actors more.
City: Pequot Lakes.
High school: Pequot Lakes, 2008.
Job: Technical director for Pequot Lakes Community Theatre.
Favorite play: "The Lion King."
Favorite TV show: "Two and a Half Men."
Favorite movie: "Arsenic and Old Lace."
Favorite actor: Mark Wahlberg.
Favorite band: Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Favorite book: "Speak" by Laurie Anderson.
Hobbies: "I go to the movies, hang out with friends, and read."
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"And with (director) Nancy Waller and (stage manager) Meredith Bjorkquist, we work closely together. But I still ask for help a lot from C.J."
Moon's director had mostly positive things to say after Wednesday's opening night.
"Nancy commented on a few slip-ups tech-wise, but other than that, she said it went very well," Moon said. "One of the slip-ups was during one scene I play a sound effect that makes the phone ring. When (the character) answers the phone, I have to hit the mute buttons. I only hit one of the two mute buttons, so it ran a bit longer."
Of course, if Moon had a perfect show the first time out, she'd have nothing to aspire to. Since getting that first job on "Take Me Along," Moon has watched productions with a different eye than she used to, and it strengthens her conviction that she loves this job.
"With movies and plays, I'll be watching it and see a cool effect and think, 'How did they do that?' I have a completely different respect for people behind the scenes. Every person on every production is important. It's like that old saying, no role is a small role."
In the tech booth, Moon has the unique opportunity to watch actors develop their characters over the course of a month.
"It's fun to watch the actors, because you have the script in front of you," she said. "It's interesting to see the things they change."
So don't entirely count Moon out as an actress. She plans to pursue an associate of arts degree at Central Lakes College in the fall, and she hopes to get involved with the school's plays.
"I'm more comfortable in the booth, but I might consider taking a small role on stage," Moon said.
JOHN HANSEN may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5863.
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