Tori Brant found her passion and future career behind the scenes as a theater Crew Head


While the actors are out on stage performing, junior Tori Brant finds herself working just as hard to put on a spectacular show behind the curtain. From giving lines and props to the actors to directing the cast and crew, Tori has stepped into a leadership position by being assigned the difficult job as the Props Crew Head in FHC’s theatre .

Freshman year, Tori was approached by English and theater teacher Robbin DeMeester, who asked her to join the theater program. Tori, loving productions and the ability to create a story, gladly accepted the opportunity and soon found herself on a path that would help her discover her passion and future career: behind the scenes production.

“I want to have this as a job because I’ve never found something that I’m truly good at like this,” Tori said. “I feel like I’m really good at it, and like I have a good grasp of what’s going on.”

Before Tori could run the show as a Crew Head, she first started off running smaller, more miscellaneous tasks. It wasn’t until the end of freshman year at the theater awards ceremony, The Tony’s, that she was surprised with an award and position as Crew Head.

Although Tori predicted the task to be challenging, she discovered just how it would push and challenge her to always be on top of things when her first production was approaching. It involves hours of dedication and hard work, as well as frequent late nights at the school. All of which increases by the day as school musicals and plays draw nearer. Despite the possible setbacks, Tori embraces the challenges and takes them head-on with her organizational and managing skills.

“You have to be very organized,” Tori said. “For my position, the entire show week, you’re completely busy. I’m doing things almost the entire time. I label everything, and I keep track of everything. I have to be able to be on top of things and know when everything happens.”

The reason Tori loves the position so much is not simply because of her love for managing or her organizational skills, but because of her love for creating things. The idea of being a part of something larger, and the ability to turn a simple idea into a production is something that captivates Tori.

“I don’t like drawing a lot, but I really love consuming media and movies,” Tori said. “I like watching behind the scenes of movies and how they work. It’s really interesting to see how long it takes for stuff to get done. It’s only a two hour movie or two hour play, but it’s months, and months, and months of beforehand preparation and rehearsal. I’ve always loved that.”

Fueling Tori’s love for the arts and production came from her passion for movies and stories. When she was young, Tori was captivated by them. They allowed her to express herself without the need to be artistic or have an acting ability. The power to create stories and hear them from a new perspective was something that enthralled her.

“I’ve always loved stories and reading,” Tori said. “I like hearing a story and a telling a story in a new way; I like being a part of creating something. Even as a little kid, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

After having conversations with her uncle’s friend, Tori found that her dream job could become a reality. The thing Tori loves most about the creation of live film is the thrill of a one-time-shot.

“I like live things,” Tori said. “You can’t re-do it. With film, you can have a couple tries. With theater and news, it’s a one-time thing. You only have one chance to do it and get it right. I really like the rush of that. I feel like, the more I do this, the better I get, and the more I love it.”

Although Tori loves the job, it can cause stress from being in charge of so much at one time. One of the biggest stresses of the job is when people don’t treat it with the same seriousness she does. Tori sees every production as more than a simple high school play or musical but as preparation for her future. The nonchalance of people leaves her having to try harder to convince people to put in more work, and adds extra to her already loaded plate.

However, Tori is able to combat the stress with her love for people and her personality. She made a goal to have one-on-ones with people in order to establish relationships with everyone on the cast and crew. Being friends, as well as attempting to always have a positive outlook on life, helps keep her stressing in check and to enjoy the whole process more.

“I try to be friends with everybody,” Tori said. “If they are friends with me, they’ll be more understanding. I try to put a positive outlook on things. I’m not very good at it, but I try to be very positive with people and not let them know I’m stressed out. If they know I’m stressed out, then they won’t know what to do. So I try to fake it “till I make it. To stay positive– even if I’m not.”

Along with the opportunity of being Crew Head, Tori’s talents were seen by some of the professionals who help around set. So far, Tori has been offered three internships, all of which she hopes to participate in. Tori hopes that these will provide her with more hands-on experience in order to pursue the job of working in production even after high school.

With her time-consuming job, Tori can find herself spending eight hours at rehearsals, seven days a week — not including if she has to make errands or create props on her own time. Despite these things, her family has been nothing but supportive for Tori pursuing her passion. With the support of her family, Tori plans to attend a college in Chicago to pursue her passion.

“When I said I was joining theater, my mom was really enthusiastic,” Tori said. “My whole family supports me in this, and they’re happy I found something I love to do. Being in crew is a lot less expensive than being an actor, but it’s still a little bit of money, but they’ve never complained about the cost. There’s nothing but support from them.”