3) This morning there was a red cardinal sitting on our fence in the front yard. Everything around him was brown or green and he stuck out like a lone apple on a tree. I hope he wasn’t trying to sneak up on anything.
4) Seussical Jr had a lot of little joys, so I’m going to divide these into subcategories.
4.1 The show was an amazing success, both on stage and off. I was absolutely blown away by some of the kids’ performances. I got to see them do things that no one ever expected of them, and do them with such conviction that even they were surprised! This one actually turned out exactly as I had envisioned it; a silly and sincere pop-up version of a Dr. Seuss book. It had an amazing set, illustrated by The Amazing Josh and looked even more like Seuss than Seuss. My dad absolutely outdid himself on the lighting, Renee really pulled out all the stops on these crazy costumes, Megan totally kicked butt with teaching the music…I could go on for days. Best of all, it had great heart. No performance was ever perfect, which is a happy byproduct of working with youth. Even when they do screw up, its completely forgiveable and it gives them a good story to tell later. This play brought me and many others immense joy.
4.2 The cast gave Megan and I cards signed by everyone (including one that said I was ‘alsome’) and a Barnes & Noble gift card. How sweet!
4.3 Maria gave me such a tight hug today that I thought she wouldn’t let go. I hate to see her leave, but I know that she will do great things no matter where she is. Her mother was very touched by this play and by the theatre community here in Savannah. She told me how nice it was to have a place that encouraged people not only to be creative, but just to ‘be.’ That’s probably one of the nicest and most sincere things anyone has said about us. I wish them well.
4.4 I will always smile when I think about the Thing Circus or the Wickersham Brothers’ offbeat dancing; my own personal homage to The Pips.
4.5 At the end of a show, I love to think back to the first day of rehearsal and remember what the kids were like then. Courtney would barely talk to anyone on the first day, much less the teachers. Now she’s a little chatterbox who introduced me to her family and her boyfriend and wants to know all about…everything. Jared looked like some ‘too cool for school’ John Lennon impersonator, but as it turns out, he’s as big a dweeb as everyone else, doing research on Dr. Seuss books in his spare time and practicing his one solo line over and over again while he waits in the wings. Tyler kept trying to change octaves on all of his songs because his voice is changing and he was afraid of croaking. Well, he croaked and squeaked a lot, and after his voice got used to their new aerobic activity, he sounded the best he ever has and hit notes he thought were unattainable. You could have knocked Bailey over with a feather when she found out she was cast as Jojo, and the same could be said for Dannen cast as Horton. But they stepped up to the plate and both of them gave oustanding performances…I could watch Bailey sing McElligot’s Pool every day of my life. Cason was so disappointed in his role during the rehearsal process of this show, but I swear that this was the best on stage performance that I’ve ever seen him give. He’s a hard performer, putting out everything he has every time, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. I could say something about every single student in that class, but this would be too sappy and boring for anyone but me. They made new friendships, discovered new things that they could do and – as usual – challenged me in new and surprising ways. They give me the warm fuzzies. They also make my head hurt so much that my hair fluffs out.
4.6 Today we crammed the theatre full to overflowing for our last performance. From the way people hooted and hollered, you would have thought they were attending a rock concert! I started to get a little teary during the opening number as I realized fully that I am actually doing what I talk about wanting to do all the time and actually achieving the goals that I set for myself and the students. I want to use theatre to affect people, to make them feel, to make them think, to make them believe…and you know what? Today we did. We made people dream and imagine and we made them smile, sending them out into the world happier after they had seen the show than they were before, maybe causing a chain rection of smiles, giggles and goodwill across our community for the whole day. Today, in that moment, I truly smiled with my whole being, with every kid of every age in that place. No other ‘job’ can give you that kind of joy, even for a second. When your joy has become more than just a single tear, when it has turned into an event that you can share with strangers, then you know that somehow, somewhere, you must have done something right; that God has touched this place while you were in it.
Today we made fairy tales come true. 🙂