I love the theatre.
I get to do one or two shows every year now. I used to do a lot more, back in the day. Theatre Arts was one of my majors in college, and I went on to get a Master of Fine Art degree in theatre directing at Tulane University in New Orleans. Worked hard at it, loved every bit of it.
Along the way, I've met and worked with a lot of special people. Young folks who've gone on to very big things, older folks who found the theatre later in life. Kids who are working in professional theatre now, and farmers. Amazing people who followed their own winding path to the special place where people gather to watch magic. And no matter the success of the show, I can't recall any one of them expressing regret about having done it.
Every theatre experience affects you. Audience, performer, staff - we come together and share a moment in time, then we go forth from it and carry it with us. Some of those experiences stay with us longer than others, for an infinite variety of reasons. But they are all a part of the fabric of our lives.
I'm often asked about spending so much time and effort on something that lasts for such a short time. Such a short time? It's been 33 years since I played Joseph in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and people still speak to me about it. I'm still very good friends with people that were in that show with me. That experience has colored my entire life since. Live theatre is not just fleeting and ephemeral. It lasts forever.
Right now, I'm in a show that may stick with me for the next 33 years. I'm watching castmates do things they didn't know they could do, find things inside themselves that they didn't know were in there. And I can feel the same things happening in me. I've done this a hundred times, and I wasn't expecting it, at least not to this degree. This show is something special to be a part of, and I think you will find it something special to see.
Grandstreet Theatre's next offering, Billy Elliot, opens April 29.Go to www.grandstreettheatre.com for tickets and more information.