I spent three days off work last week with a cold. Totally alone, completely isolated, not able to do anything due to immense sinus pain and congestion for three, freakin' days!!! By the time I finally started to feel better I was completely stir crazy. So I was thrilled to finally leave the house on Friday night and join a few of the girls for some bowling. As usual, I was the worst bowler in the bunch and am carrying on my goal to never break 100. My best score on Friday night was 71, my worst, a brilliant 54. Yes, I suck, but who cares! Bowling is fun, whether you are good or bad. I was just glad to get out of the house and hang out with some friends.
On Saturday, I steered my lovely new car west on the 401 to Kitchener-Waterloo. After spending an afternoon with my parents and brother I headed over to Resurrection Catholic Secondary School to take in their production of Little Shop of Horrors. I have always been a big fan of this show and was thrilled when Christine told me that her school had chosen this show for this year's musical production. I showed up at the school a half hour early and was thrilled to catch up with my high school music teacher, who's eldest son, now in Grade 10(!), was playing the male lead. My only consolation in suddenly feeling really, freakin' old was that she probably felt a hell of a lot older. (Sorry Jen, you know I love you!) I also got to catch up with my friend Todd (Jen's brother) , who I probably haven't seen for about 17 years, since I graduated from high school. It's funny how with some people, even if you haven't seen them in forever, you can just totally reconnect with. I was so thrilled to catch up with him and hope to keep that connection going.
I found my seat just as they dimmed the lights, and managed to catch Christine's eye before the show started. I had a perfect view of the stage, but also of Christine, conducting the pit orchestra through the show. Quite often during the show, my eyes wandered to the pit, where I could see her arms expertly guiding the orchestra and singers through the score. I could feel the smile moving across my face each time a singer looked down at Christine for their cue. They were all relying on her for their next musical move. She was in charge and doing a fantastic job. Every student on that stage knew that all they had to do was look at her, and everything would be o.k. They all performed beautifully, regardless of talent or ability. Yes some of them were stronger singers/actors/dancers than others, but in the end, they were all having a kick ass time! You could see it in the twinkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces. It didn't matter that they hit the high note or nailed all of the dance moves. They gave it their all and the audience loved it! They cast all of their fears and insecurities aside, got up on stage and performed in front of an audience. For a teenager, this is huge! These are kids who are ridiculed for wearing the wrong clothes, not having a cell phone, and countless other ridiculous things. These kids got up on stage, in make up and costume, and dance and sang, and jeopardized their street cred. They could easily be made fun of but instead, they got up there, gave it their all, and kicked some serious butt. Every one of the kids on that stage worked their asses off and it showed. The audience laughed, sighed, screamed and clapped in all the right places. And most importantly, these kids had a fantastic time!
Me, I sat in the audience for two hours with a huge grin on my face. Partly for these incredibly brave and talented kids but partly for me. I participated in many a musical in high school and university, on stage and in the pit. These are some of my fondest memories. I learned more from these few experiences then i did my in the first 20 years of my life. I made a lot of mistakes and did a few things really well but I treasure each experience equally. These experiences shaped who I am today and taught me so much. I am forever grateful.