Never could I imagine when I was younger how I would be surrounded by so many wonderful people. And never could I be so proud. I just...can't describe how much you guys make me break into an ear-to-ear smile, I can't help it. You have all worked so hard and put in so much effort, and whatever good karma comes your way, you definitely deserve it and more. I don't know if I'm speaking for all of you when I say that I know that this play has essentially been our life for the past few weeks. The growth I can hardly believe I've witnessed is phenomenal. From Vanessa's character having leftover traces of haughty queenness to the corn-rowed defense stance leather-clad cat, from Kyle's prissy English prat to the wild murderous crackhead tiger, from Maria's meek and half-hearted death scene to kicking the tiger's ass and holding the audience in her powerful prayer, from TJ's multiple dives followed by "Rocksnake!" to the thunderous "I AM SHERAKHAN" scene, from Nate's initial booming voice to the characteristic bear swagger and fingerless hobo gloves, from Elese's uncertainty to full-blown grinding onstage, and let's not forget the transformation of Rachel's rhyming schizophrenic to defiant quarreling wolf.
Not only your characters, I have seen you grow as people too. I have replaced your faces with voices and personalities. I hear a commercial on TV in another room and I say, that announcer sounds like Maria, or I hear a conversation in a restaurant and I crane my neck around the corner, swearing I heard TJ. You all are always with me, sweetly haunting me when I'm awake.
Not to mention being one of the little people getting to work with such figureheads of Coventry High School. The honor of being asked to be assistant stage manager didn't stop at the position title. Truth be told, I have always been star-struck, I think we are all guilty of our celebrity worships at some time or another. It is one of my goals in life to meet one of those A-list celebrities. Yet down here in my little Coventry world, I'm already there. Not only would I get to be line-nazi as ASM, but I would get to be bossed around by the ultimate singing/dancing/acting triple threat, LJ Regine. Mr. Wilkinson wasn't lying when he said LJ tells you how it is, but that's what makes him LJ. He has worked so hard and kept his head in the game the whole time. "B-b-but the blocking!" ;P If Stage Manager was a part, LJ stayed in character the most. And there I was, painting the enormous set alongside Kyle Blanchette, disputing over which David & Lisa song to play. At the same time hanging out with Matthew "Marty" Arnold in the slacker curtain, the most talented actor I have ever had the pleasure to work with, additionally act alongside. Benvolio was Marty's soulmate part, a perfect casting. I think it's an undisputed fact Marty can do well in whatever part he's cast for, never sell yourself short Marty. Encouraging Vanessa Rogers with her History Day project and "OCOMOGSIAY"-ing with Nile Hawver let me know how much things have changed from when I just knew of people by reputation or hearsay. Joshua Ferragamo, superlative king of 2003 says Hi to me in the halls, knows me by name. Getting a hug from Devon Decker, telling me I'm the best assistant stage manager he's seen, was priceless. Anyone who has seen a play or been involved with drama at all knows that these are the reigning ringleaders of the stage and sound. I don't need Keanu Reeves or Arnold Schwarzeneggar, I don't need Harrison Ford or Mel Gibson. I don't need Julia Roberts or Catherine Zeta-Jones or Drew Barrymore or Andie Macdowell.
I don't need celebrities. You are my celebrities. I look up to you, and you captivate me and give me goosebumps even after you've asked me if this lipstick shade is too dark, or which eyeshadow color you should use, or used me to help you with your lines, or asked me about props, or confirmed line mistakes with a smile and a nod. From trow dropped to six layers of clothing, I've gotten past your reputations, your outer appearance, and I see you all as my friends. You aren't unfeeling actors with fake emotions on the stage, basking in the praise that washes over you once you walk out that stage right door. You're approachable human beings, with your own unique ideas and input and fears and reservations and shortcomings and good days and bad days and hopes and aspirations and dreams and weaknesses and strengths, likes and dislikes, hobbies and favorite songs, crushes and objects of loathing, inside jokes and selective secrets. I'd like to applaud you all, once more, for your 50 minutes of fame on stage, your months of effort, hard work, and fame to me. And I thank every one of you, all 38 involved, 39 including Harry who wasn't on the list, and 40 including Mr. Wilkinson, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to come back and give my all for you guys, for the friendships and smiles and time spent, for the one-on-one bonding I'd like to have with everyone, for enduring me babbling on about my candle (insert giggle here), for the rides and the overall influence and impact you have had on my life. If I wasn't watching you all backstage, getting goosebumps, laughing and pouting along with the audience, I would be sitting down there myself, gaping in awe at the talent that's shoved down my throat and getting blown away by the concept, the idea of it all, not realizing the time and effort that goes into making such a seamless production. Incredible, fantastic job you guys.
Now let's go win competition without breaking a sweat.
And the fact that I don't know Evan Boskos that well but I've already put makeup on him and seen him in his boxers is...unusual XD