Jun 1, 2014

The moment you realize what "love is" ...

I was doing quite well with my Facebook Fast, until Friday.
I wanted to post on Thursday when I saw the Hillcrest High School Chorus Spring Concert, because I was so impressed by the singers and the level of devotion they showed for the show, and each other.
Their teacher, Bruce McIntyre was a true mentor this year, and that was obvious by the affection between he and his students.
I stopped myself from logging in to Facebook, and worked through the temptation.

Then Friday came.  That same Chorus was asked to sing with the 1980's Super Rock Band Foreigner at their Sounds of Summer Tour with Styx & Don Felder.
Lucas had plans, so David stayed home with Rosey, and I had a very good seat for the Concert.
The Chorus had to report at 4:30 and sell CD's to benefit the Children's Hospital and the Grammy Foundation.  There they were in their Red Chorus T-Shirts that signify their "part".  There was my "Soprano" in her element with a group of friends that she adores.
Twenty five chosen singers along with their Fearless Leader waiting for their moment to shine when they would take the stage for the final song of the night.

I was alone at the concert, save for a couple of friends that I ran into that kept me company between sets, and Regan and her friends stopped in at my section when they were selling their CD's too.
Mostly, Friday was a chance for me to observe more of what I saw on Thursday, at the Concert at Hillcrest.
This is a special moment in time for a special group of kids.

Theatre is a funny game.  People are thrust together in an intense environment, for a short time.
They create something together, and then they go their separate ways.  It's inevitable. Community Theatre breeds drama by it's nature, and yet as a "player" you are isolated in that environment for the length of time that you're "playing".  Regan has been "playing" since she was 6 years old, either backstage, or finally, onstage about 4 years ago.  The Theatre was the source of all of her closest "friendships", but it was also the source of many questions about loyalty and self confidence.   
Recently, Regan has branched out.  Chorus was a big step for her, after an awful experience during her Freshman year.  She has recently auditioned for a Theatre in another town, where no one with the name, Pelicano, is involved, and she got the part.  A big part.  She has expanded her world to include many kids that appreciate the qualities that shine through, and that don't feel competitive with her for reasons that, though imagined, grow like a virus in a laboratory, in the micro environment  of Community Theatre.
I don't know how the other Theatre experience will turn out.  I know she'll do well on stage, and I know that she's having a ball, but I'm not certain that "friends" will be the result of the endeavor.

I feel very differently about the Chorus experience.  I believe that she has found some kids that appreciate all of the things that are "Regan".  As a matter of fact, it was a Chorus friend that suggested she audition at the Theatre in another town.  He wanted her to try because he knew their wasn't anyone who had auditioned that had a voice like hers.  That doesn't mean she has the best voice, it means that it's unique.
She is actually blown away by the vocals of the ladies with which she is sharing the role.  She's not in a competition, she's in a show.

The Chorus kids lit up when she arrived at the Concert on Thursday.  They were truly happy to see her.  A scheduling conflict had caused her to be excused from the performance, and she was ultimately able to split her time and make it to the show for the last few songs.  She was there in time to hear the solo of the young man that took her to Prom this year, and that was one of the reasons she insisted I attend, even when she wasn't sure she'd make it.  This guy was unbelievable.  Made me want to leap to my feet, before he was through.  A voice like I haven't heard on a kid his age before, simply beautiful.
His song was a Senior Solo, and there were more of those kids, with an opportunity to share their talents with their families and friends before they leave for their life adventures.  There were group numbers that had been rehearsed and worked out for weeks, and I've heard about them every afternoon when Regan jumps in the car.  I "knew" the kids without having met many of them so their personalities shone through in song.
Watching this little group of kids sing, and laugh, and take their bows, and hug their teacher, and each other, and then go to dinner and hug each other when they arrived at the restaurant that was right across the street from the school, so they were apart for 7 minutes, and then hug again after they were filled up with burgers and fries, in the parking lot, as they went their separate ways for 16 hours until they were all to meet again, reminded me that love and friendship can't be sustained in environments that breed insecurity and competition.  Sometimes the environments of insecurity and competition are imaginary, they're not exclusive to community theatre.  They rear their ugly heads all the time, in our lives as teenagers, and adults, in work and other areas.

Friendships need that quality of "There you are! I've missed you!" It doesn't matter how long we've been apart, I've thought of you and I have wished you were near me.

If it's every morning at your locker, or every time you arrive at your rehearsal for a show, if you're really friends, that feeling comes through. "There you are!"  "I've missed you!"  It's simple, and it's impossible.  It requires seeing another person through eyes of appreciation for all that they are without comparing them to anything that we are...imagine that.
When we look at others for all that they are, without comparison, competition and insecurity can not survive.

This leads me to a moment in time... the class of 2014 and their friends from the underclass at Hillcrest High School, all culminated on stage Friday night when they rushed out out to sing "I Want To Know What Love Is" with Foreigner in front of thousands of people. Mr. McIntyre joined them and they swayed with their hands in the air and sang at the top of their lungs.  They looked at each other ("There you are!" became "Here we are!"), while they sang and shared a moment that will last forever.  The lights were as bright as their futures.  They were sweaty and no one's hair or make-up looked at all as they had intended it to look as they were getting ready, 6 hours earlier, before the RAIN...
Regan told me that she learned something about herself Friday night.  I won't share what she learned, but the idea that she took that moment and applied it to what she now knows for sure, made me very proud of her accomplishments this year, over and above the things she achieved as a singer.  Regan.  She lights up a lot of lives, especially mine.

...that's why I broke my Facebook Fast.


  1. I love to read what you have written, Cheryl, especially as it pertains to you and your family.
    Regan has obviously got an expansive amount of talent and I hope she takes it wherever she wants it to go.
    I miss seeing your posts on FB, but so glad I saw this blog post. Please keep sharing.

    1. Thank you, Ellen!

      I want the Facebook break, but I don't want to lose touch with my friends. Thank you for commenting. Please keep doing that so I know you're reading.
      I'll keep sharing! xxoo