Sunday, November 06, 2011

Took off from my gigging world last night, to share in the journey of Robbie's ("gigging world"), as Queen Anne's County High School opened it's production of "Up the Down Staircase". The cast and crew really pulled it together, treating us all to a thoughtful and well performed view inside the homeroom of an new and idealistic English teacher in an inner city high school, with the struggles we all encounter (including in rural Queen Anne's County). I can't think of a single performer who didn't convincingly take their place in this drama, in an integration that held you attentive to the ebb and flow throughout the performance. That said, I must admit to being focused on the character of Joe Ferrone; the troubled young man who is eventually won over to rethink his path by one idealist who actually believes in him. Robbie (I still get to call him that - it's Robert to you) owned this character, consistently, whether in or out of the spotlight. It's wonderful to see him continue to strengthen his grasp of the zone on stage. From one who lives with him, I know just how deep his zone is, and how much potential exists.
I am often asked if my children play the piano. When I respond that "I've never really cared about that specifically. What I really want for them is a connection to the arts, in whatever way it happens. I'm thankful that they all have cultivated this, and am proud of each of them...", everyone gets it. When teaching piano, my goal with any young student is simply: to encourage and guide them to the place where their artistic expression develops to the point where it is self - perpetuating, and integral in their life. Seeing this continue to grow in Robbie last night, makes a papa proud. Up until last evening's performance, Robbie said that he wished his character had a laugh line. In the closing moments of the drama, Joe Ferrone delivers (arguably) the most poignant line of the script, which was met with moist eyes, and an audible "aww" from the audience. Hearing that (from the stage) made Robbie's night, as his desire was both met and nurtured. I suspect that I now understand what he really wanted; not necessarily a laugh, but a response from the audience demonstrating the "connection" (if you've read this blog, you know that's where I go - and don't get me started). Seeing his response to this validation shows me the extent to which he is genuinely owning his path. I'll be looking forward to each new production with which Robbie is involved. Today, it's back to my gigging world, holding the warmth of knowing that God has blessed not just me, but each in my family (and my family as a whole) with His purpose and plan. Surrendering to this is the ultimate calling for all of us.

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