Well, I survived another year of my favorite holiday…Valentine’s Day! This is total sarcasm if you couldn’t sense it.
I’ve never understood why we designate one day to love. Shouldn’t all days be about love? And honestly, I can’t handle all the mushy posts and photos about people being together and blah, blah, blah.
Great. Thank you for rubbing it in our faces and feeling the need to show the world what is viewed as the “picture perfect” life.
Anyhow, let’s get moving to this week’s topic.
For those who may or may not know, I just finished a three week run being Music Director of the recent production of Frozen Jr. at Ephrata Performing Arts Center. And each year, on closing day, it has become tradition of the production staff to give speeches to the kids before going out on stage for the final show. This year, as I read over my speech, I felt like it was relevant to share with all of you, so I hope you enjoy and find something to take away from it.
So, grab your cup of coffee, cuddle up with your blanket, and buckle up those seat belts because we are about ready to leave the station!
“It’s funny because as a Music Director, you would think one of the aspects of a Kids for Kids show that I would dread is teaching music with difficult rhythm or lyrics, but in actuality it is coming up with a closing day “send off speech” for a cast of talented individuals that has captivated my heart once again.
I know we are limited on time and that Jamie really wants to give you 10, so here are three things I want you to take away today.
1. Always be true to yourself and listen to your heart. Some of you might already know who you are which is great and some of you might still be exploring and figuring out what is inside your heart, which is awesome. I knew who I was at a very young age, but I did not become open and honest with myself about it until I was 17 and a Junior in high school. If you are struggling, please ask for help and lean on your support system. No one will think any less of you and if they do, they are not worth it. Even at 32, there are moments when I still struggle with how the way the world treats and views me, but it doesn’t keep me from shining brighter or being vulnerable to ask for guidance and help when I need some extra support. You all have such unique individuality to share with the world, so go out there and do.
2. Never let anyone bring you down. I know I mentioned this in an email just a week ago that I wish I could say that we live in a world where there is no hatred, bullying, or judgment, but it simply just isn’t true. It exists and it is probably something that always will, which makes me heart sad. At 32, there are still moments when I get called inappropriate names that I can’t mention in a speech and while it hits home for me personally, it also makes me even thicker in my skin as I live out life. Don’t let the nay-sayers in this world bring you down because they do not matter. Dr. Seuss once said, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Your true support system will always follow you wherever you go and be with you whenever you need them most.
3. Always be kind to everyone you meet. The late Mr. Rogers once said, “”There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” As you probably already know, love and kindness are the biggest qualities that I advocate for as Mr. Sunshine. Everyone in this world deserves love and kindness regardless of religion, social status, skin color, ethnicity, sexual identity, or whatever the case may be. Please do not ever forget that. It is SO important, especially now. Smile at the stranger. Think twice before you go to judge someone because you never know what that specific individual might be going through. Be kind. Be kind. And be kind.
In the last song of this show that is sung together as a full cast, the words go “let’s fill this world with light and love.” How appropriate this is for the year 2020 that we are currently living in. I look outside at this world and see war. I see hate. I see bullying. I see people crying for justice. I see darkness.
And I look at all of you and I see light. I see the future of this world. I see the possibility for change. Do not take it for granted. Find the fire that is inside of you and let it ignite and grow so that you can share it with the world because YOU DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT.
Thank you for being such a wonderful cast to work with. Thank you for putting up with my blonde moments of not knowing how to count rhythms, say words or realize that I’m playing the wrong track through the CD player. Thank you to Irving, Pontz, Jamie, Carolyn, Julie, Grant, Dave, and the rest of the production crew for making this such a powerful experience and one that I wouldn’t trade for the world even if it did bring about extra stress in my life and ugly breakouts on my face. Thank you to all of the parent volunteers behind the scenes who have done countless tasks too numerous to mention—you are all angels in our eyes. Thank you to all of YOU who have all brought this production to life over the last 3 weeks and brought light and love to not only each individual that has filled the seats of this theater, but also to me.
So here’s to one last hurrah and snowstorm as we bring this production to life one last time before we let it go.“
Well, that’s all I have for you this week, folks.
Look. Go. Do.
Sprinkle sunshine always,