Still on this road trip back to Louisiana Tech, and now I sit in Starbucks in Manchester, Tennessee. This time the store has been completely remodeled, and it’s just another sign to me that things are changing, continue to change, and will forever change.
(What’s that whole law of thermodynamics about nothing being created but only changing? I don’t know. I do art.)
One of my next destinations will be back to my alma mater, Bryan College, where I will get to visit my friend Alexis Landry, the newest edition to the Fine Arts faculty. Last night she cast her first show, The Matchmaker, and I cannot wait to see her in her element, directing the next generation.
My junior year of college, Alexis and I played Lucy and Linus Van Pelt in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I got to share the stage with some of my all time favorite people. On the other hand, it was a show in which the music director made me cry. I was also struggling to find my character within the freedom given to me by my director. It was a show that challenged my voice range and my ability to carry a musical number on my own. It was also a disjointed concept musical.
But with great struggles come great lessons.
“Happiness is. . . Making new friends. Dancing, anytime with anyone. Singing with people you love. Getting to share the stage with someone you love, even if it’s for the last time. Having everyone you love in the same room. Simple.
I’ve learned. . . Sometimes the people you work with are not going to be supportive [in the way you’d like them to be] because they want you to prove how good you can be and that you’ve got to work hard to see the reward at the end. So, take the phrase “It’s coming. . .” as a challenge to better yourself. Sometimes people close to you die, and sometimes you’re sick throughout show week, but the show must go on. Not everything is a [linear] story, meaning character might not develop and a tragic or happy ending may not occur in the end. Sometimes it’s the small things in life that mean the most.”
In just a few days, I get to see Alexis Landry, to see the stage we got to share. And this time she’s the director, working with the next greats. And they’ll learn what happiness is from a woman who has had to learn what happiness is in just the same way.
This is a tribute to all the actors and actresses who have shared Rudd Auditorium and Brock Hall with me, to those who came before me, and to those who come after me.