When I was a sophomore in high school we beat Charlotte. It was a big effing deal. My school, Port Charlotte High School, was only 10 years old. Our rival across the Peace River was Charlotte High school and we had never beaten them in football. The game was won by a Hail Mary pass from Brian Cann to Chris Varisco. After more than 20 years, I still remember their names. I remember us all rushing the field a few seconds before the final buzzer only to be ushered back off so they could finish the game. We weren’t supposed to win. We sucked, it was expected that we would lose, again. But we didn’t. They pulled out the win (something that would not happen again until 2012) and we all celebrated. On Monday morning there was even a pep rally with a viewing of the highlight reel. We were one. The students, the players, the coaches, and the fans. And it was awesome. For as long as I live I don’t think I’ll ever forget those moments.
Moments like that are what drew me to the theatre. Sometimes, not every time, but in some special moments the audience and the cast connect in a meaningful way. As an actor and stage manager I’ve experienced it a few times and the result is truly amazing. The audience laughs, cheers, or weeps along with you. I experienced it the most during a production of To Kill A Mockingbird at Purdue University. Everyone in the audience knew the book. Many had seen the movie. But to see them react with the actors to Atticus Finch saying, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do” was deeply emotional. You couldn’t deny the connection everyone in that room had. Together. As one.
This weekend I watched Florida Gulf Coast University make history be being the first 15 seed team to make it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. A school that admitted its first student in 1997, and graduated this blogger in 2002. I was lucky enough to get that amazing, David versus Goliath feeling again this weekend when my Alma Mater smashed this new record. As we watched them play we could feel it, everyone was on their side. Everyone was an FGCU believer. We were in it together. As one.
Because seriously, how can you not love these underdogs…
It all comes back to this blog. I’ve stepped back from it a little lately. Sometimes I write things and I really feel a connection with all of you, like we’re all in the same boat together. But lately, I haven’t felt that way. I’ve been struggling to find the right words and then disappointed because I haven’t found the right ones. Last week I thought I was done blogging, forever. Because you know what happens if I don’t blog?
But then I saw this quote, “In my opinion, and this is just an opinion, art exists to be shared…so share it. I don’t know what you’re worried about protecting it from, but it’s absolutely certain that /nothing/ will happen to it, good or bad, if it’s not shared.” – Hank Green
I’m not sure what I’m doing here is art. But I know I want to continue to share with all of you. To make you laugh or to make you think or so that you can cry with me. I don’t know how often I will blog anymore, because I don’t want to write just because it’s expected. I want to write so that we can all share a moment together. As one. If you’re willing to stick with me, I thank you.