Saturday, May 18, 2013
On a past post, I mentioned my high school years ushering at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, where I saw Broadway shows free as a thank-you for helping out. The show "I Do! I Do!" starring Robert Preston and Mary Martin was one of my favorites. Even to this day I have most of the songs memorized.
The interesting thing about this particular show is that the two characters carried the show by themselves - no other actors to help share the load. From Wikipedia:
The two-character story spans fifty years, from 1895 to 1945, as it focuses on the ups and downs experienced by Agnes and Michael Snow throughout their marriage. The set consists solely of their bedroom, dominated by the large fourposter bed in the center of the room.
As I was thinking of those extraordinary performances, I realized that only as I got older did I appreciate the magnitude of a 2-person play. The responsibility of singing the songs, getting the laughs, evoking the tears - just using the skills of two people - what a feat that was! Of course, these two were seasoned, magnificent performers and the audiences adored them.
Also as I got older, as I accumulated the wisdom one can pick up here and there, I realized that these two exceptional actors, of course, did not carry the play alone. In preparation to doing the play, they were helped by choreographers and voice instructors and directors. People had to sew their costumes. People had to print the scripts and the programs. When the two went on tour, people had to book their performances, make reservations for hotels, find transportation, generate publicity, and all other necessary planning steps. Then during each performance, there were other people in charge of costume changes, set, lighting, audio, musical accompaniment. Even before the touring group got to Memphis, people had to clean the auditorium and prepare all the details of what would be needed.
The audiences played an important part, because without an audience, there is no show. And that's where I come in. I helped seat the audience. I was a part of it all.
Just another reminder that we are all connected and it is impossible to be a self-made man or woman. We all had help, and continue to have help, along the way. Even today, a mechanic keeps our car running well so I can get to work, the Bangor Hydro folks keep the electricity going so we can maintain a household and I can type these words, the good people at John Edwards downtown worked to sell us the food we will have for supper, the doctor's office gave me the Rx for my daily thyroid pill I took this morning - and, of course, the list is never-ending because the chain is never-ending. Life is a group effort.
I love the idea of daily moments of gratitude, and part of that gratitude has to be a thanks to all the fellow humans who have helped me and continue to help me along the way. My life is not a one-person show. Bless you all.