Opening night of Company was last night!
It was incredible, to start with. It’s a fantastic show that takes a lot of talent to pull off, and I personally think the show was a great success. I’m so ready to have 6 more performances.
The thing I really thought was special, though, was director Kevin Kern‘s pre-show speech.
He opened with a favorite quote of his, which I’m going to paraphrase:
“Until someone has participated in a cause larger than themselves, they can never be truly whole.”
I think that’s so true. Being part of something greater than yourself is the most rewarding thing anyone can do. I think there’s a certain kind of completion that can only come from something you achieve with others.
A large part of my arts experience here at Mount Union has been all about collaboration. Because of that mindset, I’ve accomplished a lot of things (both in and out of the art world) and I am grateful that our art departments teach that way.
Kevin then talked about truly appreciating the moment of the show. He said to leave all our energy on stage. And that’s true. When you give an awesome performance, you should leave the stage utterly exhausted.
He quoted Vince Lombardi next:
“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
Being part of the play is fulfilling our passions. For some of the cast, it will be a profession someday. But all of us are really passionate about theatre. And Kevin made the point that there are people all over the world who wish they could do what we do on that stage. So we owe it to ourselves, to each other and to everyone else out there to do the very best we can, and love every minute of it.
Finally, Kevin recommended sitting on the stage for a minute after the show. After the costumes and make up come off, after the audience has cleared out–but before venturing out to see the crowd. Just to take a minute and sit on the field of victory and cherish the moment.
So that’s what I did, and I know a couple other cast members did. And Kevin and Lombardi were right. There is nothing quite so sweet as a moment of appreciating what you’ve just accomplished.