On Stopping the World

Photo courtesy of Rob Reider

Katherine: …A little hyperbole never hurt anyone.

Like lightning in a bottle (or a leap caught on camera) we captured a moment of magic. For that moment, we stopped the world.

Having time now to reflect on my part in Disney’s Newsies at La Crosse Community Theatre, I feel a profound sense of peace and gratitude. Maybe the heartache of no longer creating this wonderful story on stage each night hasn’t yet set in, but for now at least, I can say with great satisfaction, I seized each day.

To my friends, new and old, thank you. To Brody, Grant, Brianna, Avery, Grace, Brad, Liz, Allante, Colin, Dennis, Tom, Angie, Jeremiah, Aaron, Aaryn, Skyler, Olivia, Maddie, Brandon, Erick, Josh, Kane, Erik, Garrett, Riley, Naikya, Rubie, Alex, Angi, Brittany, James, Cole, Caidan and Lance, it was such an immense pleasure to share the stage with you for the past three weeks. I treasure the talents and dedication each of you brought to your part.

To the crew and the band, your work behind (and under) the scenes make a world of make-believe that much more real. To the production and support team, your direction and encouragement pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves both on and off stage. And lastly, but certainly not least, to the ushers and audience members who cheered, cried and and sang with us, without you this would all be for naught. Thank you, wholeheartedly, for supporting local arts.

The magic is always fleeting. But, the brevity breeds a beauty that lives on in our collective memories and the bonds created and strengthened by the process.

I continue to encourage you all to find such collaborative ventures in your lives. Whether through arts, recreation or service, find a way to unite with others outside of work and family. Explore interests, take a risk and break down barriers.

Stopping the world doesn’t have to alter the course of history. All it really takes is a moment to watch what happens when you do.

Untitled Opening Post

As promised on Instagram, I’m going to try to post updates on this latest theatrical venture as Jeff in [title of show] at the Weber Center. So, let’s do it.

For those who aren’t familiar with the production, [title of show] is a Tony-nominated musical about a group of friends trying to come up with an original musical to enter into a New York theatre festival. Their way to avoid copying what they’ve seen before is to literally set the process of creating the show to music. Full of humor (mostly R-rated), self-awareness, obscure references and some catchy,¬†catchy tunes, [title of show] also hits home with questions many of us face, namely: does what I’m doing actually matter? It’s a one-act, 90-minute ride that makes you feel like you’re on the inside of this group’s inside joke. Why’s it called [title of show] you may ask? Well, you’ll have to see it to find out!

I am truly humbled to be on the inside, so to speak, with this talented group. The level I’m stepping up to with Matt (Hunter/director), Stephanie (Heidi), Liz (Susan) and our accompanist Shealan (Mary) is an ensemble unlike any I’ve ever worked with before. I’m coming at this as an amateur in theatre–I do what I do for the love of it, and now I get a chance to work with people who have all worked professionally as actors and musicians.

For that same reason, I was incredibly nervous–right up until the first rehearsal. I had worked on a few songs ahead of time with Shealan and listened extensively to the Broadway cast album (for real–[title of show] songs have been exclusively running through my head for the better part of a month), but I didn’t want it to look¬†too obvious I hadn’t really done this too much before. Thankfully, Matt put me at ease right away by keeping the expectations pretty easy. Add in the support, energy and enthusiasm everyone brought, and three days in I can safely say I think we’ve already clicked.

Now my nerves turn to the task of getting all of this down in three weeks. Yeah. The show goes up July 20 for six Friday & Saturday evening performances at the Weber Center, and while we sound pretty good on a few songs so far, there’s still “The September Song” and “Development Medley” ahead. Ugh. But hey, we’ve got three weeks, right?

Buckle up. It’s going to be a great ride!

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