🎼 Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become Of Me… 🎶

Credit: Michael Horta.

Hello Gentle Reader!

Happy holiday season if you celebrate it in any fashion and for those that don’t I hope you are having a fantastic time. I am usually only a Halloween and New Year’s kinda guy, but with my last project, you can say that I am in the Xmas spirit, I suppose.

I have a question for you my Dear Reader. What is the difference between the following line:

“… my very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle, with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock.”

“… MY very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle. With a compass! And this thing… which tells TIME built right into the stock.” 

The way that I see it, the first version has the same sort of half committed involvement that the narrator from the film uses.  He is invested, but it just feels like he has told this story before to other people so it isn’t novel or new to him anymore. In the second version, I play it so that it feels like actually owning this present is a dream that I don’t want to wake from and the details of the gun that I have been going on and on about are highlighted since they are referred to 99% of the time the air rifle is mentioned. But I think the Time emphasis was me bringing my life experience to the piece. 

Christmas Eve was the first day since closing night of A Christmas Story that I could say that line without feeling the burning sensation in my nose and eyes of tears that wanted to be set free. 

I can’t exactly say when it happened, but I suspect that it was some time during week 2 of performances that the line above began to morph from the previous to the latter. 

I don’t know if I had mentioned it here yet, but I had so much work to do with the script that I read it multiple times a day on the weekends and at least once every day. I listened the the audio version I made while I was in traffic on the way to rehearsal. I listened to it at work when I wasn’t in meetings.  All to share this memory for this character.

But what is a memory? It is a snippet of time that you are recalling at a different point in time. Sometimes it is purposely done and other times it could be involuntarily triggered by sound, scent or emotion and situation. 

On closing night, I said that line, and before I could continue with the rest of the scene, I had this magnificent surge of love, heartache, stress, fondness and a few other emotions, all at once. I became aware of the symbol of authoritative and parental figures and friends (that my cast mates Shawna and Keith represented) had turned into a focused source of those people in my life that I don’t see, can’t see, won’t see anymore or haven’t seen in a very long time.


It was an overwhelming sensation. Then it circled back to the sadness that this little show of ours had grown to become something so special to me and it was taking the last breaths of life.  I took a few moments to try and force my voice back “into character” but as a proponent of “feel your feelings” I delivered the lines “The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received…. Or ever WOULD receive” with that bubble in my throat and powered through “pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.” I could only hope that through my quaking voice the audience could understand what I was saying, Kind Reader. 

I felt a wee bit foolish but there was nothing I could have done.  In far away voices, I could hear the backstage manager and some of the others, waiting to enter the stage for bows, commenting or gasping that this moment was happening. 

During the first attempt at creating an audio aid, which I recorded on a whim, I can hear my final speech get a little emotionally shaky. I wish that I had paid more attention to that moment so that I could steel myself of this and present the show to the audience  just as we had done the rest of the run. 

Even before this show began I have been fighting with the fleeting nature of time and the ideas that some people had about it. And I took on some of their baggage from them and still shoulder. So couple that baggage with the reminiscing of friends and family and a storm was inevitable.

It is a lot of energy to process and keep in check in the space of the 15 seconds that it takes to say that line and I did well every other night. But time will find a way of catching up with you.

With that, let me just shut off this light on 2022 and the wonderful production of A Christmas Story that I was so fortunate to be a part of. Thanks for letting me bend your ear one more time this year, Dear Reader. Take care of yourself and those you care about! Stay safe and alert and I will see you in 2023. 

🎼 Thought I Heard Your Voice Yesterday, Then I Turned Around To Say… 🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Can you believe that my current show A Christmas Story is in its fourth and final week? Too soon, I say! 😂 But as I say in the show “Finally, all good things must come to an end. There were no more presents to be opened, just empty boxes and paper around the tree.”

While this is bittersweet, it isn’t what I wanted to write about. There is something that has been bothering? No, that isn’t the right word… weighing on my mind is a better way to put it.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Amazing highs from the show and seeing some adored friends in the audience after to lows and valleys of sadness because work has had some terrible news for colleagues and friends of mine. Yet in the middle of all that was this encounter that I had after the matinee last Sunday.

After the show, I had gone into the lobby because I was hoping to snag a hot chocolate, it may or may not have been spiked🤭 and while I was out there, this gentleman approaches me. But he has this really weird energy and my paranoia went into red alert. I checked my surroundings to see what and who was around me.

Being out in public always puts me on edge anyway because of all these mass shootings. But now add all the hate crimes that seem to be popping up all over the country, and that just makes my fight or flight response even more active. My Dear Reader, I totally know that women live this life everyday and THAT is a tragedy because when do they get the chance to not have tension in their lives? I feel for them. It makes my soul weep that our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends have to live with the fear always lingering.

At this point, he is standing next to me and I say “hi” but he just has this sad smile on his face. After a group passes by, he says that he really enjoyed the show. I tell him “that’s fantastic. Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome audience.” Then he starts to say something, but his voice catches so he clears his throat, the way guys do when they don’t want to give away that they are experiencing an emotion, and says “you remind me of my best friend that I had.” He told me the friend’s name, I want to say it was Eddie, but I am only partially listening because my brain is wondering if this guy was ok. He goes on to tell me that his friend used to love “doing drama” but that while it wasn’t his particular thing, but he would go and support his friend when he did perform. He said he almost thought I was actually him. Voice, appearance and mannerisms all lined up according to this man. The thing was that his friend had died when he was 30.

I could see that he was still feeling the sorrow of that loss and I extended my condolences. This man was a little younger than I but I couldn’t tell how much so I wasn’t sure how recent this was.

This experience has been in my thoughts since then. Did he need closure? Did he truly just miss his friend that much? What was the rest of the story? I didn’t know how to respond and I am disappointed in myself that I didn’t say something more than just vague condolences. After a few minutes, the guy left and I wandered back to the stage in a daze, confused by what just happened. It felt like an hour but it was really only moments, I rushed back to the lobby to find the guy. My intent was to offer to go grab a cup of coffee or even a drink and just toast the memory of his friend. He seemed like he needed it.

However, I was so thrown off by this encounter, I couldn’t even recall what he was wearing. I could have been looking right at him and I wouldn’t know it. Well, I do remember he had on a black beanie that was pulled low on his forehead.

I just wish that I had caught him in time. His sadness was palpable and it just seemed that this little gesture could have been of some comfort to him. Or should I have offered him a hug? I just feel like some compassion was needed and I failed miserably to offer it.

For the life of me, Kind Reader, I cannot get it out of my head that I didn’t act in alignment with my personal ethics. Logically, I understand that I don’t have to do anything, but my heart just keeps saying, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

It is exhausting to have your brain and your heart disagreeing. I am trying hard to put this to bed so that it doesn’t affect the show. One thing I would like to put into the Universe is that if that fella happens to be reading this; I hope he will send me an email and let’s go have a toast to your friend and you can tell me some of your favorite memories.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Good Reader! I hope you know how much I appreciate you. What would you do in my situation? Let me know because I feel like I am falling down the ladder of human virtue.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

❤️