Wednesday, November 24, 2010
'With A Thousand Sweet Kisses,' An Open 'Thank You' Letter to the Cast, Crew & Musicians of Brampton Music Theatre's 'Rent'
The thing with community theatre and their short run dates is that you never want that feeling to end; not just the rush of the applause and the spotlight, but the sense of family with the cast and crew after it all comes together, and the people you've shared the experience with become great friends in the end. Rent was the perfect production to get myself back into the swing of things after such a long hiatus from theatre in general, onstage or off, and I am very humbled to have shared it with such glowing, talented people of all facets.
Jonathan Larson's masterpiece pays homage to the dramas that came before, deriving its plot from Puccini's La Boheme, set in 1830 Paris focusing on the love between Rodolfo, a poet, and Mimì, a seamstress. Although they separate because of Rodolfo's disapproval of Mimì's flirtatious ways towards men, they reunite before she succumbs to the clutches of tuberculosis, dying in his arms, surrounded by their adopted family of artists and friends whom also shared their state of Bohemia. A poignant piece that reminds us to live and appreciate each day to its fullest, we were reminded of the short time we would share together bringing Jonathan's message to our little corner of the world. I don't think there was a finer group of artists that could have accomplished this in only the way we could.
My absence from theatre and performance was borne out of a fear of not understanding my own passion for it. It made me scared of my own potential, but also confused at the rejection. I will always remember something my high school theatre mentor told me, "Theatre has two purposed: to entertain and to educate." Artists want the audience to react and think about what they had witness, how it had affected them, and how it stays with them. I can also understand how this can apply to the artists within the production itself. I have surprisingly learned much more about myself than I had expected, and my potential with my own theatre pursuits. My confidence grows because in a strange, wonderful way, I understand in a more applicable way that there's no time like the present to 'make it happen'. I know that theatre and the arts give me that 'big and bright' feeling, whether I'm creating or witnessing, and it's something I feel deep down in these tiny nuclei within the cells of my body, stretching outward and onward. It's something that I shouldn't be afraid of if it's something that I've always loved and always wanted to do. Seeing how everyone put everything they had into these performances inspired me to keep pushing my own limits, and to appreciate and be inspired by those who are just as dedicated to their craft.
I am so grateful to have been involved in this production and have experienced the music and the message of Rent from audition process to final curtain. Although my audition was a little nerve-wracking (and barely prepared - I found out about them just the day before walking in!), being a member of the production crew was an amazing experience that I will always hold close to my heart. I don't think I could thank you all enough for considering my involvement in the production crew. I've learned from this production that a 'leap of faith' could take you places you've always wanted to go, while always leaving more to be desired and not wasting time getting there. Don't ever be afraid to take that chance, no matter what happens, and there's 'no day but today' to do it!
Rent has been a piece that has initiated conversation about current issues that still plague our progression and celebrate our differences; most importantly, it has a common thread throughout every character, every song, every scene - to measure our lives in love, and to celebrate every new day. Thank you to everyone at Brampton Music Theatre for this wonderful experience.