They Walk With My Heart
I’ve been a part of some productions that I will always be extremely proud of and will miss dearly, but this one takes the cake. With the closing of Spring Awakening I am saddened, but am also so incredibly grateful to have been able to work with this dedicated group of people. The mix of commitment, talent and drive is something I have never seen in a cast and crew I am astounded and honored to have contributed to it’s success.
This show has always been a favorite of mine. The music is in a league of it’s own, the story edgy yet touching and, having seen two productions of it beforehand, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what the show meant to me, until now.
What this show did for me was something I didn’t expect to happen, it moved me. The story is so gripping and so beautiful that I can’t help but write out all of my thoughts in this post.
What struck me most about this production wasn’t how talented I thought everyone involved in was, it was the reaction we received from any one who came to see it. People, my friends, my family, complete strangers would tell how much the show gripped, moved them, made them think. As an actor who is part of a show like this, that is something more important for me to hear than any good review or any personal compliment. To know that what I and my fellow cast mates did on that stage meant something to someone is the greatest gift. The fact that a number of people saw the show multiple times during a mere two week-run is mind boggling.
I wish we could take this show, put it in a truck and take it across the country, because I don’t want to let it go anytime soon.
I can’t get through this post without thanking each of the people I’ve been able to work with, this may take a second.
First things first, to Skyler: THANK YOU for giving this community the chance to experience such a poignant and moving piece of theater. I can’t thank you enough for letting me be a part of it. Your vision and directing technique are exemplary and brought out the very best in this group of individuals who I thought I’d seen the best of until this production.
To Madi and Dillon: You guys are a crack team of Stage Management wizards. Thank you for always being on top of everything from emails to mic checks (I’ll miss you threading my mic into my crazy hair). Dillon you are such a nice guy and it was a pleasure working with you! Madi, mad respect for doing every light cue MANUALLY for each show on top of every other responsibility you took on.
Speaking of hair, to Kia: You’re beautiful, and so very creative. Thanks for making the boys look so awesome for this show. Your vision for each hairstyle is inspired, it truly helped me figure who my character was and I hope I was able to translate your ingenious design into Georg’s personality.
To Alyssa: Thank you for helping me out of my microphone every night. I know those bobby pins were a pain but I truly appreciate your help. :)
To Anna: Your costumes and graphic are insane! That first poster was just the thing we all needed to get ourselves ready for rehearsals to start. From the first time I saw it to the moment I am typing this entry I have glanced at that poster that now hangs in my bedroom and I smile with all of the memories that are forever tied to it. Also, I love my jacket. :)
To Terry: You are one of the busiest people I know, yet you still found time to whip us into shape in a week, and be there to tune us as much as possible, and we are so grateful for that! Thank you, without you we wouldn’t have known how to say half the things in the script. :P
To Caden: I got to know you during this production and you are one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. You are also very motivated and do the best Cher impression around. I look forward to the day when we can enjoy a production of Spring Awakening set to Cher’s greatest hits.
To Charles: Thank you for managing the soundboard every night. I can’t imagine having to cue up so many microphones, but you accomplish it with ease. Not only that, thank you for mixing Standardized. I can’t wait to hear it!
To Anthony and the ass-kicking band: Wow. I cannot believe how fortunate we were to make music with you guys for two weeks. Your energy, your timing, your willingness to play this score again and again is something I will never forget. I’ve never heard a band that sounded as tight as you guys. It was a privilege to depend on you all each performance and know that you would NEVER let us down for a second. Thank you so very much and I can’t wait to hear you in Next to Normal.
To Ben: You are a true talent. You are one of the most committed and professional people I’ve ever met and I am so happy to have worked with you in this show and the few others before. I am going to miss you so much when you leave for PCPA. Please remember us when you become successful!
To Matt: Boy, you can ACT. It was great getting to know you during this production. You so easily tapped into this character it was scary. I admire your ability to portray Moritz so honestly and anticipate the next chance to see you tackle another iconic character.
To Cody: You worked so hard, and it showed in the run of this show. You brought a sweetness to Moritz that I found different from any other portrayal of the character.
To Genevieve: My god. What can’t you do? I’ve never been disappointed by your work, this being my favorite of the roles I’ve seen you play. You are a true beauty and I loved working with you in this show!
To Sharon: ….Words can’t describe that tone of yours. Every time, every single time “Purple Summer” began and you stepped out on stage, I wanted to cry. You have such a way of connecting yourself with an audience with your voice that it’s, in a word, mesmerizing . I hope you don’t mind me saying that I hope to sing a duet with you someday.
To M.C. Woods: You are too funny. I can’t count the number of times I wanted to break and laugh during your scene with Josh every night. You have such a keen way of delivering lines or even just making certain gestures that can have an audience rolling. It’s such a talent.
To Josh: It was really nice working with you in the show. You are really funny backstage and I loved watching you act! You have such great expressions and I would sometimes catch a glance at you during scenes and you seemed so into it. It was all in your face. I really enjoyed that about you!
To Lena: I have to say, the first time you ran the scene into “Dark I Know Well” I was blown away by you. You tapped into the drama of your character immaculately and it was a pleasure to watch that scene from my chair everyday. I better see you at auditions for Spamalot!
To Danny: I don’t know how this sort of “duo” thing just happened to come about for us, but it’s incredible. I love performing alongside you and watching you grow as an actor, dancer and musician with each show we do together. We push each other hard and I just know it’s gonna pay off in Singing in the Rain. I can hardly wait.
To Melinda: I loved you in this show, honestly. Whenever a song started (specifically Mama Reprise) you turned into a ROCK STAR. You are really committed to whatever you do and it shows so clearly. I’ll miss riffing to JT with you backstage every night.
To Krystal: You are so cute! Very fun getting to know you during the show. Your laugh is contagious and your singing voice is sweet. You were a joy to work with. :)
To Cameron: My brother! Awesome doing this show with you, Cam. We developed a good relationship during the run and I am impressed by your musicianship every day. Also, thanks for letting me keep my hand mic in your gigantic curls from time to time.
To Bryce: On and off stage you are a pretty cool guy! Much respect for a guy that is ok with turning his hair into a Tim Burton-esque sculpture every night. I can’t wait to see you shine in Jekyll and Hyde in a few weeks!
To Randy: You are freaking crazy in the best possible sense. You commit to your characters so well (not just in this show but in any show I’ve seen you in) and it’s like your a completely different person.
To Greg: You know I love you very much and enjoy every single moment we share in our shows. There is a reason I would hug you every night before we went on stage for “Purple Summer”, it’s because I know you are as moved by the theatre as I am and I love that we share that passion for performing. You are such a wonderful person and, as always, I look forward to the next show with you.
To Jennifer: You are one of the sweetest people on this earth. Also, your scenes with Genevieve were of the most intense and gripping scenes of the show. I must admit, I would lower the book from in front of my face every night ever so slightly just so I could see that scene in act two between you and Gen. It would sometimes reduce me to tears.
To Ashley: Where to begin, seriously. When casting was announced and I learned that I would be getting very familiar with your chest this summer I didn’t know what to think other than, “How am I going to do this?”. After doing this show with you I feel like I can do anything in front of an audience, and you helped make that possible. Thank you for pushing us to rehearse our bit again and again so we could make it perfect. Thank you for always making sure I was OK and had plenty of water to drink, but most importantly thank you for being you. I love you, you are fantastic and I will never forget you. Never.
To Kylie: I’m sorry I didn’t say hold when you fell off your chair, and I’m sorry for repeating that now on Tumblr. You should know that you are really fun to work with. Your willingness to do anything for the sake and benefit of the show (or any cause for that matter) is inspiring. I admire that about you very much.
To Jacob: It ws fun bonding with you over Patti LuPone and as soon as I read her bio we will get lunch and gush over her haha. You are so fun to watch. You would make these faces during Totally Fucked that when I looked at you it definitely helped put me in an angsty mood.
To Amber: Your laugh! I LOVE IT! I love someone with a boisterous laugh and sunny personality and you have that in abundance. It was great working with you and I hope to do it again someday!
To Sam Rodriguez: Your smile is infectious and your energy is brilliant. Wonderful getting to work with you this summer. :)
To Kristin: So happy that this was our first show together. You get so excited easily like me so I naturally go to you to commence any freaking out haha. I can’t wait to 1. Start Singin’ with you and 2. Take over CMT’s Graphic together. We are gonna be one KICK ASS team!
To Lex: Buddy, you are a great guy in all aspects. Thanks for writing down my blocking and notes when I forgot to do it myself, it really helped me out. You’re the kind of person who can brighten up anybody’s day with just a smile and we all enjoy you for that!
To Brandon: Words just don’t describe how much you mean to me! You make everything about doing a show hilarious and enjoyable and I wish I was half as funny as you are. You and Ashley were the two in this cast that I have known the longest and it warms my heart to know that we are still great friends to this day. I love you!
To Isaac: *waves* *hug* I can’t start a show without hugging you first because you give fantastic hugs. You are also one of those people that I love watching because you take it so seriously and you don’t stop working until you have it just right, which is admirable at the very least. Love you man!
To Sam Occhino, you seem like such a shy person…and then that music hits and BAM, “ladies and gentlemen SAM OCCHINO”. Way to rock it with this show, I enjoyed working with you!
and last but not least,
To Marisa: You are this awesome combination of sweet, sexy and fun that is hard to find. You’re one of a kind and don’t ever change that. Loved working for you and thank you again for that kind message on my mirror. :)
Cast and Crew, I love you all so much. This show has been one fantastic journey that I will never forget. I hope we all keep in touch (I know we will) and I sincerely hope that each and every one of you never stop creating.
To the song of Purple Summer.