I saw A Chorus Line this weekend at the Santa Rosa Community Theater. It was performed by a summer repertory group of college students from all over the country. We were there to see our daughter Abby’s friend from high school. They went their separate ways after graduating; Abby is following her musical path to Nashville, and Jilly to Boston Conservatory to pursue musical theater.
“Showbiz Jilly”, as we endearingly call her, in our humble opinion, outshone everyone yesterday on that stage. But in truth all of the kids sang and danced their hearts out. Live musical theater revives my faith in humanity and the arts. Real people with uniquely different voices, performing big song and dance numbers with a live orchestra. No auto tune. No celebrity judges. It was refreshing and inspiring to see young artists growing into their own.
Siting in that dark theater I thought about all of the people who’d invested in the lives of this young cast: parents who recognized and encouraged their child’s talent, teachers who taught and steered them into new directions, coaches, mentors, dance and vocal instructors. Each one watering, nurturing, developing, shaping the tender shoot of talent. And here they were, stretching and sprouting and blooming in all their golden top hat glory.
Here’s what I know: There’s a ripple effect to the time and love and talents we invest in people. We may never know how far reaching or deep the ripple extends, but it will continue to move in waves to places unknown. Some of the kids on that stage will go on to do incredible work that the world will appreciate and find beauty in. Here’s to the first few pebble-throwers in the soul of a child.
Quote from my upcoming book, Flourish (formerly “Sowing Seeds of Love”)
Photo by Abby Frenes Photography