Horizons of surprise, evolution, and finality…

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 9.04.07 AMMarching into the last evening of The Les Miserables production, I have sweaty palms, and I am no where near in the cast and yet, for the last four performances I have fell in knee deep, falling into the cast, mesmerized by their unstoppable talent, energy and optimism.  I think that is part of the draw that I still haven’t had my fill after four performances, and I think that is telling about what every member of this production has brought forefront to the stage.

I am going to go in between stories but I received this amazing email from one of the cast and the night of last Wednesday, at Open Mic in Condesa, something hit me and I had to read it, so I did,

“Mr. Brake,

You have no reason to thank us.

We are all very thankful for the beautiful pictures, the amazing review and your touching words.

The entire group wanted to thank you in a very special way and we thought this was the most appropriate way to do it, since it is very significant for all who are involved in theater.

We all think you are an amazing person and it is obvious your soul and heart are filled with love and light. We are very fortunate that we got to meet you.

Asking you to do this is our way of saying thank you and reflecting how much your words and pictures meant to us.

Thank you for everything!!! “

Sounds a simple and non elaborate email, but yet so direct and right to the center of gratitude I felt, I read that and I immediately thought, “How incredibly lucky was I to have met each and every one of the members from Les Mis?”  I can’t put into words how that felt from the very first production, but I can tell you I felt prouder than I have in a long time, maybe the equivalent to when I am proud of my own staff of Repentino., and that also usually defies words.  This email made my year a little better, no ALOT.

This week, wow, I mean, maybe it was the spell of Les Miserables, but after coming home last week EXHAUSTED, cramming into off the street cab, and then waking up to find my camera G O N E – yes, I mean, 2 days after shooting some amazing pictures from Les Miserable, this all unfolded.  As far as I could figure I was crammed into the backseat and pushed against the door so the claspof my camera bag, at the right angle, unclipped and out toppled the camera unbeknownst to me.  The best camera I have ever owned.  Roughly 4500.00 USD plus the 600.00 USD lens, and well there you have it.  All I could think about on to levels was how am I going to capture the rest of the Les Mis productions, capping, graduation, and more?  HOW?  I was heart brown after I searched my apartment that morning, andI am sure my poor dogs knew from the way I got sick a few times in the park, the ranting and just the utter frustration.

I did tear the apartment apart, and wishful thinking of how instead of my camera being somewhere in Mexico City in a cab (maybe) – that it would appear in the library, etc.  No such luck.  I can’ t even tell you how sick I get the next day in school, I mean SICK.  Ms. Patterson knew right away that this was like my right arm, and hugged me as she realized how upset I was, as well was Teruhi and Hugo who were just utterly awesome and consoling despite how upset I was.  This devastated me completely and literally, I just had had a plan for some great moments yet to be captured and I just felt desolate. I am not sure how else I can put it.

Trudging back home the day after, I made it to the top flight of my building and a zinger I sell am reeling from, on my door hanging was my camera and a small post it note – “You lost this but now it is back to you.”  – yes, in English.  I could never begin to explain how this occurred, and even after asking tenants in the building and them not seeing a thing and not knowing what I was taking about – I RAN to the Open Mic in Condesa and read the above email I received from a Les Mis cast member and also retold this story.

Mexico City.  One camera.  Usually a treasure to have on the black market, yet, it came back and had the pictures, the lens, everything intact and I am floored.  I think I am about as floored abut this as I am recalling scene after scene of Les Mis and the smiles, the faces, the laughter, the excitement, and the skill that I witnessed and experienced from so many members of The Tech Club, stage crew, the directors, the advisors, the cast everyone.  If I could think of a more harmonious week, I would, but I have to say the life all of these individuals brought to so many people – and occasionally I would see an eye that looked that it would tear up while on stage and I truly do not think I was seeing anything – if the feelings that poured into me flowed from the cast then it is no wonder.

All of us, from differing generations have that one song or melody that invokes the amazing days that have impacted us and changed us.  There are two that comet mind to me, when I think of the power the members of The Les Miserables cast held over me this past week  and they are these:

Someone like you – Adele  – there is this pang of hurt because I do not, absolutely do not want to see this moment leave yet, the journey to get here was so amazing by this cast – it has to be.

Time of Your Life – Green Day   I am in love with these lyrics because I can put so many scenes I want to never leave my memory, and many of them comprise what I saw in the Les Miserable production.

This is the time -Billy Joel  – Yes, old, but wow, read the lyrics once and see if anything hits the soul note inside – it still does for me.  It’s funny, some things just hit you out of nowhere and for some reason, it connects with you, and it just hits you in that emotional spout in your being, it just creates a vulnerable and addictive need to see it, hear it, or just experience it over and over, and sometimes you just can’t explain it, you just feel so alive.  For me, seeing these amazing young and talented ladies and young men, on stage, behind stage, and all over, that became something I can’t explain, I just can’t get enough.  Yes, they’re THAT good.

And yet for the first time, I still get hairs that stand up on my neck when I hear each and every cast member sing and play their part in this present moment of what is Les Miserables, the only version I prefer to know and think of currently.   So tonight, I will try to secure each and every one of the members that made this journey amazing and hold them close as I also have to let this amazing experience move slowly in front of me…and the amazing things that have happened outside of Les Miserable?…icing on the cake, just icing on the cake…

Proud?  Am I proud of seeing how amazing all of these individuals have been and what they have done?  Proud is just a small word in the huge universe of emotion that the students grabbed, twisted and giveback to an audience that for three and a half hours, are able to get lost with each and every member – and that – that is something that can’t be defined into a word and IS something we can carry away with us after tonight.  🙂


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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