No One is Alone…


As you know, there is not much awareness in sensing the difference between seeing, versus feeling, there obviously is a distinct difference.  On that same vein, there is the fact that simply seeing, great, but what a treasure when you feel something greater than everything, anything, you’d simply be able to feel so much more than saying, “I saw it.”

You see where I am going with this- right?  Seeing every show of the production of Into the Woods, it’s not simply a marathon of ASF’s Into the Woods – though it might seem like it from the outset.  Yes, there are different casts, yes, the storyline is the same – no, the same feeling that exudes does NOT come out of every show.  Simply put, as with anything you dive into, the whole experience does not start and end with the actual show, and that goes for the many individuals that keep such a creative venture running – as well as the attendees, and those that take an interest in seeing something that might be doubted as a successful run, – it turns into something successful and become what someone can not imagine – successful being involving your heart.

At the end of the day,  the Drama club took a belief, that beyond the stage, there are feelings to be had, to be experienced. If you really really think about it, will there be ONE musical that holds the Drama Club and Tech Club together?  No, their heart and ability is in it for the long haul.  How do you know?

Example one – during this the last show – the cast of Les Miserables could be found sitting right in the row in front of me – and without even looking forward at the stage, at this, the last showing of Into the Woods, your heart rises in your throat – you see their eyes riveted to the stage – their place on that very stage not so long ago – and their hearts and very souls were up there with the very people that they had acted, planned, and worked alongside.  When you saw that very Les Miserables cast stand up and applaud without hesitation – you knew.  You leave knowing Drama Club and Tech Club are not about the moment at hand, but about laying a path of filling the audience with those that have traveled the same path, carried the same dream. 

You realize every single person that carried that dream has carried the reality of this simple fact, every line, every prop moved, every show, fortified the belief that the arts come in many forms, and if a dream is truly dreams, there are those around them that can insure this will become a reality.  “Outsiders” are those that refuse to open their eyes to everything they possible can and they are confined to see just what appears on stage.  (This is also a metaphor on life). The good news is there is another small majority of those that see much much more, and go on to inspire others to see and not just see, but to do something about that belief.  Certainly Into the Woods was able to appeal to this second fact – you heard it, you saw it, and more importantly, you see there are levels that begin to pile on that insure the certainty that what was once a dream is here as a reality.

Alexa mentioned in her speech during this last show, that at the start of a small group creating the idea of a Drama Club, that the emotional after-effect has resulted in where she stood on that very stage.  Just as an earthquake has subsequent aftershocks, I do believe the power of that very dream, that everyone that has ever participated in the past productions, that has ever believed in such a dream such as The Tech Club, the Drama Club, knowing the word “club” is understated- a weak definition of what is really under the surface, has turned into reality the emotions, creativity and dreams that have become Into the Woods.

I have always judged the success of anything, is based on what is pounding from your heart.  Eliminate all else, everything else, and what really counts is what is lying below the surface that moves you and if it is a dream, an idea, or a thought, and it can move others – that my friends is worth following, pursuing and turning into reality.  I have always believed that, and in passing this one gift that can’t be bought and found in any store, I hoped I could and would give the absolute best gift I could ever give and the future of so many – taking someone’s dream and turning into a reality.  Everyone around me that has taken that idea and run with it has turned it into something none of us could have imagined.

Example two – If you see something that plays everything back in slow reel time, and lets you celebrate it – is that priceless? Beyond words.  Hence, when you have had Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, and now Into the Woods that have claimed The Fine Arts Center as holy ground for expression, arts, emotions, and creativity – and done that they have – and grown – you have something that transcends definition.  When you have individuals from all sections of the ASF campus, the artistic, the intellectual, the athletic, the technical, that is the beauty that each person brings to the stage.  Into the Woods has brought those very people that were in the very first production, up to the current success story.  This is the funny thing, I see those people from the very first production, and I smile.  Beyond the immediate blo0d-related families, you also see what has formed, thanks to the long-haul belief from all levels, admin, parents, students, alumni, the board, you see a family has formed that, at all costs and beliefs of the families of those that dream and believe, an inspiration keeps growing.   That is the thing dreams are made of.  Into the Woods brings back moments from scenes from all the productions together and you sit there in the audience, emotions flying in all directions, and you realize, this is a home thanks to so many dreams.

Example three – Many individuals believe the success of one individual, of a show, of an event and its success relies on one single event.  I see this is very ego-driven, very singular, and truly is not a true view of what life has to offer.  Now take the belief, that one event, major or minor, is one more addition to allow those that surround you to grow, to realize something they hold inside that can be shared and spread to others, and allow them to grow – to become part of a dream they never imagined, now THAT is something worth believing, nurturing, and aching inside emotionally for.  Truly the Tech Club, the Drama Club, those that believed in that spark, this is definitely the case.  If you witnessed the numbers of students now adults, that have followed this path through what might have seemed woods, everything else fades away – status among peers, money, occupations, what remains the guiding light is that very confidence and belief that dreams come true.  I know, I have seen those that surround me go on and do amazing things that define definition.  They are inspirations to everyone around them.

Multiple Shows and seeing them only reinforces these very thoughts.  There is something magical that occurs from the very first preview to the last show.  Being able to attend every show is not a trophy, is not a contest, it is a dream come true.  I also learn how to take the countless moments of inspiration, give the ideas in other ways that the productions do for everyone in the audience, fortunate enough to see what happens on stage from show to show, and what happens beyond the stage.

I like to think with a little push and suggestion, I have helped to show others possibilities that might have been on a straight path only, and they truly have taken the unconventional path and ran with it, creating a view of life none have been able to picture at all – that is a gift that everyone carries inside and that keeps them going through life when all else falls down around you.  The former students and current students have done something with that suggestion, they take it and turn it into something even I could not imagine.  A priceless gift.

Example four – When you see a piece of laughter- have you noticed that all those emotions – the heart breaking bittersweet fond memories all come together and form a realization of how strong an experience is?  It happened in Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere’s charm), Les Miserables (Master of the House), Into the Woods (reflecting on mics not working and falling birds, Tech Staff dressed up as a Big Bird  🙂 and so much more!)  – and you realize it IS the bitter and the sweet.  Yet no one instills this laughter amid the bitter sweet ending of something amazing better like Into the Woods this year and a collection of dreamers – which ultimately are the initiators of changing life around us in so many other ways.

Overall this last production should not only be a work of art in your view, but a culmination of a gallery of art and expression that can be applied to every area of our lives and those we come into contact with.  For myself, Advocacy, Repentino., blogging, and doing things beyond what is expected, and receiving this question – “Why?  Why is that your job, task responsibility?” This is the beauty of those questions.  When you are fortunate enough to be around individuals, like those I have been lucky enough to meet as colleagues, families of the various casts, Advocacy students, Repentino. staff, and yes, an amazing world in the theatre – I realized, none of what I do seems like a job at all – it is just a means to build up an institution like ASF and show that ASF is a place that allows creativity, ingenuity, opportunity, and the idea that all of those have different talents, in all forms, and are more important than numbers on a paper that result is test scores.

The last night for Into the Woods?  For the physical 2015 production? – Yes.  Last night for some amazing things to occur – not even a chance.  What I hope will happen?  Taking the cast from that first Beauty and the Beast production, take every cast member since that very first production, and put them all together into one production celebrating where The Tech Club and Drama Club have come in four years. Be it just sitting and stepping up re- creating the singing the parts we all remember, like a Dream Cast production,  (everyone would attend for a month run of this!) or simply a reunion of sorts to celebrate the achievements, but know this, there is no end to the possibilities that each of these members of Into the Woods will bring to the world.

Monday, April 20 brings well-renowned authors to ASF that have tackled the ideas and creativity that moves towards changing the world – be it through recognizing ways to be better individuals to the environment, be it treating each other in the roles of women and men better, and yet, I turn to page 22 of our 2014-2015 Repentino. and behold,

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 9.26.37 AM Red Ribbon by Lucia – the first lines and words brought me back to Les Miserables but more than that, the very emotions that the above Examples 1, 2, 3 and 4 all represent- Lucia was one of many huge examples of what crossover is – being inspired on stage is one arena, wait until you see what all of our students can do in so many different venues – when given the inspiration and encouragement.

I dare you to open page 22 tomorrow at the Authors Among Us Event and premiere of the 2014-2015 Repentino. magazine and not have a stirring in your heart when you read Lucia’s Red Ribbon, and then see the contributions of so many other talented individuals, and you see – how much SO MUCH is intertwined.  Into the Woods helped everyone realize that, from the tears in the beauty when every member worked together from the first show, the quiet determination and skill of the Tech Club behind stage in the lighting booth, on stage, all the way to directing, “make – up -ing”, costuming, feeding – Lost Into Woods made sure that everyone in the audience, knew, without a doubt, No One is Alone!  Thank you Lost Into the Woods team for instilling the emotions, the experience and the foresight to let us know that for so long.  That shadowed hallway on and off stage?  You have helped show us we always have someone beside us on the walk.


About Harry Brake

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