In the spirit of Easter, I present three extremely awkward kids from the early 90’s.
I love the idea of a wedding, but when it comes down to it, weddings are expensive, and for no good reason. And then there’s the expectations. The endless, mind numbing expectations. For me, it’s a celebration of love and commitment and I just don’t see where floral arrangements and $5,000 dresses come into the equation. I love weddings, but not for the decorations or matching bridesmaids dresses or three course dinner, but for that moment during the ceremony when even I (a total unromantic, unsappy person) feel a little choked up. I also love weddings for the reception where you get to dance and drink the night away with your family and friends in honor of this couple that you love.
In the book “A Practical Wedding,” Meg Keene says, “A whole industry is set up to sell you a beautiful wedding; it’s set up to sell you how things will look. But what matters on your wedding day, what you will remember until you are old and gray, is how it felt.” Yes! I want a wedding that feels good. I don’t want to spend money that I don’t have for expectations that I’ll never meet. I want us to craft a day that celebrates who we are and what we have accomplished, not a day that feels ordinary or uptight.
We may not know what we are doing when it comes to planning this shindig, but there are a few things that we do know. We want to be a room with friends and family on the day that we become an awesome, new family. We want to have a band because we are musicians and having our party feel like a rock concert is important to us. We want to eat lots of dessert and drink booze. We might even want a margarita machine and fajitas. We want to get sweaty from dancing. I want to laugh at him while he’s dancing on the dance floor. He wants to laugh at me because I don’t actually know the words to songs that I think I do. We want to dance with our friends and siblings. We want our friends from growing up to be in the same room with our friends from our life now. We want to be in a room filled with nothing but joy, laughter, and happiness as we celebrate something pretty awesome. We want to say nice things as we make a verbal commitment to each other in front of these awesome people. We want to celebrate the last 10 years of our lives that have led up to this moment. These are the things that are important to us and I think that’s a great place to start planning a wedding.
I know I’m a day late. Get over it. GLAMOUR.
I was lucky enough to be a discussion group leader, which is the person that takes a group into a discussion right after they finish their adjudication. It was such a rewarding experience. It was amazing getting to lead the kids in a discussion about how they were feeling about the whole process, why they felt that way, and how they were going to implement the adjudicators notes into their show. Kids are smart and sometimes I think we don’t give them enough credit. They can handle constructive criticism and they can handle pressure. All the kids that I got to chat with were lovely and well rounded. I also taught Advanced Acting classes on Saturday afternoon and had a blast. These kids are really special.
The kids at JTF are given so many fabulous opportunities. They had a Q&A with cast members from Newsies as well as the Pathways to Success chat where former JTF students who now have successful performing careers come back to talk about their success. Alan Menken was given the JTF Award and was so honored. Afterwards he was placed on a chair and given a surprise performance of “Be Our Guest” by a huge group of kids. I wish everyone in the world could have been there to see the look of surprise and tears on Alan’s face. I cried too, not that that was anything new by this point.
We were even introduced to 9 year old Eli from Marietta, GA who spearheaded a fundraising effort at his school for Sandy victims in East Rockaway. Eli’s school raised $12,000 for the schools and was the cutest little peanut I’ve ever seen. And yes, I cried when they showed the video that he made about raising money. And don’t forget when he said that his favorite fundraising activity was making Origami. Yep. He raised $98 by making and selling Origami. SOMEBODY BRING ME THIS CHILD!!
The Junior Theatre Festival is so special and I’m so honored to be a part of it every year. There is no way to accurately capture what it’s like in that giant convention center turned theatre when everyone is there. The festival ended with “Seasons of Love” sung by everyone. (click to watch) It was a spectacular way to end the weekend. I’m looking forward to next year!!