Today, I realized I am very similar to these Disney Princesses. I influence little boys and girls across the U.S. when I do my shows with Let's Pretend. I am a role model, friend, and "movie star" to them, and it truly shows when they see me and their eyes light up.
For example, yesterday we had three shows of The Wild West Show at the opening day of the Clark County Fair. Now, I must preface this story with the comment that MANY children do not enjoy dressing up, getting on stage, and being the center of attention, but they DO want to feel acknowledged and part of the "play." After the second show of the day, when we were starting to hang costumes and put props away, I noticed a little girl and her mother lingering by the "star performer seating." This little girl had not been one of the performers in the show. I walked over to her and asked if she had fun watching the show; what her name was; how old she was; and what else she had done at the fair. I then ended the conversation kneeling next to her with a high five and a smile. She then turned to grab her mother's hand and when I stood to say "Have a nice day" to the mother, her mom mouthed, "Thank you."
I had made that child's afternoon, just by taking the time to talk to her and include her in my little Wild West world. It is all about the little things and the small decent things you can do for another person that make such a huge difference. Many of these families I interact with are going to have these memories for their entire lives and look back upon this day, this show, and what I brought to their family experience. That is a big responsibility and I am grateful to have such an impact, theatrically, in these children and families' lives.
Another awareness moment (also from yesterday!) came when I took a half-second in a show to look and scan the audience and realized, I had captivated the seated audience in front of me, the patrons in the shade of a tree further back, the families picnicking in the grass to the left, and even fair-goers stopped on the walkway 300+ feet back. I was playing to over 200 people, and they were ATTENTIVE. They were participating, they were pretending with me.
I am everyday amazed at the power of the theatre and how blessed I am to be doing what I do and to be able to pay my bills by doing something I love. This is my passion and I will never give it up. I have many goals within this life long journey which includes: film, television, theatre, drama, comedy, stand-up, SNL, magic, clowning, and so much more. There is so much to learn, and so much to give.
Live and love. And more so, live what you love.