I Am No Tom Cruise

Disclaimer: As I write this, I under the the influence of Nyquil. Please attribute any nonsensicleness you read to my drug induced stupor. Better yet, grab a bottle of your own and join me. Trust me, my newsletters are much funnier this way.)

As is my custom, when my seven month road tour ends, I get sick. It's an annual tradition I would rather not participate in, but I have no say in the matter. It’s as if my body has been politely waiting for a less hectic, more convenient time to breakdown. My body, much like myself, is nothing if not polite.

This morning, in an effort to expedite the recovery process, I slipped on my "sickee" outfit of choice, a plain white tee shirt and my favorite pair of jeans. It’s amazing the difference comfortable clothes can make. 

A trip to the drug store was in order as the last of the Nyquil was gone. I grabbed my faux aviator sunglasses, the car keys, and headed for the door. Concerned about my driving skills, appearance, or both, my wife asked me where I was headed. I pulled my shades down my nose, gave her my best sexy look and said, “I feel the need…the need for speed.” 

Trust me, when you are high on cold medicine, this is much funnier.

She laughed out loud and said, “Ok Maverick, but let's be clear, you are no Tom Cruise.”

“Come on," I said. "I got the white tee shirt, the jeans, the aviators, and we are both 5’6. All I need is a motorcycle and my wing man Goose.”

“Think what you want,” she giggled, “but if you start dancing around in your tighty whitees, I’m taking away the cold medicine.”

I guess you could say that she’s lost that lovin’ feeling. (See what I did there?)

She has a point though. Just rocking the outfit (and I was rocking it) doesn't turn me into a sexy film star or heartthrob. If only it was that easy. My sweet wife had a point, I am much closer to Lawrence Welk than I am to Tom Cruise.

Like a movie star, this weekend, your students will be involved in a production of their own. They will don a costume, and play their part on a stage of grass. They will expend all of their musical and physical energies in an effort to take their audience to another place, even if it is just for for a brief time. Oh the magic of it all.

And like a movie set, the production crew will be on hand as gaffers, costume managers, roadies and a food truck stand ready to serve in whatever capacity needed. It may not be as lavish production, but this unlike Tom's last movie, we are on a budget and can't just show you the money (is it the Nyquil, or am I on FIRE today?)

In just a few short days, entire organization will come together in a Herculean effort to create nine minutes of magic. But in order to truly enjoy it, you have to pay attention and know what you are looking for because just as quickly as it begins, it ends. 

The uniforms will come off while the performance props are returned. The food and equipment trucks will be loaded and the set will be cleared. Yes, the performance is over, but for the students and parents, the magic remains. 

That nine minutes on a stage represents months of work, and countless hours on a practice field. It represents early morning rehearsals and late night bus rides. It represents hot summer days and cool fall mornings. It represents parents knowing their children are safe and students knowing they have a safe place to be. It represents frustrations and failures, but more important, it represents the people who helped students work through them. That nine minutes represents an entire community of people coming together to help young people succeed in music and in life. 

This weekend's performance is so much more than the nine minutes the audience sees.

Tom Cruise never won an Academy Award, but his performances will always be remembered.  And similarly, the entirety of your efforts can not be represented with an award or plaque. That would be demeaning to the performance and performers alike. They don't give awards for what that nine minutes truly represents.

So as the director, be sure to sit back and enjoy the performance for what it is, MAGIC!