It's been a little over a week now since my old Thespian Troop from high school gathered for a reunion. What started out as Facebook Group Page turned into posts about getting together. Then there was a suggestion of a date...another brave soul offered up her house for said occasion. We soon learned that we all would be lucky enough to take a tour of our old school to view the new Theatre wing the district added. Another member threw caution to the wind and offered her home up for a pre-reunion mixer for the night before.
Having a week to absorb the experience you'd think that I'd be able to jot down a few lines about what it meant to see everyone again. For lack of better words it simply felt like going home to see family. Walking onto our old stage felt like walking from the front porch into my old living room. As members would wander into the stage area one by one it was like recognizing old family members in a crowd of strangers.
It wasn't until we all were together again on that stage with all of our memories spilling out into the warm stage lighting that I realized how profoundly our lives were changed years ago. We were the lucky ones. We had the extraordinary opportunity to have someone believe in us enough to expect the very best.
Did we understand how very lucky we were? We were scrappy high schoolers from a little town in Texas with a drama teacher that dared to push the boundaries of our minds. Our drama teacher Mr. Lytle chose to raise our own expectations. If we were going to learn how to do something, we were going to learn how to do it correctly. We trusted him with every critique and block.
I believe that with every production we were driven to push through our own perceptions and our eyes were opened to what could be. The results of one person telling you can do something are astonishing. As Mr. Lytle believed in each one of us, we had to rely on each other. No one wanted to be the weak link and we supported each other to be better. Just like a family.
So it's really of no surprise that so many years later we would all gather as adults and stand in wonderment of it all. Looking back we were really lucky kids. Now as adults the lessons taught in Room 501 and on that beautiful wooden stage are just as important today.
Have a motivation for each move.
Don't drop your lines.
Check your props.
Never turn your back to the audience.
Add your own favorite "Lytleisms" in the comments area gang...I know I've left a few rules out!