Monday, February 13, 2017

I Raise a Glass…To the Cast of Rock of Ages


This is a "Toast" I wrote to toast the cast of Rock of Ages, a musical I was fortunate enough to music direct in 2016. I never did give the toast…the opportunity never really came up…and because of it, I don't know if the cast knows how much the show really meant to me.

Here's the original toast…

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When you get to be my age, life can get a little muted…

…and sometimes life can blow…

...hard enough to blow away the sparkle, the shine, leaving only bare threads.

Then, one day, a dear friend comes along and asks if you want to ROCK…

and after looking around at the melancholy, and responding with an exuberant YES!, you spend the next five months in fear that you’re not going to live up to your own expectations...

…and then you cast the show...

...and find the nicest, kindest, most talented people you’ve ever worked with.

You find a band that shows up on the FIRST VOCAL REHEARSAL and learns every note, every guitar lick…and is far superior than you ever dreamed.

…and eventually, after fighting it…

…you find a smile…

…you find joy…

…you find...contentment…

…not in the Whitesnake songs, but in the realization of what can happen when a group of diverse humans...

...humans that are not ego-driven, but excellence-driven...

...come together to focus on a common cause...

...TO ROCK!

Then, after a month of shows...

...it ends…

…and you finally find the words that you’ve wanted to say for years but haven’t figured out how…

...words that free you...

...provide bursts of inspiration…

...taken from the show that has, at least for a moment, given you a glimpse of "what could have been if you followed your dreams, not your wallet"…

So...

I raise a glass to toast this cast, this crew, this amazing experience…

...Thank you for your excellence, your kindness, your work ethic. Every night I got to pose in my rock stance, pumping out awesome riffs on my 1986 red Charvel, chains dangling from my waist, Van Halen necklace stretched across my sweat-laden neck, leather jacket covering my AC/DC t-shirt, long spiked hair intertwining with my guitar strap, sun-glasses providing cover for the whisky sips in between songs, playing in pure joy every-single-night, hearing soaring melodies, delicious harmonies, immersed in sound pounding from a perfectly-in-synch band, and watching from the best view in the house this extraordinary show unfold...

…Here's to you!

...and, in the eloquent words given to me by the script to speak every night that really says everything we all want to say every night…

"F*ck you Stacee Jaxx!"

~~~~~~~~~~~


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