Saturday was the last show for the seniors in our drama program. They were all there from the beginning. They've seen it grow...they've grown with it...they've made it what it is today.
Before every show, we have I guess what you could call a "love fest." We all gather in a circle and offer words of encouragement. It starts off with our director telling us we're going to suck, just to make sure we don't get big heads before the performance. But then someone always raises their hand and talks about how much the drama program means to them, and before long everyone's raising their hands and sharing stories–personal stories–about how the drama program has saved their life. We talk about how much we love each other. How much of a family we all are. And pretty soon we're all trying not to cry for fear of ruining our makeup five minutes before the curtain opens...it probably would be better if we did these things after the show.
But then again, these pre-show "love fests" are what propel me through the performance. When I'm on stage, I want to make everyone proud. I don't want to let anyone down with lackluster energy. Saturday, I wanted to make the seniors proud.
In our "love fest" on Saturday, we spent a lot of time talking about the seniors, and how grateful we are to them. They have always done their best to make everyone feel included. They talked with everyone, complimented everyone, and made an effort to get to know all of us. They have been fantastic role models, both as actors and just as people.
As I saw them take their final bows on our school stage, I was at first overwhelmed with sadness that they would never be performing on our stage again. I thought about how different the program was going to be next year. But then my sadness turned to gratitude, as I thought about how grateful I was just to know them. From gratitude, it turned to pride, and I thought about how proud they all make me every time I see them onstage or backstage. And then that pride turned to excitement. They're all going off in their own directions. They're going off into the big world and who knows what is in store for them? I'm not sure what they will end up doing, but I know that no matter what it is, it will be great.
Next year, I will be a junior. A boy in my grade commented Saturday that the seniors this year were juniors themselves when we all met them. I only hope I can make as big an impact on next year's incoming freshmen as this year's seniors did on me.
So as the curtains closed yesterday after the seniors' final bows, I wasn't sad anymore, because I could already see the next ones opening.