Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Tony Awards and Heroes

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."-- Pablo Picasso
I was brought to tears several times tonight by actors and others on the Tony Awards.  Karen Olivio, who won the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Anita in "West Side Story".  She was overcome with surprise at winning and wept as she spoke of holding on to her dream and the support she had from her family and spouse.  Other speakers were emotional and commented on their pursuit of their craft and how difficult the journey was but worth it.

I think people who live their dreams are heroes.  It can't be easy to be broke, to be turned down, to be mocked, to give your blood, sweat and tears to your dreams when you never know what will happen.  I think it takes courage to be in theatre, to sing, to play a sport and give your heart and soul to it.  So many of us give up, lose hope, have to face the world of reality - AIDS, illness, financial problems, family issues, abuse, whatever those monsters are.  We get lost on the way.  

I am inspired to see people living their dreams - by Angela Landsbury winning a Tony award in the twilight of her career, in the boys who are dancing in "Billy Elliot", in Constantine Maroules (I don't know how to spell his name) playing a rocker when AI told him he would never be a rocker and should go to Broadway, to see Frank Langella strong as ever, Liza Minelli, Anne Hathaway in the audience looking like she was ready to burst during the opening number, Neil Patrick Harris hosting, the Spanish language added to the "West Side Story" revival, Jerry Herman receiving a lifetime achievement award (best known to me as the creator of "La Cage Au Folles" but also of "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame"). This list goes on.  I wonder what the world would be like if more of us could hold on to our dreams, hold on to hope, hold on to the thing that is the spark in our lives.  What would we look like? What would that feel like?

I'm still working on it.  My spark has been on a back burner for a long time, but I nurse it and it pops off into new sparks, little sparks that I play with and try to incorporate into my world.  It is the stuff of my dreams and it is what keeps me alive.  Those little moments when your heart skips a beat, when your breath catches in your throat at the beauty of a note, a color, a sentence, the sound of someone's voice.  

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