I don’t really know where to start, so I’m just going to see where my heart and fingers take me. I have to share the events of the last week, because they are still making my head spin at the amazing greatness of God. It started last week when I felt the need to blog about all that is going on in my heart right now. I sat to blog. Erased everything. Started again. Didn’t like it. Walked away for a day and then came back. As I typed, I was trying to share my feelings about this new theater experience and what it was doing for me. I wanted to express how wonderful it is to feel “wanted” and “appreciated” after many, many years of those feelings being absent in my life. I am feeling loved and appreciated again, and I wanted to share that, but every way that I shared it in the post I was writing, really bashed my ex husband and I don’t want to do that. I gave up on the blog.
On January 4th, as I was laying in bed after a long day, I felt the urge to write something about what my sister had done for me. I didn’t go to my blog, I went straight to Facebook and shared the picture along with a wordy status update. It wasn’t exactly what I had been planning to write in my blog, but some of the same ideas came out. In one of the versions of my blog, I started to share how my freshman year of high school had been such a pivotal time in my life, because a very good family friend, Greg Overmyer, had the courage to PUSH me to audition for Fiddler on the Roof. I had only dabbled in theater to that point, and so I really didn’t have any inclination to take on high school theater, but he was relentless and I finally gave in. The rest is, as they say, history! Because a friend saw something in me and didn’t take my first, second, or third lame “I don’t really have time for that” as his answer, the trajectory of my life changed. I found my passion! As I stated above, I never actually posted ANYTHING about Greg, anywhere. Those blog posts never left my computer screen. And yet, on January 5th, I received a comment from Greg, on my Facebook status. Greg is one of those Facebook friends that I don’t think I’ve every actually seen post anything, much less comment or “like” anything. His comment said that it seems as though our lives may have gone down similar paths and would I call him if I got a chance. SO WEIRD! But I knew it was a “God thing” of some kind, because of him being on my mind just the week before.
I didn’t call Greg that day, but the next morning I couldn’t ignore the nagging feeling that I NEEDED to call him. So, call I did and it was immediately apparent that God had been orchestrating this whole thing. What you need to know about the relationship that I had with Greg growing up is that he was like a big brother to us. I mean an annoying, obnoxious big brother. My strongest memories are of him doing cannonballs into our swimming pool or throwing my sister and brother in the pool whenever he had the chance. A lot of dunking happened when Greg was in our pool. He and his sister were regulars at our house growing up! As we talked yesterday, it was like no time had passed, and yet, 25 years have passed that have been filled with life changing events and hurts. None of the specifics of his story are necessary for you to know as I share the moment in our conversation when I saw the reason behind my call to him. I shared with him that he had been on my mind last week when I had tried to write that blog post. He didn’t think it was weird at all and then he explained why he commented on my Facebook status. He shared that while talking to a Doctor for an extensive period of time this last October, the doctor asked him what he would do if he could anything at all in the world. The answer was THEATER!
And there it was. Meredith’s question to me a year ago October, was the same question the doctor asked Greg this October and the answer, was the same as mine. Theater! The very thing that Greg had relentlessly encouraged me to pursue is a passion that we both still share at this pivotal time in our lives. I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a few seconds and I’m certain I had goosebumps all over. I invited him to come see the upcoming shows and told him that he should look into Don Bluth Theater as a way to get started again. We ended our call with the promise to talk again soon, but I had no idea how soon that would actually be.
As I’ve posted on a FB status, I was slated to fill in for the part of “Carnes” in Oklahoma for my friend, Don Crosby, next weekend for 2 performances. I’ve been memorizing and practicing since the idea started being tossed around, because it seemed like it was really going to happen. However, it just never felt right for me to do the part. Not that I can’t do it, because I WOULD TEAR IT UP! But it just never felt to me like I was SUPPOSED to do it. When I called Meredith to share the phone conversation I had just finished with Greg, she said the words that I needed to hear! (Damn her and all of that wisdom she has packed into her!) She said, “You should ask Greg to fill in for Carnes!” If you don’t already know this about me, I am NOT a spontaneous person. I think everything through and then plan and analyze before acting. Only a couple of times in the last many months can I think of examples of me acting immediately on something without really giving it much thought, but calling Greg back was immediate. His answer was “Yes!” 1 hour later, I was in my car driving across town to pick him up and take him to the theater with us. I introduced him to Don Bluth and it’s a done deal. He’s doing it!
My friend, my big brother from so many years ago, my swimming pool tormentor and the person who introduced me to the theater has now been given the chance to jump into a show that’s already in motion, simply because I listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and called. I then acted when I felt to call him back and share the “crazy idea” that Meredith and I hatched during our phone call. I didn’t have to be relentless about my suggestion like he had to be with me so many years ago, but that’s good, because there was no time for that. This show opens next Thursday and we need someone fast and good. If you know Greg or remember anything about WHS theater days, you know that his portrayal of Tevye as a Senior was nothing short of genius. If anyone can jump into a role and do a great job, it’s Greg.
If you don’t already have tickets to see Oklahoma and you are a WHS alumni you should try to come next Thursday or Saturday to see 2 of your past drama alum friends make their stage re-debute (Is that a word?), together. If that isn’t something coming full circle, I don’t know what is!