I saw this, on my walk to my car yesterday, after a particularly challenging day at work:
I thought, WTF! Does the owner/driver of the car mean what I think she means, with that bumper sticker? I was taken aback and surprised, because, as she drove by me, she did NOT look like the kind of person that would put WTF on her car. To me, she looked like a shy, quiet person who would never swear — much less shout out the F-word on her car.
Of course, I was making snap judgments and assumptions about her, which couldn’t possibly give credit or understanding to all the different parts, shadings, and depths of the driver of that car.
Later that evening, I saw someone I’ve known for over 16 years — a quiet, sometimes shy-seeming soul, who avoids saying WTF or any other “bad” words — showing new things about himself, on stage. I saw him singing, acting, and throwing himself into character. I saw his commitment to inhabiting and delivering difficult music and the portrait of a dark soul (which included a word he worried about putting out there, even in character, because he understood how hurtful it could be).
I’m probably not communicating this all that well, right now. Allow me to provide a few details. Last night, I saw my son Aaron play John Wilkes Booth, in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, in Aaron’s first time acting on a stage.
At risk of
- sounding like a stage mother and
- making a bad pun,
he killed it.
I don’t have photos or video of last night, but here’s “The Ballad of Booth” from Assassins, performed by cast members Victor Garber and Patrick Cassidy, from a 1992 tribute concert to Stephen Sondheim at Carnegie Hall.
(YouTube video found here)
When I saw my son Aaron, on stage last night, acting and singing the way he did — in that number and others — I thought
And after the show was over, when nobody could see it, I cried a little.
Why would I cry, even just a little, when I was feeling so much pride and joy in my only child?
I’m not sure if I completely understand WTF was going on there, for me. And I’m not sure I could deliver my thoughts and feelings well enough here, since it’s time for me to get ready for the day (which includes another performance, this afternoon).
Do you have some idea, based on your own experience?
Heartfelt and happy thanks to the woman driving that car, to my son Aaron, to all the amazing cast members in last night’s production of Assassins, to Arlington Children’s Theater, to Stephen Sondheim, to Patrick Cassidy and Victor Garber, to people everywhere who take risks to show different parts of themselves, and to you, — of course! — especially if you thought “WTF!?” during your visit here today.