For those of you who’ve known me since elementary, you know two things 1) I’m a musician and thespian and grew up on stage and 2) I am a passionate advocate who firmly celebrates diversity. Today, while my soldier traveled, I adventured to Haymount and enjoyed a Cape Fear Regional Theatre show. I’d heard amazing things about their performances, and “Memphis” pulled HARD on my heart strings y’all! Yes, I cried, and I was embarrassed about it as I sat between two other bloggers I highly respect. But these days, I’m not trying to hide who I am. Music and theatre are embedded in my soul and awaken something deep in my core! After the matinee show, we got to stick around for a Q & A session with the performers, and here’s what happened…
As I sat back listening to the wonderful advice the actors gave students in attendance, my heart started beating strong—I could eventually feel it through my shirt friends! I had to ask a question…but I didn’t want to…I don’t do that. I’ve never asked a question in public—I thought I’d be sick…and then my hand shot up and I about cussed at myself in public. But it was up, and now I had to ask: “What is it about what you do that stirs your soul?”
Actress, Shonica Gooden, who plays Felicia Ferrell, responded…and it was just beautiful.
“I would say, a spiritual connection… I am a big spiritual person and I feel like sometimes the biggest times that I feel God and can sense him is when I’m on stage. Like, then I can…that just drives me because I feel like I’m doing his will for me, exactly what he wants…what I was destined here to do. And it happens every single time…from my toes all the way to the top of my head…I just feel it…”
Sha’Air Hawkins, who is in the ensemble also added:
“I love making people laugh, I love entertaining, I love bringing smiles to the people. You feel like there’s energy inside your chest. It’s like “oh!” and people are smiling and I’m like, “oh, I did that! I did that!” Even when I’m making them cry, just feeling emotions…those feelings…that’s what I love bringing to the table.”
In that moment, I understood why my heart was beating so fast…it wasn’t fear…it was energy, because I LOVE asking people their “why.” Maybe I need to keep at it…perhaps it’s part of my purpose? 😊
The Cape Fear Regional Theatre is doing something right in Fayetteville…they are telling stories…stories that matter. Memphis pulled me close, made me curious, made me feel, made me reflect. I sat there feeling the deeper emotions expressed by actors as they brought the history of race and segregation to life. As I looked around the audience, there was diversity. We laughed together, we gasped together, we cried together. We were in community, floating above all our individual differences, loving the same thing. Hearing the performers’ hearts also made me realize why I love the fine arts. There’s something special that happens when we speak a language we all understand…and that’s exactly what Memphis did today.
The play will continue through May 26th and you can buy tickets at www.cfrt.org. If you’re a fellow Ft. Bragg military spouse, grab a friend or plan a date night, get out of the house for a bit, and treat yourself! I just know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
To the beat of Huey Calhoun’s rumbling character…Hockadoo y’all!