To the Barricades, Vol. 30
During cue-to-cue, Karla passed out long sheets of paper with the name of every single person involved in Les Mis. Our "warm and fuzzies" task was to write something nice about every other person, and commit it to paper. Karla, with assistance from Melba, compiled all the submissions, and delivered a piece of parchment, a scroll of happy thoughts complete with a red bow, to each person before Saturday night's performance.
It wasn't hard to find something nice to say about each person, for me, but it was difficult finding something unique. As I neared the bottom of the long list of names, I felt like I was repeating myself. It was a great appreciation/gratitude activity, one that strengthened us as a team, a theatrical family.
If I died today and my list of warm and fuzzies were read aloud as a summation of my character and my life, I would feel pretty good about it. Words like "hilarious", "considerate", "helpful", "kind", and "thoughtful" jump out. "Brilliant with words", "incredible at being our voice", and "thank you for chronicling our journey" speak to my avocation of writing, of capturing images and stories. There is also a theme of my love of theatre through the comments: "your love and respect for theatre shines through", "brings it all to the stage", and "consummate professional".
Robin Sharma said that "It's the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference." Two warm and fuzzies reflect my love for the people who are on this journey: "always says hi; it's nice" and "You take the time to get to know everyone. You are a community builder."
The themes in Dylan and Ben's warm and fuzzies lists are very different, but both remarkably reflective of who they are and why they are loved and appreciated.
Ben, on the one hand, is seen as been very "focused", "hard-working", "committed", and "serious" - a "role model to others". A "very fast learner" who "notices everything", Ben "knows what he's doing". He's also a "positive thinker with a strong voice", a "great singer".
Dylan, on the other hand, is known for the "Mr. Sociability" that he has grown into: "hysterical", "super funny (has some of the best t-shirts)", "a conversation with you (Dylan) always ends up cracking me up", "a great sense of humour, thanks for keeping me laughing". As someone who has thrived with cerebral palsy, and picked himself up after many a fall, there is a never quit perseverance to his personality that has obviously resonated. Comments like "always positive and energetic", "you don't let your challenge slow you down", "willing to try anything", and "your determination and strength are inspiring" speak volumes about the impact that Dylan has on others.
I've focused on our warm and fuzzies lists, as these are the ones I have access to, but every single member of the Les Mis team would have words, phrases and ideas that reveal of level of beauty, talent, and personality that is unique to each of them. What a marvellous appreciation exercise, a brilliant way to encourage the heart, and focus on the positive.
From Tim's unbelievable humbleness and talent to Misty's inspiring theatrical heart and commitment to the process, from Amrita's beautiful smile and entrancing voice to Samson's incredible gifts as a musician, warm and fuzzies are in abundance among this group of 70-some people who are making this production of Les Mis an unforgettable experience and a runaway hit.