Friday, August 1, 2008

In Honor Of...

I'm a planner. I love to plan, make lists, revise my lists, tell people of my plans at that very second in great detail even if I am 100% certain that I will be changing my plan in the next hour. I'm not known to be a spontaneous person. But I always like to have the option...

I randomly checked my yahoo email account for the first time since April today looking for a user name and password that I just couldn't remember or find anywhere. But in effort to determine if it was in this account I had to filter through all 200 messages (mostly junk) in my inbox.

Message 197 was an invitation to a surprise going away party for Erica Thomas, the exiting Creative Director of Cimarron Circuit Opera Company. CCOC was my saving grace my sophomore year in college when I changed my major from vocal music to business. I decided that it was divine comedy that the music department was NOTHING like what I was lead to believe when I auditioned for the school and maybe I wasn't suppose to be a singer. But I got up the courage to audition for Erica and then over the next 4 years I was in two opera choruses, helped with choreography, did a christmas show, and had the opportunity to perform with Erica in my first role as Little Red Riding Hood.

So I opened the email sent July 24 and found out the party was tonight in Norman. Tonight as in 7 hours from my reading it. So naturally I debated with myself whether I should rearrange my entire evening to attend this party. We decided to RSVP yes.

It was one of the best parties I've attended in a long time. When I arrived on time, I know - shocking!, I sat in the car debating whether or not to go in. I've got to stop debating my self. But I decided to get out of my car since I had already driven the 30 min to Norman. I sat with the 3 people that I knew in the room and decided to really attend this party. To experience it without acknowledging any thoughts that may enter my mind about the other things I should/could be doing.

I laughed, I cried, I got to witness the love and support that a creative family can have for one person. I was reminded that I am part of this creative family. The family at the opera company and the family of all musicians and singers in the world. It is a gift to be able to perform and entertain. It is a humbling gift. And it was wonderful to be able to celebrate a person who so unselfishly shared her gift of music through example.

Erica is leaving CCOC to pursue a new career in the Ministry of Faith. She was ordained in the Methodist church recently and all the people I met from her family and her church family were so thrilled that she is at the point in her life to pursue the talents that she has for the Spirit.

Saying yes to this party invigorated me and reaffirmed my path in the arts. Music and performance in many aspects is such a huge part of me. Every day I have music running through my head I am grateful. You never know what you will gain by saying yes.

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