Do you remember the time you got so close to your dream you could taste it? Before that dream could become reality. Before it was feasible. Do you remember just the hint of what that goal would feel like when you finally achieved it? Last night, The Actress got to stand on a Broadway stage. She’s been in New York City with my husband this weekend celebrating her 15th birthday. And, she has had the time of her life!
The Actress has wanted to be on Broadway since she was three years old. She went through a lot of years of severe stage fright before finally becoming comfortable on stage. Last year, she started getting some really nice roles, and last summer, she got to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz—a dream come true for a girl from Kansas!
To celebrate, we took a family trip to New York last summer, the week after The Wizard of Oz adventure concluded. We saw Newsies, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. After our trip, The Actress struck up a Twitter friendship with some of the Newsies cast members…
… which is how the star treatment came about when my husband took her back to Newsies (and Broadway) for her 15th birthday celebration. Andy Richardson, one of the Newsies cast members, was one of the only guys she didn’t get an autograph and picture with the first time. He promised her a picture if she ever went back.
Thanks to the magic of Twitter, the cast knew she was there, and they gave her what she called the “best birthday present ever!” A few months ago, The Actress helped create a happy birthday video for Jack Scott. (The whole thing was arranged via Twitter, and fans from everywhere emailed her videos to incorporate into a birthday video created to send to him on Twitter) Between Jack and Andy, the entire cast knew about The Actress’ special day. At the stage door, she got autographs and photos… and in-depth conversations… with all the cast members. She was so excited and impressed that they recognized her and called her by name!
According to her description in her Facebook status:
“That was officially the best birthday present ever. I may cry. Not only did I see Newsies, front row-center, but some AMAZING stuff happened during the show. During curtain call Andy Richardson looked directly at me, smiled and waved. Then he continued to smile and make silly faces at me for the remainder of curtain call. At the stage door Jack Scott comes out and says ‘Happy Birthday Abby! So glad you could spend it here with us’ AND HUGGED ME. Then, Andy came up to me and said ‘Well, hello Miss smiley front row-center! Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you finally came to the show’ and hugged me! Other cast members came up and said ‘So I hear its your birthday? HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY!’ I seriously could not have had a better birthday present! Thank you Dad!”
These Broadway stars made her night! This is one of the most memorable experiences of her life! My first impression of the entire Newsies cast from last summer was that they were all amazing young actors who all got to experience their dream of performing on Broadway and were SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity that they treated all their fans like stars. During our first trip to the stage door in August, they made eye contact with all the kids who thrust their playbills in their faces. They took a genuine interest in their fans. They asked about them… do you perform? Do you dance? Do you want to be on Broadway someday? They took pictures. They signed autographs. They interacted on Twitter and Instagram.
(And they do all this—taking an interest in people, showing gratitude—at a time of the day when the actors are tired and ready to go home! Have you seen these guys dance?! This show is high energy and exhausting! )
Not only is Newsies an AMAZING show, the actors and actresses are class acts. They know how to encourage and inspire. And, they understand that a bunch of kids are looking up to them as role models, that many of the young people who flock to see the Broadway show also have dreams of being on Broadway. No one “makes them” meet fans at the stage door after a hard day’s work, but I suspect they do this because they remember what it was like to have a dream.
The Actress had an amazing weekend. She got the star treatment from her Newsies. This afternoon, she saw Mary Poppins, which she says is her new “dream role.” And last night, my husband scored backstage passes to Spiderman. And The Actress got a back stage tour and got to stand on a Broadway stage! Do you remember what it felt like to get that close to your dream?! Tonight The Actress did!
So, what does this have to do with running? Well, it has a lot to do with having goals and dreams and taking the steps it takes to make them reality. Can you taste that next 5K or half marathon? Do you want success enough to work at it every day? You don’t wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon. It takes months and months of hard work and dedication. No matter what your goal, I hope you can taste success. I hope you experience just enough of what success feels like that it sets you on fire and keeps you working toward your goal.
And, if you are in a position where you can influence people, remember how little it takes to make someone’s day. A little encouragement goes a long way. Knowing someone’s name is big. Recognizing someone’s dreams and goals, and encouraging them, can change that person’s life. Be the light in their world!
**Join Power of Run for 52 Weeks of Random Acts of Runner Kindness. Make the world a brighter place, one runner at a time!**