February 6, 2004

I am listening to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” as I write this. This song is great. My goodness. “I want to be your sledgehammer / why don’t you call my name / whoa! / oh let me be your sledgehammer / this will be my test.” I don’t know what any of it means, but it’s still a really good song. For some reason it makes me think of a movie or a TV show I saw a very long time ago with Moofie. Maybe it was in the soundtrack. A guy (a detective?) gets shot and his partner (a woman) thinks he’s a goner, but he actually catches the bullet in his teeth. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Seriously, Radio Kerry is awesome. Jesus Christ Superstar now. Dude.

We had our first Young Audiences show the other day at the Bethany Elementary School (hi, Cakes!). It was so much fun. I was in the bathroom changing for the show when a little girl went into the stall next to me. She immediately began talking to herself in a hushed whisper. This is, loosely, what she said:

“Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes. And then we get to watch the assembly. I can wait fifteen minutes. In only fifteen minutes we have the assembly. I can’t wait. I love assemblies. Okay. Fifteen minutes. Only fifteen minutes. ‘Kay.”

When large numbers of children see the show, the level of sound in the audience reaches decibel levels heretofore unknown to humankind. The kids enjoy the show with a kind of reckless abandon, spontaneously screaming at the top of their lungs, shouting out random words, chanting, and laughing uproariously. When the lights go out and the alligators enter the house, eyes aglow… oh, such pandemonium. Imagine 1500 third graders screaming as loud as they are physically able. Their reactions always make me laugh with wonder; they are so visceral, so sincere, so full of delight, and – really – so unbelievably loud.

Standing on the stage at the Young Audience show, microphone in hand and talking to the kids about mask theatre, reminds me once again just how important our work is. We are making a difference. We are letting kids have fun, encouraging curiosity, showing unconventional career paths, and sparking imagination. These are my favorite days at Imago.