I opened this field to write this blog entry not really knowing what to write about. I have spent the majority of the day watching the 9/11 names being read from the newly open memorial site and another part of my day listening to the Sonic Project on NPR. I saved the front page section of the NY Times from today and I sent some good energy to my brother-in-law who is a Pilot for Southwest Airlines. Like many people, on this day of commemoration, it is easy to feel like you come up short. All I can do is be present so that’s where we start this blog…without much of an idea where it is going to go.
I am connected through family friends to one of the memorial’s designers, Ian Curry, who helped design the pools as well as the very cool way that all of the victims names are arranged; “It’s not alphabetic, it’s not chronological. It really reflects the relationships that the victims had in life.” If you’ve been watching TV today, you’ve probably heard about how family of the victims could request the names next to which their loved ones were placed. It’s something you can also interact with online- scroll over a name and their picture, some personal information and then the names to whom they are connected, are linked.
The name of the memorial, which I did not realize until today, is called “Reflecting Absence.”
I just got the Performance Report from the Stage Managers (we get an email that breaks down each performance after each show- who was in, who was out, if there were any injuries, if there are any problems with sets, lights, costumes, wigs or sound…that kind of thing).
Today, in the General Notes section, this was written:
*With the approval of the producers, the following announcement was made before this afternoon’s performance began:
Ladies and Gentlemen, in memory of the lives lost 10 years ago on this date, September 11, in tribute to those who responded with selfless sacrifice to save what lives they could, in honor of those men and women who go forth to serve and to secure our freedoms, the producers, cast & crew of Memphis and the staff of the Shubert Theater wish to dedicate this performance. Say a prayer that change is coming.
This was also written in the PSM report:
A bittersweet performance as today is Bryan Fenkart’s final performance with the Broadway company, not to mention he was on as Huey for the 197th time. He has gone from ensemble member and understudy to “Huey”, to standby “Huey” and now, no longer a program insert, “Huey”, the star of our first Memphis National Tour. We congratulate him and wish him well on this tour and in all his future endeavors. He will be missed by cast and crew alike.
It’s hard to let myself feel this loss to the Broadway Company today- maybe because of the huge emotions that are already going on with 9/11. Bryan Fenkart deserves a huge tribute for what he has brought to the company, for the journey he has taken with the show, for committing himself to yet another adventure with “Huey Calhoun.” I have often heard of actors who don’t leave a show until they feel as if they have felt they have said everything they need to say with a character.
I am so glad that after two years on Broadway, Bryan still has more to say as “Huey Calhoun.”
And it is not as if I will be without Bryan in my life. Thanks to my position with the show, we have already begun talks with Bryan that will keep me (and the Memphis fans) interacting with him as he bounces around the country on Tour.
Still, the Broadway Company and I will no doubt be entering a period, as we do when any cast member moves on, of reflecting upon their absence.
Best of luck Bryan. I hope your journey exceeds your expectations.
My sister-in-law is headed to a child’s birthday party tonight, a child born one year ago today on September 11th.
His parent’s gave him the middle name “Shalom”
Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, completeness, and welfare and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. As it does in English, it can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals.
More I cannot wish you than peace. Than completeness. Than a healthy general welfare. Than safety. And that your journey exceeds your expectations.
Shalom to all.