Hello, everyone! First of all, Happy Merry Kwanz-ikkah! For those of you who already know me, you understand that the holidays are an exceptionally special time of year for me. I believe in celebrating everyone’s traditions and loving each individual for it. Working on this current installment of Nonfat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte… with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit has been a reminder that no matter our race, religion, gender, orientation, upbringing, etc., the holidays are a time to cherish one another. And this has been my overall goal with this show: to help spread a little holiday magic and love.
When I first read this show in 2013, I fell in love instantly. Not only does it have some natural Brelby original quirk, it is also overflowing with Christmas cheer! I knew that I needed to work on this production in some capacity some day. And now here I am directing it! I could not have been blessed with a bigger opportunity. While I have known about my role in this show for over a year, the journey to where I am today has not been an easy one. The year 2015 brought some very unique challenges with it. I accepted in my heart that I need to be backstage in my theatre career rather than onstage. I traveled across the country to work on a cruise ship. I jumped in on a Shakespeare show. I moved. I became a CNA. I did my first show with stage combat…in a corset. Now here I am wearing a director hat! How in the world was I supposed to have energy left to DIRECT a mainstage production after all of that?! Well, with a little Christmas Spirit of course. Even in my darkest hour, a little peppermint and “Carol of the Bells” (the best Christmas song in the world) on loop goes a long way to rejuvenate me. I squealed like a child on Christmas morning the first day they started playing Christmas music on the radio. Little things like this happen every day; things that awaken my inner spirit and I am blessed to bring these discoveries with me to rehearsal.
As we approach the opening of this beautiful show, I am so incredibly grateful to the team of people behind me on this show. Each and every individual chosen to work on the production team has had an impact on, both, my vision for this show and my life. No one likes to work with a selfish director so I vowed to include every person’s ideas. To all the aspiring directors out there; it’s worked very well, consider this a secret ingredient for your upcoming projects. With my actors, I have spent a lot of time playing Christmas games and activities with this cast, concerned about the chemistry of everyone onstage. Little did I know how perfectly they would bond. While we continue to play games to keep spirits high and explore new traits of the characters, this group of people is already the best of friends. Of all my time in theatre, I have never seen a cast so supportive and happy just to be doing a show. It is truly incredible. When artists are put in a safe environment, whether they’re actors, designers, directors, marketers, all the amazing individuals who work tirelessly to create a performance, if they’re allowed to explore and push their boundaries, magic will happen and they will truly create a beautiful show.
I hope you, my reader, find a little Christmas joy from reading this. It is my mission with this show to remind you all that Christmas and any other holiday you celebrate, none of them are about extravagance or presents or fancy food or any of the glitter. It is about the people around you. The magic of Christmas lies in love. It cannot be seen, but you will feel it. This holiday season, let yourself be overwhelmed with joy and kindness. Smile. Laugh. Dance. Sing. Hold your loved ones close and never let go. After all…”Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling” – Edna Ferber
Merry Christmas, everyone!