Hello world! Thank you to anyone taking the time to read this. As a pre-warning, like most of the others, I am no where near blogger status. I tried and it failed a long time ago. So it is nice getting to do this again! And now for my story.
I was a product of the actors from GCU (Grand Canyon University) who has worked or were working at Brelby at the time. It was my freshman year of college and Melody Chrispen, Perry Whitehair, and a few other friends wanted to go support another student in a show over at Brelby. So I decided to tag along. Little did I know that it was would be one tiny step into my new home.
The show itself was Prodigy. At that time, I had never really seen many community theatre shows outside of Gammage or ABT. So, walking in to a super condensed, black box theatre was a 180 from what I had seen in my head. But as we sat down and were only a foot if not less away from the stage, I was already feeling the energy. If you hadn’t seen Prodigy, let me tell you, it was a pretty deep and heart wrenchingly beautiful show. I was in tears and in awe of how amazing all the performers were and the show itself. After the show, Melody introduced me to Brian. He told me of how Brelby came to be and I knew then and there, that I wanted to be a part of this family.
A few months later (near early February), they were looking for Box Office Attendants during their MainStage show Be A Good Little Widow. I had passed it by my mom to run certain days and signed up. I was supposed to work the day after opening night. Earlier in September of 2013, my grandfather went through heart surgery. Opening night, I get a call from my mother telling me he had passed away from a heart attack. In the whole crisis that had happened, I was in no shape to be around people. Saturday morning, I was just about to email Brian that I wasn’t going to show up due to a family emergency. But something was holding me back and telling me that I needed to go. So I did. Little did I know, that the show itself would hit close to home sooner than I expected. The show was about a woman who loses her husband in a freak plane crash and has to deal with the mourning process within herself and with her mother-in-law.
That day, I had suddenly coped with what had happened. And to this day, I believe it was my grandfather telling me it was okay and helping me find my place. Only two people really knew me at that time at Brelby. But, for the whole time I was there working, everyone helped me become myself and helped me heal. They had become my family in such a short amount of time. And even now, they are the people I go to for pretty much anything. I am close to hitting my one year mark at Brelby. And I have made more friendships and memories I ever had in the last 18 years.
Each memory is etched in my head like the interpretive dances backstage, the frantic costume or hair and makeup changes, every problem being solved with laughter and some teamwork, each hug and smile, and every idea that has ever crossed the stage.
Brelby has been a home to many wayward actors who haven’t found their place, are looking for somewhere to relax and have fun, or for people to try and get themselves discovered. We get all walks of life in our doors. But each time someone decides it is their time to leave or take a break, the leave as someone new and someone loved. There isn’t a person here that is shut out or turned away. We welcome with open arms and unconditional love. We may be small, but our hearts and minds are larger than anyone can imagine.
This place has changed me for the better. Both as a person and an artist. I have grown and I am happy who I am. I know I am loved. I know I am appreciated. And I know that I will always have a place in this little family. I honestly couldn’t be happier with where I am at. I have a home when I need someplace to get away. I have a family that won’t judge and will love me every day. And I have friends that will last a lifetime.
And as I finish (tearing up writing this) I leave with the Brelby motto. Imagine, Create, Inspire. It is what we strive for. It is what we try to teach everyone who walks through. And it is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have been impacted by their love. Now it is your turn.
– Kaylah Kermode