To me, being able to have my family with me in MTVArts has been a blessing. It all started with Mom and I doing a show together and eventually Mom dragged Dad in, and now, here we are. Theater has given the three of us something in common in our public lives. We have been able to talk about shows and what we like about them, our opinions on certain songs, and on how we like to play our characters. Also, personally for me it has been nice being in this show with both of my parents because this is my last show with MTVArts before I move away for college and I don’t know when I will be able to return to the stage with them.
Because of how my mom and dad have chosen to parent, not only do I get to hang out with my family, but they also have no problems letting me hang out with the other teenagers and young adults of the cast. I am so thankful to my parents, but as a teenager, I would go crazy if they wouldn’t let me hang out with all my friends. However just like the Addams family, at the end of the day it still is family first and family last, and my family is amazing. Now we just need to convince my older brother to get on stage!
I can’t begin to express how thrilled I am to be in the MTVArts production of the Addams Family the Musical with my husband and youngest son. Truly, in our case, “It’s family first and family last and family by and by.” Our theater story didn’t start here, though. Jay and I met in our college production of The Pirates of Penzance. I was new to the college, coming in mid-year, and was invited to a closed audition – meaning only the acting and music directors would be there. I was on stage, ready to sing, when in walked a handsome college guy. Well, I thought, I might as well make him feel uncomfortable and sing to him since he crashed my audition. Little did I know, he was the student director and my future husband. We did several college shows together, but after college, fell out of the drama scene. Twenty plus years later, our son decided to try his hand at the dramatic arts. In the summer of 2017, MTVArts did Bye Bye Birdie. Mark, an incoming senior, had the opportunity to do a show that both my mother and I had done as seniors in high school, as well. It seemed a perfect summer experience for mother and son. After this, I was asked to be the mom in How I Became a Pirate, and did I happen to know a man who could play the dad? This show ushered Jay into MTVArts.
One day you are a young college couple in love, the next you are couple who has raised two young men and you are looking at the soon-to-be empty nest. The feeling of the parental mission accomplished is deep and satisfying but what’s next for the family? I have been focused on work so long that I even turned my hobbies into work. My side job as a self-defense instructor allows me to spend a lot of time at the gym and at the shooting range and call it work. These are good things that I really enjoy, but realized I was spending all of my time working or at the gym or basically not with Kerri. I watched her going off to rehearsal and was really happy for her to have new friends and fun but I was missing it.
When she asked me to be in the How I Became a Pirate play I could say I jumped at the chance but I didn’t. Good theatre is hard work and a lot of it, even for those of us who are providing the background as the chorus. I very much respected the work MTVArts was doing and if I was going to be a part of it I wanted to do the best I was able to do.
Well, I did take the chance and it has been hard work, and a lot of it (especially for someone who stumbles through dance practices as badly as I do!) but it’s been good. Very good. Good people, good experiences, good time spent with Kerri and now Mark in the Addams Family. Family is first after all.