This past week, the gang has made our way through four different states-- Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Our week was full of shows, AND I was able to get a salad with spinach (not iceberg lettuce) more than once, so it was a killer week.
We've had quite a few question and answer sessions this past week, and they are quickly becoming one of my favorite aspects of touring with this show. We are asked questions that range from, "How old are you?" to "What's your favorite thing about acting?" to "Why wasn't Jack (the Ingalls family dog) in the show?" (to which I responded "Because there wasn't room enough in our van for a dog!").
I love connecting with audiences in this way. It's especially gratifying to field questions from adults who cherish these stories. It has helped me learn just how influential these books have been and continue to be. These stories dwell in the children's section of bookstores as well as the child section of an adult's heart. What an honor it is then that I get to embody this story and ignite those childhood memories and dreams within these adults who then create new memories with the children they bring to each show. It's pretty amazing. As Doug Ingalls, my high school drama teacher who passed away in 2013, used to say, "Go make a memory."
Not only am I making memories for the kids in the audience, but I also reignite memories for adult audience members through my storytelling. Memories are powerful and all-consuming. There's something magical within a childhood memory. I'm realizing that an actor has the awesome power to move an audience through memory. With our storytelling, we inspire others to connect to a forgotten part or discover an unknown part of self through memory. Pretty amazing.
From Winston-Salem, NC hotel room,