A love letter to Encore Cast Performing Arts...

Hello loves!
Hope everyone is thriving on this hump day. It's my weekend so I'm spending the day unwinding before getting back to some more rehearsing... There's always something going on around here!

I wanted to get a post up sharing an amazing performance experience I had recently. I've had a hard time putting it together because it was one of those things thats tough to put into words... But that's what this blog is all about! Trying to share my experiences in such a way that you guys feel some semblance of what it is I'm feeling. So here goes nothing!

There's this incredible group at Disney, not through the company but completely powered by its cast members, called Encore Cast Performing Arts. It gives cast members and their families the chance to perform in extraordinary shows, completely on volunteer hours, to benefit Central Florida organizations. What started as a small group with unbelievable passion (Championed by the incomparable Clay Price) has grown over the past 10 years to an ensemble of over 500 volunteers that include singers, musicians, actors, dancers, directors, designers, technicians... the list goes on and on! The group has raised over $150,000 in the past 10 years for local organizations and continues to work hard to support the community. 

This year's beneficiary was A Better Life- Pet Rescue and everyone worked their tooshes off to raise $30,000 for the cause. This organization is INCREDIBLE and as I know a lot of you out there have a deep love for animals- I encourage you to visit their site and see if there is anything you can do to help!

Now that all the business of it is out of the way-
Photo by Dean Ray Photography

This year, the creative team collaborated on their biggest undertaking yet for Finding Wonderland. This story, loosely shaped around some of the classic Alice in Wonderland characters, followed Mary Anne in her journey to build a machine to wake her up from this dream world she's living in. The cooky cast of supporting characters guide her through the ups and downs till she finds she's been awake all this time and in essence, can live a life this fantastical. 

Photo by James Berkley Photography

I had the pleasure of bringing to life the character of Harriet Spring (loosely based on the March Hare), side kick to Ivy (based on the flowers from Alice). She was quirky and playful and some of the most fun I've had in a very long time... That's me sitting there all the way to the right!

Here's a couple of clips from the show. There's lots more on youtube if you want to go looking for it!

Excuse me while things get a little mushy...

Dear Encore,

I cannot thank you all enough for welcoming me into this spectacular family with such open arms. There's no way to sufficiently thank everyone that affected me through this process but I want you all to know how much this show meant to me.

I think we all get so caught in our routine that we tend to forget we are all capable of so much more- Encore gives us all the chance to explore that. Every person in the choir, every dancer, every musician, every soloist, every actor, every person involved is so talented and really shined in this show. We were exhausted and lets be honest, at times annoyed, but in the end we all worked together to put on one hell of a show!
To each one of you who just smiled at me when I would walk on and off stage or laugh at the silly things I would do in the show- Thank you. You reminded me how invigorating it is to be part of an ensemble on this scale. It was because of the energy I got from all of you guys that I loved standing up on that stage. You all made it what it was for me. I was honored to share the stage with all of you and still don't know what I did to be so lucky.

To Rob and Jamie- Thank you for trusting me with a piece of your work. I haven't had a chance to really "do my thing" since I've been in Orlando and for the first time since I've been here, I can really remember what it is I do. Thank you for helping me find it. 

I met so many incredibly talented people through this experience and I can only hope our paths continue to cross each other. I can't wait for the chance to share the stage with all of you again... :)

Till next time...

1 comment:

Elliot Rivera said...

Awww we love you too! I can't wait for whatever comes for all of us next year!