RE(nt)–Cap (STAND)

Posted: November 19, 2009 in Road to RENT

November 18, 2009

In the middle of most journeys one can only anticipate the victory that awaits them at the end. All of the blood sweat and tears finally seem worth it when you have reached your goal. No matter what setbacks you go through, you know it is only a setup for something bigger, greater, better, stronger, faster. And this recent journey of mine has been no exception.

Looking towards the end, I could only dream of the comfort I would hope to feel. That closing night when I knew that the roads I have crossed had been paved with determination. To see the final product and know “It is Well!”

To walk away a victor.

Well, that road ended early.

It was electrifying.

It was like the year I took on Dallas, the capital of my competitive field. Being a nobody to my competitors, I journeyed out to take on the best in the nation. I arrived, routine polished and music up to date, only to be told that my performance was ill-prepared. I spent that night, redoing my music and the next day I hit the stage performing moves I had never practiced.

I came out higher than anyone expected; only losing to the reigning champ, with home field advantage, by nine hundredths of a point – .09 was all that separated us. I left with victory on my breath and forever etched in history.

It was like the time I walked into the athletic department, four years of college behind me and four years of track unworn on my legs. I vowed I could make a difference only to be berated by blank stares and a direction towards the door.

By the end of three months, being ignored by the head coach, I solidified my way onto the traveling squad. By the end of the year, I had a seat in the NCAA Track and Field Division I Nationals. By the end of my graduation, I had changed the hearts of many.


And on November 18, 2009 as I watched over the moon perform her heavily comedic rendition of the song, I couldn’t help but take the leap of faith and soar over the moon with her. Yes, I took my leap of faith.

Leap of faith!

The rehearsal seemed to have started like any other. People piled in the room, took already placed seats and waited for the majestic ivory’s to fill the place with glory. I sat idly by, on a comfortable couch, only to be repositioned by the music director. I, reluctantly, and not without a bit of playful fanfare, took my seat next to the heavenly voice – a seat that was usually occupied by two voice, my vocal crutch.

However, that day, I vowed I would sing alone.

We sang through the first few numbers and I humbly bobbed my head as my fellow cast mates executed theirs. A new vocal tone had joined the group and she effortlessly sang through her parts, tickling my humor muscles the entire way. I named her Mojo.

Life Support found its way on the menu and I was beyond ready for it.

How did I feel today?


The emotional IV was gone, the fins were back in place and my confidence boiling hot.

I sang my words proudly, I added phrases that didn’t exist, and when I felt the need for change, I turned my head upside down, looked at the glowing ring and sang my scene with him as the world took on a different shape.

I got a little light headed, but it was glorious. It was magnificent.

It was just fun!

A few laughs were had and then, like I had dreamt it into existence, the moment I had longed for came about.

One song glory was missing from practice. I desired, as most probably did as well, to hear him cascade through the song that sent my emotions soaring during auditions. I wanted to hear the glory; however, in his absence, I was afforded an opportunity I had only hoped for.

Negating my need to skim through other tracks on the CD, I repeatedly found myself listening to one song – Light My Candle. I imagined a day when the cast would get together and take on each other’s roles, sort of like a comedic talent show, highlighting how we perceived one another – all in fun.

I just knew I would choose Light My Candle and, in true Jeremy fashion, vow to be the prostitute while assigning a girl as my unsuspecting love pole. But with the part of Roger unfulfilled and a call for anyone to sing his part to close in the gap, my voice sprang out:

“Wait, THIS IS MY SONG! I know there are other songs on the CD, but this one is MINE!”

The fist pounder broke in:

“Yeah, I want to hear him sing both parts.”

I retorted:

“Don’t tempt me…”

I playfully continued:

“I will sing all parts by myself. THIS IS MY SONG!”

Pretty soon my cast mates were lit up with support as my Life Support life preserver, the one who calmed my tension during the first stages of rehearsal, sprang in:

”Stand to your feet and sing it!”

I was challenged further as more voices chimed in:

“Go stand next to her!”

I looked in the direction of the fist pounder and as I made my way over to her, I jokingly thought:

I hope they aren’t upset when their mics are cut off during the show and the audience hears my voice singing both parts as their lips are moving…

I eased past my Seasons of Love partner, giving her a little booty action, and I took my place, poised, ready to do that which I had dreamt.

We started.

I felt the electricity.

I sang as if no one was looking, yet, everyone was watching. I buried myself in words that felt like my own. I embellished, I tickled and I tossed my vocals to match the moment. And just when things seemed as if they couldn’t get any more surreal, it happened.

An explosion!

I looked up, the fist pounder standing next to me and our eyes met.

I felt a gust of wind blow by me. But it wasn’t her that I was looking at.

I froze, for a second; I finally saw “IT”.

My aunt had recited to me a dream she had and in that moment, that one little gaze, was her vision.

I tasted her vision.

In that instance, that split second of connection, I was my aunts vision.

I remembered the tears that welled up in her eyes as she spoke to me and I, in that instance, felt her passion.

That is when I saw, no, knew “IT” was possible!

My mother has always told me, when my stance began to falter to:

“Trust the gift.”

She would look me deep in the eyes, placing her words into my soul, etching them into my spirit to:

“Trust the gift!”

I never knew what the gift was and I can’t say that I totally understand it now. But now I know, somewhere, deep, is a special present waiting to be unwrapped. And while I wait for the day of its unveiling I will do as my mother has told me and somehow, someway, trust that it is there.

So, as we moved out into the lobby to sing our final song, I waded around in the background. Seeing my fellow cast mates huddled together, effortlessly portraying their parts, I tore away from the crowd.

I danced in the window. Sang to the pictures and laughed at images roaming in my head.

Once again, in my life, those mountains that were in my way seemed like mole hills and the plateaus stages for dancing recovery. Obstacles were hurdles, but that no longer mattered to me, hurdling has been my specialty.

And as the song grew closer to its finale, I still stayed in my separated position. On the outskirts of the group, I stood alone.

Not because I was alone, no, there were seasons of love all around me.

I stood alone, because, for once, finally, in this journey that I imagined would last longer still, I felt as though I could stand alone all my own.

And Stand, Did I!

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know.

But what I do know is that I won’t be afraid to ask for help, I won’t be afraid to fail and I definitely won’t be afraid to try.

And after, only after, I have done all that I can. I will do what I have always known how to do.

After I have done exceedingly all that I can, I will just STAND!

(P.S. Contact Dance, BRING IT ON!)


Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

~Abraham Lincoln


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