|To The Bastard With The Crowbar
||[Oct. 15th, 2004|10:25 pm]
|||||"Instant Karma" by John Lennon||]|
To the fucker with the crowbar....
I'm sorry I don't know what your name is, but I have to write this open letter to the Universe in the hopes that Karma will take responsibility for the delivery of the message to you.
Somewhere between the evening of Thursday the 14th and the morning of Friday the 15th, you saw fit to smash the driver's side of the windshield of our tour's Ryder truck. As there was nothing of value within the cab, I certainly can't know for sure what your motivation was. Maybe you did it on a dare from a friend. Maybe you thought you'd get in and steal the radio and sell it for cash. Maybe you don't know why you did and just had to lash out at the world.
They say when a butterfly flaps its wings, the wind currents change and a whole world moves in a new direction. There's also the old adage that for want of a nail the war was lost. Well, for the one sensless act of the swinging of a crowbar (or bat or whatever), you may have changed the way a child views theater forever.
You see, we were supposed to arrive at Grandview High School in Kansas City, Missouri at 9am for a show today. We were going to have 3 hours to load-in to the space and then put on a show for about 100 kids. Do you know anything about Grandview High School? You see, they're what's known as a Title 1 school. In other words, a large chunk of these kids come from poverty-level homes. The school itself struggles for funding, and typically arts budgets are nonexistent. In fact, even though a tour performs in the same town at a big civic center type venue, they are unable to afford the buses and tickets to attend. So they appealed to the good, human side of our company and asked if we'd be willing to come to them instead. I have no idea of the financials (though I know that everything was done to give these folks the best possible price), but I guarantee you it was a struggle on their part to be able to raise the funds to bring the tour to them. Yet, the plan was in motion. The money came in, the reservation was set, and five great literary short stories were scheduled to be peformed at noon on the 15th of October.
And then, you came by with your crowbar.
The butterfly flaps its wings, and one thing happens. Had you kept walking, we would have appeared at the venue and the kids would have had the most amazing theater experience they've ever dreamed of.
However, you and your crowbar entered the picture. So the butterfly flapped its wings in another direction.
Upon leaving the hotel on the 15th at 8:40 in the morning for the school, we discovered your handiwork. The truck was undrivable, and we were unable to leave for the school. Phone calls had to be made for a police report, to Ryder whom we rent the truck through, to the home office, to the school. Glass had to be cleaned up. Replacement glass had to be arranged for installation (while we'd be doing the show at the school). A tow truck had to be called to get the truck to the school.
By the time all of these things were arranged and the tow truck arrived, it was 11am, and it takes 20 minutes to get from the hotel to the school. That would leave us a whole 30 minutes to get the entire show setup, people in makeup, etc. So we did the only thing we could do under the circumstances.
We had to start destroying the show.
First, we cut the first story of the show to try and fit in the school's timeframe. Then, when we realized that wouldn't be enough, we went ahead and cut the second story of the show. That left us three stories. Unfortunately, once we got there and got the set unloaded, we realized we weren't even going to even be able to do that and we were forced to cut the third story of the show.
These poor (literally) kids, got TWO of the five stories they were entitled to. These kids who had probably never had the opportunity to see live theater in their lives got TWO stories to watch. They had been excited for weeks about our coming to them. They couldn't believe the opportunity. The audience was going to be made up of theater students and others.
One student had taken the time to make brownies for us because she was so excited about our being there. The school had bought us drinks and subs and chips and candy. There was a formal presentation by the student body to us of school tshirts. Pictures were taken and everybody wanted their picture taken. Everyone wanted to help us load-in and load-out. Everyone wanted the chance to be a part of this incredibly unique experience. There was a huge question and answer session where people just couldn't get enough of wanting to know every aspect of everything we do. These kids were HUNGRY for whatever morsels we would give them. We were wanted, we were loved, we were needed, we were respected. This was a school where we could do no wrong. Two stories? That was fine with them. They got more than they ever thought they could have had.
But they deserved a helluva lot more you miserable piece of shit. You single-handedly kept us from giving these students everything they truly deserved. Your one moment of insanity, stupidy, ignorance kept these 100 students from having a full experience that might have changed their lives even more forever.
Do you know why I signed up for this tour? Why I ever wanted to get involved with touring theater? I signed up because I knew there were students out there who would experience our show that had never seen a live theatrical performance in their lives and we might make the biggest mark on their personal and creative development ever. I signed on not necessarily for those 1500 kids that come to the Midland Center in Kansas City and think about the day off they get from school, but for the 100 kids of Grandview High School who get the opportunity to experience something wonderful in a life that may not normally contain such opportunities. These kids who needed us, these kids who made me actually cry in the dressing room (which, I might add, was a music practice room because the school can't do real dressing rooms) at the futility of failing to give these kids what they truly deserve.
So Mr. or Ms. Crowbar Wielder, I hope you'll take a moment to think about all of this when Karma gets around to delivering this message to your inbox. And, make no mistake....Karma WILL indeed find you. The butterfly will flap its wings in a way that will deeply impact YOUR life in a negative fashion, because Nature adores balance. A negative act towards those 100 good people and the 10 people who attempted to make their life better for two hours will only come back to you with a negative spin the likes of which you have never seen. I don't need to send this message to you with Delivery Confirmation or Signature Requested. I have absolutely no doubt that the Universe will find a way to let me know it got through to you.