We exceeded our highest goal. I am usually not a man of few words, and I'm even more rarely rendered speechless, but this has pretty much done it.
I don't really know what to say, because nothing seems to do justice to how amazing you've all been. Through giving donations, through providing encouragement and moral support, through getting just as excited to see this show as we are to produce and perform in it. All of you have been simply amazing throughout this process, and I can't possibly thank you enough. You are absolutely wonderful, and without you this just wouldn't be possible. Not just the people who donated. All of you. This wouldn't be possible without all of you pushing us, cheering us on, and helping us out in ways that help make the dream become a reality.
On that note, I'm going to get a little personal here, because since I have power over this blog, I can get a little personal. Because it's late, and I've been awake and working nonstop since 7 AM this morning, and I think I've found some words.
I stopped acting after high school. It was something that I really enjoyed doing, but I never really found a way to pursue it after high school. I didn't go to USC and get involved in theater there, and I didn't really know how to get involved in any of the local stuff that was going on. So I just kind of...left it behind. I got a full-time job, moved out on my own, and became absolutely focused on "growing up." I messed around with writing for a bit, but eventually I dropped that, too. I forgot what I was good at. I forgot what I enjoyed doing, because I was consumed with work, consumed with struggling to make ends meet and to get myself into a position where I could be financially secure.
I've never lost my love for entertaining people, though. I've never stopped making people laugh, I've never stopped entertaining my friends in various ways. But somewhere along the way I forgot how to entertain myself. I forgot how to really open up and exercise my talent. As I grew older, as I worked more and more, I just...stopped remembering to try. I stopped pushing myself. I let the acting become nothing but a memory. The same with the writing.
Last year I had a chance to try out for a production of Reservoir Dogs. Shane was in it with me; I think he only really went to try out for it because I was going, and he wanted to give me some support. He's a really great friend that way. I was surprised as hell that I got a part, considering that I hadn't done acting in years, and I have no real way of judging my own level of talent. He got a part because he's really, really awesome. Actually, he got the part that I wanted to get. But it worked out just fine. We had a ton of fun with a fantastic cast; I got to shoot guns, shout a lot, and use a ton of profanity. I got to do that with a friend, while making new friends.
What's more, it made me remember. It woke something up inside of me. I was there, surrounded by an insane amount of talent, and I remembered that I was talented, too. I had something to give, something to offer, a talent that I'd let lay dormant for too many years. I couldn't get enough, exhausting as it was. Despite rehearsing for hours in the 90-plus degree summer heat, I craved it. I wanted to show everyone what I could do. I showed them, and they loved it, and they wanted me to do more.
And I knew that I had to do more.
So I am.
I won't put acting down like that ever again. I may not do a ton of it, and I will probably never be famous. I have a lot of learning to do, a lot of polishing that I never did during those formative college years. But I'm up for it, and I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it. I'll still be entertaining my friends, but I'll be entertaining strangers, too, for a change. I may even pick writing up again and see if I can hammer out some sort of play. My friends have been telling me for years that I need to write a book or a screenplay. Maybe I need to write a play, and then I need to stage it.
But whatever I do, it's partly because of you. All of you who have supported this project in some way, all of you who have been cheering me on for years, all of you who have been pushing me to do more with my talents, all of you who have inspired me. Without you I'd still just be working, working, working, and my talents would still be locked away and forgotten. But I won't forget again, because you won't let me. You refuse to let me.
And that is why I cannot possibly thank you enough, or find words which truly express just how much your support means to me, personally.
Thank you. So very, very much.