It's late (again), so I won't let this get too long (post-post edit: this ends up being not true at all), but tonight was the preview performance (in my mind, the opening) for The Hero Squad vs. The Princess Snatchers. THSvTPS is the first children's play I've ever written (aside from the 10-minute Big Liar, Little Liar, of course) and it's been--as my wife so aptly put it--a dream come true to have the chance to direct its professional debut with such talented actors, staff, and designers who shared a true passion for the piece. I realize that there is a very good chance I'll never get everything stacked in my favor as well as I have for this show, and I am very grateful.
I thought about using today's post to deliver a blow-by-blow recounting of the night's performance and post-show discussion and meet-and-greet, but then I decided this post--and my time--would be better spent recognizing and thanking as many people as I can who've given this show life from its very earliest origin five and a half years ago to where we are today.
Also, I'll cross-post this to Facebook, where some of these people might actually read it ;-)
I'll do the best I can in pseudo-chronological order:
Ms. B--I know I've told you this before, but before working on Robin Hood with you I'd never given TYA a second thought. My, how the times have changed, aye?
Dan H.--Big Liar, Little Liar was actually one of the coolest projects I've ever been involved with. In twenty minutes, I wrote the script. The next day you cast it and rehearsed it, the class made their own costumes, and the next day the show went up for one time and one time only. Watching actors say the words I'd written, even as a bit of a joke, and an entire school full of children respond, was one of the best feelings of my young life that year. Fast-forward a few years, and who's staging the first ever production of Princess Snatchers? Oh, that's right, it's Great Bend High School. I owe you a ton. (And you'll never read this, because you're impossible to get a hold of!!)
Sonia--Remember the two hours we spent building a prosthetic beard before Fall Break? Who'd have thought our conversation about a powerless superheroine with bubbles would end up here?
Travis--Your uncanny impression of an iron lung actually got the Hero Squad started. Also, thanks for always being the Hero Squad's biggest fan.
Josh--The fact you had 3 D's in your last name may have birthed a character, but the Wizard magazines you left around the apartment sparked a fascination in comic books the created a Hero Squad universe.
Susan--By being the polar opposite of an impulsive hockey-loving teenage tomboy, you somehow became the perfect model for one. Go figure that one out.
Lindy--Before I worked with you, the Squad always had a missing piece.
Rex--Ah, Rex, your influence on my choice to pursue playwrighting as more than a hobby is far greater than I'm sure you realize. I've always valued your opinion greatly, so when you sent back the first draft of my first script with such high praise, I started to believe I might really have something there. Not only are you always going to be Nikolai in my mind, the fact that I ever took this thing past a rough draft is probably more your fault than anyone else's.
Holly--You've always encouraged me to write, even when all I was writing was crap.
Sherri--You're the one who's always on my case about what I'm writing lately. Without that, I'd probably have dropped about half the projects I've ended up finishing.
The cast of the GBHS production. 'Nuff said.
Dave--I have absolutely no credentials whatsoever to say I want to write stories, and you'd have had every right to roll your eyes at me when I'd talk about ideas I've had, but you never have. You're probably the first person to make me feel like a writer.
Collin--Thanks for being the Hero Squad's second biggest fan (behind only Travis ;-) and always encouraging me to explore these characters further. And, of course, for nagging Andra 'till she finally read a script, cuz that turned out pretty good for me, too.
Andra--Wow. You took a HUGE risk on me when you staged this project. I'm so glad I got to come see it, because it was awesome. I never heard how it all turned out for you, but I hope your risk was justified.
The cast of the OKCU production--Rachel, Adam, Dan S., Shae, William, Mindy, and people I'm not Facebook friends with. Your show rocked, and your feedback was encouraging to a degree you wouldn't believe.
Jen--You were one of my biggest supporters @ the Players before this script was even seriously in consideration. Thanks for every good vibe you've sent my way over the past year-plus about this show. And you're awesome in it.
Kevin--Ultimately, this was your call, and again, you took a risk for me. Don't think I don't appreciate it.
Everyone at the Players who've supported this in some fashion or another--cast, crew, designers, costumers, randomly encouraging people--I'm very sorry, I can't name you all here. If I haven't already told you in person how much I appreciate what you've done, then I just suck.
And finally, of course, the big ones.
My wife--You're beautiful, I love you, and I love that you are more proud for me about this than I am. Hopefully some day we'll find a way for this writing thing to help pay the bills (and not just keep me up late). You never seemed to mind my late nights at the computer or my hours-long writing sessions. You've always supported me in this way back before we knew anything would ever come of it and back before I knew why it was important to me. You deserve any praise that I do.
And of course, of course, of course, all glory and honor be unto the Lord God, who created creation and creativity, who gave me stories and an innate need to tell them, who led me from the path that I was following--cynicism, self-indulgence, pessimism, probably depression and lifelessness--into a life that is full of joy, creativity, family, and perspective. I love You, and I hope that I don't ever write a story or a show that You don't get a kick out of.
Thanks to all, and now goodnight.