Thursday, April 28, 2011
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks? No thanks.
Tonight was supposed to be the opening night of a show I am in right now, Peter Shaffer's Amadeus.
It was pushed back to tomorrow night because, in case you hadn't heard, we had some of the worst weather yet known to Alabama*. Tornadoes hit in several towns, claiming homes and lives all over the state. One mile wide tornado hit just north of my neighborhood. Miraculously, we stayed in the light and in the web (the interweb) throughout the night.
Honestly? It was hard,initially, to get worked up over the storm- Alabama sees them constantly. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've hid in a basement or in the crawl space under a house or in a school hallway, etc. The only damage I've ever personally witnessed was a giant pecan tree being uprooted and tumping (falling, for you yanks) over and then when a tree branch came through the roof and into my brother's bedroom.
But last night was pretty surreal. Smart phones have really changed the way we witness devastation- meaning, we can actually witness it as it is happening. Videos and photos of funnels and destroyed buildings were popping up on Facebook every few minutes, each one worse than the last.
Folks, it is a tragedy. Neighborhoods and lives are lost. Everyone was affected in some way, either personally or through their friends and family.
But if you look up today, the skies are clear. Beautiful even. The sun is out and air is warm. I'm not sure this is nature's way of rubbing it in, or saying I'm sorry. But it is good to know that life restores itself and we can rebuild and move on. And, there are several ways you can help- you can donate directly to the Alabama red cross or you can go have a delicious dinner at the Irondale Cafe (aka the Whistlestop Cafe), where 100 % of the proceeds are going to the red cross OR you can go indulge in some excellent theatre at BFT, where half of the proceeds from tonight's production of Anna in the Tropics will go to storm relief efforts, as will all of the money in the donation box.
Tomorrow night my show opens and if you could use shits and giggles, large hair and large costumes, good music and Italian revenge, then Amadeus is for you. It is filled with some of the most talented folks around and I do a lot of frowning and gliding around the stage. I understand that theatre might seem frivolous to many at this point, and surely I am not suggesting that storm victims need to stop repairs and come out to see a show, but if you are in town and need a break from constant footage of devastation, we are here for you. Theatre is how we know to move on, and so we shall, kiddos.
Until next time, where JessBecause will bring back the usual lighthearted ramblings filled sass and confusion, stay strong and stay hopeful. You'll come back with a vengeance and smile, southerners- you always do.
*Worst yet known= worst storm since 1974, according to the news