Okay 2014, let’s shape up a little.


It’s been a while since I wrote on here about the adventures of Wheezy McCoughCough, The Bronchospasm Kid.
(I think the last couple times were here and  here, if you’re interested.)

Some of that is because I didn’t feel like using this site to complain about health issues, and some is, well, I guess that’s really the reason!  The last few weeks have been a challenge, though, and I feel like it’s worth writing about.

Just after Christmas, I was hit by another bout of breathing issues, (wheezing, coughing, bronchospasm, fever, chills, shortness of breath) which knocked me flat on my behind for a while and, unfortunately, kept me there more or less since then.  I’ve had better and worse days, and managed to fit in a fair amount of work, but the last two weeks have been particularly hard.  I’ve felt sort of like this:




Well, I guess I haven’t felt exactly like that, since that’s a fictitional gnome hurling rainbows.  I pretty much just wanted to use that image, because no matter how lousy I’m feeling it cheers me up a little.
(And the video of it is even funnier, if you’re interested!)

My doctors, thankfully, are working diligently with me and I am eternally grateful for the awesomeness of my wife, kids and co-workers who have helped me.

It’s very hard for me to lay on the couch taking medicines wondering why I can’t breathe and not be doing something at the theatre.  I dunno, I’m a little bit of a control freak, I like to make sure things are happening, but I also love my job.  At the same time, if I’m not there I feel like I’m letting people down.  Thankfully, my friends at the theatre can certainly run the thing without me for a while.  If that wasn’t the case, we would’ve been doing something wrong these last 8 years.  But at the same time, I don’t like feeling useless, or like I’m putting the burden of what I should be doing to earn my paycheck on everyone else.

Still, the lesson here is “When your doctor tells you to rest, and your wife tells you to rest, and your coworkers and friends tell you to rest… You should shut up and rest.”

So, I will.  And I’ll be grateful for the amazing people and opportunities in my life… and I’ll hope that the cure to whatever this medical mystery tour I’ve been on the last year presents itself soon.

In the meantime, everybody have a great start to 2014, and take care of your health!  🙂


A Nice Week – And A Moment Of Thanks

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” -Phillip Pullman

This Thursday, we had our first preview performance for The Woman In Black at Williamston Theatre.

I got up onstage just before the show to make the pre-show announcements, (“Hi! I’m Tony, turn off your cell phones, thanks for being here, turn off your cell phones, we have some folks to thank for their support, and if you have a cell phone please turn it off.”)

As I was talking, I said “Welcome to the first performance of our 8th Season!” and the packed house erupted into applause, cutting me off.  I smiled and looked out into the crowd, making eye contact with a lot of people who I’ve come to know over the life of Williamston Theatre.  (We have a lot of patrons who LOVE coming to the first couple of previews, they love the talk-back after the show: knowing that we’re still in rehearsals they’re participating in what is still a work-in-progress, and they enjoy the fact that they may contribute to what the piece ultimately becomes.  We love them!)

So, I’m standing, seeing all of these people applaud and cheer, and had a moment.  Just a quick “Wow” moment, but it was there.  One of those lump-in-the-throat,  I had better talk now because if I don’t I may not be able to in a minute kinda moments, because I was again reminded of how lucky we’ve been.

Starting our 8th Season.  Wow.  42 productions – well, 43 now!  Lessons learned.  Friends made.  Families made.  Hundreds of jobs provided to artists.  Many awards won.  And – most importantly – lots of stories told that have moved people.

“People don’t want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith–faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell.” -Annette Simmons

So many people to thank for making all of that happen – board members, actors, volunteers, my 3 co-founders John and Chris and Emily, our families, donors, our apprentices, our stage managers, designers, directors, the MSU theatre department, Williamston business owners, the list goes on and on.

We’re not done growing, I hope – and in fact as the applause faded and I spoke, I laughed and said “Thank you – we’re as amazed as you are that we’re still here!” because in many ways, we are!

So, this post is a Thank You.  And an acknowledgement of the huge amount of hard work and faith and dedication that so many people have given to help keep a dream going.  It’s also a reminder, too : Sometimes, in the middle of all of the day-to-day running and grinding and putting-out-metaphorical-fires, take a minute… take a minute to look around and appreciate where you are, who helped get you there, because it’s important.  Remembering why you do what you do, why all the hard work is worth it – no matter what it is you do – that not only makes life worth living… it keeps it beautiful.

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” -Joan Didion