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The Lexington Youth Theatre production of “Tom Sawyer” closed Sunday after three wildly successful performances.  Perfect performances?  No.  Perfect production?  No.  But you’d never know it listening to the enthusiastic shrieks emitted from the near capacity crowds in attendance.  Standing, cheering ovations nightly.  And given that the cast was comprised of 47 kids ranging in age from 8 to 18…they deserved every bit of all that praise.  It was one hell of an accomplishment.  These are not professional kids.  Okay…one is…he’s performed on Broadway and may very well be heading back again very soon…and believe me, he’s great…but the rest…just young folks who dream, and work tirelessly, and the results…well…they were truly inspiring.

Watching those kids, my oldest son among them, up there doing their theatrical thing took me back.  Not to similar experiences of my own because I didn’t have similar experiences.  At their ages I had yet to plant my feet in other worlds on theatre stages…what it took me back to were those early, innocent days of dreaming.  Of all my theatrical aspirations.  Planning my course of action.  Learning.  Observing.  And taking a plethora of mental, emotional, and physical notes.  Studying.  In my fashion.  I’ve been exceptionally lucky.  Acting, my passion from the age of six, did become what supports me.  Financially and otherwise.

So watching those young people…each and every one of them up there – hearts, minds, and bodies full…the critic in me silenced…and I leaped to my feet and cheered and applauded with all the rest.  This world benefits from its young dreamers.  We should do everything in our power to support and assist them in any and every way we’re humanly capable to not only continue to dream but to follow their dreams.  Encourage them to let their hearts lead the way.

To all of you extraordinary young folks who shared your exquisitely beautiful magic with us this past weekend…I thank you.  Bravo!