maybe "rants" isn't the right word. these are simple thoughts about my life. some may be more colorful than others. some language may be offensive, but it depends on your definition of offensive. consider this your warning ;)

18 October 2009

The Veteran: according to Marlon Deleon, EM2/SS

hey y'all. i haven't written anything in a while, and this is what came to mind as my fingers flew over the keyboard. 

"veteran: the most common usage is for former armed services personnel. A veteran is one who has served in the armed forces, especially one who has served in combat. It is especially applied to those who served for an entire career, usually of 20 years or more, but may be applied for someone who has only served one tour of duty. A common misconception is that one had to have either been in combat and/or has retired from active duty to be called a military veteran." 

Pasted from <> 

Disclaimer: The following text is my opinion and by no means am I representing the opinions of everyone. I have no place to speak for everyone but for myself. These words may or may not reflect the opinions of people I know or associations I am affiliated with and I am not attempting to label them as such. 

I am a Veteran. I was enlisted in the United States Navy from July 1999 until September 2004 when I was medically discharged for a recurring shoulder injury. Basic Training was at RTC Great Lakes (or Great Mistakes, depending on who you talk to) and from there I was transferred to NNPTC South Carolina. I graduated from the Nuclear Powers Program as a third class Electrician's Mate with orders to the SSN-709, USS Hyman G Rickover, a now decommissioned Los Angeles Class Nuclear Submarine, on September 7, 2001. I left Charleston that night, driving back to California to stay for a month before I reported to my boat. I had not been back to California in about a year and a half, and when I arrived in the Antioch area, I stopped by my friend Angelina's house to see her before I came back to my parents' house. That was the night of 9/10/01. The next morning the world was changed because all of our lives changed, and my life was no different. The next two years were spent stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, but I was mostly out to sea. There are many stories about life on a submarine, and no matter how they get told, who tells them, or to whom they are being told, I do not think it is entirely possible to describe life on a sub to someone who has never experienced it themselves. Submariners will only truly understand this experience, and we are only one microculture of many in serving in the Armed Forces. 

Veterans are different. Different from those who have never gone in, and different from those that are still in. We were one way before we went in, we became something else while we served, and the person that re-enters society as a civilian (or reserve) is forever changed. We see things differently, smell things differently, touch things differently, hear things differently, and taste things differently. This is no one's fault, because it is not a bad thing. We're simply different. There are words and sounds that mean different things to us, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Gunshots, the roar of a jet flying by, boats, piers, firearms, medals, shoe polish, creases in clothes, alarms, the list goes on. Because of what we have been through, and each veteran's experience is uniquely different, these unintentional triggers evoke different feelings within us. I am no different. Certain images, comments, and sounds can cause flashbacks and produce levels of emotion that can possibly put me in a fragile state. There have been several instances in which I felt isolated as a result of my status as a Veteran. It is not the intention of the others and I'm willing to bet that they do not even know it occurs. A comment was made in one of my classes the other day about "don't ask, don't tell" and how if someone's in a foxhole and they know the guy next to them is gay, is that going to make a difference? plainly? Fuck no. When the shit hits the fan the last thing you don't have time to think about is someone's sexual orientation. Get real. I may not have been in the middle east or in a combat zone persay, but you can take that kinda shit outta here. I was on a submarine for two years, completely dissociated with the rest of the world for weeks at a time. No sunlight, emails, text messages, facebook, radio, or an array of other things that get taken for granted everyday like fresh eggs and real milk. Soldiers and sailors have a certain level of discipline and respect, and a work ethic that can only be attained through such rigorous training as we have experienced. Nearly every day I go to school I see older Veterans taking the bus to the VA hospital next door to campus. Many of them talk to themselves, sometimes unintelligibly, and some of them just sit there patiently, knowing the world is different. I am like them in some ways, and in some ways I am different. What I feel inside for those men and women I've seen on the bus is something that I can only hope a child will feel when I am older and sees me in whatever state the future brings upon me. 

Veterans Day is approaching in a few weeks, and it is observed to honor all the men and women that have served in the United States Armed Forces. A popular bumper sticker reads, "All gave some, some gave all" and it is 1,000% true. Whether someone was in for two years, eight years, or 32 years, we are all Veterans. We will always have a common bond, and even though many people do not agree with some of missions we have participated in (and some of those people are Veterans as well) most of the Veterans you could meet did not make the choices that sent us on those missions. We were a part of them because we enlisted. We enlisted to serve our country, to better ourselves, and to give back to a nation that gave us and our families something whether we recognize it or not. We stay in because we love it, because we don't know what else we would do if we got out, or because it sounds like a good idea. Some of us, like myself, didn't have a choice if they stayed in or not, and we have to deal with our lives as they are laid out. Whether you approve of the military or not, we are here. We always will be. This is not some pity party invitation or even a decree that you must worship the ground we walk on. This is just a notice that we are here and we're still people. I am one of those people. I ask questions when I'm confused or when I want to know more, and if you share that belief as well, then feel free to ask. There aren't many things I won't tell you, especially in regards to my military upbringing, but sometimes I feel like we can understand each other better if we figure out how we are different. Just ask. I will. 

13 September 2009

Don't suc. succeed

"What is success?" was a question that came up in my Theatre Today class last week. The same question was posed to me before I moved down here. A good friend suggested I find my own definition for it, and that's been rolling around in my head ever since. In class, the responses were very American, driven by consumerism: money, power, materialistic trophies and financial benchmarks. Meanwhile I'm sitting in my seat with my answer in my head, waiting, hoping that someone will be on the same wavelength and say that we should define "success" for ourselves. I felt that if I had offered my answer, I would want to continue the conversation in that direction, at which point we would be completely sidetracked; so for my own cowardly justification, I sat quietly and listened to my classmates' discussion contributions. 

I've heard many times that Theatre is a selfish industry, and that can be taken in many ways. It can be in the manner that you are "competing" against actors, designers, techs, and directors for the same position, and even though you're friends with them, you want that job and/or that paycheck as much as they do. In a more personal light, the theatre can steal your life away from your family, from your ability to even have a family, and even from your friends and social life in general. Those of us that are wholly dedicated are usually split in multiple directions: classes, rehearsals, multiple part-time jobs, relationships, children, the list goes on; but how selfish should you become to progress in the direction that you wish to? I've asked myself that question multiple times in the last few years, and my answer has developed in my work ethic-I belong in the theatre. There have been numerous relationships that have suffered because of my theatrical obligations, no, not obligations, determinations. "Obligations" sounds negative, and being in the theatre is far from negative, it's my choice, and I've been determined to move forward everyday. I digress. Relationships are sacrificed for my dedication to the theatre. If I try to put more time into the relationship, something else has to suffer…the non-theatre classes. Well, that wasn't a good idea either. Over the last couple years the relationships have fallen by the wayside and the Theatre has become my main squeeze. This has come to power through choices I have made, and I don't regret what I have done, nor have I ever, but I have learned from all of them. The more I have become involved in Theatre, the more I withdrew from my social life. There should be a balance, and I'm working at it every day. 

[my brain just stopped, and my thought train was AMTRAKed. if you were watching television you would currently be seeing static, perhaps a pixelated screen if you have a new plasmafantasticLCDmonitor, if you're used to regular tube TVs you would see the black strip across the bottom and the vertical color stripes across the screen.] 

I am not defining "success" as a destination, I am treating it as a journey. I have succeeded already, I am going to succeed in the future, and I am currently succeeding-right now, at this very moment. "Success" seems to be as complicated as love, and it also feels as if it has been as commercialized just that same. Lil' Kim had a song a few years ago entitled "Money, Power, Respect" and that, for some, is as good a definition of "success" as they need. According to <> 

• Main Entry: suc·cess 
• Pronunciation: \sək-ˈses\ 
• Function: noun 
• Etymology: Latin successus, from succedere 
• Date: 1537 
1 obsolete : outcome, result 
2 a : degree or measure of succeeding b : favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence 
3 : one that succeeds 

and it seems that Merriam-Webster agrees with my idea of success as a journey at not a destination, as you'll notice that the first definition is obsolete, and the working definitions refer to the degree or "the attainment of" 

My definition of success has two parts, a concrete aspect that can be portrayed in examples and benchmarks, and an abstract side that will be just that, abstract and conceptual. Success has never been about money, having the newest gadgets, nicest car, or having a trophy wife. When I was 19 I transferred to the USS Hyman G Rickover, SSN-709 (Hoorah!) and, only two years in the Navy at that point, senior enlisted members were already plugging reenlistment packages and bonuses. My division chief, the late EMC(SS) Sean Bednarz had educated me on all the wonderful opportunities that would be available to me if I stayed in for "only" ten years-supervisory positions at power plants, paychecks upwards of $60,000 a year, moneymoneymoneymoneymoney. After he was done with his commercial I looked at him and told I'm rather make enough money to "just" get by and support my family teaching high school drama than to make an exorbitant amount in an industry that I have no desire to stay in for the rest of my life. Quality of life is more important to me than money. And he looked at me in amazement and after asking how old I was said, "kids like you don't talk like that anymore," and he's completely right. 

America is a consumer-driven populace, and there's no one party solely to blame, but younger people just become more focused on money as the years go by. Don't get me wrong, I like to have money available as much as the next person does, but, as I've stated in earlier FB Notes, being here in Long Beach with very little money (for now) has helped me recalibrate myself in many ways. There are too many luxuries that I took for granted, and living here has shown me that I don't need them. They're still nice every once in a while, but there really is no need to eat out for every meal, go to a bar every night, and aimlessly drive around when I can eat at home, not drink all the time, and take the bus or even walk somewhere. Just like I told my Chief, if I can provide for my family, or depending on how our family situation is coordinated with working parent or parents, I simply want my family to be provided for. I don't want to scrape by, and I don't really need six cars and a house in every state (although a private jet would be welcomed). If we're healthy, with food on the table, clothes on our backs, and comfortable living conditions, things are good. 

On the abstract side of success, if I can do what I love, and I mean truly enjoy what I'm doing for a living, then I am a success. Whether I'm teaching, working on Broadway, London, Oslo, or Kansas City, if I can head to work in the morning and know I'm going to enjoy what I'm doing, I'll call myself a success. This is where the selfishness comes in. I dedicate myself to the theatre, my passion, my craft, my art, and I need to achieve a balance with my family. That second part is what's been eluding me. This past week marked what would have been the fourth anniversary of matrimony had we stayed together. Stay with me, I'm not getting emo and regretting my "practice engagement." So, obviously I'm not married, and do not live in Virginia, and because of this separation and move back to California, I was able to get back into theatre, train at DVC, work with Shotgun and DTC (then DLOC) and arrive where I am now, CSULB, getting ready to start the third week of my junior year on track to achieve a major milestone with a BA in Theatre Arts. So yes, everything happens for a reason, I get it, and those reasons weren't apparent to me four years ago when I was leaving Virginia Beach, but they are now, and I can definitely say I've succeeded since then. 

I don't know what the future will bring, and I'm not going to plan too far out. There are things I want to do, but I know life happens, and sometimes it doesn't go the way you planned. As long as keep doing what I love, and am making progress towards what I want, I'm succeeding. It's not about the money, the fame, or the prestige. It's about doing what I want and enjoying every bit of it. A college dropout who went back to school later in life said that if he ever hears you say you're bored, he'll crush you (it may have been "pummel," but I'm not sure, that's why I paraphrased, but there will be life threatening danger). He's absolutely right, there's too much cool stuff to be bored, learn something, look back, reflect, regroup, create and recreate. There are plenty of ways to succeed at something, and if you don't, or say you can't, you just "suc." 

21 August 2009

To the Deer Valley High School class of 1999

tonight is the ten year reunion for Deer Valley High School's inaugural graduating class of 1999. that would make this the first ten year reunion for DVHS. it's going to be in Walnut Creek, and ill be in Long Beach, well, ill be in Santa Monica for a little bit, but ill be going back home to Long Beach. I don’t feel bad for not going. I simply couldn’t afford it. the ticket. the travel. yep. that’s about it. even if I could afford it, I don’t think I would have gone. the past few months on facebook ive gotten back in touch with many people from high school that I havent heard from in ages. granted, we graduated ten years ago, and all of a sudden with this reunion, people have been coming out of nowhere and re-establishing connections on facebook. well, that kinda answers at least half if not all of a purpose of a reunion. see how everyone's doing, look at how people have changed, find out who: got married, had kids, got divorced, came out, made it big, bottomed out, turned themselves out, or any combination of the aforementioned results. let's pretend for a moment that facebook and myspace didn’t exist and that we didn’t get back in touch here. we havent seen each other, talked or anything. the following could be an actual conversation from the reunion. I will enter *** as a spacer for whomever I have run into. you can pretty much figure out what they're asking...

note: in no way is this posting a mockery of the reunion. if anything I would like to commend carlo, colette, nadia, and anyone else that helped in putting together this event. congratulations c/o '99. if you're reading this, you're still alive.

you: marlon? is that you?

me: oh, hey! (insert name here) {hug/manhug} whats going on? {cheers/toasts drinks}


me: yeah, im drinking. I actually grew up. how about that. ten years have gone by, and whaddya know? I actually changed. and I smoke cigarettes too. and ill tell you something else {leans in} im not a virgin anymore.

you: NO! {laughing}

me: yup. what have you been up to?

you: ***

me: awesome.

you: ***

me: um, no. navy, but close. yeah. I went in right after graduation, school for a couple years in south carolina, graduated from Nuc school sept 7, 2001 and drove home to california. got home the night of sept 10th.

you: ***

me: {continuing} yeah, no shit right? had leave for a month, flew out to meet my submarine in scotland. went to norway, back to scotland.

you: ***

me: I got out in sept of '04. medical discharge. {glances away} oh hey! what's up? we'll do shots later! alright…yeah!

you: ***

me: yeah, disclocated both of my shoulders multiple times over a couple years. still sucks. fighting to get surgery, but the GI Bill is helping me with college.

you: ***

me: yeah, im at CSU Long Beach now. got back into theatre when I moved back to california after my ex fiancee and i…

you: ***

me: yeah. second fiancee actually. yep. twice engaged, never married. no kids either. and no STIs {chuckles} can you believe it? me. single.

you: ***

me: yeah. AND straight. how bout that, right? {rolls eyes} cool, well alright, it was good catching up, im gonna go grab another drink and have that same conversation about 20 more times. cool! you too! yeah, ill hit you up on facebook or myspace whatever. fo sho! {hug/manhug} later!

{end of conversation}

granted, there will be differences here and there, but for the most part, there's the template for a reunion conversation. we're caught up on the major events, and we're onto the next person we havent talked to in years, and probably wont after this evening. for those that have kept in touch. yay! and for those that we will continue to keep in touch…double yay! everyone else. im not gonna lie to you and tell you that ill keep in touch, because we all know it isnt gonna happen and 98% of the times it's said at the reunion are just because we're supposed to say it, and not because we really mean it.

so yeah, for those of you that run into people at the reunion may possibly ask about me, tell them to hit me up here. give em my URL, email or whatevs, they're all similar: dailyownx4 (deleon, times 4: actor, director, singer and dancer) gmail. yahoo. myspace, facebook. drop a line! say hello, and if you're living in so cal, we should hang out sometime!

alright, well chat soon ok? keep in touch!


16 February 2009

the morning after

Fourteen and half hours. that beats my personal record by thirty minutes. almost thirteen years ago, when I had returned from the one and only trip ive ever taken to italy, I slept for fourteen hours. that's understandable, 9hr flight, two layovers, long trip. this time, the drive was much shorter, about six and a half, but the week that preceded this episode of slumber was derserving of such a long rest.

KCACTF, XLI. for those that don't know, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Forty-one. The setting? CSU Fullerton. When? last week, Feb 10 through the 14th. What? the short version? colleges from five different states, guam, and american samoa for Region VIII's week long extravaganza of theatre students, faculty, visitors, and general lovers of the craft. Why? well…let the story begin.

Fall of 2007 I had signed up for Principles of Directing with Big Ed Trujillo to learn about the process of Directing, what directors look for, and well, my main reason, to learn about directing so I can be easier to work with as an actor. What came about was a new aspect in the industry that I love that I discovered I was able to succeed in. A couple of classroom directing scenes that semester, and well, time to start presenting publicly performing scenes. Spring Semester, 08. Advanced Student Directing Projects, mentored by Nicole Hess-Diestler. alongside zarif, cyle, armando, chance, aman, and dori, we all grew as aspiring directors. My first chapter of that semester involved an arena drama with a fantastic group of actor-mackenszie, kaela, mariel, jordan, and kelsey. The rehearsal run and performance taught me so much about myself as a director. I discovered that, being an actor first, my strength lies in character development, establishing relationships, and well, constructing an indestructible level of cohesion and professional among the group. Whether an actor hates me or loves me, for whatever reasons they possess, the actors come ready to work, often when they are not called, just so they can participate in the process. The second half of the semester brought even more work with Christopher Durang's A Stye of the Eye, Pat Montley's Madrigal in Black and White, and Assistant Directing for Ed's compilation, The Clash and Celebration of American Cultures. ladies and gentlemen I worked with were fantastic and understanding, especially with having to re-cast a lead in Stye at the last minute, and having a first with an all-female cast in Madrigal. As the semester went on, my confidence as a director had grown, my versatility in strengths had increased, and I was becoming more aware of points to work on and ways I can grow.

Then it was posted in the green room--The Student Directing Project for 2008-2009 school year would be Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train by Stephen Adly (not Adley) Guirgis. none of us had heard of it, but I wanted it, as did Armando, Cyle, and Bryan. After reading it, I knew I wanted to direct it more than I have wanted to play any role or direct any other play I had read thus far. The characters were deeper than any others I had read of, the play was contemporary, intense, and soulful…like a young Al Pacino. This was also the first play I had ever read that I didn't look at as an actor, I was in complete director mindset, and I knew I wanted it--bad. In order with the application process posted, I had submitted an application letter to the Search [for a Student Director] Committee, and prepared for my presentation/interview. The letter induced a level of professionalism in myself I had not accessed since I've moved back here and started school. A level that was as common as breathing when I was in the Navy, a level that many had not taken me for with my disney tattoos, TMNT jackets, and little yapper dog attitude.

Last week I had said, "eighty percent of professionalism is a handshake and remembering names" and well, that's how I roll. The presentation of my vision pitch for the Drama Faculty had gone well, and the next morning, as I sat and smoked a cigarette before class on the back patio, I was asked, "So, would you like to direct 'Jesus'?" And with my eyes I had answered before the words, "um, ok!" could escape my mouth. This is exactly what I needed. My faith in my own personal talents in theatre had started to wane, and being selected by professors whose opinions I value and respect, gave me a boost I needed deeply.

And so, the journey began, and alongside Nikki and Megan, we began to lay out tracks for a train whose journey we had no idea how long it would be. Fast forward--auditions. Probably the easiest part of the entire process. If you saw the show, you know how it played out. Nathan Smith, Inmate #1/Guard "Ricardo", Andrew Banks, Inmate #3/ Guard "Brutus", Meredith Slater-Peyton, Mary Jane Hanrahan, Dan Rubio, Charlie D'Amico, Mackenszie Drae, Officer Valdez, Armando Ramirez, Angel Cruz, and Michael Alexander, Inmate #2/Lucius Jenkins. Myself as Director, Nicole Hess-Diestler as Faculty Advisor, and I cannot forget to mention, Megan Adele Howe.

I had ideas and visions for where I wanted the show to go, the messages, the character, the highlights, and the low points, and each and everyone one of the actors to their character, built it up, developed it, and made it proliferate to levels I had not fathomed. Sure, yes, as with any show, there were bumps in the road, and walls that needed to be scaled, but each and every one of the stood up to the task at hand and literally owned it and made it their own. Before our first read through I had told them, "we are not playing characters, you're playing peoples lives, they aren't real people, but they need the depth and background as if they were" it's easy to play a character, a caricature, a cutout, but these actors took their scripts and asked questions, gave them personalities, voices, mannerisms, catch lines, and lives. The show that had congealed among the cast and crew had been maginificent.

Of course, it was not just them, Tim Nottage, Ricky Kerckhove, Martina Jeans, Lavale Davis and Jordan Delong all contributed as well to their technical design aspects, and everyone has their highlights. This production, with Scott Heiden had all designed not just an environment, but a world, a true-to-life setting in which this chapter of life at Riker's would unfold before our eyes. Some have told me that the lights and set would ring true to them, one lady from the festival had told me that the sound of the cell doors closing reminded her of the ten different doors she had to walk through as a child just to visit her uncle in prison. Each facet of this technical world was constructed in such a way to engage, captivate and hold the audience to be a part of our world.

And so, after a successful two week run at home, we find out that we are one of ten shows invited to perform at KCACTF XLI out of hundreds of associate productions. This was a DVC first. No other show in Diablo Valley College history has ever been given the opportunity to perform before our region, and the 'A' Train crew deserves it. Some had been to festival before, others, including myself, had not, but we were all excited beyond words to discover that we are all invited to come together and show the others what we had worked so hard to create.

And so, alongside 30 or so other students, DVC brings a gang of 40 students and two faculty members to the festival. cars, vans and a truck with the set and luggage drive down to CSU Fullerton last monday to get ready for XLI. The festival had not even started yet, but the buzz had already begun about "Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train."

I had no idea what to expect, being my first festival, I was excited and wide-eyed awaiting the gargantuan opportunity before all of us. Some were auditioning for Next Step, Irene Ryan Auditions, I was participating in the inaugural SSDC Directing event, Will had his make-up design in the running, and well, any combination of any of the aforementioned events, and others I hadnt mentioned. 'A' Train started the week, first to load in and perform, and so, the week began. the cast members were being recognized all over campus, the buzz was growing, and well, after the third and final performance of our baby Jesus, all we could do was wait. Our response was fantastic, the stories were clear, the characters were well developed and were all round amazing. the set, lights, sound, and costume were all touted to hold their own and do nothing but good things, adding to the already magnificent story.

Since october, 'A' Train had grown as a family, and here, despite the fact that were not the only DVC members there, we had all stuck together, well, except for me--I was busy running around to different workshops and responses, networking my butt off. other student directors, designers, stage managers and actors from throughout our region, American River College, BYU, CSUF, Fresno State, Southern Utah, and elsewhere. When else would I have the opportunity to meet and talk with people from outside my small circle of experience here in the east bay? exactly. Meeting others from other community colleges we shared a struggle, a form of racism, but, the level of education was our race. Collegism I guess you could call it. some, not many, but enough to piss me off, looked down on us, as if we were maimed, unable, or simply too dumb to be able to participate or even comprehend what a "university" student was doing. so what, we had a show here, and half of the SSDC directors were from DVC, ARC, and MiraCosta, all community colleges…what was that? community what? right. community COLLEGES. point taken. To use a common analogy from last week, we were "the kids playin stickball, traveling to the big leagues" stickball or not, if you're playing in the big leagues, you're obviously doing something right.

Many of us received call backs for Next Step, none of the candidates for Irene Ryans advanced to the semi-finals, and I did not advance into the finals for SSDC event, but Amy, Ellery, and Ricky, thank you for working so hard to show them what we can do. Will Katzman however, advanced to the Make-up design finals, and ended up winning as the regional winner to advance to the Kennedy Center for his design for Frankenstein. Congratulations, Will! you deserve it, your work and art are phenomenal!

The big question for 'A' Train was, how and when do they announce who is going to DC for the national festival in april? friday night I found out--after the Irene Ryan winners are announced, they will mention which of the six invited shows are being held for consideration to go to DC. Four were held, and we were not one of them. However, Michael Alexander did win the award for Best Performance IN THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL. over everyone, his portrayal as Lucius Jenkins struck so strongly in the hearts of adjudicators, judges, and respondents, and he was bestowed this great honor in the most competitive region in the nation. Congratulations, Michael, it is well deserved, and I'm glad you earned it.

And so, this is the end of the line for our production of Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train. I'm not mad that we aren't going, and I'm far from disappointed in the cast. If anything, I'm proud beyond words that we even made it this far. I learned so much about myself, as a director, as a person, a friend, a colleague, and an actor. Like I explained to a couple people saturday night, "it's like an audition. you prepare as much as you can. you polish and clean and prepare. but when you say 'thank you' and bow out, it's out of your hands. we did all that we could, and well, this is what happened" This is not the end for any of us, nor should it be, if anything, this production will launch all of us into realms we had not thought of before we started on this journey. I will say that I feel just as important to this show as you should, this is not "my show" nor does it belong to anyone, not even Stephen Adly Guirgis. It is his play, and his text, but I had a vision, the DVC Faculty believed in me to drive it, and like I told many of you, I feel like Danny Ocean, running around town recruiting the best at their task to complete a job that no other group can the same way we did. You're all important, you all have a specialty, and we all came together as classmates, friends, and family members to put forth the best show I've ever been a part of. we all made this happen, and I'm proud to say that I'm a part of it. and even though we were not considered for DC, hell, it's "just DC." we've already shown ourselves and hundreds of other people this powerful work and how it can affect your lives, let's allow ourselves to ring that through our own lives, even without the script.

Congratulations cast and crew of Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, and thank you to everyone who participated in any way, audience member, tech, house manager, walking billboard. It's been a long road, and I will never forget this once in a lifetime experience. it's, well, irreplaceable. let me use a few words from the script to close this off. this isn't the last time you'll see me work, and I hope this isn't the last time any of us does. never let go of this experience, but don't hold on so tight you can hold onto anything else. but remember:

"people think everything is replaceable. everything is not replaceable. people believe they go through life accumulating things. that is incorrect. people go through life discarding things, tangible and intangible, replaceable and priceless. what people do not understand is that once they have discarded an irreplaceable item, it is lost forever..."