Elijah and Elisha lessons: An outsider’s perspective

The castle and tower with the rock wall that took a beating yet somehow survived six performances.

The recent flurry of reflections written by many members of the cast and production team of the musicals put on recently by our church got me thinking. I am the first to say that I am not a key player in the success of the musicals, nor am I a major factor in terms of help, and, as you would guess from my advanced age, am I not able to have a part (and for many reasons–from the fact that there are already 200 kids taking part to the knowledge that I’m not exactly ‘on stage’ material), but this was the first year that I felt a part of the entire process. In years past, basically I dropped off the kids who were old enough to take part, said goodbye to Todd for at least the week before the performances (a time period which has expanded directly proportionally to the size and breadth of the sets), and showed up on performance nights ready to be entertained. This year that was not enough, and I am so thankful it wasn’t.

As we find ourselves in post musical withdrawl, here is my humble list of thoughts from this year, from someone on the outside looking in:

1. To be in the thick of it–even if it’s just corralling kids and keeping them on task–was so much more entertaining than just showing up at the end.

1.5 To be in the thick of it also made me realize (and still not fully) how much time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears go into every musical–from Jeremy, Kendra, Brooke, Kara, Victoria, Anna, Karen, Todd, Kathy, Katrina, and others I didn’t even see. Amazing beyond words.

1.501 The Tighe family LOVES Pastor Jeremy.

2. Listening to the CDs and songs 853,627 times between the end of May and the beginning of August doesn’t compare to watching the difference between a really rough dress rehearsal on Monday night and a brilliant opening night on Friday.

3. Learning the dances so I could dance with and spend time with my kids and chide them when they complained of being tired (“Hey, if I can do it, you can do it! Stop your bellyaching and get up and MOVE!” they often heard me say, along with “Miss Brooke, Miss Kara, and Miss Victoria have been dancing for THREE days straight! You don’t get to gripe until you’ve done that! Now, let’s do ‘Eat that Funny Loose-Lipped Snide Boy’ one more time and I’ll meet you at the end!”) was so much more of a workout than I originally thought it would be. If I’d actually repeated them every time, it would have been a very effective weight loss program.

4. Dancing while Dave White is standing behind you is more painful than having a baby in a foreign country under the care of a doctor who only spoke English when it was convenient for him. I’m sure it will please him tremendously to know that.

5. Even though you may have listened to the CD hundreds of times, God chooses very select moments to let you hear the message He has for what seems to be just for you. “Is this what God has for me? Doing laundry and taking care of kids?” What a huge reminder that what others may deem small things can really make an important impact. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

6. Karen White can do it all, and I’m honored to have been able to work alongside her just a litle bit this summer.

Prophet Man strikes a pose

7. I’m so thankful that my kids had the opportunity to perform in parts they enjoyed. To give them a shot at dancing, singing, and acting like a superhero and an evil king are things they won’t soon forget. And neither will I.

8. Working with a budding actor (and mecurial peronality) is really challenging and exhuasting. To have said actor run through his lines repeatedly at home with no expression or emotion scared the pants off of me on his behalf, slightly panicked about how he would perform on stage. I shouldn’t have worried: once the lights were on him and he was mic’d, he took on an entirely different persona, and it cracked us up.

The evil king can't believe he has been defeated once again...but he's also captivated by his face on the big screen...

9. Hard work and perserverence pay off. The Can’t Top God dancers proved that. Props to them for the many hours of extra practices they logged to make that dance outstanding. And extra props for wearing those pants!


10. The saying goes that "the devil is in the details," but I think musical time proves just the opposite. There are so many details that go into making these musicals come to life, and no matter how charasmatic you are, how talented you are, or how little sleep you need to function, they would have failed miserably if not for God's hand and favor over the entire production. Watching the entire summer unfold but especially the week before opening night was more than enough evidence that God was in the details…the seemingly overwhelming number of details.

10.5 Great musicals beget great musicals. The talent that has been drawn to these productions could be put up against most others. Scene after scene and song after song the audience was treated to talent in all areas: singing, acting, and dancing. And excellence attracts more excellence. What will future years bring because of what was done this year?

11. It's amazing how long the summer seems at the end of May and how quickly it flew by at the beginning of August!

12. Costume organization and creation is a true art form. I had no idea how many hours it took to plan and sew the costumes (and in several cases, create them out of little more than thin air). The minor part that I played was enough to result in complete respect for that huge undertaking in and of itself! I started to take ownership of those costumes-in-a-kroger-bag and hanging shirts and began dreaming of hanging them up and matching them to their numbers!

12.5 Swing dance numbers rock. More, please, Lynsay.

13. It was great to spend time with Patti Smith and get to know her more. She is one of the few people to see a need and fill a need. Her help backstage was awesome.

14. Jeremy has more patience than anyone I’ve ever, ever met. If I ever feel that I can’t control my tongue and or just don’t have the patience to deal with six kids, I need to remember how he didn’t ever lose it despite having over a hundred “reasons” to do so. Big lesson.

15. The sets are just plain astounding. Every year I think they couldn’t possibly get any better than previous years, but they do. I’m proud to know the guy who carries the power nail gun and isn’t afraid to use it for good.

16. Tears are tools.

17. If you don’t know how to help, just make yourself available. And then when there’s a job, just do it. It may be a small thing that no one ever knows about, but being available frees up others to get the big stuff done.

17.5 Next summer, I’m going to feed you all even more. I wish I could have done more this year.

18. Enjoy EVERY MINUTE. Enjoy it when you’re tired. Enjoy it when you don’t want to do the dance moves even one more time. Enjoy when you’ve lost sight of why you even wanted to do it in the first place. Enjoy every practice, every challenge, every minute. The memories will be among the best you will ever have.

19. Long live summer!


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