As I sat down to write this week’s editorial, my mind raced to all the things I could write about and just how many of them were tied to the political climate we, as a nation, we are facing right now.
Then I realized I don’t want to write about that because there are plenty of folks already writing about that. Instead, I’m going to write about something a little closer to home and a little more upbeat.
This past weekend the Upstagers wrapped up their latest show, “Mamma Mia!” and I can tell you that the show was a success. According to folks associated with the show, it broke previous attendance records, averaging at somewhere around 200 people each performance. That’s a testament to not just the choice of musical, but to the talented cast that took part.
Part of that cast was a gentleman by the name of Colin Montgomery.
I met Colin when the Upstagers were working on “Spamalot,” and the second I saw this guy do his thing at the auditions I knew he was the kind of guy you could really build a show around. He killed it in that show and followed that up with a stellar performance as one of Sophie’s potential fathers in “Mamma Mia!” He actually played two of the potential dads over the course of the six shows, taking the opportunity to show off his dramatic flair, his dance skills and his Australian accent.
However, into every life a little rain must fall, and Colin is leaving the Upstagers. Actually, he’s leaving Del Rio altogether as he heads to Utah for a new job. He said it was a tough decision to make, but it would put him closer to his sister and her family, and that’s a pretty good reason to depart our little town.
So why I’m talking about Colin this week? Well, first it’s too thank him for all the great work he’s done with the Upstagers and let him know he will be missed, but it’s also to send out a call to all the men out there who have always wanted to be in an Upstagers production but who may have thought it wasn’t for them.
For community theater to thrive it needs regular people to step up and be performers. It needs folks who are cops or businessmen or lawyers or teachers or whatever else to cast off the daily doldrums of their regular lives and shine like the stars they think they can be. We’ve all held a concert in the comfort of our own shower or pretended we were stars in the movies that play in our heads (usually they start with the phrase “if that were me …”), so why not give being an actual actor a chance.
It’s never too early or too late to hone your talents. I saw a lot of new faces in “Mamma Mia!”, and hopefully some of those folks will come out for the next play or return next season. I am confident that the next superstar will be discovered and will bring hundreds of people joy just as Colin did during his time here.
For now, I say thank you Colin for being a heck of a guy and here’s hoping you continue to inspire and entertain folks at your next stop.