I remember when she shared with me the first edit of the script. In the months that followed, the content remained the same but the timeline morphed to create the experience viewed in the past two weeks. Four characters, a director, a stage manager, light technician and assistant manager brought the story to life. Many of the faces were familiar — people who have become connections through the years she had begun to realize a dream that was such a part of her she almost didn’t recognize it for what it was.
From early in life, she loved stories, people and drama in an ever shifting order of priorities. She blames some of it on me. Her brother had the kind of active curiosity that would get him into scrapes before he could even walk. When she joined our family just short of his second birthday, nursing time would also be the time I would read him stories. Where some people find comfort in food, she has told me, she finds comfort in books and ties it to that time before she was even fully aware of her history.
didn’t stop there. At one and a half when I helped with the script work on a children’s musical, she came along with me since her older brother would be in the choir and needed to know the songs as well as a 3 and a half year old could. Megan played quietly behind the piano until the practices got under way. Then she decided a game of peek-a-boo with the choir was in order. A few giggle spurred her on and soon she had the whole group laughing. Figuring out the cause I picked her up and took her to the back of the room where I was watching. She happily played with a hat under the table for about 5 minutes. Then, with the hat jauntily posed on her head she made a dash for the front of the choir where she began to dance around. Needless to say, her dad got elected for babysitting duty during the rest of the practices.
Megan loved dress up of any form. Perhaps the first year role as doll to her cousins on their visits helped there. My trunk of clothes played multiple duty as the girls would come and make their plays including Megan and Ian in the drama. When later we moved away from them bringing the trunk came along, the plays continued with Megan including her brother, her friends and her little sister in her scripts. The life size rag dolls had roles as well in the dramas that formed the play at home complete with mimicking cadences from familiar voices. I know I cringed more that once when I would hear my own tones a bit too realistically for comfort.
She brimmed with stories and songs. When given a tape and taught to press the buttons on the machines, the merry sound of stories and songs filled the air. When she would run out of material she would continue in rhythmic gibberish until she found her next idea. During those times, our main conversation was “Mom, turn the tape! I’m done!”
Halloween was a favorite time of year. For that day she could become whatever she dreamed of being. With sewing machine and second hand clothing or a piece of bargain material, I would create the costumes, Sometime in elementary school she also took over her own costume design starting with the year she was the secretary with the typewriter box for the treats.
She participated in choreography books in middle years, used her classmates as the stones in a presentation about Stonehenge, was a part of drama in high school. Yet when beginning university her dreams focused elsewhere. The theatre company at her university brought her back to her dreams. In the end, her major became her minor and Megan graduated in theatre arts.
The Fringe and her group of friends found their center in those days. She has never looked back.
Tonight she will find out whether or not the award will come to her. I chose to write before that moment because this is not about the award it is about the girl, a woman now, who is finding her dreams and, in so doing, bringing pleasure and thoughtfulness to others.
It’s no surprise. She has always seen life as a treasure to unwrap — and a story to tell.
* To give credit where credit is due, since most of my involvement in her theatre life is from the audience seat, the adult pictures of her are from her cache of pictures taken by others.
Update: No, she did not win the award. Her only comment when talking to me about it was how much she liked the play that did win.