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Frontera Fest – The Puzzler – Community (2/3/2018)

Last night I found out The Puzzler didn’t advance at Hyde Park’s Frontera Fest in Austin. It would be a straight up lie to say I’m not disappointed. But on the other hand, so much came out of doing it. One of my biggest take away is community.

I have lived in Smithville, Texas for almost a quarter of a century. Longer than I’ve lived anywhere. I been involved in theater in the area for over a decade of those years. That is a community in itself. I started writing about seven years ago. Writing for public consumption is a risky endeavor because it puts one’s ego out to potentially be crushed.

One thing became very clear to me getting ready for the production of The Puzzler. There are a lot of people who want me to succeed. To start with, I had two wonderful actors, Lisa Picciandra and Danne Absher, who believed in my writing enough to take on the enormous task of bringing this to Frontera Fest. We had a great time working together. Then there was john daniels jr., owner and director of Playhouse Smithville. john was there when my family started in theater over a decade ago. Lisa, Danne and I needed to practice with the lights. I asked john about rehearsing at the theater. He said, “I can’t tell you how excited I am to see you producing your own show.” Then he helped us work around other rehearsals to get us the time under the lights. In times  where we didn’t need lights, just a large, quiet space, Judy Bergeron at the Smithville library made sure we had a key to the meeting room.

But the big one was the dress rehearsal. To get ready for the big show at Hyde Park theater we wanted to perform in front of a live audience. Playhouse Smithville enthusiastically opened its doors and over fifty people came to the show. Then the support from them on Facebook has been undying. What I’m starting to realize, the big show, the important show, wasn’t at Hyde Park Theatre, it was the dress rehearsal right here at Playhouse Smithville.

Having a community believe in you and stand behind you, that is success.

The next step in the adventure is Coach Q’s in Smithville supporting us with dinner theater in March. Then, Bastrop Opera House, where my family started with john daniels jr., will run Clinically Un-Depressed for three weeks in August 2018. All the world may be a stage, but the important stage is usually in walking distance.