Long before I was old enough to own my own dog and long before there was Facebook, Twitter, or even Blogs back when we looked up the weather for the day for our elementary school news broadcast using Prodigy (and yes I realize I just gave you a hint to how old I am) I loved the theater. More then love of the theater I loved being back stage helping to make the magic happen. The very first show I was Stage Manager for was the Mikado it was quite an undertaking for a bunch of 4th, 5th and 6th graders being an Opera and the first ever “dramatic” production at our school. But that was 100% Robert Brand our esteemed director she knew we could achieve anything we set out to I didn’t really know that at the time but through the years what started out as helping my mom sell tickets to the productions my younger sister was in slowly evolved into a role as the official Stage Manager and then assistant to the assistant director and eventually assistant director with numerous Alumni Volunteers lending their time and skills to help our little elementary school theater production succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams of what could be achieved that first year. Mrs.Brand retired at the end of my Freshman Year in College and died suddenly in the Fall of my Sophomore year. She left behind a legacy not only at our Elementary School but in students that have gone on to study Drama in College and taste the limelight in New York City.
My love of being a part of theater did not end there. In college I stage managed our Drama Club’s show and then decided that the boy’s campus had a theater program that would allow me to learn so much more. So I made the trek uptown to the boy’s campus and hung around the theater when I could. What started out as helping to sweep the stage floor morphed into becoming the liaison for ticket sales on the girl’s campus, stage hand (helping to paint sets, a trip to buy a box of chocolate’s for their director one Valentines Day from the guys), to the official box office manager for the boy’s Dramatics Club as well as a member of their board, and an official member of their chapter of Alpha Psi Omega the official theater fraternity.
I learned so much from Mrs. Brand, Tim (my director on the girl’s campus),and Doc (the Director on the boy’s campus). Theater is all about learning about yourself and continually growing striving towards goals you never even knew you could achieve. Which is why I think it is so amazing and appropriate that whenever Annie is performed on Broadway (and in many cities around the country) that they find a shelter dog to train and socialize to play the role of Sandy. They take a dog that other people have given up on, didn’t believe in, couldn’t see as a part of their family and make them into a star. They literally with the magic of theater transform a dog from one that is barely adoptable to one that hundreds if not families fall in love with and would love to have as a part of their family. Which is exactly what Annie the Musical has done with the help of Pedigree for the newest Sandy. To show the dramatic transformation they filmed the process and put it up on Youtube to share with everyone.
I would love to be able to fly up to NY and attend a performance with some of my NY/NJ based theater friends as well as meet some of our readers. I think that would be absolutely amazing and I am trying to make that happen. I don’t know that Davinia and Indiana would be able to come though Davinia HATES NYC Indiana on the other hand thinks its a pretty fun lace to go.
Annie’s Search For Sandy:
If we can make it happen would you want to meet us there to see Annie with us?
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Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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