My girlfriend, Jessica, is a singer and vocal coach. She was gifted with two extremely important qualities: First, the natural talent to sing. Second, the knowledge, at a very early age, that singing would be her life’s work. Much of her life story, to date, is chronicled in her website and blog: Las Vegas Vocal Training. If you have the interest to read some of it, you’ll enjoy it… but that’s not the point of this post.
The objective of this post is to share what I appreciate about Jessica, and the meaning it provides me.
While I was slogging my way through college, Jessica had headed from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to take a crack at musical theater. Still a teenager, she landed a role in the Los Angeles Cast of HAIR. A small ensemble part would evolve into the role of Crissy. Her years in HAIR came a tumultuous time in our country’s history. In HAIR-speak, cast members are referred to as Tribe Members. As the show grew in popularity, HAIR productions popped up across the United States and around the globe.
More recently, HAIR was revived on Broadway, receiving a Tony as best revival. In turn, new productions of HAIR continue to blossom.
Actors and actresses who have passed through various productions of HAIR feel a particular brother and sisterhood. In large part, that is due to their attachment to the importance of the show’s message, and their love of Michael Butler, its producer.
Last weekend, tribe members from around the country, and beyond, gathered for a surprise event in Los Angeles, honoring Michael. He is a stunningly-handsome 85 years old and is working on three new stage productions. When tribe members gather, it is like stepping into an emotional time machine. This assemblage was no different.
Today, decades after her HAIR experience, Jessica wears its timeless passion on her sleeve. A passion for peace, a greener planet, being kind to your fellow human being, and the notion to lend a hand when its needed. If a friend is in distress, she doesn’t need to be asked, even once… She’ll find a way to offer assistance, connect people, offer a kind word, or make the necessary noise to bring attention to a problem that needs attention, action, and a solution.
Jessica‘s burning desire for a kinder, more benevolent world was shaped during her time as a cast member of HAIR.
Perhaps you have someone in your life that brings something special to the world. Not just talent, but a special awareness of the needs of others. Jessica, very clearly, sees Michael Butler as her mentor.
She had the wonderful opportunity to share message of appreciation with Michael, during his birthday celebration. More important, Jessica embodies that spirit, every day, in many ways.
I am very fortunate to share my life with her.
First Generation New Yorker