Ben, you are a delight to watch on stage. Each night when you come out for curtain call it is difficult for me to not only not clap, but to not cheer for you. I see you bowing and think, “Look. Look what you just did. You did that.” I love that you fit the role of Usnavi so completely. One of my favorite parts of the show is before it begins, when it’s you and Ames and me backstage, getting ready to go on. I have loved watching you get ready, loved seeing and hearing you do your thing. Thank you for giving it everything. Well done, and bravo.
Xandra, I have learned so much from you. You’ve taught me about singing, performing, about emotion, and about theater etiquette. Beyond that, you’ve taught me about strength and gentleness. You’ve taught me what it means to be honest with oneself, to be real, to embrace and project truth, and the connections of body and spirit that make so much sense. Thank you for being you.
Keith Benny, do your thing, Boy. Congratulations on being so awesome at All The Singing Things, and the release of your new tape. I’m glad we finally hugged this week. Also? Light up the NIGHT! SKYYYYYYYYYYYY! Thank you for sing-yelling that with/near/at me.
Marcie, watching and learning from you has been so enlightening. Every night I want to say, “Nailed it, Marcie!” but I think you already know because you always get it done. Thank you for being here.
Jayne, you’re sweet. Thank you for your thoughtful words throughout this process. And no hard feelings about the music in the dressing room, I promise.
Shae, you are such an impressive woman, on stage and off. Thank you for your attitude and kindness. You are a beauty in so many ways and I’m glad to have gotten to work with you.
Becca, it’s like you say: you are Vanessa. There’s so much I love about you, not the least of which is your sense of humor. Thank you for being fun.
Taryn, thank you for your comfort and your healing. You have been very helpful. It’s been a delight to see you on stage and get to talk with you.
Megan, Girl! Carla! Girl, that dress is so fly. Thank you for making me smile. You’re such a dream to work with, you have an inspiring combination of talent, smarts, sassy, sweet, and just GOOD. I’m glad to know you.
Carolyn, Ay, I love you. We have a lot in common, and I’m grateful to get to know you. I love your smile, I love the kindness you exude. Thank you for your example and your happy attitude. I look forward to seeing you more often.
Bonnie, I have a feeling this isn’t the end of you and I seeing each other. Your attitude and strength is inspiring and I appreciate how you’re always reaching out and offering positive energy. I’m grateful for our connection all those months ago. Thank you for sharing your electric personality.
Graffiti Keith, Dude. Thanks for being awesome. It’s great to know we’ve still got Zumba. Thanks for being my dancing buddy backstage, on Kass’s stage, and in class. And thank you for introducing me to #TacoTuesday. Know what? #BuyMyTShirt, that’s what.
Elijah, remember when you were on your mission five minutes ago? That’s what I keep thinking when I see you do what you do, but I guess you’ve been home longer than that now. You’ve done a great job. Thanks for making me laugh.
Josh, you are so great. You did such a good job with alternating your roles throughout each week, and you should be proud of yourself. It’s been awesome getting to know you, thank you for your ongoing kindness and for all the laughs. Remember that time we voxed for, like, 10 hours straight or something? I’m glad we’re friends. Love your guts.
Gordy, you’re just the best. I’ve never seen you without a smile, and the things you say always brighten people’s days and/or make them laugh. You always know what to say. Thanks for being such a great guy.
Michelle, you are simply delightful. Thank you for your example, your calm demeanor, your kindness, your thoughtfulness. And thank you for that sucker.
Shaunna, thank you. Just…thank you. Because you know. Ever since callbacks I felt that I had known you from elsewhere, and I’m glad to know that we were meant to know each other. You are doing such great work in your life. Thank you.
Ames, oh, Ames. I like that we got to know each other through Instagram before actually meeting. I like that you are kind and sincere and sassy and funny and crafty and awesome. You are talented and driven and grounded. I mentioned this before, but the moments before the show, when it’s just you, me, and Ben, are some of my very favorite. Thank you for letting me post All The Pics of you.
Sam, it’s been great getting to know you and what a surprise that you already have connections with my family! You are a good man, a hard worker, and the way you recognize your blessings is inspiring. Thank you for being patient in dancing with me.
Chris, thanks for the awesome lifts while we dance, and for always knowing what to say when we cross the stage. It’s been great getting to know you and it’s a nice surprise to find another Guster Lover in Utah.
Shipley, remember Pancakananas? It’s been great sitting on the stairs & checking Instagram with you a few nights a week. Thanks for meeting me at Zumba on Saturdays, I hope I’ll see you there often.
Carlos, I’m so glad that we’ve gotten to know each other. Thank you for your constant smile, for your brilliant laugh, for sharing yourself. I really look up to you, and I’m proud of you.
Izzy, I have had so much fun with you! Laughing, dancing…thank you for your patience with me in The Club, and thank you for knowing Single Ladies. You’ve been so sweet to me and my family, thank you for being you.
Jason, I don’t even know where to begin. (Stop being so stupid.) I’ve learned a lot from you, about a lot of things. Thanks for the laughs and the jokes and the chats. And a bunch of other stuff. We’re not done.
Pregnant Jenn, you are very sweet and I’m so excited for you to have a baby! We haven’t been able to work together very often, but I’m grateful for the times we have. Thank you for your beautiful smile. I look forward to seeing you as a mom.
The Other Funny Jenn, laughing with you is one of my favorite things to do. Thanks for being so easy-going and fun to be with. I really do hope we get together, with and without our kids, and even run together. And, of course, practice our special dance moves.
Katie, I’ve loved getting to know you. Thank you for your energy and your beautiful laugh. Sorry for pushing you in the club to start a fight all those nights. #SorryNotSorry I hope we get together at the gym before too long.
Ashley, you are a sweet and loving Mama. I still have the card you gave me hanging in my room, I look at it every day. Thank you for reaching out and for understanding those Mother Heart things. You are a gem.
Shelby, I think about you all the time. Thank you for your integrity and example and strength. I look forward to following your career, I love to watch you on stage. You are funny and fun and awesome, and let’s go to Disneyland.
Deb, you beautiful girl. Thank you for indulging my dancing next to you. You are so much fun and have a bright future. I just want to watch you dance all the time – is that too much to ask?
Gabi, you are the cutest. I couldn’t have asked for a better double. You are a beautiful young woman and I look forward to seeing where you take life. Thank you for your excitement. You can do anything.
Chris, Justin, and Jenny, thank you for taking a chance on me, and thank you for your instruction and patience. This, without question, has been one of the best experiences of my life.
Cody, Linda, Cody, Anne, Maryann, Amanda, Janna, Todd, and Andy, thank you for your work and guidance and attention to detail, for providing what’s needed for a fantastic production. From the food on Saturdays to conversations in the house, and awesome music played before the shows and during dance parties, and that one time Cody showed up to fix the show during the show, you’re all the best at what you do.
Meagan, I continue to be Apprentice to your Master when it comes to hair. Thanks for joking around with me and for introducing me to Mrs. Miller. I can’t believe it took us this long to meet, but I’m glad it happened (you and me, not me and Mrs. Miller) (although…). I’m so looking forward to taking our air band on the road, and to being you for Halloween next year.
I have a scar on my left leg from when I fell opening night, and I'm kind of glad it's there. Not that I'd need any help remembering.