Sunday, May 06, 2007

Amazing Mayzie

I have the most amazing friends.

Like Kelli Morgan.

Kelli played "Amazing Mayzie" in the production of SEUSSICAL I recently closed and is currently knocking 'em dead singing and swimming in the Pegasus Players production of the rarely seen Stephen Sondheim musical, THE FROGS.

Yes, I said "singing and swimming" because THE FROGS, based on Aristophanes original play, takes place in a swimming pool.

Take that, COLOR PURPLE!

Yesterday, Kelli sent me this email.

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I have spent the last year teaching at the Von Humboldt School in Humboldt Park, for Chicago Opera Theatre. I have taught nearly 250 students a class in opera, general music , and theatre. This past week was our final "opera" ( I use this term loosely considering there was rapping in it...), a version of The Odyssey.

Von Humboldt is a Title 1 school, meaning 99% of the students are on total government aid, and their families are in the lowest income bracket in the Unites States. Several of my students live in a temporary shelter, and they all receive free breakfast and lunch, sometimes their only meals for the day. I not writing an email to inform you of the numerous problems with our welfare system and Chicago Public Schools, but on behalf of one student I have named Sahara.

Sahara is 11 years old, and extremely talented. She played Penelope in our opera at school , and she did an amazing job. Sahara is a great student, a leader, and has real talent. Her natural stage presence and focus stood out all year in the virtual sea of students that I had.

I am teaching at the Emerald City Musical Theatre camp this summer, it is a two week long program that includes voice class, dance class, scene study and a final performance on the stage at Victory Gardens Theatre. I am desperately trying to find a way to get Sahara to this camp, because she deserves it.

Her amazing teacher Mrs. Saffa, is willing to give a $150 to help out, but the total cost of the camp is $750. I am asking if anyone who thinks they could give a few bucks to get this young lady to camp to help out. As a fellow starving artist, I know I am asking a lot, but I figured if most of my friends and colleagues could give $10 bucks, I could probably make this work. I will take Sahara to and from the camp and provide her lunch if I can cover the tuition.

Again, I am not trying to be Sally Struthers and bother you in any way, it was just an idea that occurred to me when I watched the dedication in Sahara eyes during the performance on Thursday. If there is one thing I have learned this year teaching, it is that I am lucky. Truly, truly lucky. I have amazing parents who still encourage and support me in everything, and they had the financial ability to help me discover my talents. I want to do the same for this little girl in return, because her family does not have the means to, it as simple as that.

Thank you-

Kelli is truly incredible. She has a spirit filled with love and generosity that are endless. If you would like to join me in making a donation to help Sahara attend Emerald City's musical theatre camp, email me and and I will pass the information on to Kelli.

Not only is Kelli beautiful, talented, generous and a true humanitarian, she also is able to work in a Sally Struthers reference in her appeal for donations!

That's brilliant.

Truly brilliant!

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