An open letter to Emily Toppen

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I cannot believe the time has come so soon; you are graduating next week. Where did all the time go? When did we all speed ahead to your graduation? I’ve spent two years as your mini-me, but now I have to be the leader of all. I will have a pup-in-a-cup-shaped space next to me through the next year.

You have spent two years training me, and I am so grateful that you are the person I will follow. You have showed me how to be nurturing, but also have a good grip on the cast and crew members. You have shown such kindness that brings the group just that much closer together. I now have to step up and lead the program, but I feel you have prepared me for this. I have traits that I will and will not use that I learned from you. I now know all the little “tips and tricks” for running the light and sound boards. I know how to keep organized for running and calling a show. I have learned how to corral the cast and crew during rushes of excitement before, during, and after shows.

I will never ever forget our enjoyable and goofy memories that we have made through this journey together: jamming out to our one special song we loved to sing in the car; running like the wind throughout the Fine Arts Center, getting things ready for shows; getting coffee just to survive the days together; slipping into slaphappy moods and laughing at everything we found just the slightest bit funny; eating so many sweets and treats during show weeks and auditions; and making fools of ourselves, like when we were in a single spotlight on center stage, with Crocs on, dancing a jig to a salsa version of “Happy Birthday” for Emily DeMeester’s birthday.

It is going to be weird next year without you to jig around with. I will miss the infamous Toppen brownies at every audition. I will miss the late nights spent working and laughing. I will miss having a “big sister” to come to when things happened throughout the school day. It was such a pleasure to work with you and have it be such a deeper relationship, because we got to be friends while doing it. Thank you for all you have taught me through theater. Thank you for letting me be a part of your high school journey. I will miss you dearly next year.

Lots of love,

KK

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