There’s no place like home


Some photos from The Wizard of Oz, featuring the munchkins and backstage shenanigans.

When I walk into school my hands aren’t full anymore. When I leave school I get to go home and do my homework. When I go to bed it’s not almost 1:00 in the morning. When I’m at lunch I’m not nearly falling asleep.

I don’t like it.

I miss bumping into people in the hallway because I have so many bags. I miss not getting my homework done until 10 or 11. I miss getting four hours of sleep and then complaining about it. I miss everything.

I’ve never done anything similar to what I did these past couple months. I’ve never been in charge of twenty-five children. I’ve never had such an important title to my name. But I loved every single second of this process.

The Wizard of Oz is a story that I’ve always been familiar with, but I don’t remember having ever actually watched the movie or seen the show. However, I can safely say that it is now one of my favorite shows, solely based on the memories I’ve learned to associate with it over the past few months.

I love children, but I never would’ve volunteered to watch twenty-five of them. That is until I was told I didn’t get to do it anymore. Then, I cried and begged to go back to the kids.

The Munchkins made me feel really special. They looked up to me, they doted on me, and all they wanted was to be by me. It was definitely an ego boost.

There were times when I didn’t want to handle them anymore. They were driving me crazy to the point of tears. But they would always make up for it, and I never could’ve actually left them.

I cried every time they performed. I know it sounds dramatic, but I am so proud of them. They grew so much, and they were absolutely perfect. I was so proud.

It felt like another family. I felt like their mom, which I suppose is why I was gifted the ‘Teen Mom’ award. I miss them already. Being at the FAC with them felt like home. It felt special. It felt perfect.

So, thank you to my Munchkins for making me feel so incredibly loved and special.

Harper T, you are the cutest little person I have ever met. Your smile lights up the room, and your hugs make me feel ten times happier than I already am. Thank you for making me smile. Harper C, you literally broke your toe and had a cold, but you still came to the shows with a smile on your face. You cried in my arms two minutes before you went on stage, but you brushed it off and performed. That’s a true actress, Harp, and I’m very proud of you. Hailey, you are an amazing little performer. It’s a shame you weren’t allowed to be Dorothy because you played her so well. Someday you can. Lainey, you never fail to make me laugh, even if what you’re doing is only to annoy me. You will be a fabulous Glinda if you ever get the chance. Soleil, you are an incredible dancer, and we are all so lucky that you were there. You are even more prepared than I am, and that’s saying something. They made the perfect choice for the Lullaby League. Nysa, you are so kind and sweet. You sit patiently while I do your hair, and you are always smiling. Texas is going to love you, and we are going to miss you. Luke, you played your role so well, even when we were just rehearsing. You got along with the boys, and it was great to see you making new friends. Liam D, thank you for wearing your makeup. I know you hate it, and I know that it was a fight every day to make it happen. But, you did it. Did we have to bribe you? Yes. But I appreciate it nonetheless. Luca, you are so inquisitive, and you almost never stop talking. I appreciate your constant stream of thoughts, and I appreciate you interacting with the other munchkins. Timmy, you blew me away the moment you started singing. You are incredibly talented, and you are definitely going to succeed in acting if that’s what you want. It was an honor working with you. Lulu, you have such a big personality, and that is what makes you as talented as you are. Every time you had a line, it was delivered with so much energy and emotion. Congratulations Lulu. Emma, you have such a kind heart. Your voice is so sweet, and you tried to be friends with everyone. I’m so proud of you Emma. You were nervous, but you went out there and did amazing. Grace, you were always so enthusiastic, and ready to go. Whenever I would say that we were going to practice, you would jump up and head right to your spot. Thank you for listening to me (most of the time). Lily, we bonded really quickly over the fact that we weren’t going to be on time for Tech Saturday due to our OM competition. I am so proud of how you performed in the shows. You did amazing. I’m also proud of you for making it to World’s, and I can’t wait to see you there. Maddy, I wish you didn’t leave early for spring break, because it meant that we got to see less of you. You have so much energy on stage, and you projected your character so well. I’m proud of you. Lizzy, you had quite a few snafus during the week of the show. You ran head-first into a wall, your costume broke, and it was your birthday. But, you powered through, and performed as well as you could, and you did amazing. Willow, when I first met you, you didn’t talk much. But, by the end of the show I had to constantly ask you to stop talking. And, as much as it drove me crazy, I am so proud of you for opening up and making friends. Liam S, you are so funny. You were constantly making me laugh. You also were pretty insightful for a ten-year-old, and you even made some of the high schoolers cry because of what you said. Congratulations Liam, that’s a hard thing to do. Abby, you did an amazing job. You weren’t given a ton to work with, but you did all you could to put your character out there and to be seen. I would have given you a standing ovation. Violet, at the beginning you mostly stuck to Piper’s side, but you very quickly warmed up to everyone else, and became one of the most outgoing kids at rehearsals. You made sure that everyone was having fun and being included. Plus, you did absolutely incredible once you hit the stage. Katie, you had so much fun on stage, and it was obvious. You acted and danced your heart out. You put everything into your performances, and that is incredible. Ekjit, you had such a calming presence on everyone. You didn’t talk much, so when you did everyone listened, which is an incredible skill. Piper, you were, undeniably, the most outgoing person in the entire building. That’s saying something considering the building was full of people who love to put themselves out there. You had so much fun, and you acted in a way that I could treat you as a friend, not a child. I’m so proud of you. Adeline, you were so much fun to be around. You participated in all the games going on during our downtime, and you did amazing on stage. Ava, you were so incredibly enthusiastic. You were always ready to practice, and you had no problem telling people they were doing it wrong. You took charge of some people in our little group, and you made sure they knew what they were doing. I’m so glad that I will still get to see you even though it’s not every day anymore.

So, thank you to my Munchkins for making me feel so incredibly loved and special.

You guys all were an asset to the show, and I know that you were a joy to everyone involved. You and the high schoolers got along—so much so that I literally had to yell at high schoolers to stop talking to you backstage—and Kyle was a completely different person around you. You guys lit up that stage, and you performed your hearts out. I am so proud of each and every one of you, and I hope that you all proceed with theater. I can’t wait to come back in a few years and see you on The FAC stage again.

Ellie, Ella, and Meg-

You three have been by my side through my theater experience, whether it be for four shows, or only two. You three kept me sane this show. You have been like my sisters since day one, and once you are all gone I am going to be so lost. Ellie, I write to you literally so much, but this is going to be one of the last times. This was our last show together, and it was incredible. I know how hard you worked, and I am so proud of you. Thank you for helping me get Liam to wear his makeup, he would’ve gone out with a blank face if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for helping me control the children when I was too stressed to do it. Thank you for joining theater last year because if you hadn’t I would be a completely different person. I don’t know what I’ll do without you next year, but thank you for everything. Ella, you have been with me since the beginning of my theater career. We worked with Lily in costumes last year, and then it was just us. I know that you’ve been handed a bunch of different people to help you out throughout the past two years, but you’ve done an amazing job. The costumes always look amazing. Thank you for always making us laugh, and thank you for always being there for me. You tried your best to help me out when I was laying on the floor crying. I am so thankful for you. Meg, my first memory of you is during curtain call rehearsals for the play last year, and you told me that since I was the only freshman on cast and crew, I had to bow last. Which is fair, but that’s the first thing I remember. You’ve been a light in my theater life since we met, and I know that I’m stressing out you’ll tell me to chill. You always tell it like it is, and I appreciate that. Thank you for everything, and thank you for not being a senior. It calms me slightly to know that I’ll still have you next year. You three are my closest theater family, so thank you for being the reason I keep coming back.

Alayna, Audrey, and Lili-

You three are newer to our group, but essential nonetheless. You’ve made this year amazing for me, and I love you all for it. Alayna, we’ve been friends for a while, but I’m so glad you decided to join our crew family this year. Thank you for doing spots even though you didn’t want to. You did an amazing job, and I know it can be hard and boring. So thank you. Audrey, you are amazing. You do literally anything I ask you to with no complaints at all. I appreciate it so much. I know you are going to make a great student director someday if that’s what you decide to do. Thank you for being so lenient, and helping me out constantly. Lili, you always make me smile. Whether it’s outside of the band room after school, or backstage. You are slowly learning how to manage lots of parts of the theater, and you’re only going to get better. Thank you.

Emma and Dayna-

You two are so incredible. I can’t even begin to understand how you do everything you do. You’ve done so much for our crew, and you honestly hold us together. Dayna, you are on top of everything. You always seem like you have everything under control, and you always appear to know what you’re doing. You do literally everything, and our shows would fail without you. There is no one that can replace you, and we are going to struggle without you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for doing everything. I’m going to miss you. Emma, you willingly moved to a new department, and you succeeded. You did amazing in props for this show, just like you do amazing on deck. You are incredible. Thank you for making me smile all the time, and thank you for doing anything you’re asked. I hope I still get to see you. You will be missed.

Thank you to everyone who worked on this show. You made it incredible. I hold my theater memories close to my heart, and you are all like a second family. I love you all. The FAC has become my second home throughout these two years, and it is going to feel empty when I return. But I know those returning with me will continue to succeed and thrive. I can’t wait for the next show, and I can’t wait to step into a leadership position. I will miss the FAC every moment until we’re back there. After all, there’s no place like home.