Seasons of Love

It seems like every time I talk to someone from back home they always start off by asking, “How is Florida?”  The answer is always the same.  “It’s hot.”  Yes, Florida; the eternal summer.  Sure it cools down for a month or so come January, but as a kid with a December birthday it still bothers me that I can’t walk around with jeans and a hoodie on December 20th without sweating through the first layer within an hour.  Another question we Cast Members tend to get a lot is, “How long have you been with the Company?”  It feels like it gets harder each year to answer the question.  Since many of us can’t go by our service anniversary, we feel the need to specify that year we spent as an intern and that other year that we spent as part time or seasonal.  It ends up being a complicated answer.  At first I started counting the years by how many Food & Wine Festivals I had been here for.  Then at some point I started counting the years by what play I was directing or what STAGE project was going on at the time.

Maybe it’s just a part of getting older, but I contribute part of the confusion of the years blending together to the constant heat here in Florida.  It’s harder to tell the years apart when there is no apparent change of seasons.  Back home in the Midwest, we would refer to the winter of a particular year or the summer of another (usually referring to a storm that hit that year).  Unlike when we were in school, we no longer count the years by what grade we are in.  Instead, especially here in the subtropical climate, we have to search for something else to measure the years.

In 2005, I dragged my family on Thanksgiving Day to the opening day of RENT, the movie.  I sat there with my sister, my dad, and my Russian stepmother, Natasha.  Considering the long list of cross-cultural miscues that we had encountered over the years with Natasha, I wondered how much of this movie she would understand.  In the lobby, after the movie was over, the short, awkward discussion I had been anticipating began.  To my surprise, Natasha loved the film and I can still remember her saying, “I just loved this song about how to measure your life.  To measure in love.  It was so beautiful.”  At the time I was just glad that she liked it.  Now that  I’m at the point in life where I understand the concept more, I think back to her reaction to RENT as one of the most genuine and natural responses to what that show and that song represents.

For all of the friends that come and go so quickly here in our World, it truly does help to measure our lives in love.  Our club brings Cast Members from around our World together for a common passion, and having the opportunity to meet others from across the globe has made me cherish every minute that we all spend together.  All five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred of them.