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Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Ain't It Good?"

Last night at Rockingham Community College the Theatre Guild of Rockingham County held its season-ending banquet, followed by the 2007-2008 Golden Guild Awards. That's the annual ceremony that honors those who volunteered during the previous season. The various award winners are chosen based on votes cast by the cast and crew of the shows.

In addition to the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, Best Production etc., there is what is called the Spirit Award. There's one given for each show during a season's run. I was told that it goes to the person who "best exemplifies enthusiasm for a show".

The last Spirit Award for the 2007-2008 Golden Guild Awards was the one for Children of Eden.

And I'm still reeling in shock after the envelope was opened and hearing "Chris Knight" announced as the winner!

I barely remember staggering on stage, and the first words out of my mouth at the podium were "Holy cow!" I quickly stammered how I'd first seen Children of Eden performed at Elon in 1998, and how I fell in love with the show and for almost ten years wanted to be part of it. How I told the producers at the audition that I knew that I couldn't sing and that I get booed off stage every time that I play Karaoke Revolution. That I just wanted to be part of this even if it meant working backstage and how thankful I was that they let me have this opportunity. I thanked my wife Lisa for supporting me, thanked God for letting me do this, thanked Mom and Dad and that I was glad that they got to come see me perform. And I said that even though he was no longer with us, I knew he was there in spirit and I thanked Gene Saunders, my drama teacher in high school and the founder of the Theatre Guild, 'cuz I definitely wanted to give this my best shot to honor his memory. And I vaguely remember getting a standing ovation 'cuz by that point, folks, I was seriously holding back the tears.

Getting to be in Children of Eden was not only the fulfillment of a dream, it became one of the greatest experiences of my life. And the best part of that was getting to know so many wonderful people. Making not just new friends, but becoming part of a terrific family: people who know and love and stand beside each other through thick and thin. To receive the Spirit Award for Children of Eden from these people... well, that has to rank right up there with Eagle Scout and marrying Lisa for lifetime achievement in my book :-)

Here I am with the Spirit Award for Children of Eden...

Seth and Seth's Wife reunited! Me and Tish Owens, who also racked-up Golden Guild Awards for Children of Eden and Steel Magnolias...

And here's most of the people who received an award at this year's ceremony (including Pete Barr, the director of Children of Eden which won for Best Production)...

I'll throw up the complete list of who won what as soon as I can get hold of the official roster of recipients.

Thanks to Tish Owens for providing a lot of these pics.

And thanks to the cast and crew of Children of Eden for giving me this honor. 'Twould be an understatement to say that I've been immensely humbled by this.

By the way, after the Golden Guild Awards last night, Lisa and I were driving back and we decided to stop by Mom and Dad's first to show the Spirit Award to them. I couldn't think of a better song to celebrate with than to crank up "Ain't It Good?" from the Children of Eden soundtrack on my iPod over the car stereo system.

"Ain't It Good"? It is indeed :-)


Anonymous said...

Holy mackerel! :-)

AfterShock said...

Congratulations my friend! I wish I could've made it out there to see the production. :)

Chad said...

Congratulations, Chris! Way to go. I'm glad I was able to see the show.

Anonymous said...

That's great, my friend. After all the enthusiasm you showed for the play on this blog, I'm not at all surprised that you'd win the "Spirit" award.

Way to go, bro!


qemuel said...

Congratulations, broheim!