Not to diminish any of the other fabulous parts of our show, but there are two stand-out moments in The Addams Family. The first is when Wednesday, played by Jennifer Fogarty, belts out an incredible song called “Pulled.” The second is when Alice, played by Blair Anderson, delivers a powerhouse song called “Waiting.” Both performances absolutely thrill audiences and are always praised by critics.
This past week, both Blair and Jen lost their voices due to illnesses. Blair has been out for over a week, and Jen has only missed one show at this point. Their understudies both do a terrific job, but the loss of a voice for a singer is terrifying. And being that I have lots and lots of time to ponder life, it reminds me how powerful our voices can be.
I was born missing a certain chip. It is the one where people are supposed to keep their mouths shut. I have never been one to back away from an issue I am passionate about. From talking my 12th grade teacher out of reversing my 14 tardies by pointing out she didn’t have written records to back up her claims, to pulling Sam out of a Kindergarten class because his teacher had bad grammar (his report card said “he is do a goo job”), I refuse to be silent.
I have confronted everyone from employers to rabbis when I spot something unfair. I have composed letters stating my positions on situations that are not right, and from problems with insurance companies to stores to restaurants, I’m the one in the family who says, “I’ll handle it.” Craig will not buy a car without me there to negotiate. I can convince credit card companies to reverse charges and will confront anyone I catch saying untruths about people I care about.
Our voices are powerful and we can choose whether or not to use them. Sometimes I wish I could silence mine. I just can’t keep quiet when I spot something wrong. I am pro-abortion, gay rights, and free speech. I believe marijuana should be legal and people should be able to choose when they want to die if they are very ill. However, I couldn’t work for the ACLU because I do not believe the 2nd amendment was meant to include assault rifles or semi-automatic weapons. In fact, I don’t believe most private citizens need guns at all.
The two greatest challenges of my life occurred when I was rush president of my sorority at Michigan State University and when I chaired a gala for a local theatre in Arizona. In both situations, I demanded that I be allowed to re-create the format of the event. Both involved challenging higher-ups and also getting my way to let everyone involved in both events to wear costumes. (I really, really love costumes).
Recently, I thought about those two events. My sorority was called SDT and the theatre is DST. Rearranged, both have the same letters. I have decided it is a symbol: Don’t Stop Trying.
So, to all you out there fighting for what you believe in, do not silence your voices. You are being heard. And for Jen and Blair: your beautiful voices will come back soon. They inspire people everywhere and bring us to our knees.
And to those who get the reference of this blog title, I am proud of you. If you don’t, rent “Harold and Maude” today. It’s the best movie ever.
And I will argue with anyone out there who disagrees with that.