Sam’s very first obsession was not technically with theatre. It was actually puppets. He loved to put on puppet shows and when he turned 4, all of his friends chipped in to get him an actual wooden puppet theatre.
While he loved all puppets, he always loved the Muppets and all things Jim Henson. Who doesn’t, really? Throughout the tour I had a book of Jim Henson’s most famous quotes and lyrics. I looked at it a lot for comfort. He loved to talk about dreams and imagination. He loved the power of a group of people coming together to put on a show and make people smile.
As Sam and I sit on our plane back to AZ today, I am thinking about our goodbyes last night. We cried and hugged and posed for pictures. We promised to keep in touch and there were some people to whom it was too painful to actually say a final goodbye to. Yes, it was just like that last night of camp where you smile and cry at the same time. That pit in your stomach that just plain hurts. (Although I’m a little disappointed Addams Family: I requested a bonfire with s’mores and singing Leaving On A Jet Plane. It really isn’t goodbye unless Peter, Paul and Mary are involved.)
I wonder what our reemergence into the real world will be like. I keep picturing that scene from Poltergeist where they emerge through the “light” covered in goo. They seem confused and disoriented (especially Carolann who I’m sure will need therapy forever to get over her fear of trees.) I am sure that when Sam and I get home we will feel that way, minus the goo (although I am covered in the sugary goodness that is Portland. Voodoo Donuts. Salt and Straw Ice Cream and the Waffle Window? Portland, you are a deliciously naughty town filled with people who are still in very good shape despite all the food carts.)
The crazy adventures of the Addams clan will go on as they head to Asia this week for the summer and then continue on through the USA until June 2014. They will continue on without wacky old me: the one who put detergent into a dryer in Omaha and ruined the hotel laundry room; the one who constantly tried to organize crazy adventures no one was really interested in; the one who used the bus toilet more than anyone, and the one who finally got to song Tiny Dancer on the bus ala Almost Famous except that I sang it by myself as I collected their garbage.
Tonight we come home and have another farewell as we say goodbye to Carlotta who is going back to Austria tomorrow.
All of these characters on and off the road helped us move right along to finish the story. ” The lovers, the dreamers and me.” Me, the observer and witness to the power of togetherness with a common goal. There was a cast and crew picture last night and everyone told me to get in the picture. But I didn’t because I always felt, in my mind, that I was the audience and not really part of the show. They were the magic makers. I was the one sitting there in awe.
My favorite Ernie song is “I don’t want to live on the moon.” He sings about how he wants to see everything special out there in the world, but the best place, ultimately, is at home. (Ernie chooses the moon as his magic place, which is, ironically, where Uncle Fester ultimately decides to go in our show to to find happiness). For some people on this tour, the road is their home. They love the thrill of the adventure and feel happiest when their feet are off the ground. I totally get that. Now more than ever.
I loved my trip on the Muppets family bus. Every funny moment and inside joke and all of the bus games. I loved every second. But my home is where my family is. And although my home is in a land where it’s 120 degrees and the air conditioning is broken, Ernie’s words are guiding me home today.
Well I’d like to visit the moon,
On a rocket ship high in the air;
Yes I’d like to visit the moon,
But I don’t think I’d like to live there.
Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above, I would miss all the places and people I love.
So although I would like it for one afternoon, I don’t want to live on the moon.
So if I should visit the moon,
Well, I’d dance on a moonbeam and then,
I’d make a wish on a star, and wish I was home once again.
So although I may go, I’ll be coming home soon, cause I don’t want to live on the moon. No I don’t want to live on the moon.
The man on the plane next to me just asked me where i was coming from. The moon, I said.
Enjoy the rest of your ride my fellow travelers. I can’t wait to visit you and dance on the moonbeams again.