Brendan McGrath played "Javert," and is active - duty Air Force. When
he was re-stationed from Germany to Italy, he sent this note of farewell to
the cast and crew:
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Hello my Miserables brothers and sisters,
Well, it appears a Les Mis Heidelberg news group has formed, judging by our recent e-mail traffic. Since I now have 64 Thank You cards that I didn't fill out and give to you all on closing day- yes they are still in the packages- I wanted to at least say a few words via here.
When I first came to Heidelberg for auditions, I was an outsider coming from Sembach trying out for a dream that I never in my wildest imagination thought would come true. I was sure after call-backs that I would not be cast, as I was probably the worst singer of the lot auditioning for Javert, with zero acting experience. After the selection was made, I thought I only got it because I was military and they needed to fill a quota or something, since it is really a military theater!!
Well, I was sure I had an extremely rough road ahead, and that was an understatement. I think I came close to a coronary on several occasions -- once my arm even got numb out of anger at myself for not living up to my personnel expectations.
At any rate, where I am going with this whole thing is that the team we had from cast to tech crew to director was such a great bunch of people, and so supportive, it made the journey that much easier. I probably would have quit if everyone blacklisted me and shut me out, but that was not the case. You are all true professionals in my eyes, for having positive, cheerful, can-do attitudes.
I have never experienced a greater sense of camaraderie, not in any of my military units in 15 years of service, as I have with this cast and crew. Not once did I feel unwelcome. We had some great laughs and shared some great stories, especially in the principals' dressing room (and yes, they were all true! I have pictures, available to be scanned to you for a nominal membership fee of $9.99 per month. HAAAA). As the principals also know, I am very capable of sticking my foot in my mouth and various other orifices, but those comments, which were meant in jest or ignorance or just plain stupidity, were laughed off with a sense of humor only eccentric theater people could have.
I truly feel like a part of my family has moved away now, and as I plan my move to Italy on the 1st of July, I will miss you all and think often of our four months together. I am sure it will be all downhill from here if I choose to attempt acting again (or should I say for the first time); since I am the type of person that doesn't like to regress, I probably won't do it again, since I can't top this experience.
Anyway, I think my Elvis roadshow is going to be a phenomenal hit In Italy (have to finally get that wig). Take care all, and keep the e-mail coming. You are all welcome to come to Italy after I get settled and find my chateau on the beach, well, maybe I will have a stream or pond somewhere nearby, or a birdbath.
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