My final show of 2011 summed up the year pretty well. I was honored to be working on the stage at the McGlohon Theatre in my hometown of Charlotte, NC. This auditorium hosted some of the finest entertainment the world has known, from Shakespeare plays to Ray Charles to the man himself: jazz pianist Loonis McGlohon. It has very warm feel to it, the stained glass and domed ceiling from back when it was a church still proudly remain. It is still a holy place. The music and laughter are ingrained in the very walls of the place.
Standing backstage, I pondered the many who have walked those boards before me, and the love they shared with the people. Standing there, in the dark, I wondered if they felt the same nervous tension while they waited for that one moment in the spotlight. I closed my eyes …
2011 took me to Germany, France and England. I entertained people in Vancouver, Vegas and San Diego. I headlined my own room at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. I met world class artists and shared bread and philosophy with them. My cup runneth over, indeed. This last night, I was home – in Charlotte – in front of my neighbors and fellow Charlatans. Most of them had never heard of me before tonight. This was where I dreamed of being, back when it all started 19 years ago on January 1, 1993. I opened my eyes.
In the dark, I hear the MC (the incomparable John Tosco) announcing my name, and the polite applause welcoming me. Stepping into the light, I pause at the edge of the stage to take this in, the enormity of this moment. (Yeah, call me sentimental or cheesy. I’m cool with that.) In a second, I’m going to let Hannibal have his way with this crowd. (I’m envious.) But for just one more tick, let me have this. Nothing else matters but this moment.
“If I cannot bring you comfort
Then at least I bring you hope
For nothing is more precious
Than the time we have.” ~ Wendy & Lisa