Care-Fronting My Director

Last Sunday, I posted a blog entry that revealed how a brave 15-year-old inspired me to reclaim my love for singing: One of the actions I listed to reclaim my love for singing was to care-front the director of “A Chorus Line” with a clean, blame-free communication which addressed an event that made me give up singing for many years afterwards.

I composed a Facebook message that same Sunday night. FIVE MINUTES LATER,
she wrote back! What she wrote blew my mind and made me emotional.
Below is what she wrote:

“I am very moved and blown away by your message and it brought me to tears. I am going to listen to your songs tomorrow because it’s late right now and I was actually in
bed on my way to sleep when your message came in. I will write you back
more too.

But let me just say this tonight. You WERE right for Richie and you did a FABULOUS job with the role. Just because you couldn’t hit a couple of notes doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the right part for you. And you are right, as a director I look to put on the best show and sometimes that means tweaking some things a bit. Many shows I’ve directed have had modifications of some sort. It’s creating a work of art that is molded to its perfection.

You would make an awesome Emcee. I directed that show as well. Love that song you
mentioned and I am looking forward to hearing you sing it.

More to be shared tomorrow. ACL will always hold found memories – you made it special with the rest of the cast. I am very proud to have brought such an incredible piece of work to the stage!

So here’s a little more to add to my message that I wrote to you late last night. I do remember the incident that you referenced in your message after I reassigned some of Richie’s vocals to NAME (I, Jorge, removed his name)  On a personal level, I felt very bad making that decision, but as you said and I agreed, I did it for the show. I recall that we were moving close to production week and sitting in the back of the auditorium looking at the line and seeing an open space. I didn’t realize who was missing at first, and then our assistant manager told me it was you … that you were upset and went to the restroom. I realized it had bothered you very much and I felt bad. When I directed Cabaret, I had to pull an entire song from the fellow who played Cliff. It just wasn’t working for him. The song is often struck from the show, so it really didn’t impact the run of the show. But it made me feel really bad as well, but it was for the good of the show.

I see now that you will be directing some music videos. I don’t know your other directorial experiences, but I would imagine that you have had to make some tough decisions as well. And if you haven’t, you will more than likely come across times when you will. You know the saying … “it’s lonely at the top.” Well, it’s true.

I’ve listened to the links that you sent me and I’ve read your blog about Juliet and how she inspired you. Very well written piece. The vocals are wonderful and you are a very talented singer. I’m sorry that the experience in ACL impacted your choice not to further your singing career. Don’t know if you knew this, but you were not the only male with dark skin (who auditioned for “A Chorus Line”) I will still go by what I said before …you were a fabulous Richie!

So, without rambling any more, I’ll close by saying I wish you well in all your future endeavors in the entertainment world, whatever they may be. I like reading your FB posts. I have a VHS tape of our ACL show … and I’d be happy to make you a DVD
of it … if you would like. Just let me know. Again … wishing you well.“

The exchange we had really created a powerful sense of resolution and closure for me. I can move on cleanly and powerfully from this. The event I experienced many years ago no longer has a hold on me. I hope that my experience inspires you to care-front someone or something in your life right now. Because the biggest lesson I learned from all of this is to DO IT NOW. I had a failed purpose with singing for MANY years. That could have been easily avoided if only I had handled this immediately. Do it now. Handle it now. Don’t wait to take care of something.


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