This year we have our first group of OG’s from our very first brick and mortar location starting their senior year of high school. How did we go from asking them to put away their Pokémon cards to watching them pull up in parking lot in their first cars? It sneaks up on you, their progression as humans. We have the added advantage of watching them grow over an extended period of time. If you are teaching middle or high school, you know the drill. Three years. Four, tops.
At the studio, they come in around 8 or 9 years old and may spend the next 8-10 years with us.
You’ll excuse me if I get a little misty, but I have to say, it is such an honor to witness their growth not only as artists, but as humans.
When we are doing our jobs successfully, they emerge as leaders in class, rehearsals, and performances. On more than one occasion in a rehearsal, they will turn to me and give me a “dude, you need to sit down, we got this” kind of look. I will acquiesce and go sit in the corner and scroll on my phone. Huh?
The good news is they still want me to watch them (what artist doesn’t want that kind of attention?) and I am happy to give feedback when they ask. Sometimes, I am scratching my head or shaking it to and fro, which they take as a sign I am unhappy with something. I am just trying to shake off the time-traveling aspect of this apparition I see before me. A younger Play-Doh version of them can be found sprouting and shooting up like that sweet potato in a jar. But I can still see the outline of who they were existing with the latest version of who they are.