Performing On-Stage With Erin

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been a role model dad. The reason why A.J. and Erin are the fantastic, talented, brilliant children that they are is due to the awesome parenting skills of my amazing wife, Kristi. She deserves a sainthood for doing all that she has done while I was at work or playing around at one of the various hobbies that I have had over the years. I am fortunate, however, that she does allow me to take some of the credit even if it is undeserved.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to perform on-stage with Erin in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at Waukesha Civic Theatre. Ever since the Dramagoons began this acting thing, I have been trying to land parent/child roles in a show with either A.J. or Erin. This summer, Erin and I were lucky enough to be cast as Violet Beauregarde and her father, Sam. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time as a parent. For the last month or so, I have been able to hang out with my daughter while rehearsing and performing and we’ve had nice chats in the car on the way to and from the theatre. Plus, I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate what wonderful young lady she has become.

What is really neat about this is that all of our scenes are together. Playing father and daughter, we get to share a closeness on-stage that would be difficult to share with another actor that isn’t your own child. And I am really grateful that while Erin plays the bratty Violet extremely well, she doesn’t treat her real dad as awfully as her character does.

I know that I will remember this show and this experience for a long time to come. I can only hope that A.J. and I will also be able to have a similar experience some time soon.

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