Taking Flight

Last night, I saw Sab Jose take flight. I met Sab during No Filter. She’s partners with Toff in The Sandbox Collective and when we were working on No Filter, she handled all the marketing and PR and she was the assistant director and acting coach for the play. We got close, of course, like everyone did in that production and she told me how much she missed being on stage. She is a talented singer and actress but she’s never really broken out just yet and she had put her thespian dreams in the back burner to help get The Sandbox Collective up and running.

But as we were putting No Filter together, she began to long to go back on stage and really put herself out there.

In two weeks, she’s leaving for London. She took a risk, auditioned, and got a slot to take her Masters in Musical Theater in London and she’s ready to make a serious go at it for the second time. She wanted to have an intimate little send off party but her mom, like all moms, is super supportive and told her she should do a solo concert to really go with a bang.

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The curtain call for Waiting in the Wings, Sab Jose ending the night with all her special guests

So, last night, she bore her soul on stage in her solo concert called Waiting in the Wings. It was an almost three hour long concert with sixteen songs and she had guest performers with her. RCBC theater was filled with her friends and family, everyone who wanted to see her fly. And she flew.

Sab was resplendent.

The moment she got over her nerves, she got better and better after every song. The song choices were thematic and followed an emotional arc for her and by the time she sang her closing song for the first act — a song called Gimme Gimme, which was her audition piece that got her in her Masteral program — she was on fire. By the second act, she blew everyone away. She was no longer just singing but she was performing. She was in the moment and she sang a beautiful, powerful, moving version of a mash-up between Miss Saigon‘s I Will Give My Life For You and Les Miserables‘ I Dreamed a Dream. Her voice just soared and she was a star.

And I was so inspired. Something sparked inside of me and as much as I was so happy for her, I was also so jealous. Admitting to her insecurities and self-doubt while on stage, in between songs, and narrating why she had to do this and to go to London to study more, she still went up on stage and commanded our rapt attention. She showed us the star that was inside of her, the one that she’d been chasing after her whole life, and she laid it out there for all of us to see. Sure, she may never have been casted as the lead in the professional theater productions she was part of but now she showed us all why that was a mistake because she was absolutely magical.

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Sab and I at the lobby, after the show, when I realized that I could love her even more now, after she taught me what it means to truly be brave and to truly be an artist

And I wanted that. I wanted that moment. Four of the last songs brought us all to tears and we were so happy for her and when she ended and took her bow, we gave her a standing ovation and not because we loved her but because she earned it. She went above and beyond what we all expected. She gave us a diva performance and proved that she had every right to stage a two act, sixteen song concert with her front and center.

And I want that for me. And she showed me what it means to be brave and courageous. I was inspired. I was humbled. I was schooled, basically, on what it means to put yourself out there and not just to any audience but an audience whose opinions of you matter because you love them and they love you.

Sab is taking flight. I want to take flight too.

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