I am excited! This weekend I’m going to enjoy a full circle moment.
Have you ever experienced one? You know, a “pay it forward” kind of thing? They’re deeply fulfilling.
As a teacher and director, I’ve had many. It seems to go with the territory. I would imagine everyone experiences full circle moments several times in their lifetime. If they are happy ones, we are joyful. If they are sad, I’m not certain we recognize them as full circle moments, but some sort of lesson we still need to learn.
Has anyone advised you how to handle them? Me neither.
No one tells you the brevity of them– they are magical and surprising.
Full circle moments, in general, are random.
An example: My Ukrainian pen pal ended up on a train in Romania with a professor from my small midwestern hometown who knew my family. That’s one chance in at least a million chances of occurring.
Another: My daughter grows up to perform in a show with one of her babysitters who grew up and became an actress at my encouraging. They perform together in a different city one hundred miles away. Ten years later.
You have to admit full circle moments make you take a pause. Sometimes they are baffling. You are afraid to share them with anyone for fear they’ll think you are crazy–you are fantasizing and dillusional.
We can’t prophesy when full circle moments will occur or even if we’ll have one. That’s what makes them special.
This particular full circle moment began very innocently.
Forty years ago next month, in 1977 I student taught drama at West Junior High School in Columbia, MO. Some of the students were the best students I’ve taught, even if I was still in the learning phase of my career. I am still friends with many of them today.
A young man, Randall Kenneth Jones, is a student of mine during that semester. He is smart, witty and clever.
In 1978, we work together in an outdoor community theater. Randy performs Dauntless in Once Upon a Mattress while I serve as the stage properties mistress. We perform as brother and sister in 110 in the Shade. He is in the chorus while I portray Mrs. Bumble in Oliver!
Two years later, my former husband and I create a community theater– Columbia Entertainment Company. Randy performs in several of the shows–Two by Two and Damn Yankees. I perform with him in Damn Yankees.
Get this: My cooperating teacher when I student taught, Jackie Petit White, performs in the production as well!
Randy attends the University of Missouri-Columbia in journalism. Afgter graduating, he moves to Washington, DC. He works in marketing, advertising and public relations with a focus on creative development. He develops a terrific resume which includes PR and marketing for Walgreens, JCPenney, The Washingon Post and more.
I stay in Missouri, divorce, remarry, have children, preside over CEC for several years, run a theatre school, teach drama to middle schoolers and create several youth theater programs. I direct several hundreds plays and musicals with adults and children alike. My resume is different from Randy’s, but equally successful.
In essence, we are equally busy.
Thirty-nine years later in 2016, we meet again. I read on Facebook Randy has authored a really cool book, Show Me. Show Me is filled with over one hundred interviews Randy collected with very successful people–Pat Benatar, Barbara Cochran, Jent Evanovich, Tyler Mathiesen, Suze Orman, just to name a few.
He’s about to release Show Me. I write him, congratulating him. We rekindle our friendship. We promise to do a better job of keeping up with each other.
It’s fun to know again this great student, now a grown man. He’s just as witty, clever and smart.
Now the full circle moment–
Two months go by and Randy contacts me. He’s traveling to Columbia to do a fundraiser for CEC which was built twenty-nine years ago. (Isn’t that crazy?) For the fundraiser, he’ll be performing a stand up routine, selling and autographing his book, too.
His routine includes memories of the teachers who inspired him, one of which was my cooperating teacher, Jackie Petit White. He wants to speak about me as well, because I was very instrumental in keeping the community theatre afloat for years.
Would I be interested in participating as well?
I’m not taking center stage. This event isn’t about me, but I will benefit from it. I’ll be signing and selling Bumbling Bea (2.0) books before and after the show.
A portion of the proceeds go to Columbia Entertainment Company. Tickets may be reserved in advance at cectheatre.org
In some respects, full circle moments are snippets of time in our lives.
They prove, “I am here on earth. I matter. I helped someone to find themselves.” My inner self and actual self meet in congruence. Wow!
We have amazing lives whether we notice them occurring or not. Could I have foreseen this upcoming moment? Never.
What full circle moments have you experienced?
Read part two of this full circle moment here: https://dramamommaspeaks.com/2017/03/28/what-no-one-tells-you-about-full-circle-moments-part-two/
Randy and I would love to see you and say hello. You’ll find our books on Amazon.com
See you soon!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my website at DeborahBaldwin.net