I’m a really fortunate dude.
Everyday, I discover another way that I have been completely blessed. Last weekend, I was reminded what an amazing community I’m a part of. My son’s school is close by and is home to the only Dad’s Club I’ve ever heard of. In the 50’s, the Dads of the school got together and began to sow the seeds of a community that served the school, loved the kids and created space for Fathers to find something that, honestly, is really rare: a community.
For 65 years, the Dads have worked alongside the PTA to do a unique kind of fundraiser called The Fathers’ Follies. I’m not going to be shy about it: it’s burlesque, it’s barbershop, it’s barbarian. It’s awesome. For two months, the Dads gather once a week so that the dancers can dance, the singers can sing and the actors can do their thing. The script is penned by a gifted (and somewhat tripping) writer. The sets are astounding. The legacy is legendary. Generations of Dads have been a part of this and now I’m a part of it, too.
It could easily written off as silly and eccentric, and it is those things, but as strange as it sounds…The Fathers’ Follies are Dads at their very best.
OK, so the balloon boobs and dresses are a bit over the top, but these are busy guys, professionals who carve minutes and hours out of their schedules because they love their kids. These guys love their families. They love one another. It’s difficult to tell where the best time is had: on stage or back stage, in rehearsal or performance. It doesn’t matter what stage, we have a great time together. Whether we’re learning lines, melodies dances, painting sets or hot gluing costumes, the sweat equity builds friendships. I am privileged to share a bow with these guys.
As for me, I got to pretend to be a singer for a while. As a local pastor, I don’t get to be that “artistic” too often. And as a 25+ year performer, it’s a challenge. This year, though, I got to do the best Freddie Mercury I could muster. A sextet of singers doo-wopped “Killer Queen” and I got my 15 seconds with a mic. I had a BLAST. Big thanks to Steve-O, Mark B, Tom the Martian and the whole killer crew for sharing their time so I could play at tenor.
If you live in Glendale, I can tell you when the next Follies are: Mother’s Day weekend 2013. Barring Mayan disaster, the curtain will rise Friday at 7pm. You will see a fun show, for sure, but you will also see strong relationships, close families, significant sacrifice and hidden courage. You will see the result of conversation, teamwork, partnership and camaraderie.
You will see community…a killer community!