I've mentioned before that I did community theater as a kid. What I haven't mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, is that one of the people I was on stage with actually made it to Broadway. Even better, I had the good sense, at age 8, to make Chris Jackson, age 15, my first crush. I guess I had an eye for talent, but all I knew was that he could sing like no one else I had ever known. He had that stage presence that you just don't come across all that often. I can remember just being captivated.
Cut ahead a few years, and he'd moved to NYC. The summer before my senior year, I got the chance to see him on stage as the understudy for Simba in The Lion King (Tony Award winner, you might have heard of it). His mama (a wonderful woman in her own right, who made my senior year) was my choir teacher. (We were Glee, without the kick butt costumes or the social redemption, long before it was cool.) And Chris came to visit us. Now, I wasn't yet the social darling that you know and love, and having a handsome actor from New York hang out with me for the day pretty much made my year. A year or so later, when he came by my college choir and told me I could really sing, you could have scrapped me off the ceiling. Someone who actually knew something about music thought I had talent. It was probably the first time anyone who wasn't part of my church or my family had said something like that, or at least the first time it registered.
Well, cut ahead several more years. Chris married his perfect match, had two adorable kids, oh and starred as the original Benny on Broadway in In The Heights (Tony Award winner, you might have heard of it). He's ended his run there, but is doing all sorts of other great things, like working on a record and writing music for other people. Like for instance, Sesame Street (and Will.i.am).
There's just nothing quite as much fun as using your blog to brag about how awesome the people you know are. Thanks for always being a stand-up guy, Chris!
P.S. Can't wait for the album!