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BWW Blog: A Letter to the Cat in the Hat

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Much has changed since the summer of 2013, but your fun and positive outlook on life still greatly resonates with me.

BWW Blog: A Letter to the Cat in the Hat

Dear Cat in the Hat,

It's hard to believe it's been a little over seven years since our paths crossed in Seussical the Musical. It still remember it like it was yesterday. Much has changed since the summer of 2013, but your fun and positive outlook on life still greatly resonates with me. I want to write this letter to you as a thank you for all that you have given me and as a reassurance that it will most definitely continue to grow.

I knew you had an impact on my life from the moment I received a stuffed animal of you when I was very young. Back then, I was VERY shy. I couldn't even pop out and say hello to any of my relatives. Eventually, my Aunt Bernadette asked my mom if there was anything I really liked. My mom replied by saying that I really liked you, the Cat in the Hat. Lots of money and one flat tire later, my Aunt Bernadette slowly revealed to me the stuffed animal of you out of the bag. I was overjoyed. Since then, I have become a much more of an open person to my relatives and eventually people outside of the family. I have particularly kept a close bond with Aunt Bernadette over the years. She sadly passed away in February 2014 but I still have the stuffed animal of you. Everyday it reminds me that she will always be with me no matter what.

Obviously, I was a huge fan of yours growing up. From the books and television shows to the Dr Seuss museum and in a way the 2004 movie with Mike Myers, I was always eager to see you and what tricks you had up your sleeve. It was all in good humor and with the goal to brighten one's day. Some childhood shows and stories kind of fall off one's radar over time. But as for you and the rest of your Dr. Seuss friends, you're all up with the ranks (in my personal opinion) of Arthur and the Peanuts Gang. You're part of stories created for children that I still follow even as an adult. You're too good to pass up. You've always been so entertaining and your wisdom is the kind that people of all ages should follow.

When it was announced that my local theater troupe was putting on a summer production of Seussical, I knew instantly that I wanted to play you. You were a dream role. I practiced the sides every day. I picked a song of yours from the musical that ended up being cut (so it technically wasn't from the show. Wink wink). I danced my heart out with the biggest smile on my face and dressed accordingly to give hints of you. I wouldn't recommend to always take such drastic measures for a part but some are just worth fighting for. I was going to give it my best shot yet accept whatever outcome with grace.

Fortunately though, I did get the part and I had the privilege of stepping into your shoes for four weeks. This was a very special summer for me. Not only did I get to play you but this was my last summer taking part in the summer youth productions with this theater. I had the time of my life. I got to perform all of your songs and dances while also challenging myself at the same time. You have so many occupations during the show: Doctor, ringmaster, auctioneer. In truth, I had to take on several personas in one show. I was also onstage constantly. While that's actually not at all an issue, I was constantly singing and dancing. I was more used to doing straight plays back then. That being said, you're a very energetic cat. You're always positive and upbeat. I had to make sure I was always in the zone in all of my scenes.

I'm sure you can agree with me that it sounds like a lot. In fact, by the time we were only a few days from the show, I was feeling a little stressed and exhausted. It was a lot of work and I wanted to make sure that I played you perfectly. Thankfully, I have two loving and caring parents who brought me back down from cloud nine and helped me relax more. Thank goodness. I think they gave me the one last thing I needed for the show: the ability to have fun. That's what you're all about. It keeps you going. It's probably one of your favorite things, if not your most favorite thing, in the entire world. Once I relaxed and was made to dress and look like you, I was ready. Every show we did was a blast. I still reminisce of it from time to time. Most of all, I feel like I lived my dream. I didn't even need a trophy or anything like that to prove it. However, I still have the hat from the show in my bedroom.

Of course, all great things must come to an end. It was soon time to move on to the next show. Some theatrical experiences are more memorable than others though. I usually don't play favorites. I get it when people say it's like picking their favorite child. However, I will tell you that you're definitely high up there among my best. It was and still is that fond to me. The experience playing such a wonderful character and with a wonderful (and hard working cast and crew) does it for me. I still remember hearing the entire cast sing in perfect harmony. I feel like we really came together and put on a show that everyone needed to see. Months later, I was reading an article about a production of Seussical that was put on in Newtown, Connecticut months after the Sandy Hook shooting. The cast was told during one rehearsal to think about the children, teachers and staff who lost their lives in the shooting during the song "Solla Sollew". It may seem like they had to think about what they lost but it also meant that they had to use all their might to show that they understand that those they lost are no longer suffering and they have to keep living life to the fullest and in a positive way in their memories. One day, they will reunite with them again.

It hasn't always been easy for me since the show. Seventh months later, I lost my beloved aunt and it seemed like disappointment after disappointment kept coming towards me. During this time, I was in high school which is almost never an easy time for everybody. I was facing my teenage years and was just getting started in learning about and discovering life. I experienced both the good and the bad. Once in a while, the bad can feel a little overwhelming. I even have to take some medicine that helps me not have as many negative thoughts. I'm not the only one in this situation though. Right now, we are living in a pandemic that's also filled with issues regarding race and a crucial election that will be coming in November. I'm a member of the class of 2020 who will be having a virtual graduation ceremony next week and is entering one of the worst job economies in recent years. Sometimes, it's difficult not to fear for the possible future ahead.

However, the good will always outweigh the bad. I graduated valedictorian of my high school, I went to a great college. I'm very content with the relationships I have right now. That's not even all of the good that has occurred in my life since the show. This is all thanks to the positive influences in my life like you Cat. I have a collection of Dr. Seuss quotes on my desk. I admittedly still watch you on PBS Kids. You see past all of the bad and find all of the ways to have fun and distract us from whatever is bothering us. As we grow and hope for a better tomorrow, we look to those like you who always have a positive outlook on life. In all of your adventures, you always find a happy ending. Life may be difficult at times, but it's always worth fighting the good fight and overcoming obstacles. I know you would think the same way.

Again, thank you for being a part of my life in all of these ways. I will never take the gifts you have given me for granted. I will treasure them for the rest of my life. I look forward to introducing you and your stories to my children and grandchildren someday. Until then, I'll keep trying to stand on a ball while holding onto several objects. Or I'll just count my blessings and continue to live freely and positively.



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