|The cast after opening night.|
Our curtain call music was "Proud to Be an American"--a song I've always despised. It takes me back to middle school when it played incessantly on the radio post-9/11. Even at that age I was skeptical of it's message. I have a vivid memory of hanging around a Poms competition and that song blasting through this giant gymnasium and all these people singing and clapping, and all I could wonder is "Why is being terrorized something to be proud of?"
I'm not anti-America. I'm really not. I love my country f'real, but the song is hokey and a bit unwarranted. Drones was about military ethics and, in my interpretation of the play, how screwed up they are. Our director chose that song kinda ironically, and I loved bowing to it.
So, while ten years ago a super emotional song did nothing for me even though it was linked to horrible tragedy, now, I will always feel nostalgic when I hear "Proud to Be an American" because it will transport me back to the black box in Arizona, waiting for my cue lines with Simba next to me making faces and scrolling through Instagram.
And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died, and gave that right to me.