Luckily my son Andrew is not gambling. In his case, since the beginning of 2012, (probably longer), he's been riding an incredible winning streak which has been based on a solid foundation of hard work, confidence, intelligence and talent...rather than chance.
I estimate that my boy's victorious ways started back in August of 2011. That's when he was hired as a department store cashier. By the time January rolled around, his boss rewarded him, for out-performing full-time coworkers, as a part-timer, while never exceeding a twenty-hour week.
In February, Andrew was voted his school's "RENAISSANCE MAN." Ala Leonardo Da Vinci, this title was attained because his peers recognize his skill and knowledge in a wide range of fields. Or as I like to put it, whatever my boy takes an interest in, he does well.
Andrew will be permanently enshrined, in his senior class yearbook. I'm thrilled that my child draws this comparison to Da Vinci and that this honor will encourage him to continually aspire to new heights.
I once jokingly called Andrew, "The First Singing and Dancing Edelblum." While he may not be ready to hoof his way onto Broadway, he is always willing to take a challenge that would put him on stage. For his school's February 3rd talent show, (our dog Roxy's birthday), he was a key man in choreographing and organizing, a twelve-man team in their, "EPIC RAP BATTLES OF COMIC BOOKS." On the face of it, their act seemed like pure silliness. But he and a select few, dedicated themselves to aiming their content at a specific target audience, maintaining a vigorous and focused practice regimen and an enthusiasm to win.
|BATMAN, IRONMAN, THE FLASH, THOR, SUPERMAN AND THE OTHERS MUG IT UP WITH THEIR TROPHY.|
While all this is going on Andrew put in beaucoup hours rehearsing for the school's, (Emanon Players), spring drama presentation of Stephen Sondheim's, "INTO THE WOODS." The show (March 9, 10 and 11), was well received, but many seniors were disappointed that this particular vehicle featured few major roles. Plus many of those parts went to underclassmen. So two students (not Andrew), decided to write their own play (with the blessing of the school), with the intention of giving outgoing graduates a last hurrah behind the foot lights.
|IN, "INTO THE WOODS," ANDREW AND SEVERAL OTHER SENIOR DRAMA CLUB VETERANS GOT SMALL OR NON-SPEAKING ROLES.|
For the new play, "MAKING THE MUSIC," Andrew auditioned and won the singing and dancing, male lead, (Jason). It will be performed at the end of April.
On March 13th, Andrew's next great accomplishment was his acceptance into his college of choice, the College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Whether his current winning streak is still going in September or not, I am positive that Andrew will thrive there because he and the school are a perfect match.
This highly coveted honor, is decided by a competition that concentrates on poise and personality, while combining battles of, form versus substance, the ridiculous and the sublime, as well as talent and gimmicks.
At first, Andrew was intimidated to get involved. But even back when he was a freshman, he always considered the Mr. Absegami concept cool, so slowly, his inhibitions melted. He was swayed by friends until his attitude morphed into a "what the hell" mode. Then once he saw a way, his passion skyrocketed.
My boy made it through the tryouts and was one of the fifteen contestants. Andrew thought long and hard on what would be the best way to deliver a "wowing" talent. His final decision was to write a poem in the "free-verse," style. A couple of days later, he read me the rough draft. I wasn't impressed...I was awed when I said, "Don't change a word."
Along the way, he picked up a support team starring Sue, his mom. Plus his friends, friends of the family and of course, the lovely, talented and generous Lexie who would escort him during the formal wear competition.
The night before the contest, the momentum of positive energy surging through my house so staggering that I dropped my usual modesty and wrote on FACEBOOK that I thought Andrew had a chance to win it all.
On the evening of March 16th, in anticipation of a sell-out, Sue and I arrived at the theater early. Armed with cameras and a video recorder, we got front row seats. A teacher, Mr. Murray acted as emcee and set the proceedings in motion.
|THE SHOW OPENED WITH A DANCE AND GYMNASTICS NUMBER WITH ALL THE COMPETITORS WEARING THE SAME OUTFIT.|
Next was the formal wear competition. All the boys wore the same style tuxedo and their escorts wore dresses that matched.
|RESPLENDENT IN CARNATION PINK, LEXIE ACCENTUATED ANDREW'S APPEARANCE.|
The panel of judges tabulated their scores to determine the four finalists as one of the escorts sang in front of the participants.
|DURING THE SWIMWEAR PHASE, ANDREW'S GOOD FRIEND "H," A GIFTED MUSICIAN WAS LATER SELECTED AS A FINALIST.|
|OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL, THE GIANT, ENORMOUS, COLOSSAL MEGA-TRON SIGN PULSATES SO FAST THAT IT TOOK ME THREE SHOTS BEFORE I PHOTOGRAPHED THIS MESSAGE.|