We've got a lot of people to thank for helping us get where we are today. So, before we actually recap where we are (check back for that tomorrow), we just want to say a huge thank you to all of these people we are proud to call a part of our Helen Family:
- Our parents for nurturing our talents and supporting us when we decided to follow our artistic dreams at a very young age.
- The following people for helping us develop the material: Tracy Bersley, Drew Eberhardy, Alicia House, Eevin Hartsough, Melissa Hardy, Robby Stamper, Janice Fuld, Jen Clarke, Elijah Sivin, Joy Rodriguez, Sharon Williams, Chris Heller, Amy White Graves, Doug Van Horn, Rebekah Fisk, Taylor Leigh Bera, Brian Russell, Lance Olds, Erica Schroeder, John Deyle, Jacob Ming-Trent, Kevin Pariseau, Hannah Carne, Francesca Barasch , my BCT students (Amelia, August, Zoey, Amanda, Samantha, Sofia, Austin, Matilda, Rebecca and Hannah), Joe Ricci, Rob Gardner, Sean Hartley, Dan Acquisto, Beth Sorrentino, Wendy Baker, Maggie Bera, Martine Bowman, Missy Dreier, Mia Fitzgibbon, Izzy Hanson-Johnston, Sean Gilbert, Greg Ippolito, Aurielle Kaminski, Brian Blithe, Shereen Pimentel, Danielle Leigh Rosenthal, Kaylie Rubinaccio, Sofia Thompson, Emma Young and Amanda Yuan.
- Wendi Kaufman for writing a beautiful story and supporting us every step of the way as we develop it.
- Lucy Moses Summer Music Theatre Workshop, Brooklyn Children's Theatre, TADA & Arts Connection for giving Robby and I outlets where we have been able to hone our artistic skills and work with brilliant children.
- All of our Helen Benefactors. This is the print-out I would run back into a burning building to salvage. There are no words to express how moved I am by the acts of kindness and generosity made by the people on this list.
- Leenya Rideout and Taylor Leigh Bera for coming over to Robby's studio apartment (despite cat allergies) and lending us your gorgeous voices for our demo.
- Our Helen Parents. Not only have your produced incredibly talented and hard-working children, but you have made the process of getting through each stage of Helen's development a piece of cake. You are the backbone of this operation and we are so grateful that we've had the opportunity to work with both your children AND you.
- Our Helen Kids. Some of you kiddies have been with us since the beginning. (Okay, I know that was only seven months ago, but it's been a prolific seven months and you are all growing so fast!) You've been through script changes, song changes, character changes, multiple performance and rehearsal spaces, and long rehearsals. Not only are we grateful for you, but we are so excited to watch how all of your careers develop.
- Joseph and Kelly Bera for being our Helen God and Goddess, and for making awesome Helen on 86th St. t-shirts and sweatshirts.
- Jen Rudin, Alicia House and Tracy Bersley, for agreeing to jump on board the creative team. You are all going to help us create a beautiful piece of musical theatre. I have no doubt.
- The Buchwald Agency (Victoria, Pam & Katie) for taking a chance with two "unknown writers" and providing us with half of our brilliant cast. (And Rob Kraus for connecting me with them.)
- Ken Davenport for putting up with 15 tweens running through your office en route to the studio for Helen rehearsals and for giving me great advice when I bug you with questions.
- Peter Breger, Esq., for patiently guiding us through the legal process of building a show from the ground up.
- Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford for being our cheerleaders and helping to guide us creatively from one stage to the next.
- Susan Burris and Joey Docil for providing us with preliminary graphics and artwork for Helen on 86th St.
- Trader Joes for allowing us to be able to feed fifteen children and four adults and still stay within our budget.
And whoever else I forgot--it's because of you that we are launching ourselves and our show into 2011 with a gusto!
Robby and I got to hear the brilliant Liz Callaway sing the following song on New Year's Eve. It couldn't have been a better song to close 2010 on--so here it is for all of you: