Vincenzo signed up for the school play this year. He could have signed up last year but wasn’t interested until he saw pictures of the pizza party that happens after all is said and done, so he went and enlisted.
Vincenzo approaches acting much like he approaches sports. He hangs in the back, not doing anything fancy; just doing his job and staying on task. Then every once in awhile he does something surprisingly well that makes you think, Wow, that kid’s got potential! And then he fades to the back again, quietly but adequately returning his job of supporting the star players.
He has been so excited about the play, and anyone who knows Vincenzo knows that excitement is something usually reserved for Christmas morning and video games. He is my mellow, chill little dude. But the play. The play! It ate up all of his video game time for six weeks straight and Vincenzo never even noticed. He just woke up, thought about which day of the week it was, and if it was a play practice day gave a little, “Yippee!”
I loved waking him up today, the morning of the play’s opening night. His eyes fluttered into focus and he whispered, almost to himself, “It’s the day of the play.”
His character, Pepperjack the Mouse, has 16 lines. During one of the rehearsals, Vincenzo counted the lines in the play (783), did some math, and figured out that he has .02% of the lines. This did not stop him from poring over the script for hours, filling it with notes to himself about inflection and blocking, and practicing his lines endlessly, hoping he would be able to convey to the audience in just 16 lines that his mouse is a country boy. He is the true embodiment of the saying that there are no small parts, only small actors.
I had to laugh because Vincenzo is actually one of the physically smallest actors on stage, and he tends to stand behind the crowd so that all we see is his arms sticking out from behind someone else’s body, but oh, how we clapped for those arms.
(I’ve labeled some of my favorite arm shots of his in the following pictures.)
His face almost got in the last picture. That was a close call.
I wrote Vincenzo a card telling him that we have been proud of him since the very first time we held him, and today we are even prouder than ever.
Then I told him, as I helped him get in costume, that when I held Baby Vincenzo in my arms and imagined our future together, I have to admit I never imagined applying a thick layer of eyeliner to his beautiful blue eyes.*
Tonight, after the play, I gave him a beautifully wrapped gift that happened to be a piece of stinky cheese because it seemed more practical than flowers and was more suitable for a mouse.
He knew exactly what it meant.
It meant that I love him to that giant cheeseball in the sky…and back.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
We are all over the map for this one, each of us eating at different times, locations, and states of being
*For the fact checkers: his eyes started out blue. They’re green now.