The cast party for Pippin was bittersweet. We did Korean Barbeque at the “Any Bar.” Surely, it was fun to get together one last time talking over a meal but alas it lacked the “glow” of freshly completing a production. Trying to bring closure to the project a full week after its completion gave it a lack of emotional specialness.

I gave a speech that focused mostly on the importance of two things: passion and teamwork. I went to great lengths emphasizing the need for passion in the world today. Do what you love and love what you do, was my mantra. I told them that I didn’t expect any of them to become actors or more likely pop stars, but I did expect them to be passionate at whatever they did pursue. Second, I tried to impress the idea of teamwork as something that is not taught at the University but something that is so essential in the world today. Teamwork is what makes the world go round.
In typical fashion, it was a bit hard to get everyone to listen and soak in my pearls of wisdom that I so desperately want them to know. Nevertheless, I hope at least some of them will carry the message onward in their lives.

And a handful of students have already benefitted directly from production. A human resources representative from a major company in China accompanied us on the trip to Guangzhou and hand selected a few students for internships. They will be spending their summers in Shanghai because they demonstrated a key knowledge of English but also an ability to think beyond what they’ve simply been told.

I think several students have caught the theater bug but alas there is no theater program at Shantou University. Hopefully, they will find a new outlet for their creativity. More on this in a forthcoming post.