The day my heart melted with pride
I hope everyone is having a terrific holiday season! And if you haven’t picked up a copy of Adam Albrecht’s book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?, then you’re missing out! You’ll remember from my last post that I started a book publishing company, Ripples Media, and Adam’s book is the first author we’ve published since my three books.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a snipped of what someone just said about Adam’s book:
If you are looking for a perfect read heading into the New Year (and even if you aren’t looking, I would rethink that 😂) here is an awesome book to check out!
Whether you are reaffirming goals, looking for motivation or want some new ideas on how to improve, I highly recommend What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? by Adam Albrecht. Not only did I read this in a day, I’m starting over and reading out loud to my 10 year old. Never too early or too late to reframe how you think.
Something amazing happened…
My oldest daughter (12-years old) decided in the middle of 2020 that she wanted to write, direct, and act in a play. Given that she had never written a screenplay… or directed a play… or acted in a play before, and that we were at the beginning of a pandemic and locked up in our house for who knows how long, my wife and I were encouraging but had only small hopes that this would actually become a reality.
She grabbed one of her closest friends and they collaborated (via Zoom, how 2020 of them) to write a screenplay for what they called, ‘Willy Wonka Jr. Jr.’, or ‘An adaptation of Willy Wonka Jr.’. (Her brother was in a production of Willy Wonka Jr. a few years back and I guess she thought there were some improvements to be made.)
Once the screenplay was completed, she held auditions online and ultimately cast a dozen actors, made up of her two younger siblings, one cousin, and a bunch of friends from school and the neighborhood.
They rehearsed for a year over Zoom. Every Saturday afternoon for two hours. The scheduling alone was a Herculean task (hat-tip to my wife, who clearly won Parent of the Year in our house for this effort…her streak of 17 straight years of winning this award is intact).
When it felt safe enough, they started having rehearsals in our backyard. And the kids worked, and worked, and worked. And by November 2nd it was show time!
A few weeks before the performance, the kids decided that they wanted to use the production to raise money for a charity that helps kids and families experiencing homelessness. They chose the incredible Nicholas House, which amazingly my wife had volunteered at when she was a kid growing up in Atlanta. Every adult audience member was asked to make a donation to Nicholas House, and with over 40 audience members (and a little kicker from her parents), my daughter was able to raise $500 ❤️
The performance started off with my daughter giving a speech about their process, all the hard work everyone put in, and thanked everyone who had helped along the way. And to say I was proud would have been the understatement of the year. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)
Then the play began and it was nothing short of spectacular. It was definitely a you-had-to-be-there kinda thing, and since most of you weren’t, here are some shots:
After the performance, I reached out to Nicholas House and shared with them that these amazing young people raised money for them, and as expected they were blown away. I asked if we could come and give them their check and take a tour, and they one-upped me by saying they actually have those big, presentation checks and we could let the kids present one to them.
I’m the kind of dad that’s overly proud of his kids. I’m not typically a bragger about them (I get the irony of that statement given this is an entire newsletter bragging about my kid), but this experience is easily a top ten ‘dad experience’ in my life (the top five spots are obviously the birth and adoption of my five kids). I couldn’t be more proud of my little angel ❤️
I hope you’re happy,
I produce a podcast called Begin the Begin. I hope you'll consider subscribing. Here are the latest episodes:
What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? (a conversation with Adam Albrecht about his new book)
Evana Oli, her daughter, and the amazing promise of their startup, Beautiful Curly Me
Aflac’s CMO and “Chief Duck Handler”, Shannon Watkins, on her personal purpose, inspiring career, and The A Pledge
Kenji Kuramoto and his family's experience in the Japanese internment camps