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Empathy by Benjamin Mayes

A trait one can have which I value above most else, is empathy. The ability to think of a moment outside of yourself, see the bigger picture, and dictate your own actions based on the perceived feelings of others is a beautiful thing. While working on hello dolly, I’ve seen examples of compassion and empathy in every rehearsal. From people cheering each other up when they're down, to offering a snack when someone is hungry, the kindness of the Nathan Hale Theatre community is why I’m so excited for Hello, Dolly!

Through the long days, the tiring choreo rehearsals, and the notes I miss to every song, I can’t wait to face the days ahead because I know I have friends behind me. Thank you to everyone who has waved to me in the hallway. Sometimes a fleeting gesture can make my whole day. This spring musical will be so amazing because we not only have extraordinarily talented actors, techies, and otherwise, but because we value communication and the aforementioned empathy.

Learning the ropes of empathy isn’t something that comes easy. It takes willpower. It takes courage to reach out, not in your own best interest, but for the sake of someone else. It takes balance to remember to act on the grounds of your own needs now and again. Many times when you're kind to the world, the world isn’t kind back. That can hurt, so you need to remember to understand yourself in how you are feeling before you can truly understand others. This is an idea I need to remind myself of often.

The story of Hello, Dolly! is special because you get to transport yourself into the minds of the characters. You get to know their aspirations, their dreams, their flaws. If for only a moment, you are reminded of a beautiful world of love and life and life in the evening air. In the end, everyone sees things just a little differently. The way I see it, the story of Hello, Dolly! is special because of the people I get to tell it with.

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