This is how Payson dressed after church today. It has nothing to do with anything other than to say that he pretty much always dresses in some, uh, creative ways, and his accessorizing rarely has a grand overall theme or guiding vision. Today, he’s in a beach hat, a pineapple polo, jeans, and blue camouflage rubber boots with no socks. I guess maybe, Florida, we are with you, or something?
So anyway, our family does plays. We do these plays because we are desperately starved for attention and we base our own sense of self worth on what other people think of us while we stand up there and dance around and sing our faces off. It’s very important.
Payson, as a member of our family, also does plays. He does them because his parents are desperately starved for attention and also if he didn’t do plays then how could he possibly ever become a famous star of the silver screen and acquire such wealth that his parents could own several Mediterranean islands?
So, his most recent play was Seussical. Seussical is a very popular musical based on the famous children’s books of, as you would guess, JK Rowling. Payson played such popular Rowling characters as The Grinch, The Man from the Circus, and Han Solo.
He was in Seussical with Wally, Mac, Bella, and like 100 other kids from the CenterPoint Academy. The CenterPoint Academy is located at CenterPoint Theatre in Centerville, and Wendy and I help out running the thing because we like bossing people around. And also, because we have a key to the soda machine.
Anyway, once a year we throw a big shindig hootenanny of a show where all these rad Academy students get to rehearse all summer and then put on a big show on the Main Stage at CenterPoint. After they rehearse all summer, then they get the stage for one week to add all the lights, sound, costumes, sets, and then perform the thing. In one week. It’s totally insane and we’d stop doing it in a Chinese second if it wasn’t so awesome.
So, Pace spent his Labor Day at an eight hour tech rehearsal on the stage where Pace learned a bunch of new stuff and Pace’s dad somehow cut his own forehead with a vacuum cleaner. I swear I am not making this up.
Then the next two days were rehearsal days after school, Thursday was a treatment day, and Payson performed two shows on Friday night and two on Saturday morning.
Going into this whole thing, we were super concerned, yea, even skeptical, that this would all work for Pace with the current stage of his treatment. We were thinking it might be too much, that he’d be too tired, that his immune system would be too fragile. But, in true Inkley fashion, we ended up carefully weighing all of the evidence, taking the counsel of dedicated medical professionals, and throwing up our hands and shouting, “To hell with it. He will be OK!”
He handled the whole thing like a champ, he felt great when he needed to feel great, he changed blocking and choreography so, instead of holding hands as he’s been intensively trained not to do (seriously, if you see him, please don’t touch his freaking hands for any reason because you have cooties ok thanks) he touched his elbows to people instead. He calls this a weenus touch, and we don’t stop him for saying this, mainly because it’s hilarious.
So, the summer worked out, rehearsals worked out, tech week and performances worked out, and our plans for him remain intact – to eventually earn so much money in acting that people will hate him for no reason at all.
His Director for Seussical was our good friend Kate Rufener. She’s got a way with kids and a way with words and a blog to prove it. Take a second to read what she said about the summer, working with Pace and our other kids. She’s smart:
So anyway, Seussical was a win. Such a win. We keep trying to make sure he’s got as normal a life as possible through all this crapola, and this felt like a really awesome normal kid thing.
The doctors told us from the beginning that they can cure the cancer, but how the kid turns out is up to us. A billion zillion thanks to Kate and a dozen other amazing people for giving Payson something this summer to help him turn out alright.
Up yours, Leukemia.