Unlike the standard “tour schedule”, we actually have a lot of days this year where we’re able to wake up and have our show all in the same place. This allows for a slower, more intentional pace and time to be together without the pressures of a loaded schedule. Today we had a great morning of free time (i.e. extended lunch) in Roseburg before show setup, where some of us were able to meet one particular woman who owns a small little restaurant called Gay 90’s Ice Cream Parlor and Deli. When over half our group meandered her way for lunch, she called in backup and, along with her “emergency response team,” was able to craft delicious sandwiches, salads, and homemade milkshakes for a restaurant full of hungry teenagers. While this situation could easily overwhelm the average person, she served us all with a welcoming smile and even took time to ask why we were there, and what we were all about. If you’re ever in Roseburg, be sure to stop by!
Not only was this evening our first show setup and first performance on the road, but I truly believe it was one of Starfire's best. Some of our audience members were current residents of the organization who would be receiving our offering, called Casa de Belen (“House of Bethlehem”). CdB is a local shelter providing homeless teens a safe place to create and implement a vision for a positive future by offering independent living, self-sustainability, and constructive involvement in the community. It was one of the first times I can remember that Starfire has been joined by the actual recipients of the offering, rather than just a representative of the organization. This made the homelessness scene particularly powerful as Emmy, Elliot, and Ellie performed their characters in front of teens their age who were actually living a life of homelessness. The responses we heard after the show completely blew us away—Ellie’s agitated hair twirling reminded one girl of her mother. Emmy’s monologue hit so close to home, one guest had to leave the room because [s]he “was done with that life and couldn’t go back there”. It was so humbling to be in community with this church and an organization that are doing such important work in the area, and a moving reminder about the importance of the message we're spreading.