This year myself, my wife and 2 sons decided we would start a new tradition in our family for Christmas, "The Giving Keys". We have always been a family who keeps Christ first and tries to always give back to those in need. We sponsor orphans in foreign countries, world missions, and especially "Home" missions. We found "The Giving Keys" through a friend and loved the idea of not only helping support the homeless, but also helping others through words of encouragement and an uplifting spirit. My "Giving Key" this year had the word "INSPIRE" on it. So, my goal was to find someone who truly inspired me in all ways.
On the 28th and 29th of March 2014, I participated in a local production of "The Fiddler on the Roof" in Madison, Georgia. We have a very talented group of small town thespians who enjoy putting on these productions along with musicians and wonderful Directors. Everyone involved give the production their all and some incredible performances take place. I was a little late joining the cast and they had already been rehearsing for a month before I began. The very first rehearsal I attended I noticed one young lady who already knew all her lines and was already totally engulfed into her character. I didn't know who the young lady was, but she impressed me immediately. Her name is Lillie Chupp.
I am, by no means, an expert, but I have been lucky to spend my 58 years being exposed to some of the best talent in the world, both musically and on Broadway and I do consider myself a pretty good judge of talent. I immediately recognized Lillie's talent as it was undeniable. Every rehearsal I became more and more enamored with her talent. She had totally emersed herself into her character and was totally "killing it" each time we rehearsed. I would go home after rehearsal and just carry on to my wife about this talented young lady. I told my wife I was going to give my "Key" with "INSPIRE" on it to Lillie. When my wife asked me her name, all I knew was Lillie. Well, come to find out her last name was Chupp, which I didn't know, and her mother worked with my wife at her school......don't forget....small town!
When I put my "KEY" around Lillie's neck I handed her a letter and said this will tell you about what I just gave you. You see, I wrote it in a letter because I am a very emotional man and I wanted to be able to say everything I wanted to say without crying. In the letter I explained about "The Giving Key" and how much she had "INSPIRED" me with her acting skills and her total character portrayal. I told her that I didn't know if this was just a hobby for her or whether or not acting was something she was considering to pursue, but I encouraged her to pursue this as a career. I truly feel she has the skills! I told her she was an excellent actress and a beautiful young lady, as well. I wanted her to know how much she totally "INSPIRED" me. Lillie is only in the 8th grade and I was flabbergasted when I found this out. She is the most beautiful and talented young lady I have met in a long time and she truly "INSPIRED" this old man.
I also charged her with keeping the tradition of "The Giving Keys". To pass it on and give it to someone else who truly "INSPIRES" her!
Let me add, if there is a Director or Producer who may read this, who is looking for a truly amazing talent.....find Lillie Chupp in Madison, Georgia! Imagine how good she will be when she graduates from High School! Oh MY!!