Barrier Free

I think most of us feel like our lives have limitless potential. We know it’s possible to put in the work and get results. It’s what this great country is all about!

Now that doesn’t mean we don’t flounder and flail from time to time, but we can keep trying – or not, it’s our choice. Very rarely is there an actual barrier – someone standing in front of us saying

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Not all the population has these opportunities. I think we’ve comes so so far from just 20 years ago, but some things that our populace with special needs may want to do can really feel out of reach.

I used to think certain things were just not possible for Enoch, marriage, driving, supporting us in our old age…But now I’m not putting any kind of expectations out there, why cap his progress?

Enoch will often get up early – like 4am early. He usually plays with his toys or draws. Lately he’s been getting out his word cards and printing them in a notebook. Today I tested him to see if he could read all the words – he passed with flying colors on the ones I pointed to.

We had to get him prescription glasses (not in pic). He popped the lenses out so he could say he was wearing them whenever I asked. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the glasses, so he found an alternative way.

I’m not putting anything past him. He’s outsmarting me- out witting me- and can stay awake for longer periods of time, he’s get the world in his hands!

Barrier Free is the title of an acting group I have gotten to participate in for the past 5 years. It grows every year, I can’t imagine how the director will continue to absorb so many actors, but she’s done it like a champ so far! This super woman is Tracena Marie. I don’t know what drew her heart out to the community of adults with special needs. I don’t know why she gives 9 months of her life a year to teach, guide, and love the wonderful people who get involved. I should ask her someday.

She not only holds theater groups for adults, but for children also. Enoch has been one of the lucky ones to be in her program for the past 2 years!

Last year Enoch also got to be in the adult production, he’s quite the versatile actor.

Last weekend was our Barrier Free show for this year. The messages from these always come form the participants. They give thoughts and ideas – sometimes without knowing it – in their training sessions. Tracena takes all the notes from all the meetings and compiles them into a script. The script is fluid and works on the talents of each individual actor.

There’s always music and dancing! There’s always comedy and serious scenes. There’s always tears from many of those who watch.

I’ve watched these performers morph into super stars once the lights are on them and the audience is watching. I’ve watched them bloom into beautiful actors, expressing feeling and compassion. I’ve watched their confidence bubble up as they float onto the stage and give their all.

While the message of the show is always a good one, the real beauty is in the delivery!

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For 3 performances the actors are given wings. All barriers to being a star are gone. They get all the bells and whistles- lights, sounds, props, costumes, and the applause. For 3 glorious performances they are the stars!