Last month when my family and I were in Chicago, we went to Second City. They’ve specialized in sketch comedy and improv for over 50 years.
The show began at 7 p.m. 2 sets and 2 hours later … we were full of fun and ready to go home. Then one of the cast members came out onto the stage to ask if we’d mind sitting through another set – a tribute for one of their beloved cast members, Edgar Blackmon, who was leaving Second City. As far as I could tell everyone stayed seated. We did.
One by one cast members came out onto the stage to tell us how they admired Edgar, why they loved him so much, how he contributed to creating this family of performers, how much they appreciated his dedication and generosity of spirit, how amazingly talented he is, what a treasure it is for his 2 sons to be loved and raised by this Dad, …
These testimonials were interspersed with audacious, hilarious classic sketches that were “trademark Edgar” over his 4 years of being on the main stage.
After 2 hours of testimonials and sketches, Edgar appeared on stage surrounded by his cast family. He brought with him some notes of the names of people he wanted to appreciate. He took them one at a time telling us the story of how each person had touched his life as he brimmed over with gratitude. Often he cried when he was deeply touched. Naturally letting his feelings out in each moment. And throughout he shared his gratitude to God.
It was a riveting experience to watch this confident, radiant, audacious, tender-hearted performer tell us why his 4 years with The Second City were so meaningful to him.
What a modeling of his humanness he provided for all of us in the audience! And as a mom, I was so grateful for my 2 young men sons to be present to see this powerful and yet so tender man receive this tribute.
How lucky we were! Of all of the hundreds of shows that Edgar performed in, we were blessed with being there on the night he was leaving the nest and the ones to partake in the intimate connection within this Second City cast.
That Second City evening reminds me of a quote. Unfortunately the author is unknown. “I think I fall in love a little bit with anyone who shows me their soul. This world is so guarded and fearful. I appreciate rawness so much.”
Thank you, Edgar, for your rawness and for touching all of our souls. Keep spreading your essence among us! (Since we got home, I’ve seen Edgar in a Kentucky Fried Chicken TV commercial. Go, Edgar!)