I had the privilege of seeing the 500<sup>th performance of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom the Musical and it was an experience I will never forget.
If you ever have the opportunity to see it, do it!
As soon as I stepped into the theatre I knew this show was going to be different. It wasn't just the stage that sparkled, but every seat was twinkling with colourful sequins.
A dazzling red curtain covered the stage and it made me smile.
I was about to watch one of the beloved stories from Baz Luhrmann's Red Curtain Trilogy.
Then the house lights dimmed and the show began. Between the simple back light and the slow steps of the entire cast a thrill ran through me.
I was transfixed.
As the familiar story unfolded I laughed, cheered and booed. And every time one of the cast encouraged us to cheer or boo louder.
That's when it happened. The cast, crew and audience became one in a beautiful surprise.
I was no longer just watching a show. I was part of it.
We all were.
In the end, the whole audience was invited to join the cast on the stage as streamers and confetti rained down on us.
Strictly Ballroom the Musical left me with a sense of hope. The kind of hope that requires persistence and tenacity.
The production was seamless. There was never a moment where we were waiting for what was next, because it was already happening. That takes work.
A lot of work.
The amount of stage changes, lighting cue's, costume transformations - not to mention the dancing and singing - require a lot of time and rehearsal.
To perform a show time after time and still make it look fresh demands high levels of energy too.
Especially when it's your 500<sup>th performance.
The other thing I took away from this show is the reminder that life, love and even dance is a leap of faith.
Because a life lived in fear is a life half lived.
As a creative, sharing something I've created is one of the most vulnerable things I'll ever do. It's scary to see how someone will react to what I've created.
Imagine if Baz had let that fear stop him.
I'm glad he didn't, because then I would never have experienced the rush and excitement of his story. And the 2000 others at the 500<sup>th show would never have either.
So thanks Baz and crew for setting that example to us and not letting fear stop you.
The hours of hard work and tenacity paid off.
We all laughed.
We all booed at Barry Fife.
And we all clapped with Doug Hastings, setting the rhythm for Scott and Fran as they danced their own steps.
Charis Joy Jackson is working as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization in Brisbane. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time is writing a novel. www.charisjoyjackson.com
Charis Jackson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/charis-jackson.html