by Thony Bienvenido Mena
Who has a silent H in his name and is excited to be in Ireland? This guy! I knew that I was going to get the opportunity to perform A FEW GOOD MEN in Ireland, but now it’s here. I’m here. We’re all freakin here.
Of course there was the slight blah feeling from jet lag, and the woes of traveling on a bus to Galway for three hours, but one can only feel so blah and wail so much when you’re in Ireland with a great bunch of folks…doing what you love. The people in the city are extremely nice, and I’ve been told that they treasure theatre. So, I can’t wait to share this story with them.
Although, before we get to that wonderful moment, we have to build, sew, hang, paint, organize, and rehearse everything. Remember what I said about doing what you love? That is key right now. I’m watching the Tim-Allen-types of our team put our set together and it’s no easy task. They built everything from scratch! We all helped out as much as we could, but now it’s to the point where they don’t need too many cooks in the kitchen. So, I’ll let them do their thing. I got a chance to hunt for props and paint (a lot) with others. The rest of the crew did costumes and they did an incredible job as well. We are going to look gooooood.
We’ve all been busy getting everything ready, so the only sight seeing I’ve done involves going to different pubs and trying the great beers (not complaining at all). Once we get into our groove I want to hit the different sites and museums in the day time. Cheesy, yes, but for cryin out loud that’s the whole point. I’ll do the touristy thing by day and unwind with the crew & locals by night.
One would think that being in a foreign country with a bunch of people over 4 weeks would bring the worst in them, but I have no doubt that it won’t *Proceeds to knock on wood*. I mean, we’ve only been here for a couple of days, though. Regardless, we are going to rock this show. Rock this country. This is only possible because of the kick arse team we have and of course the wonderful people of Ireland.
*Why this play means so much to me: On October 7th, 2002 my cousin, Anthony Concepcion Peña, returned from his Marine basic training. On October 8th, he passed away in his home. I was told that he was feeling a little ill during boot camp, but the autopsy found no definitive results other than heart failure. He was a smart, charismatic, outgoing, and tough young man. I don’t know what his training consisted of, but I can’t help but to see the similarities between him and my character, Santiago. What were his last moments like? Was he asking for help and was anyone listening? What made him want to drop everything at home and go serve his country? This is another example of art finding me. I didn’t look for this healing process, but here it is.