I think when I first saw Emily, she was still in diapers. She was just "there" while her mom and I worked together on some home school projects with our older kids. They lived just down the street.
Vessels of GOLD began in 2001, about a week before 9/11, and functioned a couple of years before Emily, now almost 8, and her sister Anaily, a home school senior, joined us. That show, Parables, is the one that the Vessels Vault will bring out and present this year, and some of our members have requested to have one of Emily's small parts.
Over the years, Emily grew to be a faithful and active member in Vessels of GOLD - through the year of only 7 members, the year of 18 and so many in between. Some of you have heard crazy stories about experiences before, during and after that all revolve around the groups.
She took piano and then voice and slowly got more involved in writing scripts, suggesting direction and doing choreography. It was a very gradual transition, and I'm not sure I can exactly pinpoint where the crossover was. One point was the choreography she did for her own "Sixteen" (which looked a lot like a quince, but a year later). I remember identifying then that I wanted her to take charge of more choreography in the coming year. She got to the point that she was kind of an actor/director, and then crossed over to staying off the stage - except for some noteworthy emergencies (more fun stories).
It was a good thing to get her off the stage, because then Aureus was started and she went back on the stage, but with a different format and emphasis.
Chrysos and Aureus began the same fall that we moved into the studio - lots of changes that year! Carolyn Diez helped with Chrysos that year, and then directed it the following. Emily then stepped in as an assistant/co-director, and now is the director of that group. She then planned to go off to college with possibly a musical theater emphasis, but alas, she couldn't/wouldn't leave us. I hope and pray that the education she's getting with us will reward her as much as it has us.
Emily learned a lot from her voice lessons with two excellent teachers, and now passes on that understanding in a fun and personal way. She is equally energizing to Chrysos, Vessels of GOLD, and now the Vessels Vault of GOLD groups, as she continues to perform when we can put an Aureus show together.
She has also moved FARTHER away - up to Broward - in order to fulfill a part-time Nanny role for her baby nephew.
So why this little history? Just to catch you up - in case you don't know how things work around here. Yesterday was a big day. We went to bid Carolyn farewell as she goes off to Honduras for (at least) a year for ministry, and Emily today (9/12) has reached the usually-significant 21 year mark.
This is just a different way of recognizing not only Emily's birthday, but her accomplishments up to this young year of her life. She is well-known and loved at the Talents Unleashed studio, and loved by her family and friends.
I personally continue to thank God for her life next to my life - even when the ideas may be crazier than my own. And I wish her love and prayers on this 21-year mark.