Today is January 13 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you realize you are the miracle who inspires others?” With the global pandemic Covid-19 surge fueled by the Omicron variant disrupting numerous Broadway productions during the first weekend in January 2022, one former Broadway actor recently stepped in to save the day. Carla Stickler had been working as a software engineer in Chicago when she got the call in late December 2021 to fill in for Elphaba, one of the lead roles in the musical Wicked.
Though she had spent years performing on Broadway as an understudy in the role, she hadn't done the show in seven years. Still, she flew to New York the first weekend in the new year so the show could go on. Reread that. She had not rehearsed, prepared, or studied for the part in seven years – and she went back to Broadway to perform! Stickler’s weekend demonstrates today’s strategy that sometimes we are the miracle that inspires others.
Reflecting upon the miraculous performance, Stickler wrote on Instagram on January 2: "To say it was an incredible moment would be an understatement. I am so overjoyed to have performed with this amazing cast and crew. They helped carry me thru the show last night, and without their energy, cheering me on, I wouldn't have been able to do it. Having the opportunity to perform her again after having left the biz is giving me the closure I have been missing. If I never performed again, I could rest easy knowing that something out of this world happened last night.”
A fellow stage actor, Alexandra Silber, shared Stickler's story on Twitter as well, commending her for pulling off the return so many years later. "Last week (in the midst of everything) Carla flew to NYC from her new home in Chicago, to answer a call from @WICKED_Musical on Broadway. Carla has recently pivoted away from showbiz and taken on a new career in coding. She has not played this role in *SEVEN. YEARS.* And kapow: with a performing itch to scratch and an industry in need, Carla DEFIED GRAVITY last night. Some of us might not totally appreciate what a role like this entails—let alone not having done, rehearsed it, or even THOUGHT about it for SEVEN years. But Carla? Did it. On one of the biggest stages ON EARTH. I'm proud of her accomplishment, but even more in awe of her courage, resilience, and sheer KICKASSERY. Thank you for reminding me (and all of us) that sometimes miracles happen TO us, but sometimes, when we are scrappy WE HAPPEN to THEM. Everyone deserves a chance to fly."
As TodayTix posted on Twitter following Stickler's performance:“If Carla Stickler can temporarily step away from her job as a software engineer to fly to Broadway and step in as Elphaba after not having performed the role in 7 years, you can do ANTYHING on this first business day of 2022.”
As Stickler said in an interview after her performance “You can be so many things. You don’t have to do just one thing. Is it so important to change the narrative around what we can do. At the end of all of this, I hope some little girl who loves coding/math/science but also loves music/theatre/art saw this story and thought to herself: I can do both, I can be so many things, the possibilities are endless!" By pausing her new life, traveling to New York City, and stepping onto a Broadway stage after seven years away, Stickler reminded us of all this is possible. Stickler navigated the chaos and in so doing became a miracle we all could believe in that weekend.
Today’s reflection reminds us that who we are is not who we need to continue to be in the future; as long as we are willing to navigate the chaos and transform into who we want to be.
Who we are is temporary. Who we are is merely a step on a road with endless directions. Who we are is not who we used to be. Who we are and who we will be is up to us. Who will you be?
How often do you remind yourself that you are the miracle that inspires others?
Are you waiting for a miracle to happen to help you navigate the chaos? If so, why?
How long will you wait for the miracle to appear?
When is the last time you kicked ass and helped others see their potential?
How often do you remind yourself that ANYTHING is possible?
How often do you remind yourself that you can be so many things and that you are not stuck being just one thing?
Do you realize your possibilities are endless? If not, why do you think your view of your future potential is so limited?
Will you be more than you ever thought possible?