I was wasting time on Facebook this morning and came across a link to St. George Musical Theater. Upon reading the history I was instantly transported back to my childhood. If you read the history section it talks about Mark Ogden, SGMT's originator.
I was probably 6 or 7 when my sister, Keri, introduced me to Mark. Keri (and my Mom actually) were in his first major show "It's My Life." Mark gave me my first chance to perform on stage and instigated my lifelong love/obsession with musical theater. When I was in elementary school I did a show Mark wrote and directed called "It's Up to Me." We performed the show at various elementary schools and The Cotton Mill and also travelled to SLC to perform on a real stage. My brother Jared and I drove with Mark as Mom was going to grad school and working 2 jobs at the time. On the long drive Mark and Jared and I wrote a song called "The Road Kill Restaurant," due to the huge amounts of road kill we passed on the highway. We laughed our heads off and somehow the tune has always stuck with me.
When I was in middle school Mark died of AIDS. We went to see him just before he died. I will never get the image of him out of my head. Mark, who was always so vibrantly alive and energetic lay on a bed barely able to move, his body literally wasted away to nothing but skin and bones. SGMT was never the same without him. I am glad it has found a solid footing in St. George but I can't help but wish he was here to enjoy the success.