Randy Mac’s Livin’ It Up: Grandpa, again. And again.

Randy Mac

Randy Mac

I’m honored to get to play the role of “Grandpa” once again in “The Promise.” It’s hard to believe this will be season eight as that character. Our first performance this year will be on Friday, Aug. 30.

I remember well the first time I was handed the script for the show and wondered if I could really memorize all my lines. As we began rehearsals that first Saturday in August, I started wondering if I would ever be able to remember where I was supposed to be on that massive stage when I delivered those lines. Thanks to the Lord and some incredible Promise family members He’s blessed me with, I survived.

Being in “The Promise” provides a lot of interesting moments. I was thinking back to one that happened during the 2008 season. During the second act there’s about a five-minute slot during the “Pilate scene” that the “grandkids” and I are not on stage.  At the end of that scene Pilate loudly announces to the screaming mob, “Away with Him! Let Him be crucified!”

At that moment the stage goes to black-out and the “grandkids” and I have about 15 seconds to make our way through the darkness, against the grain of the exiting throng, to get to a particular place for the spotlight to hit us as I introduce the crucifixion scene. It’s a rather tense span of time, however short. Each night the three of us huddle together just off stage-right so we can get to our places on time.

A hurricane was coming onto the Texas coast that year, and heavy rains were expected for Saturday, day and night. I was talking about that storm with a fellow cast member just outside the men’s dressing room door, a good ways from the bay, during that five-minute respite of Friday night’s performance. I lost track of time.  Suddenly I heard, “Away with Him! Let Him be crucified!”

I said — out loud — “Oh, my gosh!” I made a mad dash down the sidewalk, around the corner, down the steps and into the bay. As I entered, I could barely see the silhouettes of Valerie and Chris, the kids who were playing the grandkids that season. I walked up between ‘em, put my hands on their shoulders, and said, “Start walking!”

The spotlight made it to the steps before we did that night. Then the spotlight operator went into “search-mode.” When the light finally hit us, I began to speak my lines as we walked. All was well.

After the show I was apologizing to the kids and explained what had happened. Valerie said¸ “I was trying to remember your lines, or at least figure out what to say.  All I could come up with, ‘It’s so sad here without Grandpa.’ ”

I’m glad I made it before she had to say THAT!

Life’s and adventure.  I’m livin’ it up!

P.S.  My daughter, Rachael, is having a baby somewhere around Thanksgiving. I’m gonna be a REAL grandpa!

Randy McLelland, known as “Randy Mac,” is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and an entertainer. He can be reached at randymac@randymac.com.

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