As we come to the close of yet another “Promise” season (Friday and Saturday wrap it up!), I was remembering back to 2006, the first year I was cast as “Grandpa” in the show. I had never been a part of a production like “The Promise." But, with the encouragement of some of my friends to do so, I made my way to the big Texas Amphitheater for the final auditions of the season.
When I arrived, I saw many folks on the stage, many with pieces of paper in hand (I learned those were pages from the script) facing each other and reading. I didn’t have anything to read, so I just kinda wandered around, not sure exactly what I SHOULD be doing. Then I received a summons to the stage-right bay.
There I would, for the very first time, meet the new director of “The Promise.” Travis Tyre seemed very intense as he explained the premise of “The Promise”.
“Okay,” he said. “You’re a grandpa here in Glen Rose. You love it when your grandkids come to see you. You love to tell them about Somervell County, the dinosaur tracks and ‘The Promise’.”
He handed me a page from the script. I was flanked by two children who were auditioning for the role of the grandkids. Travis said, “Okay, now read through the script.” We did.
After we’d finished our reading, Travis slowly stood up behind the table where he and two or three others were seated. He looked intently into my face and asked, “Has anyone ever told you you have a southern accent?”
“I - have an accent?” I queried. (Wondering what a grandpa in Glen Rose should sound like.)
A week later, the casting decisions were made public. I had been give the part as the grandfather. I was elated. And scared. There would be MUCH to learn before that first weekend in August, and I was hoping I was up to the task.
The Sunday following the cast announcement, many people had packed into one of our local restaurants for after-worship lunch. Charm Trotter, who heads up our ticket office, was across the way from me. I had not seen her since the previous season, when I was doing some of the pre-show concerts and emceeing the show. (Note: At this point in time, neither of our children were married yet.)
Charm said - loudly, so I could hear her - “Hey, I hear you’re gonna be ‘Grandpa’!”
“Yes!” I responded.
Suddenly I could feel many eyes in that restaurant turn to me.
“In ‘The Promise’!” I announced, loudly, so folks in that restaurant could hear ME! “That’s how rumors get started!”
Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!
p.s. I’m doing the pre-show concert again THIS Friday night. If you’ve not yet been to see the show this season, we’d love to see ya THIS weekend!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He plays the role of "Grandpa" in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer. He can be reached at email@example.com or (817) 454-3386. His web address is randymac.com.