Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

As the audience for the August “Weird and Awesome” were loaded into the theater, I started reading – from the beginning – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Then after the curtain speech, this text displayed on screen:

I did my first show with Annex Theatre when I was 23.

I was the youngest one in the cast.

People would tease me about my age.

And I would remind them how old they were.

It was all good fun.

That was in 1999.

Today I am 40.

I’m older than most Annex staff and company members.

Our pop culture is different.

They don’t understand why the socio-economic difference between Go-Bots and Transformers is important.

And I don’t know what a Pokemon is, or how you catch them.

(But that game seems kind of cool.)

At a late-night party recently, someone dropped a Harry Potter reference into conversation.

I didn’t get it.

Because I have never read Harry Potter.

Nor have I seen any of the movies.

All of the 20-somethings in the room were aghast with shock and horror.

They yelled at me.

OMG HOW HAVE YOU NOT READ HARRY POTTER?!?

They laughed at me when I didn’t know the proper pronunciation of “Quiddich.”

And that felt slightly unfair.

I have no excuse. I am not anti-Harry Potter.

It was just never on my radar.

One 20-something was adamant:

WHAT KIND OF PERSON HASN’T READ HARRY POTTER?!? YOU HAVE TO READ HARRY POTTER!!!

But I wasn’t going to be bullied into reading something so important to someone

Who had just made fun of me.

So I made a deal with her.

I will read all 7 Harry Potter books. Books that were important to readers of her generation.

If she read the entire series of books important to readers of MY generation.

The Lord of the Rings. [image]

We agreed to complete our reading challenge before the end of the year.

And present a book report on stage.

She has already read half of “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Or so she says…

I have yet to begin reading any of Harry Potter…

Until tonight.

I apologize for any mispronunciations.

And now…

Please welcome to the stage…

Your host for the evening…

EMMETT MONTGOMERY.

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