Before you watch this video, I just wanted to share a memory with you. In 2006 I was honored to be asked back to reprise my role as 'Chicciolina' in Pagliacci in Israel. I was brought in at the last minute while people there were already rehearsing, but because I had done the role previously, I did not need much rehearsal. One Saturday when I had the afternoon off I decided to explore a bit of Tel Aviv. I then bumped into my makeup artist (who I knew wasnt local) and I asked ;What are you doing here?' and she replied 'I am taking some children round the theatre as a tour type thing, she said 'What are you doing? I then replied saying I had done my shopping and was not doing anything until the evening performance, so she asked me 'Would you mind if the children look round your dressing room and look at your costumes and make-up', I said 'Of course not, why dont I come with you to the theatre collect my key and you can bring them in, she was very grateful.
So I was in my dressing room and the children came in and loved looking at the costumes and makeup etc. There was one little girl that I just warmed to, she was shy so I stayed close to her in the hope she would open up a bit and not feel so alone. Anyway they had a break and we all went to the canteen. Then (this is the clanger) my makeup artist told me that all these children were seriously ill and the one I got close to had months to live. I lost it and had to go to the toilet and i cried and cried and cried. I just couldnt believe that these wonderful kids were so ill! I had to get myself together and finish the tour of the theatre and I didnt want the kids to see me upset. We finished the tour and I gave them all a hug and said goodbye (fughting back tears), then this lovely little girl I grew very fond of said 'Gareth, I am coming to see the show tonight with my Mum and Dad', I said 'Really? let me know your ticket numbers and I will give you a personal wave', the staff at the theatre upgraded them anyway after I talked to them, and I asked the staff to send them through if they came to Stage Door. 10 minutes later this wonderful little girl burst through my dressing room and hugged me like I have never been hugged before, she smiled and said I was amazing, we had a chat and I said I would meet her in the cafe in 10 mins once I was changed. Her farther then returned to the dressing room 2 minutes later and hugged me and said 'I have not seen my little girl smile and be as happy as she was tonight in 2 years, thank you so much Gareth!' I hugged him for ages and thanked him, I didnt do anything but it obviously made a lasting impression. We then swapped emails and I emailed her every week, and after the 7th week I had no replies. I kept trying, but I knew the time had come and she lost her battle.
Charities like 'When You Wish Upon a Star' give children the opportunity to enjoy themselves while they can. I am very new to hosting charity events, I have never done one, but 'When You Wish Upon a Star' gave me the support and advice to create an amazing event and I am sure you will agree the night was just great and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for attending and being so supportive of this cause, I know Nigel would be beaming with pride about what we have collectively done! You are amazing people!
Below is a video about 'Amy's Wish' and just shows what this charity does for people.
I would also like to thank personally Alexa Wigfield from 'When you wish Upon a Star', who has held my hand (as such) all the way through this process and has helped me emotionally too, as it's difficult trying to celebrate someones life and trying to raise money but knowing you will never see then again, so thank you Alexa for being there for me, I wouldnt have been able to do this without you! Please keep doing what you do, it makes people feel special even though they are going through a bad time! I will in the future continue to support you as I think you do a sterling job!
I have also posted a picture of me and my friend as she reminds me of Amy, and yes I am dressed in drag with big boobs (nothing ever changes)
Lots of Love to you All