Puffs - November 17 - November 19, 2022

Syosset High School

 Director's Notes 

“The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley"
― Robert Burns, "To A Mouse"


"Failure is just another form of practice"

- Cederic Diggory


  One of the many things I've learned in my 26 years of being a part of the Assocation of Creative Thespians is things don't always go as planned. For instance, as much fun as we (and I hope you the audience) have had with our production of Puffs: Or, Seven Increasingly Event Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic it wasn't the story we originally started out to tell. We began this year with a totally different frame of mind but due to a series of circumstance we need to change our choice and, as the famous song says, fate stepped in to see us through.

   Puffs has, however, been on my radar for a few years now. Primarily because, and I'm making a huge confession to all of you now so please be gentle, I am a secret Potterhead. Oops, please pretend you didn't read that. Due to copyright restrictions we're not supposed to refer to a certain franchise that has been highly successful and has an army of lawyers ready to litigate in case we fail to abide by our contractual agreement. Anyway, I've been a huge fan of a certain boy wizard since the books first came out. I've read each of them multiple times and my family and I have engaged in "Potterfests" in which we spend weekends watching the movies, ordering take out/eating ice cream, and never get out of our pajamas. You know, a weekend of decadence!

    And if one goes online you can see entire communities of like-minded folk who, like some sort of super secret society, gather in conventions while wearing the garb of their favorite houses. You'll see scores of people dressed as "Braves" and quite a few as "Snakes" and maybe even a large number of "Smarts", but the ones who always seem to number the fewest are the Puffs. They're not the cool kids and the most that most people seem to know about them are that they like badgers and "they make excellent seekers". But they produce the fewest dark wizards, they appreciate animals and nature, they tend to be all-rounders, they're extremely loyal, they value friends, they are incredibly kind and giving, they understand the importance of food, they will always be there when needed, and they are humble to the point of not standing up for themselves. In short, they are the nice guys.

    But to be honest, I think we all have a little bit of Puff in us. Maybe it's there in the moments where you lose your keys because you were distracted by something else. Or momentarily forget how old you are. Or maybe it's that part of you that works hard, the part that remains loyal and true despite whatever terrifying monsters or travails are thrown your way. The part that plays fair, even when life is anything but. The part that likes to reach out to other people who are in need just because it's the right thing to do. You know, be the nice guy - not easy in a world that sometimes seems to value the competetive "dog eat dog" mentality. Why? Because we're afraid to be left behind, to be unimportant, to be invisible, to not matter.

    And yes, as the Headmasters says, "it is very easy to feel like you're only a secondary character in someone else's grand story. That does not mean, however, there isn't another story out there that's all about you. The one where you're the most important person in the world. The hero. We're all important, Wayne. And we're all unimportant. We're all heroes. In some way. To someone."

   So maybe being a hero doesn't have to be flashy and presentational, maybe it can be quiet and unassuming. Just being there for others and being the secondary character helping them shine but knowing inside it was all because of you. To be honest, maybe that's not a bad thing. Look around, we have a LOT of Braves, a LOT of Smarts, and LOTS of Snakes (because you know, there's always those people that want to throw white wine in someone's face) but we could use a few more badgers to help keep us all on track. But first we have to throw away our ego, admit that it's cool to be loyal and kind, and embrace our inner Puff.

    So, this is going to be difficult for me to admit to all of you but I have a confession. One that needs to be shared with all of you. Just today, and despite multiple attempts to get a different result, the truth couldn't be any more clear;


  I'm Connor, and I'm a Puff!

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