Claire Dempsey and Alexis Romay Duet

I Don’t Need a Roof

“We educators like to encourage our students to step out of their comfort zone. This, like most things in life, is something that is easier said than done. I believe that one can only inspire a growth-mindset if and when one approaches learning and teaching with that mentality. I also believe that being a teacher is being a perpetual learner, which is why, in order to model stepping out of my own comfort zone, and what it means to grow and learn from that discomfort, this winter I accepted the invitation from Choral Director Viraj Lal to join the pit band for Newark Academy’s Spring 2018 production of the musical “Big Fish.” (What was I thinking?! No. Really. What. Was. I. Thinking.) That was the first time I ever had to follow a conductor. In fact, I read music, but I couldn’t sight-read before the show. (Whether I can sight-read now is somewhat debatable.)

“The experience was exhilarating, humbling, terrifying, and a joy. I went from a small pond directly to open water, to swim with the Big Fish, which, as you may recall, was the name of the show. Making mistakes throughout the rehearsals gave me an opportunity to practice what I so wholeheartedly preach: make mistakes, make new mistakes, make better mistakes: learn from them!

“The music of Big Fish is really gorgeous. That explains why I continued to hum the tunes while I waited for the spring to arrive in March (#LOL)… It also explains why I recently invited Claire Dempsey, ’18 to perform “I Don’t Need a Roof,” her signature song as Sandra Bloom, one of the the play’s leads.

“Music and Lyrics are by Andrew Lippa. The video was recorded by Ellie Thomas ’20. And the stage was the lounge outside Newark Academy’s Kaltenbacher Hall… which, thankfully, does have a roof.”~ Alexis Romay, Language Department

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