Posted by Tai on June 18, 2008
Most non-Monkeys don’t know about this, but after the Celebration of Authors show every year, the company, ensemble, volunteers, and assorted friends and cohorts gather for our own little celebration. We have a silly awards ceremony, as our way of looking back on the previous school year and acknowledging all the fun characters and amazing adaptations. Awards include Best Villain, Best Line Reading, Best Inanimate Object, Best Drag, and so forth (I’m still relishing my Best Deity award this year from my portrayal of the “Comcast Guru” from the winter Loyola Park show). All the award nominations are made by our peers in the company, and we each get one (either because we’re all talented or because our Artistic Director is nice…probably both).
There is one award we give out at the post-COA party every year that is a little less silly, and that is the Monkey of the Year award, also called the MVP Award, but officially known as The Tom Malinowki Award for Enthusiasm and Commitment to Monkey Greatness. It is named after Monkey legend Tom Malinowski, a Monkey whose enthusiasm and commitment to Monkey greatness is so powerful that we’d have to give him the award every year if we didn’t name it after him.
Jason has been in the company since its inception in 1997. That’s almost 11 years, people. He’s one of the most integral members of our company and he has kept BOM and its mission a priority for all of those 11 years. Not to mention, he’s a hilarious actor and talented songwriter. But don’t just take it from me. This is just a part of what his fellow company members had to say about him this year:
Jason keeps us honest! He makes sure we don’t forget anything, that we’ve thought through everything fully, that we’re thinking first of our mission, and that we have kept our sense of humor.
Jason spends countless hours outside of rehearsal and classrooms volunteering in other capacities…proofreading, helping Gretchen with merch, welcoming newbies into the company, and occasionally vacuuming the office. Possibly he’s cleaned Heidi’s desk more than she has.
From the menial to the grandiose, no BOM decision is too small for Jason’s heart ... any time we’re facing a major decision he is happy and anxious to offer his feedback and advice, and will step back when we’ve heard it, whether or not everyone agrees.
Jason Sperling was very helpful in showing me the ropes and throwing out encouraging words.
He brings a joyful sensibility to his work with the company, which is much to be admired and appreciated.
He’s always ready to jump into ANY role, whether it’s a kid, dad, mom, dog, alien, or caveman/hippie. He’s been writing more songs this year and they’ve been getting better and better. Also, Jason is the one who notices all the little details that the rest of us miss. He always remembers to turn off the dressing room lights before TWG starts. He makes sure props are put in the right place. And he knows every detail about every story we’ve ever done. Amazing.
Guess what? You can see this MVP in action right now (and for the next 5 weeks, at least) in That’s Weird, Grandma. Come to the show on Monday and congratulate him!