Jack was in the hospital when he found out he’d won a place in Boston Conservatory’s Musical Theatre Program. 

He’d also gotten some news he wasn’t expecting: a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.

This Disney-devoted Marvel memorizer had to navigate huge life changes and adjust to a rigorous training program in a new city that definitely wasn’t Big-D-Little-A-Double-L-A-S.

After the BoCo Sorting Hat placed Jack in my studio (Ravenpuff), a mentor of his emailed to say — “Hey! Dan Callaway teaches there. You should try to study with him.” 

That mentor was Jim May who’d music directed me in LA (and hosted the best singing soirees at his house in Granada Hills.)

He’s flying to Boston for our studio recital this April! 💙🎵

Love synchronicity hugs like that. 

Back to Jack —

Jack’s shown up to lessons dizzy, exhausted, fighting to get his eyes to focus, and battling an often tricky Dexcom sensor. 

(I have a terrible habit of clapping Jack on the shoulder where it’s injected 🙁 Sorry, Jack.)

He’s sung exercises leaning against the piano to stabilize himself, worked through lessons in a chair, and done about every other thing he can to get his body into the studio at his lesson times.

Some days, I’ve asked if he wanted to take a break or go grab an egg sammie. He always wants to work.

There’ve also been days when he’s texted me from an Über on the way to the Joslin Diabetes Center because his levels were going nuts. 

I have no idea what managing diabetes feels like–

what it’s like to monitor your glucose all day, callous your fingertips from constant pricking, navigate sudden dizziness, or worry about your vision going haywire while the best docs tell you they’re not sure why.

I looked at Jack this week as he juggled the 17 directives I was twanging across the piano at him, and my heart filled up with admiration. 

I stopped and said, “Jack, you know how courageous you are? The things you overcome just to show up in the room are huge, and I think you’re a big deal.”

I wiped a tear, and we went back to sticking out our tongues and making Elmo sounds.

But Jack makes me stop and say thank you that my body’s healthy. 

It’s a miracle to hear music, walk the 5 flights from the basement to my studio, and play wrong notes and cuss.

My Grandma Frances always said, “If you have your health, you have everything.”

I remember her words when I look at Jack with his eyes on what he loves to do more than anything — make folks laugh and feel better. 

He could be the one feeling like crap, and he makes sure you’re okay.

Jack reminds me that showing up is seriously it. 

Nothing else happens if you don’t.


Just put your body in the place, and do the thing. 

After a while, folks’ll notice and trust you. Most importantly, though, you’ll notice and trust yourself. You’re the one who shows up.

Lately I’ve been getting quiet and listening into my guts about what the next stage of my life’s supposed to be about. I’ll pray, “What do I need to know?”

I’m getting this answer: Share.

Okay. Yes.

And sharing means showing up. That’s why I’m rolling into your inbox on a Monday.

Here’s another truth — lots of times, I’m scared to share. 

I make videos I delete. I write posts and leave them in the drafts folder. I want to hide. 

You got that too? Times you want to hide?

Good — we have something we can both practice: show up and share.

Just get your body in the room. 

You’ve picked up things over the years that’ll help folks. What if you don’t bring those to the table? 

And remember, feeling afraid is required for courage.

I bet if you go back and think about the folks who’ve made a difference to you — how much of that was just because they showed up? What would happen, do you think, if you did that for you? And in turn for us?

Because you know what I’m fixing to say — there there’s only one you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing.

love much,
dan

ps Are you as excited as I am about Ted Lasso’s Season 3 starting up??

If you’re having a hard time waiting for the week-to-week episode drip-drip, may I recommend Shrinking? 30-minute episodes packed with heart, humor, humanity, and any other H-word that brings you joy.

And if you’ve never hopped on the Luther train, get to the station. It’s so good.

(There’s a new Netflix film, and if you haven’t watched the show, I recommend you mark some time in your binge calendar to get up to speed.)

Melissa and I re-watched the first episode the other day and due to parenting exhaustion and amnesia, it was like a whole new experience!

(And whenever a student needs an imaginary scene partner for their love/heartbreak song, I regularly recommend Idris Elba. I’m not wrong.)