The NYC Props Summit of 2019
The NYC Props Summit of 2019

Torch Song: Cassie Dorland takes over hosting the NYC Props Summit

Jay Duckworth

There are those moments that bring you to your feet because the energy is so powerful that you just have to stand. There were two of these moments for me, the first was 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Atlanta, GA where a shaking and frail Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame. My body took over and I stood up and tears started filling my eyes. The second moment was when Neil Patrick Harris opened the 2013 Tony Awards with the amazing production of the song “Bigger”. They were both magical moments for me. Reflecting on those, I have come to understand that those moments were not about that one person. Those moments were about recognizing the collective. Both times people took the stage to prepare us for the next best of the best; the best athletes the world has to offer and a look at the best in New York theater. What these two things have in common is the passing of the torch. In the case of the Olympic flame it is very literal and at the Tony Awards it is presentational. It is a custom that dates to the ancient world, showing up in the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc where every flame is quenched but one, and every torch must come be lit from it, the new fire representing the birth of spring.

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