Paul Everitt from Love Your Doorstep reflects on how a little generosity can go a long way
Last month I witnessed a small act a kindness that warmed my heart. It was so beautiful because it was a kindness returned for a kindness given more than 13 years ago.
Back in July 2008, Marc Day was casting for the children’s roles in the annual pantomime at Millfield Theatre, which that year was Cinderella. A 14-year-old called Chuchu Nwagu, who lived just down the road from the theatre in Edmonton, came along to audition, but unfortunately there wasn’t a role suitable and he wasn’t cast in the show. Marc agonised over the decision because Chuchu had auditioned in past years and had never been successful. But he never gave up hope and every year he tried again.
We could see that Chuchu just loved the theatre, and particularly the pantomime, and he would do anything to be part of it. So Marc went about devising a way for him to be involved. Chuchu would sit in rehearsals, production meetings and technical rehearsals and see first-hand how a show is produced. And let me tell you, that young man did not miss one second of opportunity offered to him.
I remember Marc sending Chuchu to the far sides of the theatre to check that the views were good everywhere and I remember Chuchu beaming with pride when Marc asked him to tell everyone what he thought. Chuchu returned year after year to take on the role and every year taking more responsibility until he eventually left us for university.
Thirteen years later, Chuchu is now a production assistant in London’s West End, living his dream. In October this year I bumped into Chuchu just outside the Piccadilly Theatre. He asked me about Marc and I told him that he was still looking for work opportunities. Last week, Marc called me and told me he had been offered a role on a West End show. Apparently after my conversation with Chuchu he had gone back to the theatre and recommended Marc for a role that had become vacant.
That small act of kindness means so much more than the deed itself. When you know that someone has thought about you with so much warmth and that they have appreciated the deed you did for them in the past, it melts your heart.
As William Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice: “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”