(this isn't anywhere near complete, just stream of consciousness).
I wouldn't be near the martial artist I am without a number of folks, particularly Master Anthony Lisi and Grandmaster Jim Sams. Lisi was the one who hammered it into me that being the big one meant being the responsible one, being the trained one meant being the responsible one, and big & trained meant you looked out for everyone, deal with it. All this before I hit six feet. That's where my place in the brute squad started.
Sams, on the other hand, kept me from getting too big for even my oversized britches by throwing me around like a flour sack, several decades older than me and smaller than anyone I ever dated in the process. And once my ass had been thoroughly kicked, that blessed man would say, "some little punk tries that on you, counter it with this..."
I wouldn't be near the person I am were it not for the festival folk that raised us on everything from making art and money to treating people.
That flirting meant that getting shot down was a natural hazard, and should be taken with grace.
That bon mots should never be aimed for or taken in the heart but only in the ego, which needs the occasional pruning all the more in those really that damn good at it.
That sometimes triumph is just inciting a smile, a blush, or a bodice heave from across the room, and failure just means taking your leave gracefully.
This world needs more like the late John Broadfoot and Rowland Greyhame more than ever these days.
Damn, gents. If I ever reach your level I'll have done good.
I wouldn't be near the actor I am were it not for my teachers on that road, notably from Sharon Morrow to Frank Miller to Gregalan Williams.
Each in their own way sending me along that path from "ready to duck incoming tomatoes" to "being occasionally worth what I'm occasionally paid."
Wouldn't have become a Marine without Gunny Maupin.
Wouldn't have been nearly as good a one had it not been for people like Dan Hubbert and Brandon Robinson, who did not have an easy task, dealing with an overweight, unfocused, stubborn boot who was too book-smart for anyone's good.
I learned eventually.
And I wouldn't be even a shadow of the choreographer I am today without the Society folk, particularly David Brimmer, KJ Jones, Richard Ryan, Scot Mann, Mike Chin, Martin Noyes, Chuck Coyl, MJ Johnson, Paul Dennhardt, and Bob MacDougall.
Wouldn't be who I am without those I won't mention. Because they taught me the privilege of other people's secrets and the duty of keeping your damn mouth shut.
I'll even spare a nod to the bad examples I've seen. The turds, the overrated, and the clashing. Whether good at their trade but bad pedagogues to the good instructors but horrible people, even they showed me the valuable points of where not to go.
And nowadays, what's making me are my students. Not a day goes by that I walk out of a classroom that's ostensibly mine without discovering something new.
My thanks to them all and more.