On February 9th, 2013, my son, Marlin Wagner, sang to Burt Reynolds.
My son is a talented performer, it is true. But, we were still completely shocked when asked if Marlin would perform for Burt Reynolds!
The event was called the Diamond Jubilee. It was a fancy Gala that honored both the Lake Worth Playhouse and the talented Burt Reynolds. Burt Reynolds performed and directed at the playhouse when he was very young and starting his acting career.
I offered to work as a volunteer server, so I could both see the performance, and help out my Lake Worth Playhouse family. Let me tell you, serving is exhausting. And I am not sure the clothes are really my style (haha). But it was worth it!!!!
The night began with a silent auction, followed by dinner, performances, and dancing.. When Burt Reynolds arrived, he saw me working as a server, but he stopped, he smiled at me, grabbed a hold of my hand, and said “Hi, how are you?”. I was flattered and completely surprised that he would take the time to stop and say hi to me.. I certainly thought that would be the end of my encounter with the Bandit.. But, I was wrong.
As the evening progressed and after dinner was served, I had a chance to talk to him for a few minutes. I told him my son was going to sing for him. He was so kind. I kissed his cheek.
The performances began, and they were incredible. Talented and beautiful performers. Performers I feel blessed to know.
My son Marlin, was the last to perform. I stood in the corner, a little nervous. With confidence, Marlin walked onto the stage, with microphone in hand, and he sang Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians He sang beautifully. Everyone smiled, including Burt.
When the song and the applause finished, Burt stood up, put his arm around my son, and talked to him. He asked Marlin how old he was, Marlin said “13″ . Burt Reynolds replied “I have underwear older than that.” Everyone laughed. He told my son he was handsome, and talented, he asked Marlin if acting was really what he wanted to do. My son said “Yes.” Burt got a little choked up and he gave my son some advice “Don’t ever, ever, let anyone talk you out of it.” It was advice that resonated with everyone in the room. We were all emotional.
It was a beautiful night that will stay with us for a very long time.I am so happy for my son, and I am full of gratitude… ~Yogini Tiff
Thank you so much to the Lake Worth Playhouse. And thank you so much to Burt Reynolds.