"We really are blessed," his wife added.
Friends and family are a common theme at the Pageant. Families often become involved together in the production.
"This is my granddaughter's fourth year," McCleerey said. The 8-year-old's mother is a long-time participant as well.
"With life as busy as it is, we can see each other every day this way," McCleerey said.
Each year, hundreds of people try out for parts and have detailed measurements taken. These can range from the circumference of the head to the length from shoulder to elbow.
In the costume room, dozens of Styrofoam heads line the walls. Some stare blankly ahead; some appear to be blinking; some seem shocked; some blissful.
Each one is a representation of the makeup required for each character; stylists then replicate the look.
They develop familiarity with a few actors, who return to them night after night.
No skills are needed to become a makeup volunteer, McCleerey said. "They'll teach you everything."
To prevent paint from getting on the costumes, they use gloves and stockings to cover large portions of skin.
Sometimes these garments won't do, such as when cast members are painted to look like statues or metal jewelry. These actors are sometimes nude but for a g-string, McCleerey explains.
When they're painted, a patch of skin has to be left exposed to give the skin room to breathe. Otherwise, the actor could suffocate, à la the classic James Bond film, "Goldfinger."
A common way to thwart this is to wear a stocking cap.
"They're underwear for the head," said Gina Drury, a headdress volunteer. She says the stocking caps are made in-house from panty hose, just as the name implies.
Up close, the facial makeup can seem outlandish, even frightening. But from far away, the effect is perfect.
Cast member Steve French, who will depict Vincent Van Gogh's "The Sower," wears thick makeup with sharp lines and angles, necessary in depicting an Impressionist piece.