In The Pursuit of Happiness…

Memorial-Day-Flag-Website-Banner_edited-1Hello Dear Reader,

Every year at this time, I think of a fellow I did a show with many years ago. I think I may have mentioned Cesar Flores before. His Vietnam stories always made me so sad because I could see the hurt in his face and hear it in his voice. He spoke with such passion about everything.  I really loved that about him. I know he is somewhere in California, but I don’t know where anymore.

I thank him and all the soldiers this Memorial Day for all the sacrifice that they have made so that America can have the freedoms that have become a way of life. Freedoms that seem to be used to protest for justice and tear us apart for elitism and racism. Just because I don’t agree with some of the propaganda that is going around doesn’t mean it is isn’t an expression, as much as I am loathe to point out.

According to our Declaration of Independence, we all have the right to pursue happiness.  What happens when that happiness is in jeopardy? I have been paying much more attention to the empty seats, content, quality and types of advertising in the theaters I have been attending as of late. The worry of being a company owner is making sure that you can sustain great shows that bring in a full audience to keep on putting up more great shows and round and round the circle goes.

Can I just say, I don’t understand that when money gets tight the first thing that seems to be cut is live theater. I mean, I sort of get it.  Tickets are expensive and if you know a lot of people in different shows it can get REALLY pricey. Yet, there is so much intrinsic value in it for a well rounded life. These creative expressions offer us a chance as a society to step back and look at ourselves. Sometimes theatre points the finger and sometimes it doesn’t. Since I want to open my own company in the future, this has really made me shift my thoughts on what the state of theatre in this area will be like in a few months.

My Gentle Reader, I don’t have any worries of the the talent on either side of the table. And when I say “either side of the table,” for those that don’t know, I am referring to the cast/talent and staff/production. We have some great people that are on both sides.  I worry about the people that we do this for. While it may be fun and a necessity (sometimes) for us, theatre is a mirror of sorts to life. Even if the attendees aren’t going through the particular situation that is on stage, we can still relate to it on an emotional level. You may not agree with some of the things that the play is about, but the hope is that it makes you willing to think about the subject and maybe it will change your heart or strengthen your resolve but hopefully it will make you feel and/or think.

I’ve looked into strategies (and that ain’t even my strong suit! Ask anyone who has played board games with me) in marketing and awareness and community involvement. I see opportunities there, but getting those seats sold is where I feel a bit lost. What if those strategies are great but the seats don’t sell?

Do any of you amazing friends have any thoughts on the state of theatre in the future? What have you seen in regards to attendance? Do you see any way to shrink the number of empty seats?

Dear Reader, I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you took a moment to reflect on the things that allow us to try to attain the American Dream that our grandparents had before things got so crazy expensive.

And Cesar, where ever you are and whatever show you are working on now, my friend, I salute you and say “Welcome Home!”

Until next time, Gentle Reader…

 

 

And A Happy New Year… INDEED!

chorus_line1

Welcome back, Gentle Reader!

We are six days into the new year and four days into rehearsals for A Chorus Line so HELL yeah, it IS happy.

Of course, I have the Christmas cold (the gift that keeps on giving) that was making the  rounds but I am happy to report that the only thing that is hanging around is that doggone cough.  Ugh! However, I shan’t let that dampen my spirit.

Since it is the new year, I keep seeing all the “New Year, New Me” campaigns. Do you participate in the whole resolution ritual, Dear Reader?  I used to, but many years ago I realized that I didn’t have to wait until the year began again to change a habit that I had that wasn’t beneficial to me. With every sunrise, I could take a chance to make a change, so I have 365 chances each year. This idea hit me in the face like a director threw a wire bound conductor’s score at me. The great thing about this revelation was that it dawned on me that self reflection should happen every day.

So I try and it has helped me quite a bit.  Now the one thing that I can’t get it to help with is my time management.  LOL! I think the bouncing between two jobs and shows (I have so much fun doing those that I can’t call them jobs) takes up a few hours out of my day.  Easily two and a half to three hours. I have tried to use day planners and smartphone apps, but they don’t seem to work for me.  For shows, I just assume that I am called to be at rehearsal every day, but then the stage managers often send out emails clarifying rehearsal details. Talk about a life saver! LOL!

Anyway… at the end of August, I came across something called bullet journaling.  I began to look at everything about this subject. The end of November came along and I began my journal in December. I have found that I love it! The reason why is because it is all blank pages that I design myself. So I get to be creative and draw all over that bad boy.  Granted, Gentle Reader, it isn’t great drawing that I do, but I get to do all the formatting and doodling so I find it a lot of fun and didn’t realize how much time I spend “playing” with it. Getting my left and right brains to make friends has been a chore, but they are becoming acquaintances.

I have found it so useful.  Now I have a better grasp on my time. It isn’t perfect, but it is better and it is a start.

So as an ever evolving super curious person, I love being able to change my habits whenever I want, without the idea that the only time I can do it is at the beginning of a new calendar.

How do you keep track of your busy life?  Can you keep it all in your head?  (I am totally jealous, if you can do that) Have you tried bullet journaling?  Let me know in the comments below, Dear Reader.

Until next time…