No One Is An Island…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

I have two very strong beliefs that I like to live by.  The first is that I believe that the most important thing worth fighting for is love. I don’t mean physical love exclusively.  I mean, anything that you love with your entire being. ANYTHING.

The second is a more recent belief that hit me about five or six years ago. I believe that a life worth living is made up of the connections you create.

Something happened last week that reaffirmed that belief. I was working the #survivaljob when I happened to greet a very kind older Middle Eastern Indian woman. She was absolutely lovely and she spoke of India as though she were homesick. I could see the tears welling up in her eyes as she told me how she missed the custom of welcoming all visitors into the home to talk as that doesn’t happen here in America. We chatted for about 20 minutes and I could tell she was needing to talk to someone other than her family. That conversation affected me the whole day and I couldn’t get that image of her eyes out of my head. I felt like I needed that interaction to happen too, as a reminder that I needed to put the work into strengthening my connections and bonds to something more than just passing hellos or sporadic meet ups.

Then, on Sunday, a friend of mine lost her year long fight with cancer. She wasn’t a very touchy feely person, but we spoke about how she felt about it. The last time we spoke she said that the latest round of treatment was tough but she was tougher and she wasn’t ready to stop fighting. I wouldn’t expect anything else from her. She didn’t suffer fools and put up with no nonsense, and even as this was in her personality, we had some amazing and wonderful bouts of laughter.  The kinds that make you feel like you spent 4 hours in the gym working on your abs. People would walk into the museum and we would just wave them in because we didn’t have the breath to say hi.

My Dear Reader, these connections are important, I think, because they build a person into someone sympathetic and empathetic and more humane to others. The impact you leave on this world can be bigger than you know.

The thing about those connections, though, is that they don’t just move forward.  They move in all directions.  Music that you listen to can connect you backward through memories. Sharing a group experience (maybe like good theatre or concert or movie) can create a connection that spiderwebs out like a crack on a mirror.

No one is an island.  Even a deserted island is altered by the sea and wind and sun. I really hope Smokey Joe’s Cafe has an effect on the viewer to help them recall things that happened in their lives and I hope with all my heart that they are all good things.

Monday night, the full cast was together again and I got to hear “Stand By Me” and I almost broke down.  I did keep it together but I really just wanted to go home and knit (which is something my friend and I would talk about.)

Anyway, I am SO happy to report that #smojos is going REALLY well. I have 3 numbers to stage which are just ballads, but other than that, we are cleaning up numbers for the next two weeks.  After that, it is all run thru for nearly 4 weeks before we open.  We will be ready.

Oh, Kindest Reader, I look forward to connecting with you. What do you believe about connecting with others?

Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time!

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My Bag of Lemons Rotted…

imagesThey say when life hands you lemons make the situation better by making lemonade. They don’t tell you what to do when the lemons begin to rot because you are taking care of life and time just. will. not. stop!

My Dear Gentle Reader, this summer was a hard few months to get through. I have had ongoing issues with my #survivaljob that makes me want to swat “decision makers” (I use that term Über sarcastically) with a rolled up newspaper in their face. I know, I know.  Violence never helps solve anything.

Then we had a visit from the cancer fairy. Luckily, we had medicine men and women fix THAT issue. Then there was the recovery which took the longest time and made me worry. That was all I did. Night and day. Day and night. Sometimes I still do. That whole mess floored me.  I wasn’t the patient but the caretaker with TONS of help from my mother in law and our incredible, wonderful friends. That level of stress really cuts a big gaping hole in the sails and just left me feeling like all I could do was hope the waves would take me close to land.

I have also had a number of deaths in the family that left me numb and again, unable to process. Just last week, I lost another cousin. I worry about the mental health of my father who seems to be getting a little more and more forgetful. I worry about the health of my mother, who takes care of my father on top of her job and most of the rest of my siblings. It gets SO overwhelming that I just turn it all off. Everything.

When I thought about writing a post, I would sit at a blank screen and just watch the cursor blink. I didn’t even read plays or work on my own show. I kind of abandoned Facebook and Twitter. Only occasionally did I make a post on Instagram.

I think that the worst is over. I still haven’t recovered that missing magic from March.  I don’t know if you recall that post, Dear Reader. That particular event was that I totalled my car in an accident and rolled it down a small hill. We walked away with some cuts and bruises and soreness, but otherwise intact. I don’t think I have still processed that because I still think about what I could have done to prevent it, and then I get worked up and anxious about it all over again. I know I have definitely lost even more magic.

I know that I don’t feel the same emotionally or physically.  I just feel a little “off” but hoping it is just cobwebs creeping into places I haven’t used in the last 10 months.

Things are looking up though! In 9 days, I have auditions for Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and two weeks after that, I begin rehearsals for my return to the stage.  I will be working on a production of the “Making of the Star Wars Christmas Special” at Dragon Theatre Productions. We open in December for one lone weekend.

I have my fingers crossed that the magic will find me again. I am officially excited for theatre to come back into my life as something more than just an observer. I need it.

If you have read this far, Kind Reader, I thank you for letting me bend your ear/eyes for a moment or two.

May the magic bring all your dreams to life.

Until next time, Gentle Reader…

Nothing But Death and Taxes, Friends. Death and Taxes… and Hope

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Dear Gentle Reader,

Last week was the most dreaded of the US “holidays,” even more so than Valentine’s Day. Yes, sadly friends, I feel that Valentine’s Day is on par with National Grilled Cheese Day. But I digress… That’s right we got to “celebrate” Tax Day, April 15th.  Oh joy.

As usual, I had to pay a pretty penny even though my survival job was supposed to be really good at paying into the tax pool. It wasn’t nearly enough, I guess. It is so frustrating to constantly have to pay for taxes when the job should be handling it.

I, like many people that know they will end up paying, waited until the last minute. I don’t know why. Maybe I am hoping that something will change and I will magically not have to pay. So from the time I get my paperwork until the week of the deadline, this cloud of dread hangs over me.

Yet, I still plan and dream. I still have hope, Dear Reader. I still have hope that someday I will have my own theatre company. I have already picked out the first season and have my ideas what I would like each production to achieve.

What I am having trouble with is the whole non-profit thing. The benefits are great but I dont really want a board of directors. I know they would be a massive help in nearly everything, but I would feel like I have bosses.  I don’t want to have that feeling in something that I create.

Would it be beneficial to just create a “production company?”

Oh, Gentle Reader, so many things to think about and so many shows to see and so many ideas to bring to life. WHY?? WHY?? Maybe I should go and knit something in the corner to calm my brain down.

Who knows, I may find a zen moment and get a solution.

But for now, taxes are done, theater rentals checked out, rights pricing checked out, looking to have the logo designed and so on…

Oh, and the company won’t be up and running for a while, but the ball has begun to roll. I have to start it now. I mean, I am no spring chicken (not a word, Kevin! Not a word.) so I need to begin.  Especially if I want it to be like what I see in my crazy brain.

OK! Now that I got that out, Dear Reader, I need to try and get some sleep. I will keep you posted, of course, on the upcoming issues I will be facing. LOL!

Big hugs to you all.

Until next time, friends…

 

 

The Play’s… Umm… TO Play is the Thing…

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Hello Dear Reader,

Well, February has come and gone and I am not anywhere near finishing my writing project. The power of frustration is palpable.  I was stewing in it. I feel all tender and a little sad. SO, I am just going to extend the time for this project.

Here’s the thing though.

I was putting way to much pressure on myself to complete this ASAP. What I have learned is when you’re creating something pressure like this is such a bad move. It isn’t helpful, Gentle Reader, and not conducive to the act of creating. If anything, it stifles creativity, I feel.

This will get done when it gets done. I mean, I do have the whole year off, after all.

Yesterday, as I was at my #survivaljob watching the rain fall, slamming onto the tiles that lead to the main lobby, I realized I haven’t been my normal self these last few years.

You know, Dear Reader, as an actor, I have to use every sense that is available to me as well as imagination and memories.  I watch people all the time.  Almost like I am studying them. I have memories, but I am certain that I don’t have enough memories. So I would create them my playing.  Not games, but playing with life.

But I stopped playing.  I stopped jumping in puddles and walking in the rain. I focused on going home and trying to be responsible so that I could get to that survival job day in and day out rather than going out and enjoying my friends. I stopped “going all in” at life. I put in just enough to get by.

But with this realization that what I am trying create isn’t meant to be done in the 5 weeks that I planned means that I can breathe.

Breathe.

And to jump in puddles.

And see my friends and their shows.

So, Sweet Reader, I AM going to continue to work on this show but I am not going to place that kind of pressure on it. I apologize that I don’t feel like any of the pages are worth sharing yet, but I will keep working on it.

Until then *inhale* more playing!

Dear Reader, have you ever had a realization that had kept you from enjoying your time? How did you break through that haze?  Leave me a comment or follow me on the social medias! Also, just pop in and say ‘Hi!’

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Until next time…