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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Now is the summer of our discontent…

It has been a busy time lately.  The opera has ended and it was incredible!  “Of Mice and Men” is a very sad opera, but the whole experience from start to finish was one of the best I’ve had in 20 years with the opera.  This was my 49th opera.  It was also a chance to meet Carlisle Floyd.  The opera really is a beautiful work.  Essentially no worse than Butterfly or Tosca or Lucia.  I think it’s the modern setting that makes it seem somehow more real and gives it a darker tone.  But it is a fantastic work.

I’m directing a show for Salty Dinner Theater and really having a great time.  I have the best cast and they  are doing so well.  Imagine, if you will, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, condensed to 6 actors, 4 puppets and mixed with The Philadelphia Story, Star Wars and ancient beauty secrets, and you will have some small idea of the fun in store in Pirates! of Penzance? opening June 1st. Go to Salty Dinner Theater and purchase your tickets before they are gone!

It’s been very interesting this year to see theater from several different sides.  I have been an actor for a long time, but this past year I got the view from two new perspectives: director and reviewer.  And I have come to the conclusion that you have to be crazy to be a director.  Not that I don’t enjoy it and I freely admit that I am crazy. But it takes a certain personality to deal with the neurotic (I am neurotic) actors and opinionated producers and trying to gather props, costumes, rehearsal spaces, choreograph numbers ( I am NOT a choreographer) and try to appease egos, quirks and predilections. [And let me state right here and now, this is not specific to the show that I am currently directing.  There have been a few over the years that have fit into this category.]  And seeing shows as a reviewer I have come to see that there is a whole subset of people who take reviews or criticism waaaaaaay too serious.  Please remember, people, that reviews are one person’s opinion.  One.  Out of how many people who come to see your show?  Yes, they get their opinions published on a website or in the paper, but they are just people and it is just one opinion.  If you are basing your life on that, you are giving too much of your life away to other people.  Were you proud of what you did?  Did your audiences enjoy it?  Then you did a good job.

Quote of the day:

“A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.  ~James Beard”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I’m sorry. Did I say that out loud?

I apparently can’t even manage once a week posts!  This is going to be much more of a fee association/mind dump that I normally post, so buckle up!  It’s gonna be a bumpy trip!

Life does occasionally intrude into our hopes and dreams and makes things crappy.  And is some small and interesting ways the Bluebird of Happiness has decided to relieve itself fully on our cupcake of peace.  In fact, he covered the damn thing completely!  Luckily, we have a supply of shovels to clean up with.

I wish someone would let you know that when church callings are extended, the whole family gets to play along.  I don’t actually know how my wife manages to do what she does, but I know that anything I can do to help is but a drop in the bucket of what she needs and deserves.  Relief Society president is a calling I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  And she does so much that people don’t see or know.  So much of her time is spent in worrying about and caring for others.  She is an amazing woman and I have no idea why the good Lord say fit to saddle her with me, but I count my lucky stars that he did.  I could not be more blessed.

Parenthood is a real kick in the shorts, sometimes.  I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything, but there are times you just want to smack them upside the head as say, “REALLY!!?!?!?!?!”  Why is it that they can have an answer right in front of them, but still search for the “signs” they need to decide?  Why is it that they aren’t as brilliant as I am and see what they need to do (just like I do!)?  I know they need to take their own path, but sometimes I want to kick them a little further down that path so they can get over themselves.  They can be such little idiots!  Having said that, though, you ever cross my kids, you better duck and cover!  I will NOT allow my kids to dragged through the mud, especially when that mud is not of their making.

I guess that’s all for now.  I just ran out of steam on the whole thing. 

Quote of the day:

‎"We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all." - Antonin Artaud

Monday, March 05, 2012

I’m Feeling Transcendental… Am I Here?

More time has passed since my last post than I wanted, but things are going well, or as well as can be expected.  Although I think that I ‘m losing something of my mind.  Not sure what is going on.  I have felt like something is different ever since my release from the hospital.  Not sure if it’s side effects of the anesthesia/infection or if I’m just still not fully emotionally recovered from what I went through (sort of a PTSD thing).  I don’t remember things well and not important things but odd little details.  I have not been able to read emotional situations like I used to, and keep getting myself into situations where I can’t judge if someone upset with me or not, or why they would be and what I might have done.  Had one weird bout with someone I’ve been friends with for years, where for about 2-3 weeks I wasn’t sure if I had done something to offend them or if they were just acting weird based on whatever they were going through in their life.  Decided finally that I would just ride it out and see what happens, since we were headed toward a period of time when we wouldn’t be seeing each other all that much.

I feel an odd disjunct in my life as if I’m on the edge of something and watching it, but can’t quite make it to the scene, yet I don’t really know that I’m not there already.  It’s very Zen and ethereal, and I sound like I’ll full of crap typing this out. It’s very odd.  I just need to center myself, and start doing the things that I know will help me to get back to myself.  I need to stat exercising and get back to my routines from before the hospital.  I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, and there are other activities that I should be doing that I’m not.

The opera opens this weekend.  If you have never seen “The Elixir of Love” or have been wary of attending the opera, this is the one to see.  Very light-hearted, funny, and sweet.  All the best things about opera in one tidy package.  The music is delightful and the leads are phenomenal!  Get your tickets here.  And as a sneak peek, here is a still from the production:


It’s great fun and has been one of the highlights of the year for me.  The productions runs March 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18, 2012.  And if you come see it, stick around and let me know how you enjoyed it.

We will start work soon on the new Salty Dinner Theater show, “Pirates! (of Penzance).”  I’m very excited about this show.  It is based on the G&S classic, with a Salty Dinner Theater twist.  Six actors bring the whole evening to life with humor and twists for the whole family!  This will open in June and should sell out fast.  I’ll let you all know about tickets when they become available.  You can see me in action (ah, many years ago!) in Pirates in this clip here.  Anyone looking to do a full production of Pirates?  I’ll direct!!

I’ve been worrying lately about my future health.  It’s more and more on my mind.  One family in our ward lost their son who was not too old to a stroke recently.  I have heard of several young people who have had life altering or fatal health problems recently, and it’s got me scared.  I thought that the scare I went through with my surgery would be enough to get me to change.  It hasn’t been, though.  I haven’t been as stupid as I was, but I haven’t made any great changes, either.  When I first gout home it was easy to say, “Well, I don’t have the stamina to really start an exercise program,” but it’s getting harder and harder to make that sound convincing.  And while I’m still having problems with stamina, I know that if I don’t start doing something it will never improve.  I don’t want to be 50 and in a wheel chair or “Jazzy.”  I want to be able to do anything I want in a show and not be limited by my current physical limitations.  Anyone want to be my personal trainer?!?!?  I can guarantee a lot of griping and complaining and bargaining!  And all you’ll have to do is not kill me! (Not WANTING to kill me will not be an option!)

Today’s quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. --Theodore Roosevelt”