Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's True

I'm loving this week. Really. This is such fun for me -- in spite of the butterflies and the work, the interrupted schedules and consuming demand. The bottom line? I love it.

If you have tonight, tomorrow night, Saturday afternoon or evening unplanned, you really should consider splurging (the tickets are not give-aways) and coming to see CPS's The King & I.

"You'll forgive me if I boast..." but we are doing a great job! I think that even those who are not true theater afficionados will enjoy this one.

And besides -- who knows if I'll ever get to do this again! It may be now or never, folks!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Did You Know? I Love Rehearsing!

Perhaps the performance will reflect the time and energy I've invested; perhaps it won't. After all, the final product requires more than just time and energy to be totally successful.

But the fact remains: the final product needs more than just raw talent if it is to be the "utmost best" that it might be. It will require lots of hard work and effort.

I tend to take things seriously, to throw myself into projects wholeheartedly. I'm going to do the best I can. I've been considered a bit overly zealous at times. But I think there is something scriptural about that tendency, so I don't find a need to adjust my natural inclinations in this area. (Whew... I've had plenty of adjusting to do in other things!)

The director is pushing me -- gently, because he is a thoughtful man who understands the human frame -- but I'm happy to be stretched. As he asks for a new approach to a song, a different interpretation of a line, or suggests a varied movement, I smile broadly and truthfully assure him that I am glad for instruction and challenge. What a marvelous opportunity to receive from a professional theater director!

Granted, my emotions don't fall in line immediately -- I struggle with concern that I'm disappointing him, that I may not be able to fulfill his expectations. But such feelings are quickly set aside. I must come to grips with the required change and grapple with understanding the character he is asking me to portray. There is no time to lose; he wants the change NOW. Flexibility, imagination, and response is to be "instant and cheerful and thorough". I can now, with absolute confidence, tell my children that learning to do any given task in such a way will serve them in any arena!

So the lessons are learned, the challenges accepted. I return home each night with written notes and mental notes. My ride home is filled with repeated phrases, trying a new inflection or emphasis. Or a song is sung while envisioning the newest step or turn. Over and over and over again the staging is run in my mind. This must become automatic; I must do them instinctively by the time opening night arrives. The time for remembering is over then -- the moves, the responses, the inflections must all "just happen" as real life just happens.

Last night we staged the schoolroom scene. Mrs. Anna breaks into song and tells them she is glad to be "Getting To Know You". Our director asked me to pick up the youngest child and dance with him, stepping out of my restricted British formality. This is Mrs. Anna's chance to express that she is getting comfortable with them.

"Yes," I chimed in, "she is beginning to feel at home with them. So I will twirl with this little guy - is that okay? Because that is what I would do at home."

He smiled as he commented, "I am sure you would -- and why am I not surprised by that?"

So for all you naysayers who contend that "musical theater is not real, so why should I work hard to make her real?"

Welcome to my world, folks, where people break into song all day long, and where it is not unusual for mothers to twirl with a child in hand.

Mrs. Anna is not so unlike me!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Just An Update

The gardens are a riot of color, in spite of my lack of attention. I love seeing such beauty, although with each new bloom I find myself in wonder at that passing season. Why do I still find it hard to believe that summer is progressing? Is it the cool weather? The fact that I've not been outdoors to work even once this year? I do still have intentions of a good weeding and edging effort one of these days. Maybe once I feel certain that all of my King & I lines are well polished. But who can say if that will ever happen.

Today the director from NYC arrives to begin blocking and putting this show together. Can I say that I am a bit excited! What fun this will be, what a challenge! I am looking forward to seeing my abilities stretched. I pray that I will be able to keep up and grow with the demand.

My house emptied out quite a bit toward the end of last week. Fortunately, many of those travelers will return in a few days and we can all catch up with each others doings. I miss them.

I've had some concerns, been in a place of need. God has faithfully heard my cry. He restores, renews, and is a continual fount of mercy and grace. I know. That is not surprising to those who have tasted of His goodness. But on the other hand, it is continual good news that never grows old. Oh, how grateful is this blessed soul! I will forever sing the praises of His great faithfulness!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th! And Don't Forget to Pray

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt…If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Phizzzz In Life

He needed to hear something to build. He was in a desperate place of need. What could I possibly share? Where would I begin?

Without the Word of God peppering my words of comfort, counsel, rejoicing -- whatever -- the commentary is flat. Like pop with no punch. Alka Seltzer with no fizzle. Lawrence Welk with no bubbles.

I remembered once again that I have no substance of value to share apart from those eternal nuggets of truth which endure forever. Someone needed bolstering -- what is better than a Psalm? A dear one was lacking confidence -- what better than Paul's words of hope in Christ? My nephew needs schooling -- so did the Corinthian church.

Oh, it quenches the thirsty, fills the hungry, stirs the faint of heart. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We are taught, enlarged, encouraged again and again.

Sing them over again to me -- wonderful words of life.
Let me more of their beauty see -- wonderful words of life.

There is nothing better for a quick pick me up than the wonderful Word of God.