Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter

Easter is my favorite holiday.

As a child of divorce, Christmas was always about figuring out where you were going. Or as we get older, about making sure you have a gift for everyone you see. It's really fun buying gifts, but there's always this nervousness that you're going to forget someone you love.

Halloween for an actor is a night you don't have to dress up. Very fun, but I never really get into it because I find that the favorite part I like to play is myself.

But Easter is a day you're only beholden to yourself. You don't have to buy gifts. If you don't show up to a party, it's all right. I don't even feel guilty not going to church because we really should remember Jesus year round. On Easter, we are invited to celebrate with music, scripture, and really tasty candy. And it's springtime. There are evidences of rebirth and renewal everywhere you look. You don't have to decorate because the earth does it for you.

In Judaism, my favorite holiday is Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement. Because it reminds me of Easter.

..In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work ... For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the LORD. -Leviticus 16:29-30

 What does it mean to afflict our souls?  To remember. To remember what we have done.

He shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord. 

To remember what He has done. 
 
We remember that He lives. We remember the gifts and the blessings, despite our afflicted souls. We remember the wrongs and we remember that they will be right. 

It is a day to remember hope, renewal, and resurrection of both the body and the spirit. 

It is a day of praise and gratitude. 

Please enjoy this beautiful song of "Total Praise", written by the incomparable Richard Smallwood.


You are the source of my strength. You are the strength of my life. 

I lift my hands in total praise to you.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Midvale's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is Hilarious!


Aaron Ford as Leaf Coneybear, Erica Smith as Logainne SchwartzandGrubbeinerre, Mary Nelson as Marcy Park, Michael Howell as William Barfee, Garrett Grigg as Chip Tolentino, McKenzie Heaton as Olive Ostrovsky. (spellings may be off)
 

Last Friday night I got to see an absolutely enchanting show at the Midvale Main Street Theatre. 

I auditioned for the show and I spent a weekend listening to the music, watching youtube videos, and preparing for the callbacks. Before that weekend, I really wasn't familiar with the show.  As I watched and listened, I fell in love with this beautiful show about the confidence and insecurities of those preteen years. The pressures, the needs, the horrors, the delight! I laughed and cried all day long. 

Michelle Dodge as Rona Lisa Peretti and Jourdan Dixon as Douglas Panache
I really wanted to be in the show. But alas, another very qualified woman got the part I wanted.  Of course, I cried my eyes out because you do that sometimes as actors. We weep to the heavens and wish we could play these amazing parts. Having shared that, I was absolutely delighted with Michelle Dodge's performance. In real life, she IS a jr. high teacher. She sang beautifully. She was an anchor for the craziness around her, and I loved her improv! I loved her performance! She and Jourdan Dixon absolutely won over audiences with their improvised banter. 

My brother Matthew came with me to the show. He's been doing improv for over ten years and he raved about Jourdan's performance. This is high praise folks.

Carolyn Crow as Trish Mahoney

The comfort counselor is usually played by a man named Mitch, but I loved Carolyn's performance as Trish Mahoney. It was spot on. I swear, I never stopped laughing during this show--except for that one time I was bawling during the one song that always makes me bawl.  You know what song I'm talking about and if you don't--you better go see this show because it is worth every penny just to see that amazing song! McKenzie Heaton, Garrett Grigg, and Michelle Dodge--I love you! (hint hint, nudge nudge... knowwhatimean...)

There are no words to describe Aaron Ford's performance as Leaf Coneybear. 

I invite a comparison to the original Leaf Coneybear as played on Broadway. 


 Jesse Tyler Ferguson was pretty dang brilliant. 

But Aaron Ford... oh for the love of Pete.. the man made me laugh so hard. 

I'm glad that the world is filled with men who are talented enough and crazy enough to play this part. 

It makes me very happy.

Big kudos to the whole cast for finding a perfect balance of individual strength and ensemble in their performances. They came together beautifully in the music (directed by Colyn Quinn) and the dancing (choreographed by Aaron Ford). Tammy Ross's direction served the story well. I loved  the show!
 

 The show only runs three more nights. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Shows start at 7pm. My suggestion to you is to try and see the show Thursday night since Friday and Saturdays fill up super fast. 

Midvale Main Street Theatre is located at 7711 S Main St (700 West). You can visit their website at www.midvaletheatre.com for more information. 

(I'm going to press publish and wish I could gush more about each performance, but honestly, just go and see the show. Take my word for it and go and see the show. Then you can tell all your friends about how Garrett Grigg's performance as Chip cracked you up--or how Mary Nelson's Marcy was spot on, or how Erica Smith was both militant and endearing. Or how Olive and William's friendship was so tender. Okay... pressing publish now.)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Always On My Mind

Things that are currently on my mind:

1) Noah was a complicated story that actually delved into some of the elements of the story that I personally pondered... like the whole letting everyone die thing.

2) Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk at the Priesthood Session of the April General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have so many more questions now! It inspired my curiosity.

3) I have a very cute nephew.

4) I spend way too much time having inane conversations with people in Facebook groups. I feel toxic.

5) I'm tired of being unhealthy. I keep thinking I'm depressed, but I realize I'm just anemic. Which is just another symptom of another problem. And on and on and on.

6) My TV is only showing in black and white right now. I've been watching West Wing. The show really works in black and white. I kind of love it.

7) I'm transferring to a new facility. I had a good talk with the person coming in to take over here at the storage facility--and she's wonderful.

8) My Aunt Marylou came to visit this weekend. We had such a great time! My brothers Nick and Matt came over with my dad John and we made Beef Massaman Curry! It was so tasty.

9) I paid a lot of bills. This is awesome. This left me without any moneys. This is not awesome.

10) Performing in Not The Messiah last week was absolute joy. The audience waived little glow sticks. The other singers were so talented. And I got to eat cheese curds and grape juice. During the show. During a song. Because I'm cool like that.

11) I'm afraid of a few things. I don't want to say them out loud because it gives them credence. But I carry a few extra fears right now.

12) The film I was in last year is doing really well at WorldFest in Houston. Our leading man--Carleton Bluford--was just nominated for Best Lead Actor. I'm so happy for him! Eventually you'll have an opportunity to see Stop Pepper Palmer  in Utah. And when you do, remember that it was filmed right here in Utah with actors from Utah!

13) I'm still very grateful. Life is good. I washed my clothes last night. Woot!

So these are the things that are currently occupying my brain. Among a thousand others.

I need to settle my mind.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Singing in a Monty Python Show!



A couple months ago, I got a call from the radiant Kate Rufener. 

 
"Would you like to be a soloist in an upcoming show at The Grand?"

This is The Grand.

Isn't it magnificent?
She told me it was going to be a revival of this show.
 
 
 She told me that this guy--
(Dave Hanson)

and this guy--
(Jim Dale)
were both in the show! 
 
The luminous Marcie Jacobsen was going to Hawaii--and they needed someone to step into her shoes for the revival.
 
At the thought of working on a hilarious show with such talented people--and at the mere compliment of being considered for a part that Marcie had played the previous year--
I immediately said yes!!
 
And now it's showtime!
 
We have had wonderful rehearsals where I've met so many talented people! 
 
This is Angie Chatelain Avila and her beautiful sheep.
 




This is the hilarious Choir--surrounding the beloved Brian--played by Anthony Thomas Buck.

 

(You can kind of see the backside of Kevin Mathie, our wonderful musical director.)

The incomparable JD Dumas took this picture of the live orchestra from his place at the piano at last night's rehearsal. 


They sound heavenly. 

 The show is a joy!

We have lumberjacks, sheep, men in drag, beautiful music, beautiful singing of beautiful music, Bob Dylan, a little irreverent humor--(It's Monty Python!)--glowsticks, a keytar, french horns, and Cheese! 

It's 3 nights only! (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)

Tickets are only $12-$15. 

Come and enjoy a beautiful evening of fun!

Showtime starts at 7:30pm.

For tickets, visit http://www.the-grand.org/

The theatre is located in South Salt Lake at 1575 South State Street. 

See you at the theatre!