Month: June 2014
All too often we imagine acceptance of other religions boiling down to the “Holy Wars” fought by the Muslims and the Christians in the middle ages. I had not been exposed to other religions, nor was I readily seeking out those areas outside my safety net. As I’ve written; faith is a journey and an exploration of our innermost drives and to seek understanding. That was my desire to partake in my own ‘pilgrimage’. Would I be accepted in these places of worship given my faith and beliefs? Would I somehow be snatched away from my faith, and fall away from following the “true religion” I was practicing and be cast into Hell?! (Okay, the last one was hyperbole.)
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of being welcomed to two fine churches: St. Patricks’ Orthodox Church, and the Church of Latter Day Saints. As a new comer to both places; my first inclination was that horrible 4th grade moment when the teacher implores you to stand and introduce yourself awkwardly. Fortunately for me, Jesters and Harlequins, that was not my lot. Both times my friends who had invited me were wonderfully helpful, and of course, of fantastic quality and character (Olivia, Victoria). I must of course bear witness to my own faith and say I am a practicing Roman-Catholic, and that not everyone is a “fan” of Catholicism. As such I’m sure you could appreciate my doubt and apprehension as to the acceptance of others. But as I’ve said both churches were wonderfully inviting, and the two churches had something in common.
Yes, different religions/different churches are not without strife and flaws of their own, but the essence of faith is: the belief in love, honorable behavior, and a central focus on a benevolent God/being in our lives. Those three principles, to anyone of faith, don’t seem an impossible lifestyle to commit to. At the Church of Latter Day Saints they stressed the morals that a person of Christ should follow: honesty (avoiding stealing, relationships, mistakes, etc.), loving God, and the importance of the family unit. I thought to myself ‘Wow, these don’t seem like any radically new ideas’. In fact St. Patricks Orthodox Church had a wonderful message as well. In their homily Mr. Cardine expressed, openly, his love for his family and how being the child of a priest can be trying at times, and he even discussed a sad highlight of a child’s passing and the community’s out pouring of love and prayer towards the family.
Now, take a second and focus on the principles which I spoke of and think about your faith. Despite the differences in semantics; are we not closer as people of faith then we would like to admit? My point is: we are. There is nothing more empowering and inspiring than to see a team rise up as one. That is what faith is. We come together to meet and to pray as one. We, as humans, make things too complicated with ulterior motives and deception. All religion needs to be is an expression of love shown by a congregation.
In summation, our similarities as people of faith should be what drives us to love one another not tear us apart. If we “love thy neighbor”, moral behavior, and a trust and faith in God will lead us to the right path. No matter where you find yourself in life if you have love for your brother or sister you have love for the one that created them. I hope you find the path that leads you closer to “the Creator”, and may that path be filled with love.
Love. Love. Love.
I am so proud.
So proud of all the hard work, time, energy, character building, singing, etc. that all of my kids/teens for B&Beast Jr. have done. It is a remarkable feeling creating something from nothing.
Four months ago this wonderful group of young people came out to audition. Over 100+ people auditioned for a role and only 62 were cast, but of those 62 were very deserving and hardworking individuals.
I originally was going to help cast the show only, but then my role transformed into that of a co-director, and I wouldn’t take it back for the world.
We had more than one sold out show, and that goes to show you what putting your heart and belief into people can do.
Congratulations Beauty and the Beast Jr. cast of 2014!
The rose is fairest when it is budding new,
and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
Chains. The common metaphor for what ties us down, hopefully not physically, but mentally/emotionally. I know I had a topic similar to this one in a previous blog, but the same anxiety about the future has reared its ugly schedule book.
There always seems to be a never ending time crunch that we seem to be under. Here I picture Samson and his pillars (oy vey). My recent theater endeavors and work schedule has left me in a blistering, and continual, vacuum that sucks up every last minute of free time. I “enjoy” work six days a week, and community theater in the evening hours. By the time I return home after a day well spent it is already ten at night. The funny thing is: I always saw my father collapse into his arm chair, start up the TV, and almost assuredly fall asleep within the hour. I thought that would never happen to me. Lo and behold; I wake up from drool down my chin and the evening news on…
But I am quickly diverging from my main point. With my work schedule it seems like the time I have to myself is nil. And with that comes a certain amount of stress, because you begin to grow weary without that time to decompress. But I was especially stressed with the shows I have been co-directing.
As of right now I have just finished with Beauty and the Beast Jr., and I have another show about to go up in 6 weeks. As a director the responsibility is that of a quarterback: you pass or fail (pun intended). I was constantly worried whether the kids would be able to pull off a great show, and the higher ups wouldn’t lash out at us for a poor performance. We had so many things to do for Beast that it seemed like we were rolling the mill stone up Mt. Fuji. I had let that anxiety consume my hope for the next day. These were my chains.
There is one lesson that I have learned from this entire mountain of stress: it spawns the most beautiful things. It is because we worry that we wish to succeed. As an actor the common theme is: “if you are not worried about putting on a good show, then you aren’t doing it right”. Okay, that is a bit cliché, but if you think about it, it makes some sense. We worry because we care. I wanted all of those 60+ kids to be brilliant on the stage, and I felt if they failed it was because I had missed some key responsibilities a director. “Will they be ready for opening night?” was a common theme for me.
Come opening night… They were brilliant. All of my fears were eased and it was replaced with hope and joy. It was my profound pleasure to watch as the magic of theater came alive, and afterwards the artistic director of the theater complimented us saying “Children’s theater is easy, but GOOD children’s theater is what we strive for, and that’s what this show has done”. I was so proud, not of myself, but of everyone who collaborated with us to make it happen. As the quote above eloquently puts it “hope is brightest when it dawns from fears”.
My fears were my chains; my hope and optimism, I found, have been the keys.
In this quote the author, Walter Scott, evokes the image of a rose. As we all know: a flower is a gentle and fragile mass. So is our hope at times. We wilt under the pressure of difficulty and close into ourselves under the night of tribulation. But when the sun rises on us there we regain our strength and vigor for life and challenge.
Today, dear Jesters and Harlequins, I urge you to unlock the padlock of fear with the key of you optimism.
I am all for poetic contrast and what better contrast than a snowfall in June, and especially with a beautiful young lady partaking in nature.
Sometimes with this more serious pictures I truly feel as if you are making contact with the person. Of course that would folly to believe that were true, but with such a picture you find yourself looking directly into her eyes.
As if you were looking for some sort of truth about the world…
A beautiful photoshoot of the soon to be bride and groom.