Archive for the ‘People’ category

2012 Grammys

February 13, 2012

I think the correct way to spell it is “Grammys” although it could be “Grammies.” For some reason, “Grammies” sounds like a snack food for British kids.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about how to spell Grammys. I’m here to talk about the ceremony: the one I slept through. This was completely unintentional. I was exhausted and lied down for a nap around 4 or 4:30 and slept, with only one interruption, until 4 in the morning, when I went back to sleep for another couple of hours. I noticed a tweet during the half hour that I was awake that was something about Chris Brown dancing with bats. That’s when I first realized that I missed the Grammys.

So apparently, Chris Brown was performing at the Grammys. This surprised me, because I could have sworn that he was nearly universally disliked and still under probation. Apparently, that’s not the case, at least one the disliked portion. Here’s the mix in the form of celebrity Twitter feeds.  According to less-than-irrefutable sources, Rihanna and Chris Brown are even back together. Some writers didn’t feel the need to point why that the choice to have Brown perform is controversial. Others only referenced it as a way to say how much of a recovery his career has made. An article on the show celebrating the life of Whitney Houston didn’t bother to mention the irony of Brown performing.

A writer for Philadelphia Magazine got it. The first thing that clued me in on this Grammy performance, though, was a blog on HelloGiggles. The entry chronicles the response to the the abuse since it was first reported. It seems a lot of the sentiments expressed at that time haven’t changed either. If you really want to get your blood boiling, look at the comments section of the link to the report that Rihanna and Brown are back together.

The most disgusting part about it is the statement that Grammy Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich made to ABC: “If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us awhile to kind of the over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.” I’m really sorry you had to go through that Mr. Ehrlich. I’m sure that Rihanna is also sorry for getting beaten and choked, because she would never wish that on you. I’m sorry…. but this is a little bigger than your awards show. This is society accepting and promoting a man who assaulted his girlfriend. You only have so much control over how many people buy his albums and request his songs on the radio, but you have total control over whether you have him a stage to blow off his crime against Rihanna and by implication, every other instance of domestic abuse. People may want him, but you should feel a bigger responsibility to society and the stigma placed on the true victims of domestic violence. You may have, but probably didn’t, lose ratings from not having Chris Brown on your awards show for the past two years, but you are not the victim of his crime. The victim was the young woman, who was left bloodied and unconscious from Chris Brown’s violent attack. All you saw was that he sold tons of music and you couldn’t have him on the show because he had a restraining order placed against him by an artist he physically beat. You couldn’t have him then because everyone would talk about how she wasn’t invited. Now that the restraining order has expired, you’ve jumped all over the chance to jump on the Chris Brown money-wagon. The worst part is that you did it on a night dedicated to the memory of a woman, who dealt with the same thing for a large part of her life. It’s like you gave a large middle finger to each and every person who has been the victim of domestic violence, and a pat on the back to those who committed it. Well, I’m sorry… but you’ve lost a viewer of future awards shows as long as you’re in charge of them.

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Positivity

January 26, 2012

I tend to look at the world and see what can be. This seems to annoy people.

Some people think that I’m an optimist. They usually call themselves “realists” when they are, in reality, pessimists. I don’t see the world through rose-colored glasses. I leave that stuff for the Emerald City. I see hungry people. I see war. I see depression. I’m not some Pollyanna, going through life thinking everything is perfect. No. I see what can be.

If you put half a glass of a liquid in front of me, I won’t say it’s half full or half empty. Instead, I’ll say it’s half a glass and demand the rest of my beer.

I tend to believe in people. When I meet someone, I tend to look for the positive side of them. He may come off as mean, but he’s extremely loyal to his friends. Maybe she watches every reality TV show in existence, but she helps care for her grandparents. Mary Sunshine sings that “there’s a little bit of good in everyone,” and that “although you’ll meet rats, they’re not complete rats.”

I’m no Mary Sunshine, although I do have the vocal range. I also see that people aren’t perfect. I just try to look at them as a whole person instead of writing them off for their faults. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be their best friend. (At least, I hope for their sake that I’m not the best friend they have.) It just means that if you ask me about them, I won’t give the “She’s an awful person” that you expect.

The same goes for situations. Getting lost in the woods is a chance to get some extra fresh air, exercise and peace, as long as you stop griping about it. Honestly, it’s 2012. If we keep walking in the same direction, we’re going to find a road pretty soon. I think things out. I rarely panic, and I show it even less.

I wake up in the morning and decide it’s another day that I get to live. I get off work and decide it’s going to be a good evening. Sure, I have days when I feel good and days when I feel bad. If you put a full glass of beer in front of me, I’ll be feeling better, no matter which it was!

 

**On an unrelated note, I’ve just been informed that this is my fiftieth entry on this blog.**

non-recovering

October 3, 2010

Last night I went out with some friends for karaoke (video on facebook) and was generally having a good time.  I did backup vocals for a friend while he sang and then after a couple more songs, the DJ got a call saying someone had tried to break into his house.  Understandably, he packed up and left, bringing an early end to the musical stylings of the locals.  I was the last of the group to settle up my bill, and when I walked out to meet the others, I saw someone I hadn’t seen in awhile.  I stopped to say hi, and then noticed somebody else I hadn’t seen in an even longer time.

I thought it somewhat odd that she would be there on karaoke night.  The last time I saw her, she was an alcoholic/addict in recovery with over 2 years of sobriety.  She was a very sweet young woman then, who had her life back on track.  I’ve been told that alcoholics will drink again.  It’s a question of when, not if, and the only thing that will stop them is dying before it happens.  Still, I thought that she would beat the odds.  I thought that with all she had been through during the time that I knew her, if she could stay sober and clean, she’d make it just fine.

Last night, I saw her smoking on the patio with a few people who were drinking.  We smiled at each other.  I still wanted to think the best, although I knew why she was there, and that’s the reason I didn’t walk over to ask how she was doing.  After a few minutes, I went to meet up with my friends at their car.  As I went, I saw her pick up the bottle of beer that had been sitting out of my view behind someone else and down whatever was left in it.

I don’t know why I got my hopes up that she would be alright.  Everybody I’ve ever heard talk about alcoholism has said that sobriety doesn’t last forever, even with support.  Even an alcoholic I know who has been sober for over 24 years always says that he’s just a day away from his next drink.  I guess I just always want to think the best of everyone and hope the best for everyone.  After seeing her last night, I’ve felt pretty crappy.

Although I’m leaving this post public, I’m turning off comments for two reasons.  One is that I don’t particularly want to talk about it right now.  I just wanted to get it off my chest and leave it for awhile.  The other reason is that I don’t want say any more about her.  She has a hard enough road ahead of her without me telling everyone who she is and everything else about her.

reconnecting

July 13, 2010

What’s going on here?  Where have I been?  Okay.  That’s a question that could be asked of my blog on a regular basis.  I have lots of ideas.  I have another World Cup post, if I can get around to typing it in the next few days.  I had a great discussion with a friend of mine about a month or so ago about a hugely popular song that was amazingly not found offensive to the vast majority of Americans.  That can sit until another day.  I sat in a bar talking with a preacher, a wrestler and a NASA engineer, and there’s no punchline.  That was after talking to a couple of interesting women and some guys in the band of a 70s and 80s rock star a couple hours earlier.  I may just keep that story to myself, though.  I’m sure I’ve also forgotten at least twice that many posts that I intended to write when I got the time.  Instead I think I’m going to talk about being found by old friends.

Rediscovering old friends has been a common occurrence since the creation of facebook.  Everybody can find everybody else, and it’s made even easier by the massive amounts of information that we all seem to put out there without thinking twice about it.  After all, we’re all “friends” on facebook!  I’ve noticed something else over the past couple of years though.  I’m running into old friends in real life, and strangely it usually happens at the bar.  People I knew in high school keep showing up at the bars in town.  I’ve run into most of them at karaoke night, since that’s when I’m most likely to go to the bar. – I just can’t seem to miss a chance to perform… unless I’m tired, which is not all that uncommon.

The first person was a friend of mine in the band.  I hadn’t realized he was still in town until he belted out a song and another friend recognized him.  We’ve caught up, and he still seems the same as he was back in the day.  I’ve bumped into a girl I knew from high school, and she’s changed quite a bit.  She was the last person I would have expected to see in a bar down the road, but you never know sometimes.  I saw another friend who lives almost 200 miles away at another bar in town, when I was talking to the bartender about entertainment acts he was getting to come in to perform.  He was in town for a couple of weeks for vacation.  Most recently I bumped into a friend, who moved across the country a couple years ago.  We lost touch, but she’s back in town now.  We were both there to listen to a jazz duo play.

Then there are the friends whom you never actually met, just drift away from and then suddenly rediscover out there.  One of those found me over the weekend.  We never met face-to-face, but we shared intimate details with each other.  This sharing wasn’t exclusive to each other, but it did build a bond, at least on my side.  Eventually the dynamic changed as “conversation” became twitter feeds.  The style of the relationship changed with it, and I stopped reading what she had to say for awhile.  Now, over a year later, she reconnected.  I’ve started reading what she has to offer again.  I’ve also discovered that although tweets cannot hold my interest or make me keep a connection, sometimes a lot can be said in 140 characters or less.  I’m not mentioning you by name right now, but I’m thinking of you, praying for you and sending love your way.  I’ve never been through what you’re going through and I refuse to resort to cliche’s, but I hope you find the love and courage to persevere and look back on the good times fondly.

Finally something gets done about updating my blog page!

May 20, 2010

If you look to the left – No.  My left; your right.  Remember, I’m living inside your computer. – you’ll notice that there are suddenly real links under the Blogroll!!!  I know!  How exciting is that!?!?!  Let me introduce you all in alphabetical order, because that’s how WordPress rolls:

Adventures of the White Queen is by and about a good friend of mine from college.  She’s sweet, smart, sexy, funny and totally intimidating.  I’m also pretty sure that the sudden influx of my plethora of readers won’t diminish her anonymity too much.

Jenn Francesca is a published author and real-life friend of mine.  She’s also something of a spiritual adviser to me and funny to boot.  You’ve probably not heard of her before, but her third book was just released recently and I highly recommend it if you’re into romance/comedy.

Finally – because this has been such a long list/post – is Melanie’s Philosophies.  Melanie and I were friends in band together in high school.  (I hope it’s not too embarrassing for her to have me tell everyone she was a band geek!)  She’s new to blogging and doesn’t even know that I’m blog-stalking her yet, so don’t scare her away!

I also want to give a shout out to Tall Red Amanda.  You may not be blogging anymore but you are still loved no less.

Okay.  That’s it.  No go do something productive while I stare out at you from behind your screen!

On wrapping up the show

April 23, 2010

Copacabana is over.  Our last show was Sunday afternoon.  By 10 PM Sunday night, the set had been struck.  It was sad to see it end so quickly.  While we were all exhausted and my voice still needs a little more time to fully recover from the late nights, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little teary-eyed to see it all come down.

I auditioned for the show to knock something off of my bucket list.  It was to right a decision I had regretted – pretty much the only one I regretted – since college.  I expected to get a minor role at best when I walked into the audition.  After the audition, I didn’t expect to be much more than human scenery and an extra voice for the chorus.  Instead, I landed a major role.  Over the next nine and a half weeks, I went from being terrified about the work it would take to bring about the role and only knowing one other person there to feeling insecure about my abilities and having gotten to know a half-dozen people to feeling confident and having lots of new friends.  All of the performances were great with the possible exception of one that was a bit sketchy.  Even that one was fun because all of us had to be on our toes the entire time.  Doing Copacabana also reminded me of how much I love performing for people.  Fine.  I’m an exhibitionist.  There!  I said it.

What I loved the most about the show were the wonderful people I got to spend all those nights with.  There were late rehearsals and then there were rehearsals when we stayed late just so we could stand around and talk.  There were very few nights when I was home before 10 PM, and there were many when I was not home until well after midnight.  Yes.  That is with work the next day so I never quite got enough sleep.  As Heather noted about a month into rehearsals, I was a bit – or quite on the evening she brought it up –  irritable from the lack of sleep.  Still, to be with these people was entirely worth it.

Lindsay is the person who told me I should come and audition for Copacabana.  Actually, she wanted me to audition for A Christmas Carol, but I had WAY to much going on at church to do that show.  Before I digress further, Lindsay and I went to high school together.  We were in band together for a couple of years and reconnected on facebook in the fall.  That’s how I heard about the college theater having been restarted after an unfortunate incident a several years ago and about Blood Brothers, the play she was in.  I saw it on the last night, and thought it was a great production.  After talking to her about it, she told me that I should audition for future shows.  That’s how I ended up going out for auditions.  Lindsay was one of the people that I spent many of the late nights talking to.

While Lindsay was someone I could talk to from the first day, Allie was not.  On the night of read-through, Allie sat beside me and gave me all sorts of crap.  Granted, I dished it back out from time to time.  It didn’t get better through the first music rehearsals either.  I thought he was abrasive and rude, and I generally avoided him as much as possible.  Over the course of the production, I realized that – like another friend of mine – this was his way of being friendly.  If he didn’t like me, he either would have ignored me or been quite hateful instead of abrasive.  One of Allie’s best features is his honesty.  While most people will respond to a question like “How am I doing?” with simple praise, Allie will give an honest and straight-forward answer, and he’ll follow it with advice on how to improve what you’re working on.  Although most people can’t handle an Allie, he’s somebody that I’ll take on my side any day of the week and twice on Sundays.  (Those matinees can be killers!)

Brian reminds me a lot of me.  He’s laid back.  He stays on top of gossip and drama but he doesn’t seek out opportunities to spread it.  Brian has a great sense of humor.  He can hit you on the side of the face with a joke or he can subtly insert humor into almost any situation.  Despite this ability, he is someone who can sit down and have a serious conversation about nearly anything.  He is one of the few people who never lost control over their emotions through the entire run.  (I’ve learned that there’s a lot of drama in theater.)

Tiffany – like Brian – was one of the younger adults in the cast.  She nearly always had a smile on her face and felt at home with her youthful side.  Tiffany was always there for the kids in the show, whether they needed a ride somewhere or wanted to talk to someone.  Tiffany is also a huge UK fan, so in a cast of people who largely didn’t care about sports, it was great to have someone to talk to about the tournament.

Greg amazed me with his dedication to the performance.  While scenes were being blocked, he could be seen standing to the side diagramming everything that was happening.  If he was in the scene, as soon as he went off stage, he had his notebook out writing down what just happened.  Even after everybody else had set their books aside, Greg continued to go over his lines and notes.  Despite the fact that he must have known it by heart for weeks, even during the final shows, he could still be found in the dressing room leafing through the script or blocking.  Greg was a great reminder to keep my head in the show even while there was chaos and revelry backstage.

Lauren genuinely cared about what was going on with people – not in a wanting gossip way but rather in a how-are-you-really-doing kind of way.  She is immensely talented as well.  In fact even at just 15 years of age, I think she was one of the most talented people in the show.  She can get in touch with her sensitive side and her fears, but she also knows how to pour on the comedy when the time comes for it.  There were several times she almost had me laughing on stage during performances.  Lauren also did an excellent job doing my eye makeup for about half the shows.

Caroline and Haley are two of the most outgoing, friendly young women I’ve ever met.  From day one, they were welcoming to the ensemble.  They possessed a genuine excitedness that was easy to feed off of, and they made me feel a part of the group faster than anyone else.  Caroline’s talent rivals that of Lauren, and she never let show if she was disappointed to not get a leading role.  Haley is no slouch herself when it comes to talent, and I’m certain her abilities will blossom in future shows as she gets more time on stage.

Andrew and Blaine always looked to make things a game.  They might be making up dance moves or competing to see who could drop the fewest screws during work call, but there was always something going on with them.  They also had a way of drawing in others to their entertainment, which made some of the long days and nights much more enjoyable.

One of the names that never appeared in the program is that of Kelsey.  Kelsey is another of the young ladies from the production who really stands out from her peers.  While she possesses the youthful qualities of her age of 16 when it comes to joy and curiosity, she also shares the maturity and interest of a woman twice her age at times.  Kelsey is wicked awesome with an eyeliner pencil, too, being the only person who could use it on me without bringing tears to my eyes.  (Hey!  It’s not like I use those things a whole lot, here!)

I’ve only scratched the surface of how amazing these people have been over the past two and a half months.  I’ve also not even mentioned so many people from the cast, who I have grown close to – and if you’re reading this, your exclusion should not be taken personally.  I’m sure I’ve already lost the attention of the few people who normally read this blog! – through the production.  I also never mentioned Paula, who did amazing things with the costumes for the show, or Ed, who was like the circus master, turning three rings of absolute madness into the vision portrayed on stage, or the many, many other people who made Copacabana happen.  I have a special place in my heart for each and every one of them, even if they were not mentioned specifically here.

Now that the show has been over for five days, I find that I miss it so much.  I miss the fun.  I miss the performing.  Mostly though, I miss the people.  I was lucky enough to get to see several of them last night when I went to see another play featuring a couple of them.  It was amazing.  As great as the performance was, the best part was still seeing and talking to my new friends, even if we did end up out until after 1 in the morning.  Now, I’ll just wait until the banquet in a month to see everyone again and find out what next year may hold in store.  Until the fall, I’ll have my memories of the work, the lost sleep, the pain, the joy, the friendships that were and will forever be to me…

Copacabana.

At the Copa…..

April 13, 2010

Copacabana has nearly run its course.  After weeks and weeks of rehearsal and the first weekend of performances down, I’ve come away with quite a bit.  I’ve been amazed at how much fun I’ve had.  Part of that is just that the show itself is fun, but much more importantly, I’ve enjoyed hanging out with everybody on the set.  There’s been a lot of hard work, long hours and a bit of blood.  There’s also been fun and games, long conversations after rehearsals and excellent meals with great new friends.

Now I find myself in a place where it all ends after Sunday.  We’ve had a couple of days off to rest and mend.  We have a final rehearsal on Thursday, and then three more shows this weekend.  It feels like spring break from my senior year of college: hanging out at home instead of at school with all my friends, looking forward to all the fun of that last push, but also dreading the end when we all go in separate directions.  Some will be back in the fall when the new season starts.  Others will be leaving to go other places.

As for me, I don’t know what’s to come.  I’ve loved this experience so much that I want to keep doing it.  I also have the other things that I’ve mentioned previously that I want to do.  A couple of people are wanting me to audition for the summer series for another theater next week.  Maybe I’ll look into that and see if I still have the acting bug after that’s over.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll remain excited about the final three performances of Copacabana.  Some family and friends have said that they’ll be coming to the show this weekend, so that’s all the more to look forward to!