Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Return of the Rambles

Late night seems to be my best time for writing.  I haven't written in some time.  Well, I did write a post a few weeks ago, but removed it because I was afraid it would have been not read in the proper context.  Perhaps I will re-post someday, but not for now.  It was a good one though- it had fish tanks, Jane Eyre the Musical and stories of my youth, which contrary to what some believe is not that long ago.  Why start blogging again?  Nikki told me to do so.

The last few months have been a whirlwind.  Someday I will write a book titled, "When You're in the Middle of a Hurricane, Don't Worry About What Your Hair Looks Like." The best way to describe the experience would be to say I feel as if my best friend has died.  I have been through the stages of grief and still go through them everyday.  Anger, denial, frustration, sadness.  I've questioned my abilities, friends, path, everything. There have been lots of tears.  Sob, sob, sorry me- move on.  I will.  Shut up, give me time.  Yes, I'm arguing with myself.  I'm not sure who is winning.

One thing I have learned Wal-Mart is hell.  Especially when you are in the check-out line and your stuck- people want to talk and I don't.  I smile and nod a lot and can't wait to get out of there only to be stopped by someone in the parking lot.  This general dread of waiting in the Wal-Mart line is something Nikki experiences all the time- just because she hates waiting in line.

No matter what my life style, I will never have normal sleep patterns.  I either sleep an extreme amount or hardly at all (thus my typing this at 12:35am.)  And the truth is, I wasn't really tired.  But it sounds nice.

There are so many things I would love to write, if for no other reason than to just put them out of me.  I have learned a lot about myself- the good, the bad and yes, I'm more close to perfect than I realized.  There, I got it out.  Everyone can breath easier, you no longer have to worry if it is true. I've been heart broken, disillusioned and at the same time been more appreciated by total strangers- and all of it has such an unnecessary sadness to the situation.  Years ago I learned the process, purpose and result of the "product" was much more important than the actual "product."  That's a whole other post- someday I'll write that one which dates back to 1994.  That's when I learned why I did what I do.  I know, you're on the edge of your seats.  I, myself, am still waiting to see how that one turns out.

So, to please my wife and express my insides, a few musings:

Did you ever see the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back?  You know that part where Luke Skywalker is going through the swamp carrying Yoda on his back?  Yoda was very wise.  Lesson: don't carry anyone on your back unless they are wiser than yourself... or they love you a lot.  I think Yoda loved Luke too, so it was win-win.

I was pulling weeds in the flower garden outside our house today when an orange looking cat came and sat on the side walk beside me.  I spoke to him quite a bit (don't tell Jazzy, he might get jealous.)  He understood me, for every so often he would meow.  I also said nice things to him.  When I was finished, I went to Wal-Mart (dread) to get some light bulbs and when I returned he was sitting in the drive way waiting on me.  Lesson:  cats like it when you say nice things to them.  So do people.

Imagine you had a board with a round hole drilled in it.  Now imagine you had a square peg roughly the same size.  No matter how hard you try to hammer that square peg into that round hole, it is not going to fit without causing some damage.  Lesson: putting things or people in places that do not belong there does nothing good for anyone.

Dr Pepper is good.  Ice is good.  Put Dr Pepper and ice together and it is very good.  Lesson: why have something just because it is there, but make it very good.  It might take a little extra effort, but think how refreshing.

A few weeks ago I did Nikki a favor by pulling her hair through a frosting cap.  For her, this is a very painful experience because she has a tender head.  For me it is a very painful experience because 1.) I am pulling my wife's hair through a frosting cap which is lower on the list than holding her purse in public (but right now, anything to save a buck) and 2.) as I said before, Nikki has a tender head and she gets violent about half way through.  I'm sure a couple of times I blacked out, but as some would from time served at war, the experience has been locked away into a place of memory never to be let out.  When it was all done and after several touch ups, she was pleased with the result.  Lesson: the pain is worth it when something positive is accomplished.  Now, that is only half the battle.  It is one thing for her to like her hair.  When completed, she asked, "What do you think?"  I thought it was great (at least from what I could see through the black eyes of the experience) and that made her more pleased.  Imagine how she would have felt if she had gone through all of that and all I said was, "it's ok" or "it could have been better."  Lesson two: to please yourself should be enough, but to please those that are most important to you is life changing and everlasting. To be affirmed is not being a baby, but gaining confidence to do a job better the next time.

Everyone has regrets in life and anyone that says they don't is lying.  One of my biggest regrets is I wish I had learned to tap dance better.

This has been a crazy year.  I turned 40 in January.  We were supposed to have a show the night of my birthday, but it got cancelled because of an ice storm.  In retrospect, I guess that was an insight to the year of being 40 ahead of me.

Have you every seen those plastic, dancing flower pots that move when they are in the sunlight but stay still when they are in the shadows?  Yea, me too.  Lesson: a metaphor for work ethic for most of the world.

And finally, everyone who ever had the need, desire and drive to be creative had their life changed for the better because of art.  Lesson: Duh. That one is self explanatory.

Friday, March 30, 2012


This guy is my new hero.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Videos

I haven't posted in while, so because Mrs. Eldredge told me to, I am posting the rest of the videos from 2011. I am working on 2012 videos- just haven't had time to finish. Maybe soon, but until then catch up below...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Been Keeping Us Busy?

As part of a "behind the scenes" look at our everyday lives at the theatre, we have created a video blog (or a vlog, if you will) that chronicles getting ready for our production of Wizard of Oz and some of the various concerts and events. Check it out- warning: sometimes fatigue produces silliness.







Saturday, October 01, 2011

40 Never Looked So Good

40 years ago today Walt Disney World opened. Even though I was not born, it was a day that would change my life forever. Nikki's too- her's was change by association. Happy birthday, friend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Congrats to Robert & Amanda (and some kudos)

I should be in bed right now, but as usual... I can't get sleepy. I have been running like crazy since two weeks before Guys and Dolls which opened on June 23 and closed two weeks ago today. Sometimes it happens like that- you get a buzz and it doesn't leave for quite some time. Yes, I am tired, but not so tired that I have to be a baby.

This weekend (the whole week for that matter) was very full. Fourth day of a four day concert on the Fourth of July, after a four day show run the week before as well. Building a little show called Narnia in the next three weeks. Three trips to the airport in Atlanta in three days and one to the airport in Asheville as well- not all me, but making sure the transportation and people are all arranged properly. A wedding (more about that in a bit) rehearsal on Friday night, wedding on Saturday afternoon, concert on Saturday night and a bus load of folks back to the airport in Atlanta Sunday morning. Why do I write all this? Someday my future physicians will need to look back and this and read why I am in the state that I am.

The wedding (because all the other is much less interesting) was a wonderful experience. Robert Jessup and Amanda Munger became Robert and Amanda Jessup on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Nikki and I "coordinated" the ceremony, however, Amanda had already done all the work and so we just had to show and carry on. It was a reversal of roles, if you will. Usually it is my vision and Amanda carries out the production. This time, I was her stage manager- as a visionary, I will give her an A plus.

No, beyond A plus. For those of you who might not know, Amanda did everything for this event. I mean everything, down to the creation of the dress, the reception center pieces, the invitations, completely all from top to bottom. At the same time she was working forty plus hours a week at the theatre and stage managed a major production less than two weeks earlier. To build a wedding from the ground up while working more than full time is as crazy as mounting a dozen shows a year. (We all seem to be surrounded by mutual crazy people.) Not only did Amanda more than excel at her job, but she pulled off a wonderful event with out even a hint of being a Bridezilla. To those of you that think you work hard, suck it. No comparison.

Nikki and I were honored to be a small part of that wonderful day. Very few people know what Amanda actually does when it comes to a stage production, not to mention the everyday running of a public theatrical venue and weekly concerts. After all, she spends most productions standing in the dark out of sight of the audience. This is the best way I can describe it: imagine doing a show is like baking a cake. I gather the ingredients, pick the flavors, the style of cake and frosting. You mix all those pieces together and toss it in the oven to bake, but if you just toss it the cake mix will drip and ooze into an uncollected mess. What you need is a sturdy, reliable cake pan. The best way to describe my working relationship with Amanda is she is the production's bundt pan- she holds it all together.

I have been to many weddings in my life. I love going to weddings, especially those with a good reception. The thing I always notice is the spirit. At Robert and Amanda's wedding, there was a wonderful peace and an overwhelming joy through the entire experience. They, without a doubt, were created for one another, because such joy cannot be faked or created out of nothing. Yes, I teared up.

The best part about going to all these weddings (the joyful ones) is it takes me back to my own wedding day. I have said so many times and will say many more that I have never experienced a day of such wonderful happiness. Just thinking about it I get the "good" butterflies in my stomach and more often than not, I catch myself thinking about that day and I realize I have a giant smile (like right now.) Very rarely is there a day that goes by that I don't regret something- I could have painted that better, made that direction cleaner, stood in the sunshine a little longer, only drank one dr. pepper, but when I think of the day I married my sweetheart, I regret nothing.

One time Nikki gave me a list of quotes all about love. My favorite one that best describes her and me is "love is like a butterfly, it settles upon you when you least expect it."

Many happy days Robert and Amanda!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy Number Two!

Two years ago tonight was the grand opening of The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. Congrats to the past and here's to the future!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Backstage With the Cast

Backstage with the cast of Guys and Dolls at our first full dress rehearsal. Check it out!