Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

91 - Long Week

The problems started Tuesday afternoon.  It took until Friday afternoon to get the GA listings back on track on our Corporate website.  When I left for lunch, I left with confidence that the problems were fixed, and we were moving forward once again.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

90 - Almost Back

Whenever I get a cold or infection that causes me to have laryngitis, I get very nervous that my voice is not going to come back all the way, or come back to what it has been before.  It's probably an ungrounded fear, but my voice is such an important part of my life (for me) that I do get nervous.  The good thing is that most of my upper range is back.  Chest voice is still kind of rough, but I'm being good to my vocal cords and letting them continue to rest and heal.

It was nice tonight to be able to sing in some 4 part haromies.  While I'm absolutely loving doing the Murders play, I have also missed singing.  No, it's not Sondheim, and no I don't have a whole lot of singing to do in Aussie, but at least there is some.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

89 - Multiple Monitors

Typically, I'm not a Microsoft fan; I'm forced to use the OS and software because of my profession.  But, I really think they're the company for a Marketing 101 class - how to create and sell a flawed product, and get 75%+ of the population to buy into it.  That said, I am so, so glad that Microsoft does have the option of having multiple monitors attached to one PC.  Otherwise, my job would be all the more difficult.  The screen shot above is a 22" beside a 19" with the ability to use them together as 1 wide screen.  As you can see from the tables I have open, I need the space.

Now if I can only get a new computer with another graphics card slot so I can go to 3 monitors ...


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

88 - Rehearsal?

Tonight, we began rehearsals for Aussie Song.  Yes, there are still 4 more performances of After the Murders, but work on the next show begins.  It was sad, though, going to the first music rehearsal and not being able to sing.  That nasty cold that I'm getting over has left my voice somewhat absent.  I feel like the lyric from Mame's "Bosom Buddies" and that Bea Arthur should be singing to me:  "Each time that critic has written, 'Your voice is the voice of a frog!' straight to your side to defend you I rush."

There will be more on Aussie Song in the coming weeks because I KNOW it's going to be a very positive experience.


Monday, October 26, 2009

87 - A Day Without Murders

For the past two weeks, I've been at the theatre working on After The Murders.  Since we opened the show this past weekend, there will be no formal "murders" until Friday night.  That said, I haven't seen my bowling team in 3 weeks, and it was good to be back with them.  Now, we just need to get back on our game so we can come up in the league standings!  We managed to take 5 of the 7 points tonight, which will help (even though I bowled horribly).  Shout out to my mother who made our team towels.  I gave them to my teammates, and they absolutely loved them!!!

And I have to talk about my "kids".  Diva skipped her breakfast, and still hadn't eaten dinner by the time I got home.  So, I gave her fresh food and sprinkled some cat food on it to entice her.  Oliver thought he should get some.  He actually managed to push Diva away from her own bowl, and she didn't snap, growl or anything.  Just finished her bite and nudged Oliver out of the way again.  It was cute and comical.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

86 - Sunday Charm

Sunday matinees at the theatre are sometimes hit or miss with the audience.  We were fortunate today that our audience had good energy, and we could hear their murmurs between scenes, telling us they were engaged in the show.

Good weekend.  Looking forward to the rest of our shows.


85 - Publicity

We have GREAT publicity in this weekends edition of the "Beaches Leader".  Upper left corner of the FRONT PAGE, the lead-in about the article, complete with photo of Karen and I.  Front of the Weekend section, big photo of Karen and I followed by an article about the show.  Finally, back page of the Weekend section, nice photo of two of our handsome young men, Kyle and Thomas.  Top caption is the Lizzie Borden jump rope rhyme.

Saturday's audience was tough, and I was struggling through this cold and losing my voice.  Not our best performance.  We will pick it up for Sunday's matinee.

The reviewer for the Florida Time Union was in the audience Opening Night; last night, Dick, the reviewer for Entertainment U was there.  Those should be posted this week.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

84 - GO!

Curtain up! Light the lights!
You got nothing to hit but the heights!
You'll be swell. You'll be great.
I can tell. Just you wait.
That lucky star I talk about is due!
Honey, everything's coming up roses for me and for you!

After the Murders opened tonight to a sold out, packed house.  The audience was receptive and comments after the show were beyond praise.  The cast, in my honest opinion, is simply awesome.  More on this tomorrow.  I'm going to rest my weary bones and keep smiling.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

83 - Set

My 46/365 blog is supposed to be positive.  That said, you haven't gotten the complete picture of our show that opens tomorrow night.  This has been very difficult in a number of ways.  Last night was a great rehearsal - tonight was horrid.

My positive - bad preview/dress equals a good opening night.  I sure hope so!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

82 - Ready

Finally, and not a night too soon. I got through all of my scenes without a major screw-up or "oh shit" moment happening in my head. Tomorrow night is our "preview" which is the free night for family. It gives us a live audience for that last rehearsal, though I doubt if there will be 10 people there. But even 2 in the audience forces us to be on our game more.

Tomorrow, I'll be sure to run all of my scenes at least twice, and keep my head in the game while at the theatre. I think that was the other change for me tonight - when I wasn't on stage, my nose was in my script which kept my focus on the play.

Time now for some much needed rest.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

81 - The Cast

The cast of After the Murders: The Quest of Lizzie Borden.  Top left standing:  David, Gretta, Kyle, Redgie, Steve, Clayton, Carley, Thomas.  Seated:  Susan, Karen.

We're now two rehearsals away from opening night, and if we continue with the same level of improvement, we'll be ready.  I still feel very rough with this show; not really sure why.  It's no more difficult than work I've done in the past ...

This cast is fun to work with, and Karen is an absolute trip.  My "twisted sister."  Tonight, she entertained us during "intermission" with her one-woman stand up of the Chinese woman.  I really think she should do it for ABET's Extravaganza next year ... and watch some people faint.

Pics are compliments of Redgie.  I've really enjoyed working with him - he's taught me a lot.


Monday, October 19, 2009

80 - Hmmm

This is one of those night's where I really don't know what to post.  The day was ok.  Rehearsal, first with lights and costumes, was rough.  I'm tired and just want to go to bed.

The positive - the windows are open; it's wonderfully cool outside; good sleeping weather.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

79 - One of My "Hero's"

I was sitting at my desk wondering what I was going to write today. The day was good, but nothing really stood out; then my phone rang. It was a friend of mine telling me that a mutual friend of ours had passed away. I know – my blog is supposed to be positive, and this is.

I can’t remember the first time I met Nickie Hero, but I know it was in the mid to late 70’. She was a member of the Motor Maids, the women’s motorcycling organization I belong to. She joined the organization in 1948, and after a number of discussions and arguments with me, accepted her golden life membership in 1998. Why did she argue about this? Well, it’s a long story, but I’ll give you the “Readers Digest” version – she was in a motorcycle accident where the doctors told her she might not walk again. It kept her off the bike for a couple of years, but even though she was in her late 60’s, early 70’s at that time, it did not stop her from working her rehab and eventually getting back on a motorcycle. You see, our constitution and bylaws state that in order to receive your Golden Life membership, you have to have 50 consecutive years of active riding membership. I was a National Officer at the time as well as our Florida District Director, and explained on more than one occasion that we have provisions in place for situations like this. She finally relented, but honestly, she was never happy with receiving her Golden Life membership – she didn’t feel she deserved it.  The rest of us, however, knew that she did.

Nickie and her husband “Hero” are both people I loved and looked up to in many ways. They were both pioneers in our sport. My friend, JSB, told me that Nickie had made her peace with her condition, talked honestly with Hero, then curled up and went to sleep, never to awaken again.

God speed, my friend. Enjoy your time with Nancy, Dot, Regina and all those others who passed before you, and join the forces of our guardian angels wearing Motor Maid blue.

Below is an article from a 1956 issue of The American Motorcyclists magazine about Nickie. Also 2 old photos of her from the same magazine.  The "snow" photo was from 1958.  Enjoy.  (The photo at the top was November of 2006, the last time I saw Nickie.)


Nickie’s interest in motorcycles began when she was just a very little girl. She would save her pennies to buy gas for her brother’s old 1925 model cycle and in return for gas money he would let her ride on an old iron luggage carrier down a dirt road and bounce her across some rough railroad tracks to the service station. Then she would walk home while brother went for a ride on Nickie’s ten cents worth of gasoline. She is still doing the same thing! Saving her pennies to buy gasoline, that is. No walking this time, and no hard luggage carrier.

Nickie really began living when she married a guy AND a motorcycle! They went to California, honeymooning and Nickie rode buddy seat.

Andrew, Nickie’s husband, taught her to ride seven years ago and she promptly joined the Motor Maids of America. It wasn’t until 1950, when attending the Convention at San Antonio, that she really began to enjoy the Motor Maids as an organization. From that time on, she has looked forward to Motor Maids’ meeting. Nickie is on of the more active highway girl riders and has totaled up 135,000 miles of solo riding, covering all 48 states and part of Mexico and Canada.

Nickie’s hobby, sport, pleasure, means of transportation and interest is motorcycles! Several trophies have been acquired through the years of riding and most of them are long distance awards. There is one that is special, though. It was won in an endurance run. She has ridden many endures, having the best time fo her live in every one, but one time she won a trophy.

Andrew and Nickie Hero are motorcycle dealers in Pensacola, FL, and have one child. Their daughter, now nine years old, is learning to ride a 125 so she won’t waste any years before she knows the pleasure of motorcycling. Nickie is 5 ft6 tall and has always ridden a 74.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

78 - Humbled

Today was a good day.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and our "cue to cue" rehearsal was only a little over 5 hours long (to set 90 cues).  And yes, it seems my headache is GONE.  Part of it came back during rehearsal, maybe from standing on stage with lights shining in my eyes and not really being able to move while they worked with the light cues.  (I finally just stood with my eyes closed.)

As we were getting dressed for some publicity shots, KG made the comment about how the newness of seeing her in shows wore off with her friends.  Now it's like, oh, you're in another show, ho hum.  That's completely understandable, and I see that happening somewhat with my friends.  And it's OK.  Her comment however reminded me of how humbled I am that people come to the theatre simply because I'm in a show.  A Watson group of some sort (pictured above when they came to see The Spitfire Grill) makes it to every show.  A couple of them told me that my shows give them the excuse to get together and do something.  Hey, whatever it takes. 

For a long time, one of my goals in life is to help people find the joy in live theatre.  It's an art form that sucks you into an alternate reality of sorts; it's magic in that the show can often make the rest of the world go away; it's amazing to watch people, human beings, transform themselves into a different character than themselves to bring the audience an evening of enjoyment.  With budget cuts and the like, those of us in the theatre community fear the day may come when our local theatres can't keep their doors open.  Until that day comes, though, we will volunteer our time, our talents and gas money to rehearse, sweat and memorize so that others can go to that magical place with us.

Because of After the Murders, I was unable to go to TN for our bi-annual family get-together.  The family gathers in Townsend twice a year, Spring and Fall, to ride motorcycles together and have fun.  From what I've been told, the amount of joy and lack of fighting we have is unusual.  I think motorcycling holds us together.  After all, no one can talk too much when everyone is on their own motorcycle.  :-)  That said, Spring and Fall are typically when the community theatres have some of the best shows.  It's a struggle not being up there, and I miss them all, but I know I'm also doing what my heart loves so much by being in this show.  Sacrifice for art ... sounds kind of lame, but in some ways it's true.  Maybe I can get up to TN before women's basketball season is over... visit with family and be able to take in a couple of Lady Vols games.  Now, that's a plan!


Friday, October 16, 2009

77 - Holy Coolness, Batman!

Went I went into rehearsal, you could tell that change was in the air.  When we came out, 3 hours later, we all breathed a breath of fresh air.  October 16th and our temps are finally getting back down to normal!  I would love to sleep outside in the hammock, but after a week of fighting headaches, I doubt that is the best thing for me to do.  I did toss another blanket on the bed.  :-)

Wishing we had another week of rehearsal, but alas we don't.  Praying to all the deities that our lead gets over her cold/bug very quickly, and the rest of us can find a way to remember our freaking lines.  That said, a shout out to two of "the boys" ... my adorable castmates.  (I stole this pic from "Ray".)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

76 - Girlfriends

What a day.  I've had headaches most of my life, but lately they've been just killer headaches.  Had one in the wee hours of this morning that kept waking me up, and by the time I got up this morning, had upset my stomach.  Couldn't really eat much.  Slept a couple of hours so that I couldn't miss my lunch date with a dear friend.  I don't see her all that often, so lunch today was important to me.

MDH and I met in May of 2000 when she came to work for us.  There were only 3 of us upstairs in "The Little White House", and we hit it off.  She retired in 2006 to start a family, and unlike a lot of office friendships, we have maintained contact and manage to get together for a long lunch every couple of months.  The difference between us and my graphic is that I talk and she listens.  :-)  Like she told me today, diapers don't make too engaging a conversation.  It was so very good to see her and talk.  I do still miss her at work, but am happy, happy, happy for her.

We have rehearsal tonight, but for the first time, I'm missing a rehearsal.  (I didn't even miss rehearsal the day I severely sprained and (found out later) fractured my ankle.)  Our lead is out of town on business, and I only have 1 scene without her.  After a lot of thought, I felt it was better for me to rest and get completely over the affects of this headache than to go tonight.  Yes, it is a positive that if I was going to feel this crappy, at least it was on a day where I really wasn't needed at rehearsal, and my guilt for missing is minimal.

I realized last weekend that Diva didn't have any toys other than bones ... because she'd destroyed everything else.  So, she got to go shopping again, and picked out some new toys.  That's her as she was playing with 3 of the 4 of them.
One was made of firehose material, supposedly so it couldn't be destroyed.  They lied.  It's completely destuffed, but she does play with the carcass.  Another is called Big Brute, and admittedly, it did take her longer to destuff that toy.  (2nd pic.)  I will be restuffing it since she gets such joy out of destuffing toys.  The yellow duck ... it has 9 different squeakers in it.  I'm only giving it to her at certain times to play with.  Then it goes on top of the bookcase for her to play with later.  Of course, she'll sit and stare at the 'special' toys on top of the bookcase.

Time to rest so I'm ready to be at the theatre for the next 10 days straight. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

75 - Favor

Most of you who know me know that I really don't like asking for help, but I especially don't like asking for a favor on something I can't do much in way of reciprocation. One of the many reasons I would starve if I had to be in sales for a living. Well, we ran into a situation with the show.

The show spans the years from 1893 to 1926. Gus, a local reporter, reads numerous articles to the audience, working in some ways as a narrator as well as a segue between scenes. ABET is a very small theatre, and at times, the front row of audience members will only be a few feet from Gus. It was realized a couple days ago, that if we didn’t have “authentic” looking newspapers for him to read from, it would be glaringly obvious to those sitting house left. As the discussion ensued, I piped up with an “I have a friend that works for the Florida Times Union,” only realizing after I got home that, crap, I had to do what is so very difficult for me – asking for a favor. I emailed BW while still at the theatre, explaining the quandary we were in, and crossed my fingers. I also talked with our Corporate Marketing Coordinator the next day.

Yesterday, our marketing coordinator came through with one of our suppliers donating sheets of 11x17 the same shade as newspaper. She’ll then print the graphics I give her next week. This will suffice for some of the clippings.

Today, I emailed BW at the TU with a formal request from the theatre. Bless her heart, they have also come through. The links for the graphics have been sent to them, and hopefully, we’ll be able to pick up the proof sheets next week.

I feel indebted and know that I cannot really repay this favor. I also know that she is the type person who doesn’t keep count. I will ask this … if you’re here in Jacksonville or the surrounding areas and do not get the TU, please go out and purchase a couple copies over the next few days. I know that I read my news online, but trust me, I will be picking up a paper for a while. If all of us theatre lovers showed our appreciation for BW and the TU’s production manager (whom I’ve never met), it could boost their sales for this weekend.  (And yes, comp tickets to our show will be waiting if they can make it.)

And since we're doing a show set at the turn of the century (the previous one, I mean), I thought I'd throw a little FTU history your way.  The paper, known as the oldest newspaper in the state, began it's life as the "Florida Union" in 1864.  In 1883, the name was changed to The Florida Times Union.  I chose my graphics today on purpose - today's cover (hope I don't get in trouble for copywrite infringement) and an older copy, from 1938.  (I did search online to see if there were any articles available from FTU concerning Lizzie Borden.  Wouldn't that have been cool!)

I do firmly believe in paying it forward, so this kindness will be repaid in some way, shape or form.


PS – as a follow-up on yesterday’s post. Today, we did have 2 support emails, both from the same agent. The first was that the direct link to his agent page wasn’t working. He had the URL wrong. The second was that one of his listings wasn’t displaying. That email was answered with instructions to get with his office administrator. Answering these didn’t even cause any of us to break stride in our development work.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

74 - Support?

I fear I may be jinxing us, but our support emails have dropped substantially.  Last week, they trickled off ... averaging just a couple a day.  After 2 days this week, we have had 0, yes that's zero, support emails for something not being right on the Corporate website or the office websites.  With a company that has 37 office (plus Corporate) and over 1200 agents plus office staff, that's unheard of.

A shout out to my Sr. Developer, SC, who has made changes to his processes that have caused everything to be running so smoothly.  I'm actually able to get work done that can move us forward instead of having to trouble-shoot problems.

On the theatre side of things ... I just love being a part of the theatre community.  It's really like nothing I've experienced before.


Monday, October 12, 2009

73 - Lock-n-Load, Heave-n-Hold!

Zeina was able to be with us again tonight, and came in, arms loaded down with costumes.  Fortunately in Act II, I only have 2 scenes (and only called for lines twice tonight!!!) so I was able to work with her.  Emma now has a couple dresses, blouse, skirt, vest, couple shawls and 2 hats to mix and match.  Whew!

After rehearsal and notes, Zeina was talking about what we all needed to provide on our own.  For the women she said, girdle or spanx (we don't have to wear a corsette) and a push up bra.  Then she said, "Lock and load; heave and hold" when referring to the push up bras.  OMG, I found that so funny. 

I do need to see if I have my old Motor Maids gloves.  I know I have white gloves, but on the way home I realized that mine are golf gloves, which obviously won't work for late 1800's.

Theatre is so much fun.  Not only transforming yourself into someone else, but going through the process of costumes, what works, what doesn't, etc.  I'm constantly amazed by the knowledge people have.

Time for some rest.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

72 - 12 Days

Today is one of those days where finding the positive is tough. But, I have to say that this awesome cast I have the privilege of working with in After the Murders is definitely a positive. Today's rehearsal, for me, was absolutely horrendous, but the cast and director didn't give up on me even though I was. 

The pics here are from yesterday's unexpected photo shoot. These aren't the costumes we'll be wearing, but we had to wear something other than jeans and t-shirts! Oh, and that black shawl ... look familiar? Yes, it's the same shawl as I wore in Into the Woods. Kinda funny. Celia, managing director of ABET, said that if anyone saw these photos they'd think this show was a comedy because Karen and I were laughing so hard. 

Of course, I had to post a pic of two of my handsome cast mates. 


Saturday, October 10, 2009

71 - Character Work

Rehearsal today was ok, but our rehearsal after rehearsal was just awesome!  Karen (who plays Lizzie) and I wanted to work a couple of our scenes that we'd been struggling with, not only for delivery but blocking.  Jack (director) stuck around and Gretta (Nance) was there when we first started.  Both gave some good insight into the scenes.  After we were done, Jack, Karen and I talked about Emma's possible reasons for how she acts - from being tired of mothering Lizzie to possibly carrying guilt because she actually contracted someone to murder her father and stepmother.  Lot of food for thought when developing this character.

Another 'positive' today was actually getting to meet Teddy Krager Key, the main character in Aussie Song (the December musical).  I honestly did not realize she was still alive and living here in Jacksonville.  She's been in the US over 60 years, but she still has her Australian accent. 

Finally, my friend that inspired blog 69 has actually started his own blog.  It's his "Online Gratitude Journal."  My blog was intended for me to find the positive in each day, and now it (along with JSG who inpired me to do mine) has inspired him to do the same.  Just think how positive the world would be if we all committed to posting at least one positive thing from that day each day.

Life is good!

Friday, October 9, 2009

70 - Friday!

Tough week, but glad to see Friday!  Last night, one of my castmates said, "You know you're getting old when you look forward to Friday so you can get some rest."  So very true.

The weekend is here!  Time to rest, re-energize and learn my LINES!!!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

69 - Out of the Blue

I received an email today that caught me totally by surprise, and is without a doubt the nicest email I've received in a long time.  I'm not going to post it here, but I will post two sentences.  "You are a SHINING example of a supportive friend. Your friends may not say it often enough, but please know that your continuous loving support is certainly cherished and appreciated."

I did let my friend know how much the email touched me.  It was definately the highlight of my day.

Share the love ....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

68 - Character Development

There was no scheduled rehearsal tonight, but some of us met at the theatre anyway to work on our scenes.  "Gus" and I sat down and went line by line through our scene together in Act II, and his insight and suggestions were invaluable, not only to my development of Emma, but also to my understanding of the process.  This is what I wanted.  Indepth, line by line, digging deep into my character.  I believe that Emma was just as complicated as Lizzie, but she wasn't as demonstrative or extraverted.  I feel I can take what I learned tonight and apply it to my other scenes.  Thank you, Mr. Farrar.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

67 - Scene Work

For the most part, a good day.  New guy did really well today at work, and right now my hope is up that we actually have someone that will work out for us.  Had some good scene work tonight between my character and Gus, the reporter.  It's a very strong scene.  I need to make sure I don't play it flat.  We'll be working on it more tomorrow.

Diva thinks it's her job to turn down the bed for me while I'm at rehearsal.  Problem is, she basically unmakes it.  One day she'll get it right.  :-)


Monday, October 5, 2009

66 - New Guy

Our new Jr. Developer started today.  Hallelujah!!!  While he won't immediately give me any work relief, he will help us move forward on projects and work towards some of our ultimate goals, which will give me some relief.

The more intense training starts on Wednesday when our Sr. Developer is back in town.  I'll be sitting in those session, so my brain is going to be mush.

Needed a giggle today, so found a new LOL Cat.  Enjoy.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

65 - Ribs, NomNomNom

I just love bar-b-qued ribs, and a few days ago, I decided to try my hand at cooking them.  Picked up some baby backs at the store, and OMG, they were just wonderful.  Today, spare ribs were on sale, so I had to cook some more.  As long as I have the time at home to let them cook, they're easy to do ... and give me a bbq sauce grin!

Today, Diva got some bbq juice/sauce on her dog food too!


64 - Rest Catch Up

While Earnest was well worth seeing, even if it meant not resting at home, I still had to finish month end when I got home, and then for whatever reason, it was after 2am before I fell asleep.  Oliver woke me up at 6am sick again, so we were at the vets at 8.  Then a tough rehearsal.  Finally .... home for a nap.  Took a 90 minute nap and was still asleep by 9pm.  Slept for 9 hours.  Did I ever need that!!!


63 - Earnest

Friday night, I was finally able to attend “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Theatre Jax. I have to confess that I’m quite ignorant when it comes to the classics; while I know I took literature, both in high school and college, I have no recollection of the playwrites. Having no expectations than seeing Michael as a very handsome Englishman, the play was exceptional! No weak actors; lines delivered beautifully; costumes that dropped your jaw. Twice on Friday I told Tracy how wonderful the costumes were, and again I give a shout out to her talents. To know that she made those dresses just befuttles my mind.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.
Lady Bracknell: 35 is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained 35 for years.
Algy: My dear Aunt Augusta, I mean he was *found out*. The doctors found out that Bunbury could not live - that is what I mean - so Bunbury died.
Lady Bracknell: He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physicians.

Michael posted these pics of the actors and the costumes. I don’t think he’ll mind them being reposted.  And I'm really looking forward to sharing the stage with Stacy in "Aussie Song".  (She's the blonde in the pic below.)

My mantra ... Support your local theatres!