25 Years of being married to this amazing woman. I’m a lucky guy. Happy Anniversary, Jeanne.
25 Years of being married to this amazing woman. I’m a lucky guy. Happy Anniversary, Jeanne.
This last month has been such a whirlwind! So many things to be grateful for, exciting challenges at work and at home.
After my birthday my sister-in-law Jackie, my brother Dominic and my daughter Maggie threw a surprise birthday party for Jeanne and me (my beautiful wife’s birthday is a few days after mine!) So many wonderful people came, it was enough to get me all choked up. Maggie played her “get them to the restaurant” role perfectly, too – I never saw it coming! Jeanne and I are so lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives, it’s just such a blessing.
To Quiet The Quiet has been going well at the theatre. It’s a powerful, dark piece that makes people uncomfortable. I’m okay with that, sometimes that’s what theatre should do. The cast, director and production team really produced beautiful work and the way audiences are responding, it’s paid off. We close it tomorrow!
Speaking of the theatre, we are getting close to being able to announce next season, and I love it. More to come on that soon – but first we still have to get through more of THIS season! I love the season selection part of my job, and have been reading so many plays lately. There just isn’t a lot better than a curling up on the couch with couple cups of coffee and a good play in the morning, y’know?
Other positive things:
My daughter turned 21! I made her take a picture of the server carding her at HopCat. 🙂
In less than 60 days I will be in Germany visiting my son Max! He’s going to introduce me to his wonderful host family, who kindly offered to house me for my stay! I’m excited to have him show me around his part of Germany, and to meet his friends. Then we’re going to Italy for a couple of days to visit our former exchange student Tommaso, who is at university in Milan now. I’m really looking forward to this trip, and time with Max. I can’t speak of German, but I’ve been working on my Italian again. Il mio italiano non est buono, but I’m enjoying it!
Hug the people you love today, folks. I say that a lot, but with good reason. Take a minute from the craziness of life, and count a few blessings. Really: take a second and breathe, and think on a few things, and a few people, that are wonderful in your life. Then go and make sure the people you listed know they’re on your list.
I don’t know about you, but I’m now voting that the best way to finish up a birthday is to relax on the couch after everyone is asleep, with a drink, snuggled up in your Heat Miser/Snow Miser pajama pants, your Star Trek t-shirt, and a Superman wool cap. (What can I say, my family and friends KNOW ME!!)
What a day! Had first preview of To Quiet The Quiet by Christy Hall, which went wonderfully. Was surprised at the end of the preview talkback by cast, crew and staff presenting me with a birthday pie and the whole audience singing happy birthday to me! (Yes, birthday pie. Pie is better than cake – MY PEOPLE KNOW ME!)
Turned 50 today. What a great day! FIFTY! Amazing. 5 years ago today I was in a coma, and my family was going through hell, but being supported by so many wonderful people. I am SO grateful to be here for another birthday, and to be able to spend it with so many awesome people. Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes today!
So, I sit here, a bit after midnight, finishing my drink and the brownie that my daughter left me (with a candle in it and a match so I could blow out one last candle before bed,) just watching the snow fall out the front window. Peaceful, quiet. (The drive home wasn’t, but I made it!) Now I can hear the furnace humming in the basement, and occasionally a cough or a gentle snore can be heard from one of the bedrooms. FlipFlop, our schnoodle dog, just padded out and flopped down onto my feet. I re-read the wonderful birthday message my son sent me from Germany.
I don’t know what the future holds, or where we’ll all be in 5 years.
I know that 5 years ago was a nightmare.
I also know that this, though, this right now, is perfect.
Okay – This is fascinating! A few years ago, in Amsterdam, they had to excavate a riverbed that ran through the city. During the excavation, archeologists took advantage of the dig to see what they could find. What they found was an amazing array of things lost into the river dating from now and going back thousands of years, and they catalogued them all!
Dice, dated between 1500 and 1200 AD! Some gambler lost THAT bet!
In other news, we’re about to open the final show of our 12th season at Williamston Theatre. We started previews last night of Memoir and it’s the kind of show that the word “Delightful” was invented for! Work has been wonderful. I had the chance to direct a terrific show, Significant Other, at the MSU Summer Circle. That was an absolute treat. Script was fun, it was outside and fun, and the cast and design team were top notch – truly a bunch of young professionals now graduated with MFA’s and heading out to what I know will be great careers in the industry.
Despite work being really good, and family life being wonderful (one kid in college, one graduating high school, and an amazing wife keeping me sane), it’s been a challenge finding the motivation to write – either in my personal journal or here, on this site. It’s been frustrating, because I’ve been in a bit of a slump. A handful of life things and personal things, stuff we all deal with, have been weighing on me. Along with those, the incredibly divisive and vitriolic political mess here in the U.S. has just left me feeling burned out, and I’ve also (either because of that stuff of just along with it!) allowed myself to get more chubby and out of shape physically than I’ve been in a while, and that’s been frustrating – it’s also just not good for me, especially with the variety of health issues I already have – so that’s been weighing on me too. (Hah. “Weighing.” Literally!) So all of that has meant that lately I’ve found myself MISSING that sense of loving life that I normally have – and have had for especially the last few years, now that I’m in my extra-innings of life!
Fortunately, life and family and friends and the universe have been there giving me reasons to perk back up. Spending lots of QFT lately, which has been nice, doing some more bike riding and exercising has been good for me. I’m now prepping to direct our fall show, Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson, which is a GORGEOUS piece of theatre and I am absolutely thrilled to be working on it with an amazing team of people! That, and a handful of other projects which are coming up, are pretty exciting. I *am* getting nervous because in a couple of months my son is heading to Germany for a year long Exchange Program: I’m thrilled for him, but I will worry the entire year he is gone!
OH! Plus – I’ve got a little vacation time coming up. More on that later, but it’s going to be a wonderful trip and I can not wait!
So – thanks for reading! And if YOU’RE having any kind of slump, like I’ve had, hang in there. Look around, find your joy and embrace it. Then go help others find theirs – I think that helps!
As amazing as it sounds, my son had his last day of High School today! I’m so proud of him. Up next for him: a year in Germany, for his Gap Year Student Exchange Program, before he goes to college. I think the current plan is to come back after that and go to college for music composition and production.
I am super proud of his abilities as a musician and a composer, and jealous! I can’t wait to hear his music as he grows, and studies, and his talents expand even more.
Here’s a link to his Sound Cloud account, where he has a number of his songs posted. Check it out!
One of his songs, Jump, has over 11, 000 listens! His song Again was just chosen by the head of the Chelsea show choir, Company C, to be included in their Spring performance, where it was played with choreographed dancers performing to it. That was a pretty amazing honor for Max!
So, in honor of my son’s last day at school, here is a pic montage designed to make me cry.
Every time this shows up in the mail, I think of my Dad.
I think back to when I was in high school, and told him I wanted to go to college for theatre. I was ready to be told I should find something more stable, I was ready to be lectured about responsibility and the future.
Instead, all he asked was “Do you think you can make a living at it?” When I said I thought I could, he just nodded, and said “Okay. Great. Your mom and I will help any way we can.” And that was it.
So when my membership card from SDC arrives I, naturally, get a sense of pride that I’m following my dream and making it work, and I’m thrilled that I’m contributing to the world the way I’d hoped to… but I also feel like I’m keeping a promise to my Dad. I know he was proud of me, of all his kids, but putting this card in my wallet every year makes me feel worthy of the trust and faith he had in me on that afternoon, sitting together in our kitchen, over 30 years ago.
On Tuesday I start rehearsal for Doublewide, a play about a guy who spends his life working in a factory and doing everything he can to provide a good future for his family.
Thanks, Dad. This one’s for you.
Here we are, almost halfway into January, and I still feel like I haven’t yet recovered from the holidays!
So much quality family time, so much laughter and storytelling and love. Oy -so much food (yes, that’s the part I -and my waistline- need the most recovering from.)
So, this morning I’m up before almost everyone. Maggie crept quietly out of the house a while ago – she’s taking care of a friend’s dog today, so had to go do that early. It was wonderful having her boyfriend visit from Finland for the holidays. Now of course it’s hard on both of them because he’s back home. I see them and think simultaneously “Boy, I remember being 19, that exciting young love, waiting for your future to start” and also, at the same time, “Good Lord, was I ever that young?!”
Max and Jeanne are sleeping in. It’s Saturday, they deserve to. Max will work later, Jeanne will be grading her student’s homework, like normal on the weekend, but I think today will be a quiet day.
In a couple of hours I’ll head to Williamston Theatre. We closed Beau Jest a couple of weeks ago – what a treat that show was. Wonderful team on and offstage, and audiences just loved it. We set some attendance records! Such a gift, to hear packed houses filled with people laughing together, sharing a moment of lightness and joy.
Next up is a wonderful piece, Our Lady Of Poison, a world premiere by Joe Zettelmaier. The elevator pitch: “Mother-Daughter poisoning team. Italy. Based on true events.” ’nuff said. 🙂
So, today I’ll go in and see a stumble-through of that, we’ll have a production meeting, and I’ll do some more work on the next play.
Before that, though: A little quiet in the living room. The dogs are curled at my feet, and my cup of coffee is still mostly full.
I hope everyone has a restful, fulfilling Saturday!