29 January, 2009


A friend of mine recently pointed out that I am unusually keenly aware of change.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like it?

I don’t mind evolution. I don’t mind change in a growing way…I just hate finality: breakups, permanent moves, death.

My parents are moving. And for the past 4 months I’ve been living in the room I grew up in. I started officially packing up today. This has been the one room I’ve lived in for the majority of the last 12 years. And when you’re 23, well that’s more than half your life.

I started going through my bookshelf and putting things in boxes. Most every book brought back a memory. Reading “Number the Stars” in middle school…graphic design books from college…theology notes from a summer leadership seminar in highschool…there’s a lot of life on that book shelf.

Here’s the thing that it all comes down to. I know when things will never again be the same. I can feel it like, in my bones. And this is one of those times. My parents are moving to Lynchburg. There is going to be a house that they will make a home and it will be their home but it won’t be mine. This yellow room I’m in right now feels like my room because I grew up in it. Nothing like that will exist in Lynchburg. No memories or childhood attached to the rooms there. Of course it will be the one house in the world where I will feel more welcomed than any other, but it won’t be my ‘home.’

So for the first time I’m really going to have to make my house my home. First I’ll have to find one. Then one day it will really be my home.

Wow isn’t growing up weird?

From the movie Garden State:

Andrew: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew: You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

19 January, 2009

Spring Awakening Closes.

Spring Awakening, a really thought provoking show I saw less than a month ago on tour, closed on Broadway yesterday. In its first year it swept the Tony awards and has had a lot of success. It played its last performance on Broadway yesterday--which is pretty unusual for such a successful show--Rent, its predecessor, played 12 years to SA's 2. I found the transcript online from the producers' speech after the performance was over. I wanna share this part with you:

"Believe me, we are saving the best for last but before we do, the other thing the Atlantic helped us with was to assemble a brilliant creative team, and with us here tonight is our extraordinary music director Kimberly Grigsby. Our resident director Bea Terry is here. But most noticeably absent tonight is our design team - our choreographer Bill T. Jones, his associate, and our director Michael Mayer. They are in London in final tech rehearsals for the launch of Spring Awakening, the British version, so they couldn't be with us, and we send them our boundless thanks for their inspired work and in return they sent their love to all tonight in the form of a lyric, which before we turn this over to the founders of our feast, I will read. It's written by a theatre songwriter — it's from Anything Can Whistle:

'With so little to be sure of,
If there's anything at all.
If there's anything at all,
I'm sure of here and now and us together.
Thanks for everything we did,
Everything that's past,
Everything's that's over too fast.
None of it was wasted,
All of it will last:
Everything that's here and now and us together.
It was marvelous to know you
And it isn't really through.
Crazy business this, this life we live in-
Can't complain about the time we're given-
With so little to be sure of in this world,
We had a moment.
A marvelous moment.'

18 January, 2009

So I spent the week back in Lynchburg where I graduated from college almost 2 years ago. Here's what I noticed:

the people on campus are young. quite a bit younger than me. and back in the day, they seemed old. weird.

i had a bit of culture shock going back to it's-cool-and-popular-to-be-a-conservative-christian world. i have seen so much of the real world since 05/07. my little quote from benjamin button at the top of the screen really holds true.

lynchburg isn't a bad place to live. it's just smaller. less commercialism, less nightlife, less going on in general. its not necessarily bad, it's just less.

and there's nothing innately ghetto about downtown lynchburg...it's more run-down than ghetto.

college kids get stressed out and worked up about generally less important (trivial?) things than adults do. calm down about not getting the lead. and quit whining about the guy who has gotten all the leads that you wanted. you'll regret all the breath, energy, and thought you gave to it. your time in college--especially in the world of college theatre--is a blip on the map of life. it doesn't define your talent and it doesn't determine if you'll have a successful career. what you can learn from it? life is not always fair. work hard.

17 January, 2009

For the first time in...perhaps a year, maybe less...I felt deeply moved in a corporate worship service the other night.

This isn't because I haven't longed for a stirring in my soul. It's because I've felt like there was so much mess...so many freakin hurdles to cross to have a meaingful moment with God in public. If it wasn't people storming the altar (in a bad way) at Two Rivers it was terrible music and trite preaching somewhere else. Church and I have had quite the year. And in so, God and I.

My moment came last Wednesday night at a Liberty campus worship service. Pretty simple moment really. We started singing a song with this lyric:

Jesus You are the difference in my life

A complicated existence began to shape into a pretty simple one. The difference in my life, the hope that I live for starts and ends with Jesus. It's so not cool. I know. Attaching yourself to the word "Jesus" gives people license to make all these terrible assumptions about you. But the bottom line is that Jesus IS the difference in my life. And there's nothing I'm more grateful for.

09 January, 2009

Things Learned in 2008

I wrote a similarly titled list last year. Initially I didn’t feel particularly inspired to recount the things I had learned this past year but once I sat and thought a list came. And here ya have it.

1. When having disagreements with roommates it is better to communicate then not. When I was living in Florida in the fall of 2007 I had a terribly non-communicative living situation. It was basically 2 against 2. Instead of confronting roommates about things they did that I thought were selfish and inconsiderate I ended up venting to my other roommate. Eventually the roommate who was in the wrong found out about my issue and decided to play the victim. In short, it would’ve been better if I just communicated clearly in the first place. I have this thing about preferring to be liked than not and in turn I avoid confrontation at all costs. Sometimes honest conversation is just the better thing. Because nothing gets resolved when you don’t talk. And btw, this counts for 2008 because this concept didn’t hit me until months later.
2. When someone shows you who they are believe them. This is a phrase coined by Maya Angelou that I had heard but never really resonated with me. I learned this year if you have a friend who you’ve seen have repeated issues with other friends eventually that friend will have the same issue with you. When people show you their character you have to recognize it and you can’t fault them for it later. Friend at your own risk! And if you don’t think that kind of behavior is something you want in a close friend then put a little distance there and invest elsewhere.
3. Playing peacemaker usually leads to drama. I know this sounds like a 10th grade realization but when I saw two friends have a miscommunication in the past I (being the communications major or future counselor or whatever) always wanted to play mediator to help the situation resolve itself. 9.9 times out of 10 this leads to getting roped into the situation and all of a sudden someone has a problem with you. Not worth it. Don’t become involved whether it’s a romantic relationship, friendship, or working relationship. Don’t. Get. Involved.
4. I want a dog.
5. When you are young (especially in your career) is the time to decide how you’re going to do things. In April I had to stand up to a scary boss at a theatre and tell him that there were lines I wasn’t willing to say because they were offensive to me. I almost lost my job over this situation. But losing my integrity and self-respect would have been incredibly worse.
6. Being a Mom is freaking hard work. It’s something I want in my life SOMEday but doesn’t have nearly as much appeal as being married does. You can still be young and awesome and exciting when you’re married. Being a parent is when legit responsibility, selflessness and butt-wiping comes in. No thanks!! (For now.) Preschoolers are more than cute short people with chubby cheeks that say funny things. They are human beings that have been entrusted to YOUR care. Wowwie.
7. Being transient is fun but really not practical for putting roots down, developing relationships or making money. In order to find success in any one theatre scene I have to commit to it. This year I really want to commit to one location by the end of the year. Is this a resolution?
8. Physical closeness is basically always nice but it’s much MUCH MUUUUUCH nicer with someone you love. How’s that for inconspicuous?
9. Friendships evolve and it doesn’t have to be sad. Sometimes two friends grow apart because of circumstances. It doesn’t mean you love them less. It just means they’re married and have a 9-5 and a fence and a dog and you have a suitcase a Betsey dress and no boyfriend. It’s ok to not be in the same place in life and recognize you have less in common. That’s life.
10. Mint.com is freaking awesome.
11. Picnik.com is also freaking awesome.
12. Politics are both important and fascinating. And I judge people who are apathetic. And I judge people with ignorant arguments even more. I do. I said it!
13. I crave companionship—which may not sound like much but IS! For a year I wanted to play the field not find 1 playmate. That’s changed.
14. You can find all kinds of interesting ways to make money on the internet. You just need to look.
15. The more I learn about the performing arts the more my curiosity and interest grows in expanding other areas of performing. I want to become a great Shakespearean actress. I want to be comfortable with improv. I’m interested in acting for the camera.
16. In the same vein, I’m evolving into a person who doesn’t have to be a professional performer to feel cool. I just need work that is stimulating. Finger-spacing the hangers at Anthropologie doesn’t count. And making pennies freelance writing doesn’t count either.
17. I want to be in a relationship where I’m wanted. I don’t want to try to force a relationship where the guy likes me pretty much. But also I don’t want to get in a relationship with someone just because he thinks I’m awesome. I want mutual adoration. Somehow in my experience this has been semi-difficult to locate. Mutual adoration FTW.
18. Acting for children is really rewarding. In the world of professional theatre, children's theatre is the type of theatre that seems to be least preferable. But not for me! Exposing children to the arts and spurring their imaginations seems essential to excellent education. I remember the first professional theatre performance I saw--the national tour of Phantom of the Opera when I was in the 3rd grade. It was the beginning of something huge for me.
19. My success/failures in performing aren’t a good thermometer to take the temperature of my talent. Me being in the right place, at the right time, with the right look and the right talent is a good indication of my talent. Rejection shouldn’t tell you how talented you are. In the same way neither should success.

02 January, 2009

2008 in Numbers

More reflections to come but for now...

Trips to Orlando: 8

Performances on a stage: 95

Auditions attended: 26

Wigs worn: 4

Employers: 9

Trips to New York: 2

Dinners with Broadway stars: 2

Callbacks for a national tour: 1

Boyfriends: 0

Trips to the White House: 2

Books completely read: 4

Books started: 8 (that I can remember)

Moves: 2

Months I had to pay rent: 0