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LJWorld.com weblogs In the Dark

Back in the Saddle

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I began this blog many many months ago with a noble goal to write at least every two weeks. Fell off that horse pretty quickly. My life last spring was one theatre production after another until May, so I admit -- I quit writing. And then I had an artistic crisis. Don't worry. I won't bore you with details.But now we've begun a new school year. I like the beginning of the school year. Everything is fresh and new (I secretly love just to look at new school supplies) and full of promise. So I am writing again. For the past week, I have written at least three different blogs in my head, but they haven't made their way through my fingers to the keyboard yet. Who knows how often or how long I can maintain the habit, but the important thing is that I am getting back into it. This summer, I had the opportunity to go to Broadway for the first time. Up till that time, I had been living a fallacy, proclaiming myself as a "broadway babe" (you know, from the song "Lullaby of Broadway"?) in my email address, even though I had never been to NYC. I can now strike that from my conscience. I learned a great lesson that I have already shared with my students in just the first week of class. There's a great little show on Broadway right now called [title of show]. Yes, that is how it's supposed to look. Even the NY Times got it wrong. Anyway, this is the little musical that could. Two guys, two gals, one keyboard player, three white walls and plenty of laughs make up this new favorite of mine. The show is about how the creators created the show, and asks several pointed questions about the art of creating. As part of the workshop I atteneded, we got to spend an hour or so with the two guys and the music director (who is a Shawnee Heights HS alum) just talking about writing and composing and acting and such. At one point, someone asked why there was no big finale to the show, why so low key at the end? The answer: that would have been a celebration of making it to Broadway as the definition of success. But for these characters, who were also the creators, success for them happened as soon as they made the decision to write the show."How do you define success?" asked Hunter and Jeff of the 100 teachers in the room. "How do your students define success? Is it making the lead role in the play? Or is it the moment that student wakes up and decides 'Today I am going to audition.' ?" I shared that with some girls who were disappointed they didn't make the volleyball team this week. Made them feel a little better, and hopefully will help them focus on their strengths instead of getting mired in their sense of failure.What if no one reads this blog? How do I define success? For today...I have made it just by sitting here and typing.

Comments

Linda Hanney 5 years, 7 months ago

" success for them happened as soon as they made the decision to write the show. " This is food for thought. Appreciated how you applied this to highly competitive high school sports, although at that age it's probably hard to fully appreciate. But, what if they try dramatics and find they love it.....

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

Well,my first semester at KU resulted in a .5 on a 4 point system.Got my a** kicked and went to a 4.0 next semester and left with like a 3.95.Should finish up someday maybe but I don't think that I speak the lanugage.And for what I do to earn, a degree is meaningless.

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Pywacket 5 years, 8 months ago

You go, girl! I suffer from the same condition (whatever it is) that results in the self-disappointment of quitting or not finishing something--blogging or other projects--that, paradoxically, are important to us. What causes this self-disappointing behavior?Sometimes our lives do get in the way and we tell ourselves that we couldn't possibly concentrate or produce anything worthwhile while worrying about/dealing with (insert crisis here).But as soon as we've comforted ourselves with a perfectly justifiable excuse, we happen to read about a prolific writer, painter, or other acknowledged artistic genius whose difficult, tragic, and disastrous life makes ours look like a cake walk. Poof! There go our great excuses... At any rate, you have produced this thoughtful, hopeful writing and I applaud you for it. I hope you will continue to write on a more-or-less regular basis. But if you find yourself in the midst of another dry spell, don't beat yourself up over it. Celebrate whenever the sun breaks through, even if it's fleeting or infrequent.

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Marlo Angell 5 years, 8 months ago

Welcome back! As I just finished watching the last season of Slings & Arrows on dvd (an amazingly funny Canadian tv series about a Shakespeare theatre company) I look forward to reading a theatre blog.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 8 months ago

lisa,thanks. I am looking forward to reading much more from your perspective. ***could Rantor, just perhaps, be a troll, or in sarcasm?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm just here to insert the de-rantor post... there... all unpleasantness dissipated.Proceed.

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rantor 5 years, 8 months ago

I didn't read your blog...loser.But then, I don't read anyone's blog.In fact, I've sworn off the internet...I never use it.

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David Lignell 5 years, 8 months ago

Lisa, glad to see you back in the saddle. Now let's see you take that horse around the arena for some exercise. And yes, take it for a gallop now and then. Let that horse know whose in control and you'll have no trouble with him. (Okay, I took that metaphor too far, but it was fun.) Agree with Ronda, it's good to see you back!

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Ronda Miller 5 years, 8 months ago

Lisa, looks like success to me! It is great to see you are "Back in the Saddle" and I hope you will continue to stay there so the rest of us can glean insight from your shared thoughts and experiences.It is so enjoyable to read something as inspirational as this - and even more so since it is so heart felt. Welcome back! :)

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