LJWorld.com weblogs In the Dark
Back in the Saddle
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.