Sunday, August 21, 2016

You Are Here

We are all familiar with the big red arrow containing the words “You Are Here” which can be found on maps everywhere.  Whether you are wandering a theme park looking for a particular roller coaster, hiking a trail in search of your car, or simply searching for that “cute little shop” at the mall, there is something comforting about seeing those three words printed across an oversized, upright map.  Everyone from Pocahontas to my directionally challenged mother is able to take one quick glance at the map and see exactly where they are in relation to their surroundings.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those arrows for life?  Whenever you felt lost, you could simply saunter over to the nearest map and see exactly where you are in life and where you need to go to get to your destination. Should I accept that job or not? Should I marry that girl? Should I eat a second piece of pie or not? (Hint: The answer to that last one is always yes.)  Life would be so much simpler with a road map.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dancing in the Light of the Ghost Lamp

If you ever visit a theatre late at night, you will more than likely see an eerie blue glow shining through the darkness of the stage.  This haunting blue beacon is what we in the theatrical world, call a ghost lamp.

As you can imagine, there are a few different stories explaining the purpose of this light.  The explanations range from the paranormal to the practical.  Some say that the lone light bulb is to light the paths of ghosts as they mill about in the darkness, while the more practical (and true) explanation is that the lamp is to mark the edge of the stage so that someone doesn’t break their foot or neck in the darkness.  (Actors may want you to tell them to “break a leg” before a show, but directors would rather avoid the mess of a lawsuit from someone actually doing so.)

The last ghost lamp of my college career now shines on the stage of Rudd Auditorium.  In just under a week, the Hilltop Players will open Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, and I will have the privilege of taking the stage three more times as I play the role of Curly. 

It hasn’t quite hit me yet that this is my last time. I’m not sure when it will.  But the truth is that regardless of when the truth sinks in, the orchestra will sound their last note and the red curtain will close one final time. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Winter Waltz of God's Word

Down in the land of alligators, mosquitoes, and Chubbies shorts, snow is the one dream that Mickey Mouse cannot make come true.  The number of people older than myself who have never seen snow is actually rather astonishing.  I remember, on one occasion, it sleeting and everyone in the neighborhood was running outside to see semi-frozen water fall from the sky. 

While I have been blessed to see my fair share of snow, unlike my Floridian brethren, it is still somewhat of a novelty to me.  Unlike my former roommate from Iowa who viewed snow rather apathetically, my lack of experience with snow has allowed me to retain an appreciation for its beauty that I might have otherwise lost had I grown up somewhere where snow was commonplace.

It just so happened that I found myself sitting in the snow this afternoon, watching it float down from the sky to kiss the earth.  You see, this afternoon was one of those times where I just needed to get away from school, people, and responsibilities so that I could think and pray.  I bundled up in a hat, gloves, and jacket, and drove myself up to a local bluff where I occasionally go to ponder what’s going on in my life.

Building Back Broken Walls in the New Year

If you are anything like me, the past few days, your social media newsfeeds have been filled with New Year’s Resolutions, sentimental posts about the old year, and excited anticipation for the new year.  With the touchdown of the ball in Times Square, ushered in by champagne, countdowns, and New Years kisses, all of the world’s problems from the previous year are magically erased between 11:59:59 PM and 12:00:00 AM.

As for me, I have remained atypically silent on social media for the past few days while I reflected over the past year.  I wish I could say that my reflection was over all of the incredible moments I had last year, but alas, I cannot boast such fortune.  As I thought back over the previous  365 days, I realized that there was not a single moment I had that was one hundred percent good.  This year, Joy was not allowed to enter the room unchaperoned by Grief.  They walked hand-in-hand, leaving behind them a trail of tainted memories.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Christmas ___________________________: A Formula for EveryHallmarkChristmas Movie Ever

‘Tis the season of warm sweaters, sledding down snowy slopes, mistletoe, sitting by a warm fire with hot cocoa, Christmas lights, and Saturday night Hallmark Christmas Specials.  That’s right!  The time has come for The Hallmark Channel to spread Christmas cheer and cheesy love stories with their weekend marathons of Christmas movies, both new and old alike.  While some people are really into these two hour doses of cliché cheer, I personally can’t stand them.  Call me a scrooge if you will, but I learned a number of years ago that, if you have seen one of these movies, you have seen them all.  I mean that seriously!  At this point, the only thrill is sipping on eggnog and counting the number of mall Santa’s that appear throughout the course of the movie.  Don’t believe me?  Well, allow me to give you the outline for every Hallmark Christmas movie every filmed.

Before we get into the plot of the movie, we have to establish a title.  Now there is a simple formula you can follow in order to come up with a Hallmark Christmas Movie title.  Are you paying attention?  I don’t want you to miss this because it can get a little complicated.  The formula is as follows:  A/The Christmas ___________________________.   Insert any word you want into that blank and pick the most fitting article to use at the beginning and you have your title.  Boom.  Just as easy as 1,2,3.  I’m serious!  Pick any word to put in that blank and it works.  Miracle, Wish, Shoes, Gift, Letter, Card, Cabin, Cookies, Sleigh, Heart, Headache, etc.  Any one of these options works.

Now that we have our award-winning title, it’s time to introduce our cast of characters.  Let’s address the leads first.