In life you plan, train, practice, rehearse, re think, adjust, tweak, change, and prepare as best as you can for your moments. Whether that is a presentation, a game, a test or any other number of important things. Sometimes you are nervous and scared, other times you are excited and ready, but no matter how much preparation you do, eventually, you have to take a deep breath and go for it.
Fortunately, for myself, I am in the latter position in regards to my opening night feelings for our performance of Under A Rainbow Flag. I have been involved with this show for about a year now and having seen the changes it has gone through, both in script/composition as well overall feel, I am confident and proud to say that this show is ready to be performed in front of an audience…hopefully a large one. All of the people in this show are exceptionally talented and that isn’t limited to the actors. The director, designers, musicians, stage manager, choreographers…everyone has brought an incredible amount of passion and dedication to this project. We are ready. Hopefully you will be able to join us for a show, we run for 5 weeks and I would love to see you in the audience. I will also post reviews, good or bad, if they come out.
As you wish, to every single person who came to the show, tried to come to the show, lives outside of Chicago and told me that if they could they would have come to seen the show! It was a wonderful smashing success and I really could not be more pleased with how amazing the show turned out. We took many pictures during the show and I will try to post some of those here once I get copies of them. To all those who weren’t able to make it I do have this little treat for you:
Working with Dave Gonzalez (and Nick Toussaint, Inigo from our Saturday show) was really fun because this man is not only an incredibly talented actor but the dude really knows how to fight well.
So. Much. Fun. If any of you were ever thinking of getting me a gift (for some reason) you don’t need to ever ask me what I want because the answer is simple: Fighting gear. This includes swords of all kind, daggers, knives, gauntlets, gloves and anything else that could be used in a stage combat scenario. One last time, to all the people who were involved with this show in any way I love you.
Ladies and gentleman I have been having an absolute blast the last 4 weeks preparing for this weekend. Edge Professional Theater company will be performing a stage adaptation of The Princess Bride as a fundraiser for youth theater and I am fortunate enough to be playing the role of Westley. The entire process has been a labor of love and here is a little movie trailer style preview of the show
Tickets are still available and I would love it if every show was completely sold out so that we could help raise as much money as possible for children’s theater. The group of artists that I have been privileged enough to work with is incredible and I truly hope that I get to work with each of them again. Originally I thought that fighting left handed was going to be the most difficult part of this show but I was mistaken, I guess that having two left handed parents means I have some of that skill somewhere in my DNA. The most difficult task has been focusing on my life outside of this show because I honestly just wanted to keep working on Princess Bride everyday. Come see the show and remember, every single one of you that reads this, “As you wish.”
Yesterday a man named Felix Baumgartner did something that no other human being had ever done. He took a balloon up to 128,000 ft above the Earth and he jumped out of it. The feat is absolutely unbelievable in every way and was available to be viewed on YouTube for free. Over 8 million people tuned in to watch the jump setting a new record for amount of viewers of a single live event on any web service.
The event produced some breathtaking photos, which I’m sure is no surprise, of Felix standing outside of the capsule before his jump. For me, the most powerful of these pictures was this one. The image reminded me of a video game in so many ways except for the fact that it was 100% real. Standing there in these few moments before he jumped I can only speculate what was going through his mind, especially considering that Felix has been skydiving since the age of 16. My own personal experience of jumping from a plane was an absolute blast and I remember it very well, possibly because it was only 5 months ago. Out of the entire experience the three most memorable moments were 1) The moment of jumping 2) The moment with legs out the door before jumping and 3) The rush of adrenaline when they opened the door. Now as far as I am concerned number 2 is the area where the picture of Felix here falls. Except for this moment the stakes are SO much higher than they were in my instance. He has a timer counting down to certain death if he does nothing as opposed to only possible death if he jumps. To me it is a very powerful moment that I am very excited I got to witness.
Right before he jumped Felix said “I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are… I’m coming home now.” Many people who have been great distances above or away from the Earth have said similar things about perspective and I think that you have to listen to that concept if it keeps getting re-discovered by men and women who certainly are aware of the quotes from those who came before them and experienced the same thing. Too many people focus on a world that is so small they ignore the vast size, complexity and interconnectedness of the entire planet. Trying to take a lesson from those words about perspective, today I am reminding myself that I am one person in this giant world. I can have a very large or a small impact, it is my choice. I can help others or I can help myself. I can be understanding, empathetic, a listener, tolerant or I can be anything else that I want to be. I can be someone who works hard and that’s what I am going to continue to do, trying to keep in mind new perspectives are only new to those who haven’t experienced them yet.