Tuesday, May 31, 2011

15 minutes to live

I'm taking part in the #trust30 project, a 30-day writing challenge that encourages us to look within and trust ourselves.  The timing is perfect.  I need this; I need to get back to a place where I can make a decision and trust it.

Today's challenge:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Yeah, ok.  This is too intense for me.  The story that has to be written?  Is it a story to hope and pray that my cell phone works so I can call my parents, brother, aunt, uncle and Little Sister to tell them that I love them, and then post something pithy on facebook to everyone else?

That's not a story. 

Is it a story to relate that I've actually thought about this quite a bit?  Living alone, you think of these things.  According to the weather folks the other day, we were facing the ultimate tornado threat.  The world was about to end (and it did for some people in Joplin, MO and Denning, AR).  And I have to admit that I made sure to wear nice pajamas to bed, because if my house came tumbling down, I didn't want to be wandering around this life or the next in threadbare pj's or worse, a short nightgown.  I have wondered if I should shave my legs or wear nicer underwear on the off chance that I might drop dead and have to have my clothes ripped off in autopsy.  Or clean my house more regularly so those who have to clean up when I'm gone aren't embarrassed. 

Eek, that's more than a little morbid.

But it's not really a story.

What's the story I would want to tell in the last 15 minutes?  Well, assuming all the other needs, like appropriate goodbyes to loved ones and haute morte couture have been met, and I wasn't expected to give a treatise on how we should love one another and live in peace, I'd want it to be this.

There was a girl from a small town.  She was pretty smart (good grades, decent instincts).  She was pretty athletic (in her day).  She was pretty successful (nice job, a few diplomas).  She was pretty lucky (awesome family, good friends).

But was she pretty?

In her last 15 minutes, she realized it didn't matter.  Everything else did.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - entry 1 of 5 that will make my fellow Broadway/theater geeks a little green

I could nearly feel the jealousy via facebook as I chronicled my adventures in NYC at the Broadway League Spring Road Conference last week.  Sorry, y'all.  I won't lie; it was much fun.  I'm going to try to chronicle it by breaking the days down by show.

Day One (5/9/11)
I was the first to the airport, a big shock to my colleagues, who take no small measure of glee in reminding me of how notoriously bad I am at rising and becoming functional in the morning.  We had a direct flight to NYC (bliss) and my hotel roommate and I zipped through the TKTS line, then enjoyed some sushi before heading to the first of many parties.  This one was on stage at the Sondheim Theatre - my second time on a Broadway stage, the first being when I danced with the cast and audience during the curtain call of Hair!  It was the Anything Goes set - more on that show in the next entry.  I think there was another party in there - thrown by RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, which played at my arts center long before it played on Broadway.  Yeah, we're just that cool.

Then it was off to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  I have never seen the movie, and truly, all I knew about the show was that it's about drag queens.  Turns out, you didn't need to know more than that. 

Costumes.  Rainbows.  Dancing cupcakes.  Divas.  Washboard abs.

It was a glorious night of fun and pageantry. 

I always roll my eyes a little when creative Broadway teams say stuff like "but really it's about the characters and their journey", but in this case, it was a literal journey, taken in a giant pink bus that felt a little like Mary Poppins' carpet bag - full of the strangest and most delightful of surprises - helped along by more than 500 costumes that seemed to grow bigger and more outrageous with each number. 

What is it about drag queens?  I mean, really?  Why are they so fascinating?  I'm not sure, but there was a line in the show that is still sticking with me. It follows some violence, and goes something like this: "These girls should stay in the city.  It's the only safe place for them."  How sad that in many cases, this is the truth. 

But that was one small moment of solemnity in two hours of partying that resembled one of those sugar-filled swizzle sticks that kids eat at fairs.  What a riot.  I'm so very glad that I got to see this show.  And really, was there any doubt that I would love it?  When one of the first songs is "It's Raining Men?"  Sung by three powerhouse divas and danced by gorgeous men in fabulous costumes?

Hallelujah, indeed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lots to say, but I'm short on words

Wow, I've had a lot of blog-worthy stuff happening these past weeks.  But I find myself without the vocab energy to make any of it into a blog entry.  So in the spirit of Twitter, here's a few brief mentions of what's been going on, just for posterity's sake.

We've had rain, lots of rain.  We even had some floods.  And there were tornados, bad ones, south of us.  Mama Nature was not a happy camper in those last weeks of April.  Lots of May flowers coming, we hope.

I took a jaunt to Madison for Bolzie Board stuff and home to NH for the last time that it will be my home.  The memories that trip stirred up...well, that definitely needs a full blog entry.

A few days back in the office, and then it was off to NY for the Broadway Road Conference.  I saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Anything Goes (with Sutton Foster and Joel Grey), Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo (with Robin Williams), The Book of Mormon and Sister Act.  More on those later. 

And now a few crazy work weeks begin, but they are colored by the tragic death of someone far too young to have left the earth so soon.  I know how all of this young man's friends feel, and I just wish I could take that pain from them; the process takes a long time and I wish they didn't have to suffer it. 

And remember that entry about something good happening?  I think I spoke too soon.  That'll teach me.

Here's hoping for more cheer and light in the next entry.  Go Sox!