Monday, June 28, 2010

Who Do You Thank When You Have Such Luck?

What a fortnight.

Spare time has been diminishing rapidly as the opening night of All Shook Up approaches.

We open on the 7 July at the Arts Theatre, Angas Street, in the city, and by then I think the cast will be at boiling point and ready to explode onto that stage.

Its a quirky, funny,cheesy show, based on the plot of Twelfth Night and set in the midwest of the US in 1955. The enigmatic Chad (a mix of Elvis and Fonzie but with magical love powers) rides into town, touches a broken down juke box and brings it to life. Then the townspeople all start falling in love - but with the wrong people! Will it all work out?

With a dazzling array of Elvis songs for music, and some of the most gorgeous arrangements for vocals, its a fun, heartening and foot stomping night out. I get to play Sylvia, the cynical but big hearted owner of the local honky tonk who certainly doesn't need a man, thanks.

Normally the three month rehearsal period for a show is an interesting process, but none has been more so than this one.

The personal journey I've taken, the challenges met, and the outcomes seen have been the catalysts for some of the biggest personal transformational changes in my life.

Some things that have been hangovers from childhood, some from adulthood, all of them up until now creating obstacles and preventing me from following my dreams, Now they've been put quietly and firmly aside.

Its funny, I do find that most shows I've done in recent years had themes that reflected in my personal life.

Footloose in 06 was an invitation to be open to the joy of life again; The Producers in 07 led me to follow the example of Max Bialystock by creating the life I wanted; the Wedding Singer in 08 was wonderfully romantic because between first hearing the soundtrack in late 07, and then getting a part and the show I met my now husband, became engaged and he was part of the crew for the show.

And All Shook Up?

Well if you've read my blog previously you've heard me wax lyrical about a song called If I Can Dream. Its also got another song called Follow That Dream and that's really been the theme for the duration - what are my dreams? What do I do to realise them? And I started taking baby steps towards them and... well I'm getting there.

I'm not going to go into details just now. Its too new and fragile, oh but its lovely!

If I have one message for anyone today it's to be kind to yourself, be your own mentor, sort out those dreams of yours that will lead to a fuller life and take one step each day, no matter how small, in the direction of those dreams.

Oh, and I'd also say, book your tickets now for the show! (BASS, Venutix, or give me a hoi to avoid a booking fee) ;o)

Have a great week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Stillness

Its a public holiday here in Adelaide.

Unlike many other cities, most places actually close down on public holidays here. No shops open other than those precincts known for it, business ceases and things become quiet. Have you ever heard an entire city become quiet? I hadn't til I moved here.

I struggle with the notion of not having everything on tap 24/7, and yet I can't help but like it when I go into the back garden and instead of hearing the distant low rumble of traffic, I hear... nothing.

Well, not really nothing, there's the birdsong, and the dog barking a few streets away. There's the sound of neighbours talking and laughing in their back yards. There's the slight breeze going through the trees and all of it is local, parochial in the good sense, close to home, comforting, cocooning.

It engenders a stillness that's not a familiar feeling in the city. Calm and quiet, it's restorative powers are immediate. A day to enjoy the winter sunshine, a day to halt the constant move forward, a day to reconnect, even a day to watch the Tony Awards live on telly at 10am (how wonderfully thoughtful to have a public holiday for that!).

Whatever you're doing today here in Adelaide, have a wonderful holiday. And even if you're not in Adelaide, hopefully some of this lovely still vibe courses its way through these words and into your soul.

Have a stunning week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Enjoying The Ride

I'm blank this week on what to write.

Not the kind of blank that arises from nothing happening, but with so much happening its almost impossible to pick a defining thread from the mosaic of events that are going on right now.

One thing that does stand out is that it's my birthday today - I'm now 49. The most startling thing about that to me is that I thought that by this age, an age where one is on the brink of becoming a 'senior', that I'd know what it was all about.

When I was younger I had this vague idea that when I was older I would know the 'rules' and that I'd have life down pat. In other words I'd be a grown up. So what's happened? Well I still have the feeling of being a 20-something in my head, but when I look in the mirror I see someone who's starting to look more like my mother by the day. Shit! Who is that person in the mirror? She actually looks like she knows what's going on. Truth is she's as clueless as the rest of us.

The only thing I've learned about being 'grown up' is that everyone is scared and everyone's just making it up as they go along.

There's a passage in the book The Women's Room where one of the characters describes it thus:
When you're a kid you know its ok because your parents know everything and will take control;
When you're older its ok because your boss will know everything and take control.
Older still, the President (its an American book) will know everything and take control.
And then one day you wake up and realise you're the President.

I had the romantic notion of spending my decaying years growing old disgracefully. I now realise that there will be no set-off point for that direction, its just a continuation of the trajectory I've been on all my life.

When my parents were my age, they were preparing mostly to sink into old age. They weren't starting new hobbies, cavorting on a stage or getting a fresh direction in their careers. I realise now that if they had been then they would have been different people, still aware of life's zest and joy and not victims of the quiet despair that surfaced from time to time.

One year older.
One year wiser? Maybe.
Enjoying the ride? Definitely!