Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Change can happen....NOW.

Sometimes you just need to know that you are needed. Not that I don't feel this currently, but it's on my mind quite a bit lately. I have a great job, and an AMAZING wife, and I live in a beautiful home with cute doxie pups, and I have NOTHING to complain about (right now..) but I have been sort of sensitive to how everyone needs to know that what they do is meaningful.

I am the worst person to be writing this, as I probably don't say it enough to others. But how many people in your life make a difference? Tons, I imagine. Who was the last person you told? So, in order for me to feel right about all of this, Let's start a chain of "THANKS" and "YOU ARE A MAJOR PORTION OF MY LIFE" to everyone on our facebooks, twitters, emails, REAL LIFE encounters for the next week. Let's see what happens when people start making OTHERS feel needed and important. I am sure that as we make other lives more meaningful and full of hope and joy, our lives will as well.

Everyone who reads this....you make me feel needed. I try really hard to not focus on the crap that I REALLY want to dish here, but focus on something positive, and good. It's not easy, but because I don't want to bring you down...it brings me up. So, THANKS. You make me focus on what is great in my life, and what I can do to make the world better.

Isn't there a Michael Jackson song about this???

Too soon?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It's been WAY too long since I last posted. Sorry about that (for those 2 people that read my blog). Things in my life are going great. In fact, this morning on the way to work, I was overwhelmed with joy, which is sort of a long-lost feeling. But when that feeling is present, nothing can pull me down (knock on wood).

I just started my 5th year teaching at Tuacahn, and it's a great new year. There is an air of positive energy that is really nice to have here. I am in charge of the Student Council, and they are just awesome, and really selfless...which is a rare find in teenagers these days. Jan and I are on good schedules, and we have a new source of help in our dear friend Josh Scott. He is coming in as a teacher of our advanced Tech classes, and is TD for our productions. HE IS AN ANSWER to many prayers. With all of this, and an impending show on the horizon, I am feeling great.

I start rehearsing a new show in a few weeks. "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" is running at SUU this November. I was asked to return in a alumni/guest artist position to play Pseudulous. I am so ready to get back on the boards, but I am really super nervous. I have not been in a Musical since 2007, and I fear that I am going to SUCK. However, I find this a great opportunity to get in front of an audience again, and that excites me. PLUS, I get to work with some of most favorite people in the freakin' world, so that helps. :)

I also have started becoming quite the little webmaster. I started two new websites this month. The first is my new calling as Chapter Director of the Utah Thespians. It's www.utahthespians.com. Check it out, and tell me what you think. Remember that I just started, and I am learning a whole bunch.

Jan and I also started a new 'business' of our own. We are going to be web bakers. We are going to offer our services as cake decorators to the world wide web. I have spent NO money on this site, but it's fun. www.jandyscakes.yolasites.com. Again, tell me what you think. Really simple, but really fun.

Wow...so much to catch up on, but I need to leave you with some words of wisdom:

Capture the moments of joy, and keep them safe, keep them sacred, and when you need them again, find them.

Not so POWERFUL as Mother T, but what is in my brain right now.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mother Theresa Knows best!

WOW. I have been such a SLACKER with this blog. I guess that is what happens when you are a crazy drama teacher with no life. So...UPDATE!

Since I returned from California, I have continued to lose weight. I am currently at a loss of 98 pounds. I have been stuck here since the end of December, and I am struggling to get through the current plateau. My trainer got hired by THE BIGGEST LOSER at the local fat camp here in Southern Utah. It's great, but I only get her once a week. This makes it really hard to motivate myself to workout. But I am doing great.

Jan and I put up a new show this year; White Christmas was a BLAST to produce, and see do so well. Our students really caught the vision, and did an amazing job. We sold out, and were able to really showcase how great our school and students are. If anyone has any question about doing this show, DO IT! We loved our experience with it. We also competed in the Shakespeare Competition at SUU. We had a great time, and our students did very well. Currently, I am directing The Mousetrap. We also go to a Musical Theatre competition in Disneyland next month. ALSO. I am so damn proud of my wife.....she was asked to direct the Utah Shakespearean Festival's touring show this year. The show is Taming of the Shrew, and she is doing amazing work there. If you get a chance to see the show...DO. Maybe this is the reason that the last entry I have is from September!

I have been feeling a strong draw to go back to school, and get my Master's Degree. I am feeling like I am stagnant and not doing anything to change the world I live in. This past week, we attended the UTA conference (Utah Theatre Association) with our students in Orem, Utah. This was a great place for my students to attend workshops, and audition for schools. I was trying to do as much politics for the Thespian Chapter in Utah, but we also had the privilege of hearing ANNE BOGART speak to us. She was so inspiring! She told a story that I want to recall, and which helped me get over my feelings of unimportance. She told of a good friend of hers that was working as a general dogsbody in an NYC theatre company. She was feeling down, and just as I am, in that she was making no difference in the world. She was also obsessed with Mother Theresa, who was visiting NYC at the Indian Embassy that very day. She left work, and just stood out on the steps of the embassy trying to catch a glimpse of the saint. A few hours passed, and she finally saw MT come out to the yard, and when they passed her, Theresa asked this woman "you look sad?" This was the final push of emotion, and with a breakdown, the woman sobbed, "I am not making a difference in the world just doing theatre, and I want to quit, and move to India and clothe the naked, and feed starving children!" Mother Theresa answered, "My child, my country is in a famine of the BODY, and yours is in a famine of the SOUL. Keep doing theatre, as you are changing the famine in this country." I was in tears....I needed to hear this. I felt like she was speaking to me. It made my weekend.

All in all, I am feeling a bit of the winter blues, and although things are moving, and are moving well, I am in a bit of a strange place. I want to move on, and do what I LOVE doing, but I am also finding the joy and love of teaching, and damn Mother Theresa telling me that I am making a difference puts me in a lurch. UGH. I will just keep my eyes open, and use Ms. Bogarts advice and follow my pulse to the next adventure. BUT, Disneyland is only a few weeks away. :)

Advice/Words of Wisdom: Sometimes people, even Mother Theresa can make the good bad, and bad ugly, and the ugly.....beautiful. It's all a matter of perspective.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All I need to know I learned in California

So, it's been two weeks since my last post, and for that I am sorry. I have been so incredibly busy these weeks, so I don't feel too bad. I just came back from a week long conference for Theatre Educators. It was a great conference, and I learned so much about why I do what I do, and how to do it better. I was overwhelmed by the information and the amount of work that I have to do in my job. While we were in Los Angeles (where the conference was located) we went to the fabric district to get ALL of the fabric and costumes for our school theatre season. UGH. My wife and fabric stores are like an addict and heroin. We came away with so much fabric and costumes, we got terrible gas mileage.

Overall, I am invigorated and ready to make a REAL difference not only in the lives of my students, but in the ARTS in general. I want to be a leader of the arts.

A funny story, which is also sort of embarrassing: We wanted to sit by the pool and just relax, and we had about an hour and a half. I was so excited to just read, and swim, and relax. I bought some 30 SPF sunblock for 5 bucks in the lobby, and was set to go. I thought to myself, "Self, don't' get sunburned...it's miserable for an Irish-German to burn. 30 SPF should be applied every 30 mins." So that is what I did. The next day....BURNED CRISPY. I was so bugged. On top of it all, I got a 3rd degree burn inside my belly button. Blisters, burns, etc.... Then, the next day, the blisters burst and got infected. I came home with so much pain and so much medicine stuffed into my belly button. Ridiculous.

So...my thought for the week:


Take that and apply it into your lives, as they will never be the same.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tomorrow will come and go....

WHEW! What a week. It has been so busy that I have tried starting to write this blog 3 or 4 times without success. First let me say that I am down ANOTHER 5 pounds, which brings my total loss to 71 pounds in 3 and a half months. I am kickin' some major booty!!! I have the world's best trainer and friends that are supporting me in this. I even have a SAINT of a PTSA president that is making meals for me a couple of times a week to support our group of 'losers'. I am overwhelmed with love and support for all those who have been sent by GOD to help me lose this weight. I am fitting into my jeans better, and have energy to do normal everyday activities. I am like a teenager again, but now I have a job, a girlfriend that puts out, and real true friends. So.....I guess it' s not really like being a teenager again.

On Thursday and Friday, we held auditions for our annual Shakespeare Co., and it was INSANE. We had a record breaking number come out to audition, and we are so thrilled to have so much to choose from. For those who don't really get the Shakespeare Co. thing, let me explain. I teach at a performing arts high school, and we have ZERO sports. Which is great if you ask me. However, there is a big lack of competition and visibility that comes with no teams. Our Shakespeare company is the equivalent of the Football team here, and we are champs at that. We take lots of pride in our work, and the students love the events more than the usual student. We practice hundreds and hundreds of hours, and really focus on giving them great classical acting training in the process. It's sort of like Nazi Germany if you ask anyone who knows...:) We have just cast our BIGGEST cast yet, and feeling a bit overwhelmed with the talent and kids that want the opportunity. This is a great problem to have, but I have answered so many questions and handed out about 150 monologues this week. I need a break from Shakespeare, and want to work on something really avaunt-gard this week....anyone up for a performance art showcase?

Looking forward to this week, as it is Homecoming (can you hear my sarcasm?), and I am the Stuco Advisor this year. I need to breathe, and remember..."Tomorrow will come, and soon, it will all be over and I will regret rushing it." right?......RIGHT?

Monday, August 24, 2009

To be......or what?

So it has been another week, and I am trying really hard to write every week. I have noticed that this week FLEW by. It was very refreshing, as the first week of school was going at a caterpillar's pace. I lost another 4 lbs, and feeling great. I started taking a B-12 supplement everyday, and it really is making a difference in my energy. Jan and I went to see Julie and Julia again, and I laughed even harder this time. ...gosh, I think that I just realized that I am a really boring blog. I need to have a better life, or choose something to ramble on and and on about.

School is in it's 3rd week, and this week we are auditioning the Shakespeare Competition team. It's like the school football team, and the kids are really excited. Jan and I are Nazi's when it comes the quality, and we take a lot of pride in having a strong team. This year we want to do something really amazing and new. Jan has taken like 17 teams to the competition, and after so many years, you can't do what you have done before...need to be challenged. I guess we will see who we get this year. There are a lot of new students at Tuacahn this year, so I am thrilled to have some new blood to refresh and renew the program.

As far as inspirational thoughts, here is my thought for the week:

We need to teach this new generation of artists that this is not about being rich and famous. It's about being happy and satisfied with being artists.

Thanks Mr.Miller!

Much love and happy vibes from ALH this week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Learning from the best

Another week has passed, and I am trying desperately to write something new and exciting. School officially entered it's 2ND week today, and I am feeling the pressure. I love teaching, and I am really finding my groove. It helps that I have the most incredible mentor in my wife. She has been teaching drama for over 19 years, and I think that she is an inspiration to anyone who knows anything about teaching....especially drama. It's hard to work in her shadow sometimes, but she is so kind and loving that she shares her wealth of knowledge and experience with me daily. As I get my own style, and as I grow as a teacher, it's really challenging to not just do the same thing over and over again. I want to be the inspirational teacher that students really remember, and sometimes...like today, I am feeling that pressure. I have 6 FULL drama classes, and then my wife teaches 2 big musical theatre classes and 2 HUGE technical theatre classes. I try to just stay ahead of them for a few minutes, and ALREADY I am feeling behind. I need to just keep telling myself that I need to calm down, and take it easy.

OH, and I have lost another 10 pounds this week, (which brings me to 63 pounds in 11 weeks) and I will have a big 3 month party celebration with photos and journal writing.....

I guess this is where I need to say something thoughtful and inspirational..........



Remember the Alamo???