Today I begin my 32nd year of university teaching.
Here’s what I looked like 31 years ago:
Older. Wiser. With more training. And significantly less hair and more gray. And more weight.
What do the eyes say?
I do believe with my whole heart that there exists a ‘driving purgatory.’ And that purgatory has a special place reserved for people who drive 55 miles per hour, hanging out in the center left lane on a four-lane freeway.
And for those who don’t signal when turning, a special puragatory.
And for those who frigging don’t know how to use the yield sign at I-64 and Kingshighway, eternal purgation!
The Circus Harmony music is all fitting together nicely. The director and producer stopped by my home on Monday evening (after I arrived home from Variety Chorus), and I played tunes for them from the cache of things I’ve been scribbling. I think we are all on the same chart now, and that makes me very happy. This is going to be a fun show to compose.
I ordered holiday gifts on Monday for my colleagues at work: their own individual copy of Mapping Your Academic Career. This book by Gary Burge was instrumental in awakening me to the career shifts and focuses that I see playing out in myself and others. I think it high time that my colleagues each have a copy.
The new computer at work is finally up and running.
Speaking of Variety, the holiday show is Thursday, December 12 at 7.30 p.m. at The Sheldon.
We ran all the music on Monday evening this week, and find that we have a ways to go with memorization. But these kids are brilliant, and we shall get there!
And this public service reminder:
This is how I feel already, and contracts haven’t even started.
But some parts of the day are more like this, all at the same time:
Contracts? Let’s not forget about the 18 private lessons I’ll be teaching most weeks too. Students have emerged and want to study with me. Hallelujah! But I need 27 hours each day.
And then there are these days:
Many of my Webster University voice students are engaged this summer in theatre work.
Jacob Flekier (BFA Musical Theatre ’19) is in 101 Dalmations at Stages in June, and then returns to Saint Louis to play Eugene Morris Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs at New Jewish Theatre in October. https://jacobflekier.com/
Cecily Dowd (Musical Theatre rising junior) is at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, performing in My Fair Lady.
Noah Cornwell (Musical Theatre rising senior) heads to Hope, Michigan for a summer full of roles at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.
Phil Solheim (rising sophomore in Musical Theatre) is at Crane River Theatre in Kearney, Nebraska in Newsies.
Benjamin B. Love (BFA Musical Theatre ’19) appears at The Muny in 1776, playing the role of Leather Apron. He heads to Minneapolis after that to rehearse for the China leg of Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol Live tour, which takes him to multiple locations in China, October – January 2020. benjaminblove.com
Sarah Dao (Musical Theatre rising sophomore) is in Kansas City for part of the summer, in Pippin with Music Theatre Kansas City.
Magnus Kroken (Musical Theatre rising sophomore) goes to Shawnee Theatre in Indiana for a show.
My Music Directing major are staying busy too!
I am returning home from Helena, Montana after a whirlwind weekend. Fly in on Friday. Adjudicate and catch a show on Saturday, thanks to Grandstreet Theatre. Fly back to STL on Sunday. Catch a concert at school Sunday evening.
And now Finals Week is here, with juries during the first three days of the week.
Grandstreet staff booked a room for me at The Sanders, Helena’s Bed & Breakfast. The hospitality was wonderful.
I was especially delighted to find that the B&B is owned and operated by a great-grandson of one of the five Ringling Bros. Given my newfound circus interests, I enjoyed seeing some artifacts, including original elephant headgear from the Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus, photos and memorabilia, a show-ring saddle (now refurbished) from Alf. Ringling’s family, and loads of cards and prints.
Grandstreet Theatre hosts an annual scholarship competition for some of the 200 or so students in their youth program. I spent the day adjudicating auditions, as part of a team of a local actress, and a Seattle-based stage director. We made a great team! The kids were so well-prepared thanks to the Grandstreet education staff, led by the wonderful Marianne Adams.
Saturday evening we took in a production of The Bridges of Madison County. I had listened previously to the cast album, and I teach a couple of these songs, but this was a new show for me. It’s quite effective. And when “It all fades away” finally hits as his 11-o’clock-number, the show feels magical. And when she sings the closing number, “Always better,” the tears flow yet again.
The solid cast in Helena made the most of a difficult score by Jason Robert Brown.