Monday, April 1, 2013

Short answer: Just Because



You haven't blogged in a week.


Since Monday.

I blogged last Wednesday. did?


Huh. Somebody told me it was last Monday.

Have you been talking to Sherri?


She's taken a few too many confetti eggs to the head lately.   

I see.  So, where were you last week?

Well, short answer: I was in tech.  Sort of.  As close to tech week as you get when my church does a production.

Ah, Easter show?

Yep.  Good Friday, technically.

And this is the script you mentioned in last week's post?

Yes.  It went over quite well.  I'm working with a buddy in the hopes of putting some original choral music to it and then seeing if we can get it published.  That's a highly competitive market, though, so who knows if anything will happen.  I will say I don't know if it fits too handily into the cookie-cutter "Choir Easter musical" category, so that's probably working against it.

Why do you say that?

Well, we performed it with music from a different Easter musical, and the whole thing was about an hour in length.  Now, I found a few places I want to trim down dialog, but that's still a little longer than usual, since most churches' pastors want to make some closing remarks that'll push twenty minutes or so and most Easter musicals are typically performed on Easter.  Plus, the scenes are a little longer than you usually find.  Most of the time, choir musicals are light on the drama and heavy on the music.  This one was closer to a 50/50 split.  If the music thing doesn't work out, I may one day just try to sell it as a straight play, but I think it'd be much more effective with songs as interludes.  The concept for the play--and really, it's an idea I took from one of my favorite J. C. G. plays, was that we covered all the scenes you usually cover in an Easter musical--you know, the triumphal entry, the Last Supper, the crucifixion--but you don't actually show any of those scenes.  Instead, you get them from another perspective.  For example, the scene of Jesus throwing out the moneylenders is relayed by a woman to her friend preparing for family coming for Passover, or Palm Sunday is seen from the perspective of the angels in heaven.  That was actually my favorite scene to write, at least conceptually.  The result is clearly not the best thing I've ever written, but it serves its purpose well.  And like I said, the crowd at my church loved it.  And these people have been through a lot of Easter musicals in their day.

Well that's good.  How was the rest of your Easter weekend?

Good, but busy.  You know, one day, when I'm not the Director of Children's Ministries any more, I'm actually going to get to sit through an Easter service. Instead, it's counting eggs, sorting eggs, hiding eggs.  Then we came home and had Kim's delicious, traditional Easter lunch.  Ham, green beans, mashed potatoes.  You know.

Boy howdy!  

Then I think I fell asleep briefly on the couch before heading out to the ball park for opening night.  Man, that was fun.  The park was rocking all night long.  There was a hailstorm at one point before the game, so we had to open the doors early and it cancelled the fly-over.  But things cleared up in time for fireworks at night.  And of course the home team won, big, against a pretty big rival with a lot of fans present.  All in all, just a great night. 

Of course, all the folks and all the activity made for a long night, and when I got home at 11:45 I thought to myself, "My 5:00 a.m. wake-up call is going to come awfully fast."  So of course, I couldn't fall asleep until 1:00. 

Why do you work 3 part-time jobs again?

I asked myself that very question recently, and the short answer is: because I love all of them.  The fact that we need the money helps, too.  But I really do love each of my jobs.  I'm blessed beyond belief right now.  Even though it's very difficult to make everything work most of the time, I believe it's good work, all of it.  In a way, every one of my jobs is some sort of outreach or service.  Everything I'm doing deals directly with people.  I mean, even at the ball park. There are those occasions where something I have a chance to say or do can absolutely make somebody's day--either a guest or one of my coworkers.  And that's the sort of thing I live for.  Don't get me wrong, hanging out and watching the games is great, too.  But really, I love the chance to make someone's day. 

Take our performance this morning, for example.  We were crammed into a tiny classroom in a community building in the 5th ward.  This is poverty.  This is, "I didn't know this still happened in America"-level poverty.  We were told that 30 percent of the kids at the preschool (in the community center) come from homes with no electricity and 20 percent come from houses without water.  Driving to and from the performance, you could see homes with holes in windows, holes in walls, holes in roofs.  And this is reportedly much better than the way it was only ten years ago.  The room we were in was too small and the A.C. wasn't working, or wasn't on, or didn't exist, I don't know.  It was hot.  We were sweating like crazy the whole show.   It was uncomfortable.  And I'm used to uncomfortable, because let's face it, I've been in a lot of touring shows.  But this one was pretty miserable.  Afterward, a couple of the kids came up to give our webbed-footed ballerina a hug.  Then, she was mobbed by huggers.  Shortly thereafter, kids moved from her to the gabby goose standing nearby. Then these kids got it in their heads that they should hug all of us.  Now the ballerina's a given; that's not unusual at any school we go to.  And the goose is also very pretty, so that happens from time to time, too.  And honestly, I can understand hugging the gentle, motherly dog character, too.  But the horse?  And myself?  (A military frog; also the only boy in the show)  Hasn't happened before today.  But these kids were collecting all the hugs they could get.  And I wondered how many of these kids get hugs at home every night.  I'd put money that there are more than a couple who don't.  Today, we filled a need in their lives.  Not a need for entertainment, but a starvation for love.

Now, yeah, that's an extreme example.  Most days, I don't get a chance to hug little kids who don't have lights or flushing toilets in their homes.  But whenever I teach, whenever I perform, whenever I greet folks or chat with out-of-towners about Houston, or the Juice Box, or baseball in general, then I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.  And not just what I'm hired to do.  What I was made to do. 

Well.  That got deep.

Yeah, well.  I recently saw Olympus Has Fallen, do you want to talk about that instead?

How was it?

Eh.  It was fine.  There was lots of face-stabbing.


Yeah. Seems like an odd thing to have as a motif, but there was quite a bit of our hero stabbing terrorists in the head.  That was just sorta how he rolled.  

That's disgusting.

They did take over the White House. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

Um, just thanks to the four or five people who check this blog regularly.  And thanks to anybody who saw that this was a longish post and read the whole thing anyway.

All right.  Until next time, then, The Truth Fights Like a Panther.

Hippos are more fierce.

Fine, but the truth doesn't fight like a hippo.  It fights like a panther.  

You know that panther isn't an actual species of cat, right?  It's a variant of one of several other large predatory cats.  

Why are you being mean?

Why are you being willfully ignorant?

How do you know I'm not referring to "panther" as the legendary multicolored creature ridden by Dionysus in Greek myth?

Are you?

Thought not.  Hey, chin up, buddy.  Panthers are still fierce.