Reflections of a Theater Director

I was cleaning up some of my files and stumbled upon some images from past shows that I’ve directed. They made me think about why I direct, and what I gain from the experience. I think reflecting on this might help me clarify my goals as I pursue new passions and a new path. So here are some of my thoughts in random order:

  • I love creating pretty pictures and playing with light.
  • I love challenging the status quo, and asking people to have opinions and think.
  • I love working with creative people.
  • I love thinking in metaphor and trying to bring those metaphors to life.
  • I love magic on stage–not magicians tricks–MAGIC!
  • I love creating new works, or adding new pieces to the works I direct. For example, I brought in a fabulous musician for Wiley and the Hairy Man who wrote an incredible song for the show. (If I figure out how, I’ll add it)
  • Ultimately I just love creative energy.

Making a Living; Making a Life

I have been thinking a lot lately about the difference between making a living and making a life. I know that we all need money, to some degree. We all need to make a living; to put food on the table, to pay for some sort of shelter, to supply our basic needs.

But if making a living is just doing those things, then are we truly making a life?

I am in this strange limbo where my choices for making a living seem to be rather limited. There are a number of reasons behind this; the economy, location, and (most disturbingly) over-education. So, I have been working on ways to turn things I love the most in life into a way of supporting life.

I love words. I love creativity. I love collaboration. I love learning. I love organization. I love variety.

These are all things that make life worth living, but are they all things that can help make a living? That is where my struggle lies; how does one turn passion into money without it losing something in the translation?

How does one turn making a living into making a life?

I know that I will find a way. I also know that it will take time. I fear, however, that it takes more courage than I currently have. I am lost in limbo at the moment. Does anyone have the map that will guide me out?

Hours of Creative Madness


2500 Creative Commons Licenses

Image by qthomasbower via Flickr


There are moments when I am reminded of the wonderful stuff that can happen when passionately creative people get together and focus on one goal. Yesterday I was a director for the College 24 Hour Plays at the Inge Center for the Performing Arts. I won’t say brilliant pieces came out of it; some were good, some were interesting, some probably needed more work. But I will say that having a group of people focused on this one thing, the creation of fully staged 10 minute plays that didn’t exist the day before, was revitalizing. My cast (for the most part) were completely amazing; they dove into finding nuances and creating depth in roles that I believe truly nurtured the play.

I’ve experienced this kind of energy with a few people, and in a few situations. Now, I know that creating theatre doesn’t necessarily change the world (although I truly believe it has the power too). But, I am thinking about the potential power of bring a group of truly committed artists of all types in creating something good for the world. When egos are set aside, the air is filled with pulsing powers that could lead us somewhere amazing.

If we take the power of dreams, the creativity and drive of artists, and the power of groups, and the strength (but not the egos) of individuals, where might we go?

It’s All About the Light… (via How I See It…)

Again, I don’t know this person, but I do know beautiful photos so I thought I would share.

It's All About the Light... I’m kind of digg’in the relationship between the fall off of the size of the light source to the reduction of the size of the boats. The pattern, from right to left, really makes this shot worthy of posting. You know the Manasquan Reservoir is a fantastic place for photography but I’ve been there so many times that I wonder what else am I going to take pictures of…one know that “been there done that” thing. This is one of those scenes that I’ve … Read More

via How I See It…

Putting it All in Perspective


A friend of mine just told me a couple of stories that have put a whole new spin on my thinking. One of her students just lost her mother to a skating accident. She lost a student to a boating accident a few years ago. My heart breaks for my friend, those children, and their families. At the same time, it makes me recognize that my current trials and tribulations can be overcome. I may not know where I am heading, or what is around the next bend in the road. I may not have a straight line to employment or any guarantees (especially in our economy) but I have never completely hit rock bottom, and I don’t plan too. My husband and daughter are healthy and thriving, even if not perfectly happy. I still have friends all across the world. I have my creativity,  my passion, my intelligence, and a whole lot of love. Put all these things together, and the journey is a great one.

Thank you, my dear friend, for sharing those stories.

Endings and Beginnings

How do you know when it is time for something to end? When is it time to give up and admit that you’ve fought a good fight, but it is time to move on?

I guess I’m looking at endings as negative things. But maybe endings are really positive, because they are what comes before new beginnings.

But if that is true, why do endings hurt so much?

Cultural Divide

Singing with the man.

A young American woman moves to Japan in the early days of her adulthood; a country whose ways and traditions are completely different from her own.

During the first few days there, she meets a man; a native of that world. They slowly break through the language barrier and, over weeks, become friends.

Except the woman, who is pretty naive when it comes to relationships, thinks she is falling in love.

All around them, couples are pairing off.  Many of his native friends connect with her gaijin (foreign) friends.  Fast forward a few years, and most of those couples are married.

But the two don’t get together. Something is preventing them. Is it her? Is it him?

They spend one night alone together in her apartment. They cuddle, and snuggle, and talk . . . but nothing more. During that night she begins to realize that he does have feelings for her, but he won’t let those feelings go anywhere because he believes the cultural differences are too big. He doesn’t think they can be overcome.

A year passes, and they continue to be close. When it is time for her to leave, he gives her a present (a stuffed animal that she will treasure always) and tells her the truth. His truth. He admits to caring about her, but that he couldn’t let go that she was gaijin. He couldn’t see past the cultural divide.

She returned a few months later. Same town, new job.  She was determined to let him go, and get control of her own feelings. She spent less time where he was, and concentrated on new friends.

She hooked up (briefly) with another gaijin, but she was not in love with him. When the Japanese man found out, he said “I knew it had to be a gaijin. If it was a Japanese, it would have been me.” Her heart shattered in a zillion pieces.

Flash forward to now, years later. The young woman, now married to a wonderful man (who happens to be Japanese/Korean American) finds herself again on soil that seems foreign to all she is used to. Except this time she is in her own country. She feels as different as she did when she was truly a gaijin.

In this state, she lies in bed and reflects on her first true experience with loving and being loved. She wonders, what if? What if she had tried to make him cross the divide? What if he had been willing to look past her American ways. In her heart she knows, it would never have worked. But is that because of the cultural divide or something else?

In a flash of clarity she recognizes the truth. Her truth. The thing that divided them, and to this day makes connecting with people a challenge for her, has nothing to do with culture. It has to do with herself.

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