Flashback Friday: Opening Night

The concert was last night and, presumably, it went well.  I’m actually writing this post two days before the concert, so you’ll have to wait until Saturday for a full rundown.

Due to my illness earlier in the week and the hectic nature of the Fine Arts Festival, I’m throwing back to another old post this Friday.  Our High School Drama students will give their performance of their own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  The Drama teacher asked me to play the part of Leonato, but once I fell ill, I did something I rarely do—I backed out.  Fortunately, he is a massive Shakespeare buff, so I think he is covering the part… I hope!

Anyway, it seemed like a good time to look back to opening night of my own brief theatrical career, playing “Brett” in Catching Icarus, a two-act play a former student wrote.  The details are below in the original post, but I will add that it was extremely challenging—and rewarding.  It’s also something I have little desire to do again, as the amount of mental and emotional energy acting demands is too much.

With that, here is January 2020’s “Opening Night“:

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Lazy Sunday XLIV: SubscribeStar Posts, Part II – The Search for More Money

Well, after a successful opening night and two other excellent performances, the play is in the books!  My girlfriend and I celebrated with a trip to Columbia to hear the South Carolina Philharmonic (more on that tomorrow), and I’m finally back home.  It’s been an exhausting, but artistically fulfilling, few weeks.

This week’s Lazy Sunday features some recent SubscribeStar Saturday exclusives.  To read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

There’s not much to link these together thematically, other than they all will cost you a buck to read (not each, though—that just covers the subscription, and then you can binge them all for $1 total).  But they are some of my better SubscribeStar posts.

  • The Tedium of (Teaching) Slavery” – Teaching about slavery is a tedious slog, not because the topic isn’t interesting or worthy of discussion, but because it devolves into a set of magical incantations to ward against the curse of “racism.”  Political correctness deals historical education another blow.
  • End-of-the-Decade Reflections; Age and Class” – Some reflections about the long decade of the Teens, as well as an examination of the difficult financial environment in which Millennials, et. al., endure.
  • The Twenties” – Some historical writing, looking back to the 1920s, and drawing some comparisons between that turbulent, raucous decade and our own times.

Well, that’s it.  Apologies for the late posting, but here’s hoping you enjoyed a wonderful—and lazy!—Saturday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Performing

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Last night was opening night for Catching Icarus (get tickets to today’s matinee, or tonight’s performance).  It was a sold-out show before doors even opened.  I was incredibly keyed up in the build-up to the performance, but experienced an odd sense of calm as curtains approached.

Without giving too much away, the play really “opens” as the audience enters the theatre.  I am already on stage, eating a waffle, drinking coffee, and reading a book.  You’d think it would be weird eating breakfast in front of 100 people shuffling into their seats—some of them a mere ten feet away—but if there’s one thing I do well, it’s eat.

By the time I actually complete this post, I will have gotten through today’s performances (most likely).  But I will write, briefly, that performing is difficult, taxing, draining—and exhilarating.

Note to subscribers:  due to a heavy performance schedule today, this post may not be completed until later this evening or tomorrow morning.  Thank you for your patience.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Lazy Sunday XLIII: Music, Part II – More Music

Well, it had to come at some point—the end to my glorious Christmas Break.  Sure, sure, summer break is great, but two weeks off at Christmas is just the right amount of time to recharge the batteries.  Plus, it’s not 100 degrees outside, and we get to celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

I wrote a great deal about music in the last quarter of 2019, and I’m kicking off 2020 focused intensely on the performing arts:  I’m going to be in a play this weekend.  That personal detail is somewhat important for the blog, as after today my focus (other than work during the day) will be almost entirely on that production.  As such, posts may be shorter than usual, or a bit delayed in getting up.

Regardless, in keeping with the fine arts, I thought I’d feature three recent pieces I wrote about music.  Enjoy!

  • Milo on Romantic Music” – Readers are probably exhausted of reading about this post, but Milo’s analysis of Romantic music, while certainly contentious, is fascinating.  He might play the role of a melodramatic, catty queen online, but he possesses deep erudition on a variety of topics.  This post was one of “2019’s Top Five Posts” thanks to Milo’s sharing of it.
  • A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s ‘Derbyshire Marches’” – Saturday mornings just aren’t the same with Radio Derb‘s opening music, Haydn’s “Derbyshire March No. 2.”  Nothing makes you feel more sophisticated about pouring coffee in your underwear than the strains of Haydn’s jaunty little march.
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting” – This morning I’ll finally be back to my little Free Will Baptist Church to play piano.  I’m also struggling to remember a huge amount of naturalistic dialogue for the aforementioned play.  The juxtaposition of returning to church piano playing and the pressure of conjuring up untold mental energies in a short span of time made this post a logical choice.  The music for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was composed in great haste, and completed mere hours before it was performed.  My instincts (and experience) tell me that the play will, much to the director’s chagrin, unfold the same way—incompetence giving way to brilliance the night of the show.

Well, there you have it!  Happy New Year to one and all.  Back to work!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Kabuki Theatre

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

This coming January, two theatrical events will occur:  I’m playing the role of “Brett,” the father of a drug-addicted son, in a play one of my former students wrote called Catching Icarus (the hook:  both acts take place in a Waffle House in South Carolina); and the Senate trial against President Trump will (allegedly) begin.

From the rehearsals I’ve been to so far, I can say that acting is difficult—and I get to spend most of the first act in a booth drinking coffee.  It takes a special kind of conviction (or delusion) to invest in a role, to become another person.

For congressional Democrats, they sure seem right at home on the political stage.  They are masters of the kabuki theatre of outrage.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.