Jan 30 2015

Art and some incomplete thoughts

Morning sky over Richmond, Virginia.

Morning sky over Richmond, Virginia.

“Christian art is the expression of the whole life of the whole person as a Christian. What a Christian portrays in his art is the totality of life. Art is not to be solely a vehicle for some sort of self-conscious evangelism.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible  

American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher and pastor Francis Schaeffer was born on this day in 1912 (died May 1984).

I’ll confess.  I need to read more of Schaeffer’s work.  But I like this quote.

I describe myself as a writer, an actor, and an artist.  Acting and theater seems to be consuming most of my free time these days.  But I’m also doing a good bit of writing.  And the canvases and paints are sitting over my shoulder.  I’m trying.

I think what I like about what Schaeffer is saying is that my work doesn’t necessarily have to carry the “Christian” label.

I’m a follower of Jesus. My life should reflect that. Admittedly, sometimes it does more than others.

While I do work in the Christian arts with our Music and Fine Arts Ministry at my church, I don’t work there exclusively. I’m becoming more and more active in the Richmond Theater community.  And I love it.

Since I’ve given up on the notion of politics fixing anything, I’m concentrating on the concept of making the world a better place, and doing that through the arts.

The way I see it, all truth and all things that are good come from God.  So anything that displays the truth must, in a sense, be divinely inspired.  Even if it shows the dirt and the grime of life.

Through the arts we confront who we are as humans.

Some art, be it painting, or sculpture, or music, or theater, is beautiful.  Some art is not. Some art is completely confusing. But in a way, it all makes us think.

Honest questions lead to honest answers.

I’m posting this before I’ve really had a chance to complete the thought. But maybe that’s as it should be.

Maybe, like art, this post will make us think.


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Jan 29 2015

When the ideas don’t stop

Image:  James Douglas via Unsplash

Image: James Douglas via Unsplash

I’ve never really had a problem with insomnia like many of my friends who post in the middle of the night on Facebook.  Well, except for the previously much discussed late-great-unpleasantness of the fall when the shoulder pain and medications were messing with my system.   Thankfully, most of that is behind me.  I’m not 100% well, but I’m much better.

The point is that I rarely have trouble sleeping.  Or at least getting to sleep.

But Tuesday night my mind was racing. Not about current writing projects.  Or my current show (for which I am reminded that I desperately need to review my cues).  Or the event I’m co-producing in April.

No, this time I was stacking up ideas and concepts for the Murder Mystery Gala that I’m producing in the fall for CAT Theatre.  More details will be forthcoming.  You know that.

This is a follow up to our very successful Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery that we staged last December just three short weeks after Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure closed.

We won’t be staging Sherlock Holmes again in the fall.

Sigh.  Give me a minute.  I’ll be fine.

Deep. Breath.

“And so, your majesty, we must press on…”

Since I don’t know the shows for the next season, I need to move ahead with planning under the assumption that there will be no connection.

I’ve got the title.  I’ve got the concept.  Actually another Board member threw out a random suggestion at our recent Board meeting, and I’m running with it.

I have given myself permission to delay planning for this event until after the April event I’m co-producing (you should read yesterday’s post if you haven’t).   But I have done a few brief Google and Pinterest searches just for an idea file.

Then Tuesday night, the ideas started pouring in.  They kept coming when I got ready for bed.   The ideas came like flashes of lighting.  Okay, maybe more like an incandescent light bulb, but let’s not quibble.

So, instead of promising myself I’d remember them in the morning, I got up, grabbed my Moleskin notebook and started writing them down.  By this time it was well after midnight.  (again, read yesterday’s post).

Some of the ideas, if I do say so myself (and, of course, I do) are brilliant if I can manage to pull them off.

I’ve got almost 10 months to get them all together.  In terms of a large event, that’s really not that long.   I need to pace myself and remember that my current show, opening in March, and the other event in April are the priorities.  Dreaming up a great event for November does little good if the other projects suffer.

Priorities.  Right.  Got it.

But this is actually more about capturing ideas as they come up.

I don’t know about you, but I will often be struck with a great idea and tell myself, “I need to remember that for later.”  If I don’t write it down, more than likely it’s gone for good.

I’ve talked before about how I love my Moleskin notebooks.  I carry one all the time.   I just saw a post on Facebook that said “The Tardis just landed and you can only take the first thing to your right.”  (It’s a Doctor Who reference, try to keep up).   To my right?  My Moleskin notebook.   I did think I’d need my phone.  But, on the Tardis?  Probably not.

I digress.   For me, the best way to capture my ideas, brilliant or not, is to write them down.

Otherwise it’s like writing them in the sand just to watch the waves wash them away.

I could use some wave watching right about now.

But, that’s another story.


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