Seasons of Change

Photo credit: Todd Schall-Vess

It’s Monday. School is officially out. My show, Doublewide, Texas officially closed to thunderous applause. But not the kind where liberty dies.

Points for the reference.

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If you didn’t catch the show, you really did lose out. But, not to worry completely, we’ll be back in Texas with A Doublewide, Texas Christmas, November 30 through December 15 at CAT Theatre.

Still, things have obviously changed.

Whilst I have long-delayed plans to go out and consume adult entertainment beverages with a friend this evening, most of my weeknights are now unscheduled. I’d like them to stay that way for a while.

Note that I said most.

Also note that I still have plenty that I can do in the evenings.

That being said, the first organizational meetings for the two shows I’m directing next season have been scheduled. No, it’s not too early by a long shot.

Still, since I’ve been in rehearsal since mid-March…and actually longer than that since I was in a show in February…I’m having to adjust to the change.

I snark a lot about the marketing, and writing, and sales experts who want to show me how to become an overnight success just by buying their programs. Sometimes they give good advice. Sometimes they just want to sell me their program.

One guy I do follow and appreciate what he has to say is Rob Hatch with Owner Media Group.

I get an occasional email from Rob with practical advice, areas where he’s struggling and growling, and sure an occasional sales pitch, but it’s not a hard sell. I appreciate that.

Rob wrote last week about adjusting routines.

For him it was more time in the morning because 1) school is out and there was no need to shuffle the kids out the door, and 2) it’s summer(ish) and there’s much more daylight.

So, Rob’s take on it was to Adjust Your Routine. After all, life comes in seasons.

Here’s what Rob recommended:

  • Take notice of what’s happening around you.
  • Look for opportunities to adjust.
  • Be deliberate.
  • Make notes about what works and when the changes came.
  • Build a simple frame to help make future season shifts that much more effective.
  • Create a reminder for the same time next year.

Good stuff.

I made adjustments of my own last week. So far, they’re working.

While I also have no need to get anyone to the bus stop, I’m still getting up between 4:30 and 4:45. I take care of a few things at home and then head out the door to the gym. Then rather than having written my daily 1,000 words before leaving home, I’ve been heading to a coffee shop.

It’s a writers dream, having plenty of time to write in a cafe…or a bar.

I’ve learned some things.

Contrary to what I’ve always believed, I don’t need coffee just to get out the door…it can wait.

I really do need to get to bed as close to ten o’clock as possible.

I can’t, or shouldn’t, afford buying coffee and breakfast. So, I modified that by the end of the week to pack a breakfast I could eat when I get to the office.

We need more coffee shop options.

I really, really need to do this more often.

So, for the first week anyway, this has been a good thing.

The question now arises…is this sustainable?

I think, for now, it is. As long as I can get to bed at a reasonable hour, which means pre-packing lunch and workout clothes.

But, what happens when 1) the time changes again and 2) I’m back in rehearsals Monday through Thursday evenings?

It might work for the show I’m directing here in Richmond.

But, next spring when I’m going to Williamsburg everynight, well…

Let’s just say I’ll have to adjust my routines again.

And, that’s okay.

Life would be boring if we settled into one pattern and nothing ever changed.

So, like the Borg, we adapt.

Change will happen. Resistance is futile.

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Consider the Source: A Book Review of Sorts

A few weeks back when I talked about the things I’ve been reading this year, I wrote about the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I got through listening to most of them and then just had to give up.

The just didn’t have the same appeal that they had when I was eleven. I wonder why.

But, along the way, I became intrigued by the fact that. L. Frank Baum had also written The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

A sometimes Santa myself, I was intrigued.

In fact, full disclosure, I’d already been considering that my next script might be a one-man show with Santa telling some of his favorite stories.

Then I found this book and realized that it’s in the public domain.

Perfect, yes?

No. Not quite.

Not hardly.

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As I mentioned regarding the other books they’re all a lot simpler than I recall. Sometimes painfully so.

Yes, they’re written for children. But I could stand to re-read Richard Scarry and Dr. Seuss a lot more often than these books.

So, simplicity aside, and recognizing it for what it is, I thought I’d give it a try.

I was disturbed, or perhaps more disappointed, from the outset.

As someone who has portrayed St. Nicholas, both as the modern Santa and as Father Christmas, I am moved by the story of the (tth…) century priest to gave of his family riches to families in need.

While commercialism and Hollywood and multiple other things have morphed St. Nicholas into the image we have of Santa today, I knew and understood the origins. Nicholas gave because of his deep Christian faith.

So, when Baum talks about a Baby that the wood nymphs found and raised…well…I’m a little disturbed.

I get that this is fantasy. I get that while Santa is based on an historical figure, the Santa we recognize today is a mythical being.

And I get that Baum wasn’t exactly mainstream Christian. In fact he and his wife became members of the Theosophical Society (look it up, I’m not about to try to explain that one).

So, while I can’t expect Baum to follow the Christian beliefs and recognize the Christian origins of Santa, I’m just not fond of where he took the story.

All that to say that, yes, I can mark this off as one of my books on my quest to read fifty in 2018, but I wouldn’t recommend it as great reading.

And it’s nowhere near what I was hoping for in terms of source material.

Lesson learned. That’s what’s most important.

It’s Friday. By the time we all return here on Monday, Doublewide, Texas will have closed and the set will be struck.

We have a few tickets left.

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