Thursday, September 23, 2010

There's always a woman

Ok- So I don't have a plan yet. But here are some thoughts:

1) A Women's Musical Theatre Workshop- that would somehow entail women writing/directing/performing/creating new works of musical theatre- there is a history of women being delegated to the backseat of this art and I think it's time to do something about it. I was noticing all these women who had the original ideas for shows and then get co-credit for writing the book only...ok so I really just noticed that it was Dorothy Fields idea to write Annie Get Your Gun, and Bella Spewack's idea to write Kiss Me Kate... and oh apparently Mary Martin was the one who was working on a project about Maria Von Trapp before it became the Sound of Music- and we really only ever think about the men who wrote them- not to mention True...and on that subject...

2)Trude Rittmann- at least the wikipedia page! Even if there is no book in my immediate future (and I really still need to send my thesis to Bruce) there is still no Wikipedia entry for her- and I could really do that guys. And I should get on it. I was just rewatching this Richard Rodgers documentary that I first watched before I had even heard of Trude. First off they don't even begin to talk about Robert Russell Bennett let alone Trude so that peeves me. But then they go on talking about the ballets and the Twin Soliloquies moment as if that's Rodgers music and it just makes me boil. Which is why I wrote a thesis which I should not just let get dusty in my room. I should make it known. That is all....

3) Which brings me to something else I've always been meaning to if I actually got my act together to create a Wiki page for Trude I might as well go in there and fix all those stub pages for musicals I know way more about. That would keep me busy and happy. And then I could post them here and people could see them. Maybe that would be a good calling.

So those are my ideas- more to come I hope


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stop worrying where you're going...

I'm not writing for any special super epiphany has come to me...and clearly it's been a while. But something has to be done and really this is more for that for anything else right?

I'm engaged/married. Just in case anyone who doesn't know me is reading this and cares. The love of my life and the man I've lived with for three years wanted to put me on his health insurance and buy me a ring. So I'm legally married (for the health insurance) and publicly engaged (although anyone I know well knows that the wedding next year is the fun celebration part and will have nothing to do with the federal governments view of our union). It was a perfect proposal. And if you're dying to know all the details I'll probably publish it on a wedding website sometime in the next few months. But just know it involved Disneyland and the Peter Pan ride and it was the happiest moment of my life.

So now that I'm back to reality I'm kinda jumbled in my life's work. I'm teaching a musical theatre history class to seniors on Mondays, Pre-school with toddlers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and mime and clowning to high schoolers on Fridays. I've mostly been panicked about the Monday and Friday classes in recent history and that's why I haven't been thinking much about writing, but the more I prepare for the classes and the more I'm trying to find the essence of what I'm teaching...the more I realize there is a greater purpose in all this if I can only pinpoint and then articulate it.

Let me try to make that clearer for my own sake. Musical Theatre with Seniors on Monday is really cool, don't get me wrong, I've been wanting to teach this class since high school. It's a strange dynamic to be lecturing to a group of people who are at least twice as old as I am. They appreciate me, think I'm cute and energetic and obviously are interested in the material and enjoy being there...but I can't help thinking I'm a fraud...even though I know I'm not.- On the other hand Fridays are a bit peculiar since I really have very little mime training and I've never taught this class before...and it's three hours long once a week so it's kinda epic. So far it's going well but again, and maybe it's just that I'm a new teacher, I feel like a fraud. But even while I think these things to myself- that I'm not good enough to be teaching these things, that I don't have the right, that I'm a failure at life- I'm starting to realize, and maybe even believe, that it's less about the transfer of material knowledge, and more about what I'm providing and how I'm making each one of my students feel about what they are doing and how they are learning.

Ok so that really wasn't articulated much better but "the ideas have to come out like children" as Rachel says in Inherit the Wind. I'm still not convinced the teaching is my vocation- which is why I continue to question and write. I would like to challenge myself that even in this time of stress (because I'm literally stressed out everyday about whatever class I have next to teach) to do something more creative- some dedicated writing exercise just for me, or just for somebody else even...but something that means something to me- I'm thinking somewhere between Suzanne Lori-Parks 365 days/plays and Seth Rudesky's deconstructions. Somewhere in there there is something for me to do...something that's bursting to come out of me and maybe the longer I sit here and spew the more likely I am to come up with it. Nope. Well I'm gonna keep thinking...maybe I'll come up with something today...maybe that will be my goal...let's see.


p.s. I'm totally talking about Trude in class on Monday...that should feed some semblance of my soul.