Friday, December 23, 2011

At Last

At last I have a weekend free, well mostly. I've been busy on weekends since last winter. Wow.
So now it's Christmas time, which I really love. I'd like to share some Christmas thoughts.

Christmas means a time of rest for me. Mental rest anyway, because there is always something to do that needs doing. I always get a few more moments to reflect on family and how fortunate I am. I think about my friends too; not just witty things to say to them, but really what their friendship means to me.

Even though I go a long time between listening, I really like music. Christmas music goes with the season and I often find a new thing to hear in pieces I've heard many times over. I relish those tiny sparkles of discovery. I think as I've aged, I listen to music more in its parts than I did before; I hear the individual players and listen to what each one is doing.

For example, I heard a Boston song (Yes, that Boston, from the 70s) today and discovered that one of the things that made them sound that way was playing guitar in unison following a pair of brief solos. I find myself remarking that a lot of songs have brief iconic parts that are really bold in retrospect. I imagine the young artist in the studio laying down that hook, probably one that they had practiced a thousand times to make it perfect. It's like looking back in time.

Round Christmas, we get lots of cards. I always imagine all the effort that went into sending them all. Wow, that's a lot of work. I'd like to individually thank each of you for all that work. It's a labor of love. I love reading the cards and the annual letters and hearing how everyone has aged and grown and achieved. Really. It's cool.

Christmas for us immediately follows the Dickens Christmas Fair. This year was really great, with tons of people attending, lots of acting opportunity and practice, and remarkably good shows. Once again, the Naughty French Postcards cast sang Happy Birthday to me, topless. The first year (7 years ago) it was really stunning - I didn't remember the singing. This year it was just sweet.

The Oliver Twist scenes went extremely well. This season I really hit my stride with the most difficult scene, a dramatic confrontation with Nancy where she tells all about Fagin and everyone else allied against Oliver Twist. The scene has to be fluid because it's essentially a heated interrogation of Nancy by my character Mr Brownlow, and it has to be very believable because it sets up Nancy's impending murder. We usually had a good crowd, we held their attention and it always played about as tense is it was supposed to.

This coming year at work is shaping up to be one filled with lots of excitement. I'm looking forward to it. I'll tell you all more later. I'm also looking forward to having weekends free from now till May. Whee!