Wednesday, November 26, 2008
When the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving, they gave thanks not because the preceding year had been easy, but because it had been difficult and yet they had seen it through.
For many, including me, this is has been a very difficult year. But as I sit down for dinner tomorrow, I will do so with a thankful heart. I will be thankful for my family and thankful for my friends - all of whom made the most trying parts of this year a bit easier. And I will be thankful that 2008 marked a new beginning for the Class of 1987 - the beginning of a greater sense of community among our classmates.
2009 looks to be another year of challenges. May we face whatever challenges the New Year may bring by supporting each other and may we all look back on 2009 this time next year with hearts that are thankful.
Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In other news, Melinda Stanford (also class of 1987) and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We feel fortunate for all the happy years together and look forward to many more. Our daughter Isabel is now in kindergarten and loves it. We are frankly jealous of all the great projects and activities they are doing. Our 3 1/2 year-old son Will has emerged from a year of major transitions (good-bye to crib and diapers!) as an engaging little boy whose only major bad habit is growling at people when he is angry. He has decided he wants to be a superhero when he grows up. Melinda continues to teach voice students and do her own music on a part-time basis, as we juggle our schedules so that we stay involved as full-time parents. Life is good, although we do notice that our ambitions have increasingly focused on fantasies of more sleep."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I ran into Steve Harper at Kara Unterberg's cocktail party in November. Steve told me about his new musical -- The Truth About Magic. Here is a brief write-up:
Fourteen year old Ginny Chen is a natural problem solver: she goes to school, helps pay bills and keeps her 20 year old brother Miles in check. When the Statue of Liberty vanishes, and Miles, a budding magician, claims he did it, Ginny?s world plunges into chaos. With Miles in jail, earthquake tremors inexplicably rocking Manhattan, an overzealous civil servant eager to put Ginny in foster care and the appearance of a mystery woman who just might be the statue in human form, Ginny?s problems, for once, are more than she can handle. Or are they?
The Truth About Magic is a new musical about one girl's struggle to keep her family together, maintain her sanity and restore order to her world. In this comic tale of survival and love Ginny?s journey takes her all the way to the Oval Office as she comes to terms with a family secret and the awesome possibility that magic is real. Original Story by Wendy Fang Chen, Hane Landers, Steve Harper.
For those of you who have not kept up with Steve since graduation, he has been very, very busy. His plays include Urban Rabbit Chronicles (Weissberger Nomination), The Escape Artist's Chidlren, The Laundry Channel, This is Now, Actual Cost and Iggie Imagines Marriage. Other work includes the shot film, Betty on the Bed (also director and actor), the radio pilot The Real Deal (co-writer) and the martial arts feature Undefeatable (co-writer). As an actor, Steve has appeared Off-Broadway (Atlantic 2), at major regional theatres (The Guthrie, The Kennedy Center) and on national television (Law & Order: SVU & CI, Rescue Me). Awards: Telly Award, Le Compte du Nouy price at Julliard, MacDowell Colony NEA fellowship and the Skidmore Residency for Artitsts of Color at Yaddo.
If you're interested in learning more about Steve's show, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Being a Literature major, I started with a work of fiction - Claire Messud's "The Emperor's Children". It was a great place to start.
Claire's books have been extensively reviewed, and I won't attempt to review this book here. I will say that I found the book to be thought provoking and beautifully crafted.
My only other observation is about perspective. There was a time when I would have more closely identified with the younger characters in the book, thirty year old friends from college striving to find their way in the world. Although I could identify with some of the struggles of these characters, I could more closely identify with the parents than I would have thought possible just ten years ago. And, Claire's examination of parent-child relationships raised as many questions for me (as a parent) about my relationships with my children as it does about my relationships with my parents.
Please share your thought's about "The Emperor's Children" on the class blog.