Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All Wrapped Up

We closed ALL SHOOK UP last Sunday. It ended up being the most incredible piece of youth theatre I have ever worked on or seen (and that's really not my bias - it was a constant rave from those who saw it). It was a great production, and a testament to the hard working staff and cast who were part of it!

Those that love the theatre know that every once in a while you are privileged to be part of a production that isn't just fun or great, but is genuinely special and (dare I say it) MAGICAL. That's what ALL SHOOK UP was... I had a gut feeling when we chose ALL SHOOK UP that it was THE show. That we needed to do this one, RIGHT NOW. I specifically remember that conversation with my producer and dear friend Nancy. Being a girl who likes to roll with the punches, can adapt to almost any situation, and is TOO good at seeing things through others eyes (or walking a mile in their shoes), I rarely make decisions with the conviction that "it's my way or the highway". This time, though, I just knew it in my gut. And my gut was absolutely right - it was the right show for the right cast at the right time. When that happens, it really is a special kind of magic, and I'm so grateful to have been a part of that magic another time.

That's not to say that this production was without its own set of troubles, though. From the beginning, we were always playing catch up because the show was just so MASSIVE, and the cast had an unreal amount of scheduling conflicts. Then, there were the insane demands that we placed on the shoulders of not only teenagers, but KIDS. Add to that the reality that when you put 45 kids and teens in confined spaces for days upon days in a row (kids and teens who have a flair for the dramatic) that drama inevitably ensues. Boy did it ever! And still, STILL, after one very difficult tech week, we were able to open the show with the magic that I knew in my gut was there. I was enthralled with this show that I knew so well by then, and so grateful for this light at the end of what had become a very dark and difficult tunnel.

In the midst of all of the struggle, drama and magic, we also had to say goodbye to some students that have grown up in our programs and are just too old to stay in them anymore, and to a choreographer, Tiffany, who has become my left hand, and without whom I will struggle to go on when the time finally comes for another production.

So that was my weekend June 11-13. It is now nine days later and I am STILL exhausted. Proud, relieved that we made it, and totally creatively and emotionally wiped out.

Thank you to those of you who were part of or who made it out to this truly incredible production. Seriously. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wild West Roundup - Monument Valley, Arches and Canyonlands

Last leg of our trip. It was a wonderful time for us to have some quality alone time as a couple without all of the distractions of each of our lives.

Monument Valley, Utah.

Arches National Park - this place was a ZOO. We had to hike to Delicate Arch early in the morning just to make sure we got there without the massive crowds. It was worth the hike though - it really is so massive and gorgeous!

I'm not sure what's with the Mr. Cool Guy routine - I think Jason was just tired of the incessant sniping with the camera. :)

Canyonlands National Park - it was so beautiful, and I hadn't expected to be wowed. It was just so vast and massive. It seems like it goes on forever!!!!

Wild West Roundup - Bryce, Powell, Antelope and Grand Canyon

Part Two of our Wild West Roundup - leaving Zion we spent the day in Bryce Canyon, hiking the rim and then down into the canyon and back out. Gorgeous!

It was just incredible - check out the reds and oranges on the hoodoos (that's what they're called!).... WOW!

Thor's Hammer at Bryce Canyon.

Cottonwood Creek - 40 miles of off-roading from Bryce to Powell. This was one of our favorite parts of the journey.

Antelope Canyon on the Navajo reservation just outside of Page, AZ. If you've never been, you MUST go someday. It's stunning!

Jason doing his thing in Antelope Canyon. He was shooting 30 second and one minute exposures in there!

Lake Powell. :) 20-30 mph winds the whole time we were there.

We were so sick of the winds at Powell that one day we took off and made the two hour drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I'd never been to the North Side. SOOOOO different!

This little piece juts out into the canyon - it's so windy and the ground is so uneven and unstable that it actually has to have a guard rail around it!

Wild West Roundup - Zion National Park

Jason and I were able to get away for nine days at the end of May - it couldn't have come at a better time for either of us, and we had an amazing time. Here are some of my photos from Zion and the area around it. It was my first visit to the park, and I just loved it!

I just thought this was hilarious... Poor Jason - I spent the whole trip sniping him while he was busy shooting... By the by - he took some incredible shots on the trip. He's already printed a few from Zion in the snow (yes it snowed)... amazing. He does not generally shoot places like the Wild Ass Saloon. :)

On the Northwest side of Zion, away from the crowds.

Sniping Jason... He hates being in photos.

At the end of the Angels Landing trail...or just before the beginning depending on how you look at it.

Up in the mud above Kolob Reservoir at about 8500 feet.