Posts filed under ‘theater’

Perfection & Greatness

When the incredibly talented Van Cliburn died last week, I was deeply saddened.  One of his signature pieces, is also one of my most favorite pieces of music – of all genres – Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1.  Every time I hear the first few minutes of the opening movement, I am brought to tears.  There are no other words to describe this piece – it is simply stunning.

The first time I heard this symphony was on an album in which Van Cliburn performed.  It was breathtaking.  Now, as I watch the YouTube videos and listen to the digitally re-mastered versions, I still tear up and my heart skips a beat.  The interesting thing is his performance was beyond anything that digital re-mastering could tweak.  In other words, he was perfect ‘as is’.  Which brings me to the purpose of this post…………………….

Back in the mid-90’s, I lived in Toledo, Ohio for a few years.  In those days, we did not have the internet and I used to read the Toledo Blade – a newspaper.  I came across a letter to the editor which knocked me off of my chair.  It was about Van Cliburn and his performance with The Toledo Symphony.  First of all, I was upset that I was not in attendance to witness this event.  Second of all, I was struck by the beauty of this letter.

I do not have the original review (it was reviewed twice) – cannot recall reading it, but apparently Mr. Cliburn’s performance was incredible, passionate – phenomenal.  However, there was mention of the fact that Mr. Cliburn played a few wrong notes during his encore’s.  The letter to the editor was written by Andrew Massey who was, at the time, the Musical Director for The Toledo Symphony.  He made an extraordinary comment –

“There is a special intensity and complexity to every phrase when Van Cliburn plays, which I found riveting throughout the weekend.  True, he played a few wrong notes, but to concentrate on that is to confuse perfection with greatness.  Perfection is about the absence of mistakes.  Greatness is about taking risks and storming the heights.”

Mr. Massey continues on – discussing what makes great live music something of a different order from an edited recording.  It involves danger and daring.”

I kept this review – it is a yellowed piece of newsprint with the green ink used to make note of the perfection vs greatness quote.  I keep it in a special book, given to me by my mom, with bits and pieces of knowledge I have acquired through the years.  Inspirational sayings, poems, doodles – things that have special meaning to me.

This particular piece meant the most and on many levels, after many years, still does.  Striving for perfection takes a great deal of risk and many times we have to go to places we do not want to go, but we have to try, if perfection is what we want. Whether we find it or acquire it – may or may not happen.  The only way we can find out is if we try – take the risk, take a flying leap, do the best we can.  If it happens great.  If not, well, there is always tomorrow.  We take what we learned and try again.  As my first dancer teacher used to say you must try again, then again, then again……”

Mr. Van Cliburn  – May You Rest In Peace.


March 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm 3 comments

my movie man

Every year, when Oscar season comes knocking on the door, I start thinking about what I might wear—— someday.  I realize I may be jumping the gun quite a bit, but I figure it is never too early to plan.  Right?  I have already nailed down my date, so the only thing left to secure is the wardrobe.  BUT, there is one teensy problem, well a little bigger than teensy – the specific year, the movie and, of course, there is that small detail, most notably – the nomination.   Hey!!  All in good time!

My son Jordan, the aspiring movie director, has been mentioned in many a blog written by me, his dutiful mom, of whom he assures he will be taking to his first Oscar ceremony.   I have been told that I am and will be his first choice of accompaniment.  I realize that I should get this in writing, notarized and, yes, get an attorney’s approval.   No worries, I will.

Jordan graduates high school in a few months and will head off to college where he will be majoring in movie production and business.  I cannot wait to see what he creates and where his imagination and dreams will take him.  He may be out of sight – away from my watchful eyes, but I will be forever his biggest fan and supporter.

So without further ado, and a little help from a fellow blogger (and awesome poet),  I have attached Jordan’s media assignment from last semester.  The criteria – take a film trailer, change the genre, thus in turn creating a different trailer.  He chose the comedy Fun with Dick and Jane – the one which starred Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni – and morphed it into a drama.  He added different music, different effects, edited the film; rearranged the entire piece.  I have attached both trailers below. #1 is the comedy, #2 is the drama.  Enjoy!



COMING SOON:  An assignment involving a music video.  This is the only information I have been given 🙂

February 19, 2013 at 12:37 am 11 comments

the box office is open

My world is a stage.
My life is a play.
I am only one of many characters,
performing under lights and from the wings.

I am the director, composer,
choreographer, stage hand - 
but mostly, I am the playwright 
whose talents create the spoken words;
the story for all to see.

My plays vary in genre,
there is not one that I prefer,
however, it is the tragic drama
that has been headlining - 
this particular theater's playbill.

Ask anyone who knows me, 
I can create so much more - 
a comedy, a mystery,
a hoofer's musical galore!

But no matter what the script reveals,
the performances are sincere,
with a cast full of talent - 
who will make you laugh or shed a tear.

If the urge for culture should tempt you,
there is an evening performance tonight at 8,
the 'director' refuses to hold the curtain, 
you had better not be late!

1986 - Backstage with wig & make up.  Costume - not yet.

Let me entertain you………..


February 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm 12 comments

Where I see –

i have recently asked the question –
why is it you can see the best of me
i can see the best of you
we are unable to see the best in ourselves?


where i see a candle with barely an ember,
you see a flair, shooting light upwards toward the sky.
where you see stagnancy and an inability to create change,
i see the capability and strength to soar.
where i see only fear and the need to withdrawal,
you see a potency and a place in the sun.
where you harbor fright which keeps you hidden in the wings,
i see only brilliance shining on center stage.


what we see, the other cannot
our vision skewed by life’s experiences,
neither one perfect, neither one weak
holding hands, holding hearts
walking along and through the wings of this theatrical play we call life,
each one taking turns leading,
being a clear lens for the other.
pas de deux

pas de deux

February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm 5 comments

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