Monday, May 30, 2011

Phone calls

I don't like making phone calls.  I avoid it whenever possible.  If you call me, I'm happy to talk, but for me to pick up the phone and dial a number.... it's a pretty rare occurrence.

It doesn't matter the reason for calling - a friendly chat, asking for a favor, or to tell you something - I don't like making phone calls.

I think it comes down to I don't want to impose myself upon you.  You're doing your thing and I call and interrupt you.  You may not mind and you might have even been waiting for me, but I still have forced myself on your time when I make a phone call.  I don't want to do that.  I don't want you to have to visit with me if you don't want to. 

I don't know really when this began, but it has definitely worsened over the years.  I think what really clinched the phone deal with me was several years ago, I had to call someone to ask them to help out with an activity.  I called and said, "Hi, it's Molly."  The person on the other end of the phone said, "What is it this time?  The only time you ever call is to ask for something."


It was true.  While the person and I were on friendly terms, I never called her to chat.  I only called when I had too.  After that, I've really hated phone calls.  I call when I absolutely must and even then, I have to work up a lot of courage to make that call.  This includes calls to family members.  I just don't want to bother them if they are busy.

The funny thing is, I don't mind calling businesses, like the cable company.  It's really weird, I know that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The auditions for my play, The Seven Ravens, was this morning.  I didn't advertise it well, so I didn't have many come to audition, but I had enough to cast the entire play.  All the kids were great and I was so impressed.

I brought the kids in groups of twos.  I chatted with them and got a feel for their personalities.  Then, I handed them each a sheet of dialog between two characters.  I had them sit with me at the table and they read through the script out loud.  Because it was cold reading, their voices were rather robotic-like.  Then, I had them stand up, I gave them a little direction and had them "act" the scene out.  The difference in their voices and reading was amazing.  We went from the robot voice to sounding like two people talking.  There was inflection in their voice and it was much more conversation like.  Two of the kids did a couple of poses and actions to go along with their dialog.  I loved their initiative!

The kids ranged in age from six to ten!  Most of them were seven years old.  I was so impressed with them all.  They were all fabulous!

So, now it begins.  On Tuesday we will have our first rehearsal.  I can't wait!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm not the only one

With this theater thing I'm doing, I've learned a lot of interesting things about myself and other people.

I think that everyone has deep within them a talent or desire or interest that they have never really explored or figured as an adult, it was too late to explore.

Stick with me, I'll try to explain.

I've moved a lot in the last 15 years. I've had the privilege to meet many, many wonderful people.  Very few of those people knew of my love for theater and my interest in acting.  I don't even think my husband knew how deeply I've loved theater and acting.  I kept that part of me buried.  I was too busy with small children to pursue acting and I figured that as an adult I was too old to do much about it.  Acting and theater were just a quiet part of my past.

This summer, I decided I wouldn't be quiet about my love for theater anymore.  I announced my children's theater and have been prepared for the negative comments that I was sure would be coming my way.  I have been absolutely certain that everyone would say, "Molly, you're crazy.  This is the dumbest idea you've ever had."

I have been wrong.  I can't believe the number of friends who have come up to me and said, "Molly, that is so cool.  I use to love theater when I was a kid.  Let me know if I can help you."  There are a lot of friends who have this similar interest deep within them.  People, who I never would have guessed, have told me how much they love doing theater. They have said they would love to help.  Everyones reaction has been positive.

I've been amazed with the number of people who have wished me luck in my pursuit.  I've been amazed to find out how many adults I'm friends with who share this interest in theater.  I guess most of the time we just talk about kids, husbands, doing laundry and endless cleaning.  We never talk about out dreams for ourselves.  We are afraid of being laughed at, I think.

I'm certainly afraid of being laughed at, but I know if I don't try, I'll never forgive myself.  At this point, I'd rather be laughed at than angry with myself.  You must forgive me of my babblings... I've been reading a philosophy book and I'm prone to deep thinking right now.  Don't worry, it's a phase that will soon pass. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fairy Rings

I have heard of fairy rings.  I've seen pictures of them.  I believe I even watched a movie about a fairy ring.

A fairy ring is a "naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms" according to Wikipedia.  Legend has it that a ring appears where a fairy or elf visits and dances.

I've never been privileged enough to see a fairy ring.  I love fairies and elfs (or elves as Tolkien calls them) and would love to observe them dancing in the ring of mushrooms.  I think that would be a perfectly magical moment in life.

However, living in the desert, as I do, there is zero chance of ever seeing a fairy ring.  Or so I thought....

This morning I went outside to hang laundry on the line in the back yard and look at what laid at my feet:
It is a fairy ring of rocks with the fairy still dancing inside!  Fairies and magic are real! Even in the desert.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Word Games

As a family, we have for many years played word games around the dinner table and traveling in the car. Most of them are alphabet games. For example, the subject will be food, so we will go around the table each naming a food that starts with the next letter in the alphabet. So, Hubby will start with A and he’ll say Asparagus, then it will go to oldest son whose letter is B and he will say Banana and so on around the table. The more creative you can get with your food names, the better. Some are tough and some kids struggle more than others to come up with a good word for the letter. Even Hubby and I struggle sometimes to come up with something.

We’ve played this game with many different topics. Sometimes we’ll pick something easy like food so everyone in the family can participate, but sometimes when it’s just Hubby, Oldest Son and I playing, we’ll try a more challenging topic. We have great fun. My son’s teachers have told us over the years they are amazed with his vocabulary and we think some of this success is because of this silly game.

Well, in recent months, we’ve been watching a family favorite TV show whose entire premise is funny games. So, lately we have had many meals where we speak only in questions. It’s tough and pretty funny.

Last night we tried a new variation on the game with song titles (stealing the idea right from the show). This was really hard. I know a lot of music and a lot of songs, but when you are under pressure, it can be hard to come up with one that makes sense with the situation we are trying to talk about. Last night’s topic was “At the amusement park”. The beginning was easy. I was able to come up with “Ticket to Ride” and “Tunnel of Love”, but after that, it got harder. My second son struggled with this game and managed to come up with only two song titles, but his were the best. At one point in the game, there was a long pause as we all were thinking of a good song title. Second son looked at us and said, “Word Up?” At the end of the game when we all gave up, this same son points to his older brother and declares, “Super Freak.” Fabulous!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer is almost here!

I've had several great ideas of things to blog about.  Until I sit down to write them, anyway.  Now my mind is blank.  Oh man, I hate it when this happens.

Well, the kids are down to 6.5 days of school!  I can't believe it.  This year has just flown by.  I've got a lot to do in the next week and a half.  Next Thursday are the auditions for my play!  On Friday is our annual Monkee Marathon!!!

If you aren't familiar with our family tradition, the kids and I devote one day at the beginning of the summer to watching the Monkees.  I've got all the shows on DVD.  It's a regular party here!  We only watch the Monkees in the summer time, making it a fun way to kick off each summer.

It's hot here, but it isn't as hot as it's going to get.  June is the hottest month here, but May - August are pretty hot.  Thank goodness for A/C!  I also love the whir of ceiling fans.  I've had those on for about 6 weeks now.  It is such a calming sound.  Yeah, I know, I'm weird.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Two weeks until the auditions for the play.  I hope someone shows up for them. 

I thought I had three weeks, but then on Sunday I realized I was down to two and have kind of gone into an excited panic.  Instead of only thinking things through, I've started to act on what needs to be done.

One of my biggest concerns has been scenery.  What do I use?  I'm trying to go as cheaply as possible, but still have something to show.  My answers have come by way of  bed sheets from the local thrift stores and cheap paint from Wal-Mart.  I'm a terrible artist. Zero talent for drawing and painting.  However, my table has been occupied these last few days with the big sheets laid across it and paint.  I've been painting trees, windows and a large door on the sheets.  Backdrops!

It isn't pretty or professional, but at least you can tell what it is.  The trees look like trees anyway.
This is the forest backdrop:
Yes, the trees are standing on each other.  Like I said, ZERO talent for art.

This is a window for the house backdrop:
(Still working on the window...)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Living in the Desert

Most people listen to the weather report to find out if there is going to be rain in the forecast.

Here in the southern New Mexico desert, we listen to the weather report to find out if it is going to be a windy day or a REALLY windy day.

Yesterday and today are those REALLY windy days.  Tomorrow's forecast is simply windy.  That will be a nice change.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

If you were to ask me to talk about someone I admire or name a hero, I would have a hard time picking just one person. I've known many wonderful people in my life time. The people who have influenced me the most and the people I admire most are the amazing women I've had the opportunity to know.

I couldn't pick any one woman, although I would have to say my own mother is right at the top. She is amazing. I can’t begin to list the many wonderful things about Mom. She is amazing.

My sister is an amazing lady. I've always wished I were more like her - beautiful, talented, resourceful, and funny!

My grandmother is 86 years old. She has more energy than most teenagers I know. Staying active keeps her young. She takes classes in literature, computers, and current events. She does volunteer work at her church. She sews. She always has a smile on her face and the most positive attitude of anyone I've ever met.

My great-grandmother, who passed away when I was a young girl, has always been an example of strength to me. She grew up in Scotland, joined the war effort during WWI in a women's corps. She married a country boy from Texas and moved there, on her own, while he fought in France. She lived in rugged conditions in rural Texas before the days of electricity and plumbing. She was strong and tough, but always in good form. Posture and good grammar were very important to her. She didn't like the way her young great-granddaughter (me) always used the word, "Yeah." In her Scottish brogue, she would tell me to say, "Yes."

I've known countless women who embody selflessness. They would do anything for you. I've known women who will just show up on your doorstep with no other purpose than to drop off a plate of cookies. I had a friend, once, who came to my home after I had some minor surgery and she walked in and announced, "I'm here to clean your bathroom!" It was lovely. It made me smile. I've known women who are amazing listeners and have let me pour out my heart and soul when I needed it most. I've known women with the most wonderful sense of humor. I love meeting women whose children are 5 years older than mine. They give me great advice on how to deal with these ages that I have not yet treaded. I'll be a mother of a teen here in a few months, so I'm always looking to moms who have teens and I watch and learn from their amazing examples.

I could go on and on and on.

Who do I most look up too? Who do I most admire? Who is my hero? The answer is: The many incredible ladies I've had the pleasure to know over the years. Cheers to you all!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Details within Details

I love creative problem solving.

That's a very good thing because this play is giving me a lot to think about.  The general idea is easy: hold auditions, rehearse, perform.

Then I started to think through the many little things that need to happen.  I started thinking music, scenery, forms, locations, etc.  And within each of those details, there are more details.  I looked up information on music I could use.  Any music written before 1922 is free domain.  Great!  However, recordings of music are protected and can not be used without going through legal stuff.  That means I can choose any song pre-1922 and have a friend record it and then it is OK for use.  An interesting detail that I didn't know.

I started pricing materials for scenery.  I should probably buy stuff soon so I can see if my ideas will even work.  It it going to cost some money, so I'm going to use a little as possible and make it work in a big way.  I think paint is going to be my single most expensive thing.  Remember the Forest Hint I showed a week ago?  That is the concept art for some of the scenery.  (I know, I'm a terrible artist.)  I'll be using a green sheet for a background and trees made out of polystyrene.

I wrote up a TO DO list with everything I could think of and then as I started working on it, I realized there are more details to add that I just hadn't thought of before.

I'm having a great time!

Monday, May 02, 2011

A story and an announcement!!!

Several weeks ago, one of my favorite blogs to read, The Middle Ages, talked about what we might say to ourselves in 20 years if we had the chance to do so. I think myself in 20 years would say, “Molly, you had a dream, why didn’t you follow it?” I’m going to follow it…..

The story:

Many years ago, when I was 9 or so, I got involved in my local children’s theater. I loved it! Every summer for several years, I performed in plays and was involved in a 50’s-style music group called the Super Troopers. I sang, I danced, I acted, and I loved it. None of us were professional actors, we were just a bunch of kids who enjoyed performing.

At the young age of 11, I wrote my first play, was involved in the auditions, casted the play, directed it, acted in it, and saw it performed. It was a very brave thing for the theater owner, Mrs. Driver, to give an 11 year old her chance at something so big.

When I got to college, I decided I wouldn’t pursue theater any longer. My interests and goals lead me elsewhere, but theater always had a special place in my heart. As the years went by I thought how great it would be to do my own children’s theater, the way Mrs. Driver had hers. I wanted to be able to get kids involved and give them their first taste of theater. It has always just been a dream. For the last 13 years I’ve been busy raising small children.

My youngest is three now. She isn’t a baby. I have found myself to have more free time lately than I have had in 13 years. In the fall, I’ll be starting my Master’s degree (another longtime dream.) So, I have this summer ahead of me. I have decided to pursue a dream I’ve had since I was a kid.

Now the Announcement:

This summer, I’m pleased to announce the first season of Auntie M’s Children’s Theater! Later this month, I will hold auditions for a play I wrote called The Seven Ravens. If all goes well, the performances will be in the second week of June. I’m still working on locking down a location for this undertaking.

I’m the theater merit badge counselor for my son’s Boy Scout Troop and I will be involving the scouts as stage hands, set creators, and such.

This might totally crash and burn. I’ll see it to the end, but I might say when it is all over “Never again!”

However… this might work out. I don’t expect things to go perfectly. I have a lot to learn. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a success.

Whichever way it turns out, I will have tried. I might try and fail. But if I never try, I’ll always regret it. In 20 years, I will be able to say “Way to go, Molly! You pursued your dream.”

Official announcement of the auditions will come soon and I will keep you informed on this blog as to the progress of this enterprise.

Let the insanity begin!