I’ve tried to follow my own advice and listen to what Trump supporters have to say. There is no shortage of them on Facebook and Twitter. I have found one issue that needs to be addressed. This issue resides at the core of American government and society. It is an area where we need to come to an agreement before we debate anything else.
Let’s agree that presidents don’t come from God.
I came down with a cold. It’s a disease that isn’t really considered a disease (even though complications from it kill about 4,500 people per year in the US). But our response is to gulp down some medicine and go about our business. That’s what I tried to do the other day. At work, I had some deadlines and meetings. But when my boss saw me, she strongly suggested that I go home and get some rest.
I know it’s bad office etiquette to go to work sick, just like cooking fish in the microwave and not making a new pot of coffee when you finish the last cup. But I was struggling against something that has been programmed into me since when I was a child, “You gotta play hurt.”
This is the fifth and final installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals.
Why am I bothering to talk about musicals I performed in 40 years ago? Aren’t there more pressing things to deal with in the present? I’ll answer by looking at a musical created by someone who hadn’t even been born yet when I was in high school, Hamilton.
This is the fourth installment of a series, Learning from Musicals.
I learned other important teenage lessons from Pippin. The first is not to listen to songs from musicals out of context.
We performed a few songs from Pippin as one of the opening acts before Dames at Sea in 1978. We couldn’t do the musical in its 1970s incarnation in its entirety. Graphic violence, nudity, orgies, and patricide (doubling as regicide) weren’t suitable for a high school stage, especially with our very Mormon music teacher. From the sanitized packages of Stephen Schwartz we performed, I developed a love for “Corner of the Sky.” It seemed like the perfect anthem for a teenage boy, especially one adrift in an innocent and idealistic bubble like me.
When Pippin played at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in LA, I begged my mom to take me. That’s when I learned my second and most important lesson.
This is the third installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals.
It wonders me how I was able to land a spot in Reseda High School’s prestigious Vocal Ensemble. Although I could read music, stay in tune (well, most of the time), and hold my own in harmonies, I clearly wasn’t a star. You could pick me out from the rest of the chorus because my choreography was off from everyone else. I didn’t feel bad about it, because I knew I was in the presence of remarkable performers, including those who went on to successful stage and music careers.
From them, I learned something about talent.