Summer Sabbatical Over

The summer is nearly over and so is my writing sabbatical. I didn’t really plan to take a sabbatical but it kind of worked out that way.

It has been pretty busy here around the last four months. There have been a lot of life changes but for the most part positive and definitely needed. For the first time in a long time, I am really excited about the prospects and direction my life is heading. If you have followed my story, the last five to six years have brought along a lot of changes and it took quite a bit of work to get myself to where I wanted to be in my life personally and professionally. But with some hard work, perseverance, tough choices, accountability, and new direction, I am getting closer each day to where I want to be.

Allow me to recap:

April – I finished up work on the One Act Festival I participated in with Stage Door Productions. One Acts are short plays that are about ten to fifteen minutes in length. I directed one and acted in another. It was a lot of fun. What else…oh yeah, I announced I was leaving my job to take another position in northwest Virginia.

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Clowning around at rehearsal

May – I left my job and began my new position. This required me to undergo four weeks of training as well as a commute of about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way as I started to look for a new home.

June – I passed my training which was a requirement to be able to have the job. No pass = no job. We had to take a four hour test concerning the applications of the job and to score at least 80%. I scored 92% so I was on my way. And, I purchased a home! This also required me to move from my apartment. Moving is no fun but in this case it sure was worth it! After five years, I am a homeowner again and I am so excited! I love working around the house and in the yard!

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What a monumental day for me to open the door to my new home for the first time!

July and August – I continued to acclimate to my new surroundings both personally and professionally! Projects around the house to make it my own keep me super busy! I bought a 2013 4wd Dodge Ram to be able to work on the house and deal with the snow (I live in the mountains)! I’m also writing a murder mystery play for a friend which I am hoping I can get published!

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This guy and I are having so much fun together!

Unfortunately, in late August, we lost my paternal grandmother. It is sad to lose her but we are proud to honor her life, legacy, and memory. She lived to be 94.5 years old and we remember her through the legacy she has left through her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

September – Time to get back to writing!

So there has been a lot to celebrate and it has all been the result of hard work and a willingness to want to grow and change. I feel very proud. I earned it. There were tough times but I persevered and I grew. I feel stronger now and I feel like I am where I need to be as a person. I keep in mind that as tough as some of those experiences were, I needed to experience them to be able to have the courage to admit I had some issues to address that I needed to improve on.

The rewards are sweet because of the work.

Hope your summer was good and you are well. I am looking forward to reading your work and interacting with everyone again. Thanks for your patience and as always, thanks for being a part of my community.

Goonies-never-say-die

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One Act Festival on Tap

I have been having a lot of fun the last couple of months as I am participating in Stage Door Productions‘ 9th Annual One Act Festival. The Festival is a collection of short plays that are submitted from playwrights all over the world! A group of readers then select the final plays to be considered. Directors then choose the plays they would like to direct! This year there were about 400 plays submitted!

I participated last year as both a director and actor, directing a One Act and acting in another. The production is geared so that new actors and directors can become involved to learn the craft. This year I am again directing a One Act and acting in another.

The play I am acting in is called “Face to Facebook” and was written by Mark Harvey Levine. It is about a couple that goes on a date. Social media unfortunately keeps the couple from socializing as Marvin (my character) continually pays more attention to his phone than his date Amanda. Another woman plays the physical manifestation of the telephone, who becomes the object of my affection.

The play I am directing is called “The Things She Kept.” It was written by Aoise Stratford. It is a very poignant story of two sisters who are sorting through their recently deceased mother’s items in the attic. They reminisce about their mother and growing up in a single parent household as their father was killed in an accident. As they discuss and reflect, they begin to find items that are unfamiliar to them and seems to hide a secret that perhaps holds the answers to why their mother was the way she was.

Though I love acting, I have really enjoyed the directing aspect as well. It is a challenge to bring a writer’s words to life and a different task to see the stage from the other side of the actors.

In this case, I have worked with three very talented young ladies that have worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. Stage Door Productions asked us to take some candid photos of us rehearsing and the ladies and I did so last Tuesday. I’d like to share them with you!

 

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Bringing “The Things She Kept” to life during rehearsal!

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(L-R) Kaitlin Gates, Meghan Gates, and Margo Weber – the stars of “The Things She Kept”

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Me in an “Awkward Prom” photo with one of our stuffed animal props! (The photo “idea” came from the ladies!)

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The actresses hamming it up for the camera!

If you are local and want to check out the show in Fredericksburg, Virginia, click here for ticket information. The show will run April 7-9 and and April 14-16 at 7:30 PM.

 

9th Annual One Act Festival Plays Announced and Auditions!

I am pleased to announce I will be directing my second play! Check it out!

Stage Door Stories

1 Act Festival logoThe plays for the 9th Annual One Act Festival have been announced! Congratulations to all the playwrights who had their work selected! There were many amazing submissions to choose from this year!

Auditions will be Thursday, February 18 at 7pm and Saturday, February 20 at 2pm at the Kitt Creative Studios located at 810 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22401.

The selections are as follows:

Counting on Love

Written by Rod McFadden

Directed by Sheila Clark

Synopsis:

At the end of what seems to be a perfect blind date, VINCENT’s date, SOPHIA, reveals that she has a very specific formula for finding Mr. Right. For Vincent to win his dream girl, his romantic sensibilities must triumph over Sophia’s mathematics and logic. Where does true love start? In the head, or in the heart?

Characters:

VINCENT: 29 years old, magazine writer
SOPHIA: 27 years old, NYU post-graduate, mathematics


Face to Facebook

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“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Performance

Malvika – You had said previously you would have liked to have seen my performance in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Well now you can!

Courtesy of Kevin Bates, Stage Door Productions is pleased to present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

I hope everyone enjoys!