Sunday, January 18, 2009

Poteet Theatre Awards 2009 and A Novel Idea About College Education

Dear gentle readers, I first thank all of you for allowing me this opportunity to pen my thoughts without hindrance. It is good that people have some sort of creative outlet, and this is mine when I am not involved in some theatrical production. I have some news about my local community theatre, Poteet Theatre, that I thought my readers might find interesting and perhaps a welcome glimpse into the ordinary, regular, mundane aspect of my life.

Last evening I, along with some fifteen other teenagers, served victuals, beverages, and desserts to guests and honorees at the Second Annual Poteet Theatre Awards banquet. It was quite an enjoyable festival, and the best part of it all was that we all got to review the year of 2008 in plays and musicals. The caterers brought salads, steak dinners complete with baked potatoes and green beans, and apple and cherry pie for dessert, which all of us volunteer waitstaff joyously served. I waited tables very little, for I was the Assistant Manager in the kitchen, and I directed everything from the kitchen to the banquet hall in the church, St Luke's United Methodist Church here in Oklahoma City. Our service, though I am biased in my own favor, was excellent, at least there were no complaints from the recipients of it, so I mark it as a success.

Two productions in which I performed, The Secret Garden and Seussical, won awards. The Secret Garden won Best Newcomer Actor, and probably something else, but I was unable to see what it was. Seussical, our summer production with a cast of eighty (on a small stage), won Best Show, Best Actress, Best Choreography, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor. It was a wonderful testament to all of the diligence put forth in that show. The evening was beautiful.

On another note I am something of a fixture at Poteet, and as such I am good friends with the administration of the venue because we have all performed together at some point or another. Because of this, I plan on asking the Executive Director, which is the official capacity in which a very good and dear friend of mine serves the theatre, if we might expedite the process in getting an opera staged at Poteet. I will even direct it if there are none willing to do so, and believe me there are stranger things that have taken place in that theatre. If it comes to that, I feel confident enough of my knowledge of opera to put on a production that would make the staff of Poteet proud. If an opera were to be produced at Poteet it would invariably have to be in English to introduce an audience to the art form, but I do not really like American opera, a subject I will speak of later in this post. I would like to have some reader input on what operas already in English, that is to say not requiring any additional translation, I should suggest to my friend. I was thinking something by Handel or Purcell, something from the Baroque repertoire that would not require too much vocal "fireworks" from the singers, but this is difficult since the tenor part is usually replaced by the countertenor as the protagonist, and I would like to be the lead and the protagonist in this production. A simple solution for a choice from the Baroque is to transpose the role to suit my voice, a prospect I am willing to pursue, but it would be nice to remain faithful to the original work. Thanks for your input on this subject.

As to the subject of American opera, I have listened to a few performances of American opera, but I did not really enjoy them. One piece of American opera I actually heard in its entirety and enjoyed was Tobias Picker's world broadcast premiere of An American Tragedy from the Met with Patricia Racette, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, and a few other artists whom I fail to recollect. Although the story sparks an interesting and engaging conversation on whether Clyde actually murdered Roberta, I really only listened to it the first time because it had Susan Graham, and even though I was new to the wonderful world of opera, I knew she was one of the great singers in the opera world, so I listened and ended up liking it fairly well. However, I did not enjoy the Met's recent production of John Adams' Doctor Atomic.

On the other subject adddressed by the title of this blog post, I have thought of something that might allow me to make the most of my time that I have without employment or a course of direction for my life. I thought that since it is unlikely that I shall attend college since I personally lack the capital to do so and I cannot seem to find adequate assistance to make my decision and apply for scholarships, I entertained the idea that I might educate myself through college with the aid of my local library and the luxury of the Internet. I am probably more prepared than most for such an exacting and strenuous undertaking because I have been home-educated from third grade until I graduated from high school last year. I only want to study the liberal arts, those sciences which are commonly known as "general eds," for I should like to attend an university or an opera company's studio program to learn all that I yet require to become a good singer. I still have some praying to do about it to determine whether it is something God would have me do, but I do not see why I should sit idly while the world passes me by because I could not make the most of the opportunities and blessings God has given me to use for His glory. Wish me well in this venture, please.

Finally, you may notice that I have procured the iLike widget for my blog; let me say that there is a caveat involved with the simple to use system, and that is that the music is powered by the Rhapsody online music service, so you only get 25 plays per month if you happen to be a free user like me. On the other hand, however, it is far simpler to create a playlist with iLike than by using you are not required to create any accounts or anything. You simply search for an artist or song, play the one you were looking for to ensure that it is not incomplete, click add to playlist, and click done when you are finished, all on the same page! This widget appears to be designed specifically for Blogger in that you just click 'add to Blog,' which directs you to your page elements page, and you click 'add widget,' and, guess what? You are done; there is no entering an html code to get the playlist to show up on your page or anything like that. However, users should not automatically delete their playlists from their page since iLike is still in beta mode and is expanding its library, so there may be some problems with finding what you want. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the best part of the whole thing: when you play a song, below it is the description of the song, and there is a tab that says 'Video.' If you click on that, it automatically searches YouTube to find a video of the song and artist you are playing, and it plays the video in a miniature player that you can restore to full size and search for related content. Pretty nifty, eh (see, readers, I can have pizazz, too, when I want to have it.), so you do not have to waste your free Rhapsody plays.

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