Following Loralai

From chorus to a lead!

 

 

I’ve been following this young lady for some time.  Check back entry 2/26/2016 where she is in her middle school talent show followed by her rendition of song “Til the Pain Is Gone”.  Her Father is in the music business and one of his clients wrote this song. Loralai often sings the songs for Dad’s clients.

 

Then you may want to check out the entry 1/23/2017 “She’s On Her Way”

 

Now you are ready to see the in depth interview with Loralai, her parents and Grandmother from several years back when she was in the chorus of Les Miserable.  Yes!  She is in another production but playing one of the leads this time around .  She’s also just been cast as Maria in “The Sound of Music”.

 

So look for more posts as I follow the growth of this young lady!

 

A Wonderful New Update on Meghan

If you need to refresh your memory, please refer to the blog “Why Meghan Writes” from October 29, 2015. You might also want to check out the guest blog Meghan did here from December 14, 2015.

Meghan Today:

Meghan is writing again and has given me permission to share her writings. Feel free to respond to Meghan’s column; she would love hearing from people. Here is a link to her website. Here is a recent post:

Three years….now what?

Dear Friend,

August 12th marked three years in remission. Three years since my knees buckled and I hit the floor of my parent’s house. Three years since I felt the most thrilling feeling of my life. I felt fearless, invincible, unstoppable. In that moment, I had just beat cancer at 24 and I had a whole life ahead of me to do anything.
I remember watching a Grey’s Anatomy episode during chemo and hearing the following quote, “It goes away. The feeling. That feeling you have right now….today….that feeling like you can do anything. That clarity…it goes away. And you go right back to bring the coward who can’t tell the person you love how you feel.”
I remember almost feeling angry at the TV. I remember wishing at the time that I’d hear the word remission and I’d forever be grateful. I wouldn’t ever forget that feeling. I would never forget what I had to go through and I’d be damned if I took for granted the second chance I received.
Fast forward three years and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed at myself on my three year “remissionversary.” I had lost that feeling. More importantly, I had lost the confidence that came with it.
Three years have passed and I am still trying to heal from what cancer did to me. I’m still healing physically, and more importantly, I’m healing mentally. I am healing from what therapists call trauma, but from my other doctors just call bad luck. That’s what Hodgkin’s was, after all. Just the short straw I drew. Nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.
I dealt with mental health issues long before cancer. ADHD from childhood, anxiety and depression during a bad relationship, anxiety disorders and OCD that spun out of control from more bad relationships. Somehow, though, I’ve never talked to you about that. Mental health seems so much harder to speak about. It’s strange because I opened up to you about my most private thoughts through chemo. Hell, even telling you about my sucidal thoughts wasn’t hard. But to speak about mental health and the aftermath cancer leaves on you…that seems difficult.
So here I am, three years later, and the list of disorders I’ve received from therapists includes: ADHD, depression, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, sensory processing issues, OCD tendencies, and panic disorder. I’m sure there’s something I’m missing. This is the list that’s been formed overtime, by many, many therapists.
Three years later and I have lost loves, friendships, and most importantly, time. I have skipped my kid’s events, family reunions, classes, and work because somedays, whether it’s physical or mental, the pain is just too much.
This past year, I started to make big changes for myself. Unfortunately I got scared, I doubted myself and my progress, and I returned to the comfort of my own bad thoughts because at least I know what to expect there. Change is scary, no matter who is doing it. For me, post cancer, it’s become even scarier. What if I fail? What if I succeed, but then the cancer comes back? What if I spend time on school and then something happens to my health? Won’t I wish that time had been spent on my kids, and not my education? But what if I spend all my time on my kids and my health stays good? Then will I regret not getting an education? The doubting and second guessing these past three years has affected every part of my life.
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people in my life and the one thing that is constant is the advice to do things for my own happiness. To figure out the woman and mother I want to be first before worrying about where all the other pieces lie. I know this won’t be an easy feat because I am constantly trying to make other people happy first.
So to end my long, rambling letter to you, I’ll tell you this. I refuse to feel defeated on my four year remissionversary. I refuse to feel like I wasted another year letting myself down and ruining things in my life due to my own mental state. This next year will be spent making changes. I hope to write to you often during this time. To share my adventures with you. To share my highs and lows. To share my learning experiences.
I have more health issues going on currently and for the first time since cancer, I’m going to remain hopeful that they are minor issues. I know I can solve any other diagnosis that comes my way and in the time spent fighting whatever this is, I’m going to learn to love myself and this life again. Stay tuned because it’s time to make great changes and I can’t wait to show you what’s next.
Until next time.
-Meghan

 

My Friend Talia in Depth!

I’ve talked about Talia before and you can go back to the February 9, 2018 entry to read that portion. It dealt with the fact that she had talked me into being a part of her project.

      

The video post that I’m doing now is actually in several parts. The first will be on Talia’s book, Alexia Wants to Fly. The first part of the video will be where I tell my longtime friend and former student, Connie Freeman, that I’m taking her to meet the author of the book I had sent her for her niece. Then there is a short scene in the restaurant, Chocolate Maven, followed by a lengthier interview later with Talia about her book.

Part two of the interviews with Talia starts with my interview with her after an evening performance of the play, The Water Engine, produced by the Oasis Theater Company at Teatro Paraguas. The second portion of part two, is an interview with Talia shortly after she has completed her one woman show, The Passion of Ethel Rosenberg. And by the way, there will be a part three, which is a surprise.

          

     

 

This is an excerpt from The New Mexican in Summer 2018, in My View written by Jerry Labinger and titled Theater in Santa Fe - Better than People Think:

“I try to see as many plays and staged readings as I can, and only a few stood out in my mind…And the Passion of Ethel Rosenberg, a one-woman performance by the terrific Talia Pura, was so powerful in its humanity and true horror - Ethel Rosenberg was executed with her husband on espionage charges in the early 1950’s - that the warning to the audience to have a box of tissues handy was more than justified.”

This is part three and I don’t have a lot to say other than Talia is one amazing person. Who knows what’s coming next!

    

There really isn’t anything Talia can’t do, and by the way that tray of animals are her creations. They may be purchased at Indigo Baby in Santa Fe.

More connections – more future stars!

My friend Talia Pura talked me into submitting to her special event (featuring women Playwrights in Santa Fe )a short play she knew I had written. Because the cast of this play featured two young women (late teens early twenties) I connected with the New Mexico School for the Arts. Previously I had seen a number of their students in adult productions. I knew they were very talented. Thanks to one of their teachers, Barbara Hatch, I was fortunate to secure these very talented girls. Thanks to Talia for talking me into this!

Talia

Avonlea and Bella

At rehearsal

Gillian

Jayden - A new playwright

Pat connects with snow – past, present and future

Snow - Memories - Tears - One With the Universe

Snow came earlier in Santa Fe this year, some nine inches. As I brushed it from my car I noticed how soft and crystal like it was. So pure, so beautiful. Different from the snow in the Midwest where I had grown up.

Other memories came rushing into my head: Snow when I was a child and Dad taking us tobogganing … always home constructed ones, but so much fun going down those hills. Mom waiting at home with hot chocolate and her freshly made cookies. As a teenager, it was snow and ice with ice skating at the local pond hoping the latest crush would ask me to skate or sit next to me at the bonfire we built to keep warm.

Married and with children my role reversed. I watched through the window as they raced down the hill with their sleds. We were fortunate to live so near their grade school which had this magnificent hill where the neighborhood children would gather at the first snow of the season. It was my husband who was with them while I waited inside having the hot chocolate and cookies ready for when they returned home.

Now that I am older two snow memories reside within my brain . Throughout my teaching years we always covered Abraham Maslow’s model. I really believed then that I understood and experienced that highest level “at one with the universe.” Perhaps ego brought that about. What I realize now is that these two memories were when I really understood!

The first was when I was on academic leave traveling in New England visiting former graduate students and eventually my sister-in-law who lived in New Jersey an hour from New York. We had grown up together and loved the same things especially theatre. Whenever I visited her we traveled to the city to take in a matinee, have dinner, then on to an evening performance of a second play. This particular time it was December, so we drove in earlier in order to see the decorated windows so often visited by tourists at the Christmas season. After the matinee we made our way to Rockefeller Center to watch the skaters. It was then the miracle happened.

We were standing on the bridge near the skating rink. Suddenly very soft snow flakes began floating down upon us. I felt what seemed like an electric shock go through my body. As I looked around it seemed like we were part of a Christmas card come to life. There was a transcendence feeling, a unique connection to everything. And me, so typically me, had tears flowing down my cheeks mixing with the snowflakes. So beautiful! Pat, Pat! My sister-in-law calling me broke the spell. Smiling she said “Where were you?”

My second snow miracle occurred when my friend Kathy, from St. Louis, was visiting. We planned to take in La Posada but decided to journey to the Plaza earlier. I was unaware of other events happening there, but we were both thrilled to see a Jewish celebration with song and dance by a huge Menorah . We watched and then participated in the festivities.

Next was La Posada. Lighting our candles we joined the crowd in screaming at the devils. I knew my friend would love those devils! We joked about the fact that in one day we were certainly taking in everything Santa Fe had to offer , Catholic, Jewish , and our last visit would be to the Cantina in La Casa Sena where we would see two of my friends doing a drag show.

Finding our way into the courtyard of the museum, we drank hot cider, ate cookies, then joined the crowd singing the traditional Christmas songs. My friend commented on what a lovely night it was, cold but not extremely so. Just as we are singing with the band “Silent Night” I looked up to see the stars and gazed past the huge cottonwood tree; then it happened again! Softly, so very softly, the snow flakes began falling doing their special dance. Once again, so did my tears … that connection, that strange and wonderful feeling that permeates every cell in your body, and you know you are part of something larger. You are one with the universe!

Not long ago a woman who writes poetry and was attending our New Mexico writer’s networking luncheon , passed out bookmarks with one of her poems on it. The title was “Saving Snowflakes in My Pocket “ by Barbara Jean Ruther. There were five verses all about saving memories . The last is, “Some memories are like snowflakes. No matter how hard you try to save them, they melt away and leave a stain in an empty pocket and in an empty heart.” I have those difficult memories too. However, when I think about these snow experiences, I know they will forever reside within my brain and heart.

As I think about these very special times, yes, the tears flow down my cheeks. I am beginning to realize the tears are a different version of snowflakes - signaling that I finally really know what Maslow meant when he talked about being “one with the universe!”