Musings of an Irish-American

Sometimes I think about stuff, and then I write it here…

Monthly Archives: March 2010

respite

Welcome to Spring Break 2010…it has snowed/might still be snowing here in Chicago.

So, yeah, there’s that whole thing; I know, along with a lot of my other Chicago and nearby-area dwelling DePauw friends, that we’re gonna need things to turn around in the weather department real quick for this to be a good break.

However, more importantly, Spring Break means time away from work and all of those commitments that we have back on campus. I certainly know that I was more than ready to face Spring Break in all of its glory, if only because midterm week was way too long and awful for my likes. That, along with how emotionally and physically draining the opera was, means that this break is coming at just the right time for me.

Started off with a bang on Friday, hanging out with my closest DePauw comrade and a shared friend of ours who was skipping town the next day. That led to a late night, and an early morning breakfast at The Original Pancake House in Lincoln Park. After getting back, I tried my best to give myself some much needed brain dead time, which basically means I got nothing accomplished, something I am completely and utterly fine with at this moment.

I then went and saw the movie She’s Out of My League with one of my oldest friends, and I will admit that I enjoyed it, even though I had a lot of reservations about the plot. A lot of the comedic timing was there, and the plot was somewhat solidly put together, but, sorry for the spoiler if you haven’t figured it out already, a guy that lame never ends up with a girl that hot. It just doesn’t happen.

Now, anyone who saw the movie will probably tell me that I didn’t learn anything from it. That’s not true; I got the whole “you have to see the person for who they are and not put them on a pedestal (or undervalue them)”, but I just can’t reconcile a guy who looks and acts like the character Jay Baruchel played (alright I admit I chose a less than flattering picture) ending up with a knockout like Alice Eve (who may or may not be anything like the character she played) in real life.

Maybe therein lies the problem; Hollywood doesn’t really make movies about “real life”. We spend so much time living the mundane and the routine, why would we want to watch it on the big screen? Yet, in some ways, Hollywood has its glimpses of what real life is, but, in every way shape and form, it isn’t real life. No one could argue that the lives of celebrities are common or routine; in fact, if anything, their lives are the exact opposite of “common”. People in show business spend so much time acting and having people look over their shoulder, it’s interesting to wonder if they ever have moments where they wish their lives were just a bit more mundane. I’d prefer to think that they do, since that would make them just as human as the rest of us (not to imply that they’re not human, of course).

But, here I am, speculating about the lives of celebrities when I have much too much to think about in my own life. Maybe they’d prefer if I start focusing on myself a bit more…and hopefully I will 😀

-MJH

Advertisements

an amazing journey

Wow, I really can’t believe a whole month has passed since I last posted here. When I last left you, I had returned from a quite eventful trip to Louisiana with the DePauw Chamber Choir for my Winter Term. I stepped right from that into full rehearsals for DePauw Opera Theater’s production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (yours truly is in the top picture wearing that ridiculous looking wig :)). We had done some coachings over the course of Winter Term while we were still on campus, but, the Tuesday after we returned from Louisiana, we launched into long musical rehearsals of full acts of the show.

The following Monday, we started our staging rehearsals with our director and the musical director; things were progressing bit by bit, but, to be completely honest, I was scared as hell that we weren’t going to be anywhere near ready come time for our production to go up (which starts today and runs through Sunday). Now take that feeling and multiply it times a hundred million because, that following week, our stage director couldn’t be at rehearsal due to sickness. We spent that whole week just doing musical rehearsals (which, in hindsight, really did help with the material, but was not reassuring in terms of progression through the production).

We found out at the end of that week that our original stage director would not be returning because of health reasons and that a friend of his, who is a very wonderful member of our Theater department, would be taking over the stage direction of the show on his behalf.  Mind you, this was only two and a half weeks ago, so, needless to say, we were really sweating it when it came to the thought of even putting on a performance.

However, in only the way theatrical productions can, everything started coming together in due time. I thought I had lost hope, personally, seeing as I was blessed enough to be cast in the titular role, that I wouldn’t be able to pull off all of the material that Mozart had given me to work with. Then, before I knew it, I was rattling off arias and recitatives like it was my job, giving me time to tweak my character and work on the acting side of the character that I knew was practically the only reason they had cast me in this role (it certainly wasn’t because of my range; Figaro’s a bass, yours truly is not).

Now, as we stand on the brink of opening the show tonight, I realize both how far we’ve come and what a wondrous work of art this whole opera is. First off, that Mozart guy really knew what he was doing; this opera is filled with both humor and suspense and intrigue, which is all put together by the amazing music that he composed. I’m trying not to stand in awe of the institution that is Mozart, but just to think of all the great performers that have filled the roles that we are performing is truly inspiring. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most intriguing and amazing musical experiences of my life, and certainly extend my gratitude to everyone who has made it possible, from cast to pit orchestra to crew to costumers to stage managers, directors and producers, thank you.

Now, let’s make merry! 😀

-MJH