Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Shack

There are so many things I want to say about the book, THE SHACK. It was SO hard to read in the beginning because the story subject is one of my greatest fears. But, you almost have to experience the devastation to reap the benefits at the end of the book... and to get in touch with your own emotion.

It's not like a lot of Christian fiction out there. It's not laden with Christian-ese or pat answers. I've found that as I've tried to tell people about it there are just no adequate words. I think one of the reasons it's so powerful is because each reader must experience it for themselves. Its power comes through the story of transformation and in the crazy way you feel your own heart being transformed as you read it.

The trip to Miami was good. Some good meetings--Gary met with Celebrity and I got to go visit with the NCL guys. It was interesting to hear about the new ships and new concepts coming down the pike. And, although a whirl-wind trip, we had great dinner in South Beach (clearly NOT on the South Beach diet!). One very weird thing...I ran into a comedy/juggling duo in the Miami Airport ("Howie and Bert") who I knew doing ships 14 years ago. They are still doing their thing in Vegas and on ships. It was a bizarre reunion.

I finished The Shack on the way home...quietly sobbing on the airplane...and underlining about every other sentence! Thankfully, I had the row to myself. If you haven't read this...or haven't known whether it is worth the hype, I would encourage you not to wait another day. Go buy it and read it. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Looking Ahead

This week is a week of digging in... Rochelle Kives is here rehearsing to go in as a replacement singer on the Majesty. I am trying to spend some time helping her get ready to fly out this Saturday.

The Washington D.C. show is coming up in two very short weeks. The instrumentalists and back ground vocalists did an amazing job last week in the recording studio. Those horn players are really astounding. It's fun to see an idea be birthed and remember when Sheryl and I were sitting at the table a few weeks ago brainstorming songs for the show. My favorite will be the Canada section where the female singer will sing a beautiful ballad called "Northern Lights" while Claire does a bit of modern dance as video images of the Aurora Borealis are shown on the large video screen behind. We will have an intense rehearsal period the week of the show and then the cast will fly to D.C. on the 11th. Today was spent going over sequencing and making sure costumes and voice-overs were all workable. Gary, David, Claire and Barbara have been so fun to work with...and so encouraging!

I am producing a booth for Big Machine Records next week at CMA Fest (Fan Fair) here in Nashville. Among their artists are Taylor Swift, Jewel, and Trisha Yearwood. Sheryl's nieces happen to be coming into town for CMA Fest and will be staying with us. Getting to meet Taylor and the others is a bonus--thank to Justin McIntosh. You rock, Justin!!

Gary and I are flying to Miami for the day on Thursday for meetings with a couple of Cruise Lines. It will be a short, but important, trip.

AND...apparently I have jury duty on Monday. I am taking a book. Maybe I can finish The Shack.

So, it's a week of digging in and trying to get things ready for the next few weeks. But it's also a week to enjoy being watch the kids ride bikes, and to play the ever popular "hide-and-seek-jump-out-monster" which the kids want to play every single night. This was named by Maddie and Ella but inspired by my father.

I still remember playing hide and go seek with my cousins (the Morses) and almost wetting my pants as the anticipation would overtake me. My dad would hide and then all of us would try and find him knowing that he would most definitely catch us off guard EVERY SINGLE TIME and we would have a very good scream. So,'s officially named "hide-and-seek-jump-out-monster". I think my dad would be proud. :)

Still praying for the well as the Browns. It's so hard to believe it's been a year since their loss. We love you, Tod and Leeann.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another Milestone

Today was a big day for Maddie and Ella. Maddie graduated from Kindergarten today after 5 years at OC pre-school. When she began she was just a tiny little 2 year old. Now our big girl is moving on to 1st grade. Today was the last time she'll climb these steps to the Kindergarten...

This was also Ella's last year at OC pre-school. She will go with Maddie to Grandbury next year. She will be in Kindergarten and Maddie will be in 1st grade. This is one of Ella's best friends, Emma Arnett.

Sam will continue at Otter Creek for a few more years...he seems happy about that!

These pictures are from Maddie's graduation ceremony today.

Miss Jennifer, Maddie's wonderful Kindergarten teacher is seated on the end.

Our big graduate!

Sam's teacher...Miss Julie ("Miss Jewey")...whom he ADORES!

Ella's teacher, Miss Amanda, was wonderful too!

Maddie and some of her friends after the ceremony.

I tried to get a picture of Maddie and Sydney Williamson, but I couldn't find Sydney. One of our greatest joys has been watching their friendship mature over the years. Sydney is Maddie's best friend and she loves her more than anything. It was neat seeing them both graduate today and to think back to when Ryan and Sarah still lived in Malibu and we took pictures of Maddie and Sydney as infants on the beach and laying around. Now they seem so grown up. These are precious days!

I spent the afternoon in the studio listening to horn players and singers do their magic in recording tracks for our upcoming show in Washington D.C. in June. It was really fun! Dave Patton did such an incredible job with the arrangements! Go Dave!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Idol

I was wrong...It goes to Cook. 12 million votes. It just goes to show, you can pick horrible songs for the finale and be prophecied the loser and still win. But...I think he'll be wildly sucessful!

I feel very heavy hearted for the Chapmans. It's an unimaginable grief. Oh my. Has anyone heard SCC's song, "Cinderella"? I'm not sure how he'll ever be able to do that live again. I love that song though. Bless all of them.

Tomorrow is a big day...Maddie's Kindergarten graduation and then a day of studio recording in preparation for our big show in D.C. in June.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter was killed tonight (age 5). A family member accidentally backed over her in the driveway. There are so few who can understand their pain. Please pray for them. It's just sickening. And PLEASE pray for that family member. I know they are wanting to protect him in all of this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Milestones is official...Maddie is now a bike rider without training wheels. She set her mind to it yesterday and by tonight, she was soaring around our cul de sac like a maniac! It's been a big week of firsts for her...

Last night we all dressed up and went to Maddie's piano recital. It was a Forrest Hills Baptist church and it was SO nice! All the kids did so well! Sheryl and I were so very proud of Maddie. She confidently walked to the mic and introduced herself and announced the pieces she would be playing. Then, she sat and played through her first two and then played a beautiful duet with Mrs. Summey. We were so proud!

And even more proud when Sam announced in the middle of the recital... "I JUST TOOTED!!!"'s Archuleta, friends. He nailed it. How can you possibly disagree? :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Advertising at Work

It's been an amazing day! Fellowship was incredible this morning. Ronnie Freeman led and it was one of the best mornings we've had there.

Today has been a mixture of jumping on the trampoline, weeding the garden, teaching Maddie to ride her bike without training wheels, unpacking, laughing, and going on a long, very hilly walk. We walked over to Christ Church the back way. They have an awesome indoor play area that the kids love.

Along the way, we passed a new model Ford SUV. Without skipping a beat Sam declared, "Look American Idol Car!" The boy barely watches it...but loves those commercials when they come on. We never knew he paid attention to the model. Good job, advertising guys.

Sheryl and I are on a weight loss challenge. I am not sure whose body this is that I am living in...because it only barely resembles the me from one year ago. UGH! So...the challenge is on! Anyone wanna join?

I got an early Father' Day gift from my mom today! A new video DVD recorder. WOOOO-HOOO! Maybe I can post some video soon! Thanks, mom!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home/ Kiki and Kevin

This is my beautiful soccer champ! Ella scored a goal today all by herself! GO, ELLA!!!!
I am sitting in beautiful Charleston today waiting to fly home. YAY! I can't wait! The cast opens tonight and I will miss seeing their first show but I am glad to be going home. I know they'll be brilliant.

One piece of incredible news I've been waiting to share...Kiki is pregnant! We found out a few weeks back and I've been waiting for the green light. Kevin and Kim (Kiki) are keeping a blog about their journey through pregnancy and I've added it today in my favorite sites column over there.

In other family news...Sam is officially potty trained. And by potty trained, I mean not wearing diapers and learning how to go in the backyard with our dog and pee just like she does. He's hilarious. In all seriousness, Sheryl has been so consistent with her Spiderman poo-poo treats. It really works.

Speaking of back yards...does anyone remember that song..."Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar, and chips and vinegar, red peppers are hot". Remember that? And there are different verses that go over each other kind of like a round...?

Well, I am married to the woman who knows more about random and obscure songs than anyone in the entire world. She and I were kidding around with some friends the other night singing that song until we realized that I had learned different words to one of the verses...

Her version: "Don't put your trash in my trash can, my trash can, my trash can...don't put your trash in my trash can, my trash can's full."

My version: "Don't put your trash in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard...don't put your trash in my backyard, my backyard's full!"

I never, EVER thought about how hilarious my version was...and I am almost POSITIVE that it's the one I learned back in 3rd grade at Wylie Elementary School...which somehow makes it even funnier. Trash in my backyard? Really? Your back yard's full, huh? hmm.

I'll leave you with that bit of randomness on this lovely Saturday. I can't wait to see my family!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Norwegian Majesty

The outgoing cast has two more shows (one tonight and one tomorrow). Kelly and I slipped back stage to give hugs and love before the show the other night. They all did a great job! (Kelly is one of our choreographers and is an old pro at directing the Majesty shows)

Ruben, Bree and me. Ruben and Bree were dancers on the Spirit when we did the handover out there. They are engaged to be married. They did a really great job so we brought them on to help with this handover on the Majesty since they have also worked as performers here.

Last night the old cast came to watch the new cast do a tech/dress run of the opener. Here's a pic with Mikey and Megan ("Little Bit").
The new cast was pumped and ready to do their first tech run...

Mark and Hayden

Lucy and Blake

The singers...(L-R) Lucy, Blake, Megan, and Daniel. (Daniel extended his contract to fill in for Jason. He's done a great job and had to learn two new shows while continuing to perform the three he's already doing out here with the old cast. THANKS, Daniel!!)

The new cast of the NCL Majesty: Taryn Escobar, Blake Rowden, Mark Andrews, Lucy Wilkerson, Megan Gleckler, Daniel Olsen, April Holloway and Hayden Escobar

We just pulled away from Bermuda. It is VERY rocky. It feels like we're on a small fishing boat out in the middle of the ocean! Whew! I hope it calms down before the show tonight. The old cast has two shows and then the new cast has a dress/tech rehearsal of Standing Room Only (our Broadway show) beginning at 11:30pm. It'll be another late night.

I am loving the Shack!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bermuda cold and windy. I am in need of some vitamin D. Things have been going well, just long. The cast has great energy and they are excited to be here. They are doing a great job.

We finally have a full cast! This theater is older---like the old school cruise ship type of theaters. The ceilings are lower, it's more of a lounge feel. But the cast seems to like it. The 8 of them fill the space and look great.

I stayed up way too late last night reading. I am most of the way through chapter 4 in The Shack. I am seriously trusting all of you...because this is one of my greatest nightmares so far. UGH! I can only imagine it will be amazing, but I must admit freaking out last night while reading. Sheesh.

My goal today...get OUT of the theater and set my feet on land. We're here in Bermuda until tomorrow. I am going stir crazy and need a little "walkabout"!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I made it onto the Majesty with very few problems, thanks to our production manager, Ruben. I got to see the outgoing cast do a short intro show last night and had dinner with them. It was great seeing all of them again.

Today is Mother's Day and I would like to say thank you to my mom for being such a great influence on me over the years. My mom has always thought that nothing is impossible. Nothing. She has created and re-created herself professionally over the years. She has also had the same approach to her relationship with God. She has never been content to be stagnant in her walk. It's incredibly inspiring. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Sheryl was born to be a mom. She has an unbelievable ability to just know what our kids need. She is firm, but fun. She loves to laugh with them and play--even jumping on the trampoline. She is such a blessing to them...and me. What a gift! It's so fun watching her and learning from her. Happy Mother's Day, Sheryl!

I have been hearing for months about a book called The Shack. Have any of you read it? I finally picked up a copy while we were in Malibu. I keep hearing that you have to plow through until chapter 4. I am only through the forward and chapter 1.

We have rehearsal today and will watch the old cast do their Broadway show tonight. Then we are able to get back on the stage from 11pm til 12:30 or 1am. Whew!

Have a happy Mother's Day, friends!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Cast dinner last night...Blake Rowden, Lucy Wilkerson, me, Mark McLaughlin

Ruben Delgado (production manager), me, Mindy

Hayden and Taryn Escobar--two of our dancers, married and love what they do! They came to us from The Dixie Stampede where they danced and were stunt horse riders (including jumping through hoops of flames. I am not kidding.)

cast and production staff-- (L-R) April Holloway, Bree Trois, me, Jason Kennedy, Mark McLaughlin, Kelly Evans, Blake Rowden, Ruben Delgado, Megan Gleckler, Lucy Wilkerson, Taryn and Hayden Escobar.

Over the course of the rehearsal process we've lost THREE cast members due to medical injuries or complications. It's been so difficult. Last night we had a farewell dinner before we leave tomorrow to take the cast to the to come. We fly to Charleston and then sail to Bermuda. I've never seen Bermuda and I am excited to experience it! Honestly, I'll just be glad to get this cast ON the ship!

As we've been searching again for songs for the upcoming ZOE record, Amy reminded me of this song by Christy and Nathan Nockels that I have LOVED! (Christy and Nathan lead worship at our church and have a group called Watermark. If you don't have a Watermark CD or two, you're really missing out.) The words really ministered to me again today. I hope it's an encouragement to you today. Happy Friday!

Captivate Us-- Watermark

Your face is beautiful And
Your eyes are like the stars
Your gentle hands have healing
There inside the scars
Your loving arms they draw me near
And Your smile it brings me peace
Draw me closer oh my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us Lord Jesus, with You

Your voice is powerful
And Your words are radiant bright
In Your breath and shadow I will come close and abide
You whisper love and life divine
And Your fellowship is free
Draw me closer O my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee


Let everything be lost in the shadows
Of the light of Your face
Let every chain be broken from me
As I’m bound in Your grace
For Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light
You’re full of wisdom, power and might
And every eye will see You

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us Lord Jesus, with You

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Audition Notice

Norwegian Cruise Line and The Gary Musick Company are proud to announce auditions for Singer/Actors for the Norwegian Jade and for Dancers for several NCL ships.

Casting Singer/Actors for the following shows:

Smokey Joe’s Cafe
Shout, the Mod Musical
And the World Goes Round

Seeking soul, R & B, jazz, musical theater singers/actors who move
Must be at least 18 years old. Audition pieces should include Motown
classics, R & B standards and/or selections from Smokey Joe’s Cafe.
A pianist (please have sheet music in your key) and
CD player will be provided.
Please bring a picture and resume or C.V.

Auditions will be in the following locations...

May 13 (Tuesday)
Screenland Studios
10501 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Open Call Singer Actors 10 AM to 4 PM
Agents email for reserved times

May 13 (Tuesday)
Open Call Dancers 9:30 AM

May 14 (Wednesday)
Call backs
(times will be given at audition)

May 19 (Monday)
Giordano Dance School
614 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201
(Chicago, IL)

Open Call Singer Actors 10 AM to 1 PM
Agents email for reserved times
1:00 PM to 6:30 PM Call Backs

May 19 (Monday)
Open Call Dancers 9:30 AM

May 21 (Wednesday)
ATLANTA--more info to be posted soon!

June 1 (Sunday)
Vancouver--More info to come

Rehearsals for Singer/Actors begin June 30 for six (6) weeks and contracts
are for six (6) months in the Mediterranean. Further information available at
Also hiring singers and dancers for fall contracts on NCL and Celebrity ships…
Stay tuned for more audition details or send an audition reel to:
The Gary Musick Company
885 Elm Hill Pike
Nashville, TN, USA, 37210
please see website for details or email

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The Majesty cast is doing their final runs this week before we head to the ship on Saturday. This cast has had a LOT to deal with over the course of their rehearsal time including losing 2 cast members. UGH! But they are troopers and really are shining this week. I was so proud of them today that I was welling up with tears. It's an amazing thing when you see people pull together in support of one another. I am SO very proud of this cast! I have kind of slighted them with photos but here are some pics of their run through of "On the Radio".

I began this post this morning. It's been a really, REALLY long day. This cast has had more than its fair share of trials to endure. I've asked you to pray for them...please pray extra hard tonight.

Great lunch with Phillip Duncan today...a definite highlight!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Space and Rocket Center

Yesterday Gary and I drove down to Huntsville for a meeting with the event planning staff at NASA's US Space and Rocket Center. It was entirely cool and an awesome family fun destination for the day for any of you from Nashville or surrounding areas. I was impressed by everything I saw there.

We're talking to them about helping with some of their events. They have great space for galas and other kinds of dinners and parties.

Gary visits with one of their event planners. Lindsey.

The area above is great for dinners and can seat somewhere around 1200 people at tables.

The Saturn 3--the original, built there in Huntsville. This space rocket orbited the moon and took pictures. It is a similar design to the Apollo.

This museum and activity center has a 3-D movie theater as well as an IMAX. It's really cool!

After we got back I had a conference call with my buddy, Justin McIntosh. He works in marketing at Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jewel, etc). I am producing the design for their record label booth for CMA week in June (formerly known as Fan Fair). It's fun getting to work with our graphic artists. They are so talented!

Last night the Musicks, Lauren Gingles and Brian Randolph came over to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We had a blast! Sheryl made steak, chicken and shrimp fajitas and cowboy caviar. Wooo-hooo! It was good!

Tonight is American Idol. Who's next to go?

Sunday, May 04, 2008


We had a great few days in Malibu! We did a session each day with Mike Cope which was such a great experience. I love hearing Mike speak. What an amazing teacher he is—and always, without fail, genuine. He has this amazing way of reminding everyone about the power of God’s love and grace—and that it’s accessible. In my opinion churches are in need of more men like Mike in leadership positions. I have been so blessed by our work together through the years.

We were in Smothers Theater and the fire marshal had to shut the doors each day because it was packed. It makes for an energy charged environment. There were even rows of chairs on each side of the stage. God really used Mike this week—as He so often does.

We also did a late night worship time two nights in Smothers. The last night we were joined by Jeff Walling who presented some of his material from our 2008 conference series, “Overflow”. We love working with Jeff too and it was great having him with us.

To all the blog readers I met this week—thank you for coming and for your encouragement! It was really fun to get to put a face with some of you who have commented. I really enjoyed meeting each of you! And it was great seeing old friends like Dan Jocoy, Kip Long, Hillary Rushford, Bruce Morgan, and others.

After being gone for the last week on the Infinity, it was especially good to be with my family. We really had a great time together. Even my mom braved the endless hills and stairs on the Pepperdine campus and came with us.

Each day after lunch the kids played in the fountain and on the climbing trees outside of the student center. My mom bought Sam a Pepperdine football and he loved playing with it! Here are some pictures of our down time.

Justin Mundie and Sam--Justin came and sang tenor with ZOE.
Ella sacked out during one of the afternoon classes...Uncle "Biggie" was a perfect pillow! He was also a perfect bass this week. It was so fun getting to sing with him!

Darcy and Sheryl sang soprano together and it was sun seeing old friends reunited! We loved having her with us!

Of course, we always enjoy our time with Peter and Lindsey! They are part of our family.

Friday the weather was warm and the wind died down and so we slipped off to the beach for an hour. It was a perfect day!

Kiki came out Wednesday night and spent the rest of the week with us.

Ella was fearless as always...running into the ocean fully clothed. For some reason she decided once she was drenched to do "sand angels" on the beach---so drenched and sand caked.

Bruce Morgan (Lindsey's dad) is such a special person to us. We missed Taylor (her mom) who was in Italy. Bruce is so sweet with our kids!

Lindsey and Sam. He definitely loves Lindsey.

Group picture--minus Justin who had to leave early. (L-R) Amy Westerman, Darcy Chapman, me, Sheryl, Lindsey Wilson, Peter Wilson, Kevin Penna, Zach Wilson

It was a great week! I am glad to be home. My Majesty cast has had a very difficult weekend. Please keep them in your prayers. I have a week here finishing up rehearsals with them and then we head to the ship Saturday (Bermuda!).

I am thankful for immediate family but also my Christian family. It was a tremendous blessing to be surrounded by so many passionate worshipers this week. It was a tremendous feeding time for all of us.