Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here Comes the Heart Gala, Little Darlin'

This Saturday is the annual Nashville Heart Gala (American Heart Association). The Gary Musick Company has been producing the Heart Gala for the last few years but this is my first year to dive in as producer after assisting last year. Alyson Tudor, Erin Link, Holly Whaley and so many more wonderful people have poured a tremendous amount of time into this event. It's going to be a blast! The event is black tie and held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. The theme this year is "All You Need Is Love" complete with 1960's decor, a renown Beatles cover band called "1964", go-go dancers, Gabe Dixon, an amazing auction lot and an incredible dinner menu.

The designers hired by the Heart Association did a fantastic job on the invitations and all the printed materials to keep the theme running...

The invitation

Invitation to the late night party

The auction booklet

There is a lot of work left to do between now and Saturday night. I know everyone is looking forward to a great night and hopefully there will be a lot of money raised for the Heart Association to fight heart disease. Stay tuned for pictures from the event!

On a personal note...pray for Sheryl. She's on the road to rescue her parents from the ice in Arkansas where they have had no electricity since Monday. GO SHERYL!

Monday, January 26, 2009

West Coast ZOE Conference

We just flew back last night from California where we held the West Coast ZOE Conference. It was good to be back with the gang at College Church in Fresno. They're all so great! Thank you to everyone for your hospitality while we were there. We all had a great weekend.

This week is starting off at break-neck speed. We have the Heart Gala this weekend so there's lots to do. If you think of it, please lift up some prayers for me this week--for sanity and peace. It's going to be a great event but there's a lot to get done.

Have a great week, friends!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barak Obama

What a blessing it is to be an American where peaceful transfer of power occurs every 4-8 years. Today was amazing...the fanfare, the music, the crowd, the warmth between the Bush family and the Obamas. Although I have been really sick (a terrible migraine over the weekend that culminated into a killer stomach virus over the last 2 days), one small blessing of being home bound today was watching this incredible moment in our nation's history.

May God bless the Bush family as they transition and breathe a sigh of relief. May God bless and protect the Obamas as they move into their new home and begin such a surreal life. Bless him and give him wisdom to lead this nation!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What A Week

What a week it's been! We hit the ground running after returning from London. I am producing the American Heart Association's Heart Gala at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in a couple of weeks. The theme is "All You Need is Love" complete with a mod 60's feel and a band called "1964 The Tribute"... a popular Beatles cover band.

Check out their website . It is going to be a really fun night!

My father's birthday was on Tuesday. Some years it's harder than others. Not sure why. I was really missing him Tuesday. Happy birthday, Dad!

I found an old CD tonight and popped it in. Isn't it funny how songs can bring back certain emotions or feelings? It was the soundtrack to the movie "Hope Floats". I love several songs on that CD. It was like putting on an old pair of comfy pajamas. I loved listening to it!

And the day approaches next week, I am getting excited to experience the inauguration. Such a history making moment!

Have a great weekend, friends.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More London Photos

Here are a few more pictures from London thanks to Gary. There are some great shots in here!

Mindy McLemore our Cruise Ships' Project Manager

Steve Kummer, Bruce Stegmann and Jeff Lisenby...more Gary Musick team

I really was more impressed than I look here.

Nice jete, pink girl!

Our General Manager, Dave Patton, give instruction to the singers

a few pictures from the singers' auditions...

This guy...Nick...looked EXACTLY like one of the Jonas Brothers to me.

Joshua incredible voice! Keep your eyes on this guy's career.

The first day went long so we had to move downstairs to a smaller room. Can you tell I'm ready for the day to be over?

more dancers

After each group of 50 or so dancers we would confer with our notes and announce call-backs

Bruce Stegmann...teaching the masses. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gary Musick Productions--London Auditions

On our audition days, we started early with an English breakfast of champions before heading to the studio.

We got to the studio each morning and found a long line of performers waiting for the doors to open. It was so cold! Some of them had been there over an hour. I felt sorry for them!

Although the lines continued inside, everyone was warmer...and happier!

Jennifer and Karen kept everything running smoothly.

Bruce taught the combination to almost 200 dancers that first day

I had a nice surprise on Friday. My old friend Ketsia came by to see me. Ketsia and I worked for Norwegian Cruise Line as performers together a LONG time ago. :) She lives in London now and is in the London show of "Lion King". It was fun seeing her again.

Here are some video clips from the 2 days of auditions... with dancers we're watching for technique, turns, jetes, etc. We found some good dancer potentials this week!

Bruce Stegmann (our head choreographer) is so great! Everyone always loves dancing for Bruce. Although he cracks the whip, they love him!

We started with large groups of 50-55 and had them dance in groups of 4 after learning the routine and narrowed it down from there announcing call-backs. We had a great turnout of dancers and singers.

I wish I had gotten more singers on my camera...we got all of the ones who were called back on the main video but here are a few samples...

It seemed fitting that someone in London did a song from Phantom.

We had several great guys

Natasha danced and also sang. She's very talented.

London Auditions--Sight Seeing

Our flight to London was non-eventful in the best kinds of ways. We were a it jet lagged but walked around some that day...checked in at Pineapple where the auditions would be held.

The infamous Pineapple Dance Studio

Get ready for cheesy must-have pictures from London!

Mindy is our Project Manager for all of our ships. She's a workhorse!

Gary and I walked our legs off that afternoon...all the way down to Trafalgar Square, through the National Gallery, then continue down to Big Ben and then to Westminster. WHEW! You can see ol' Big Ben back there in the picture above.

This is Trafalgar Square...remember "Feed the Birds" in Mary Poppins? This is where that took place.

The National Gallery art museum. This was amazing!! Monet, De Gas, Renoir, etc. There was a great Van Gogh collection including "Sunflowers". I loved learning from Mike Cope last month about Van Gogh and the way he used color to depict his faith journey.

Trafalgar Square

Gotta love the red double decker buses!

Don't you know these guards wish they had a penny for every dumb picture like this they've been in?

Downing Street---where so much of govt. takes place there

Ahhh...BIG BEN!

The magnificent Westminster Abby

More Parliament House

More Guards

Yesterday Gary and I went to Buckingham Palace and got there just in time to see the festivities with the Royal Guard marching and playing.

It was freakishly cold while we were there...everyone was freezing!

This monument was in the front of Buckingham Palace.

Across from Buckingham cold!

We made it just in time to see the Royal Guard march

entrance to the palace of Prince Charles

This was taken at Trafalgar Square

In Covent Garden near our hotel--this guy was real and scared the poo out of a small child when he reached out for him.

I was excited to see my friend, Darren Goad. Darren and I went to college together and were in some of the same shows. He was also a close friend.

cool pub near our hotel

The shopping rocked..there was a great store near our hotel called "All Saints". I took this inside.

I had a Saturday night ticket to Wicked...incredible floor seat! (Thank you, Jennifer!) I told Sheryl that I can't remember loving a show that much since I was in college and saw Les Mis for the first time. It was simply amazing. The writing is brilliant, the songs are awesome, and I loved the irony and message behind it. I cannot more highly recommend this show. If you like musical theater, you'll love this show.

taken from inside the theater of the set and stage

Saturday morning we began our long trek home. Thankfully, we made it home safely. Now we just need to get back on THIS schedule! It was a great trip--very productive and fun!