Monday, March 30, 2009

On Board

We made it safely to the ship and we're in full swing with rehearsals. Yesterday, however, we had a chance to jet down to the French Quarter before the ship left. It was so fun!
Kelly, Denise and me in the French Quarter


Amy and me at the historic Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter in New Orleans


Kevin, Jeff and me at Cafe Du Monde
Last night some of both casts went to dinner together in the dining room. It was really fun. I love both of these casts and it was neat seeing them get to know each other!
Pictured here--Vanessa, Jalynn, Carissa, Megan, and Amy

Kevin, Graham, me and Adam at dinner.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Spirit Final Runs and Cast Dinner

Our cast for the NCL Spirit is doing their final run-throughs today. They're going to be great out there. We had our cast dinner last night and we're getting ready to head to the ship on Sunday. Here are some pictures...


Rudi and Danni






Danni


Jalynn and Adam


Adam and Vanessa



Ruslan and Elena (our lovely Russians)



Rudi and me



Sheryl and me



Rusty and me


Spirit Cast Spring 09


Spirit Cast with Denise Hoey and me



Singers and me



Gemma and Danni



Jalynn and Vanessa




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Defying Gravity-Jalynn and Vanessa


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She's Got A Way-Adam and Rusty


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Savoy-Vanessa


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Hairspray-Baltimore

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Traveling Mercies

Warning...in this entry I will be ruminating on some thoughts and questions in my heart regarding things very important to me. These issues are not to be poo-poo'd and by asking questions and expressing frustrations I am in no way doing that. The reality is...I think God's ok with questions. In fact, I think He's more ok with questions than being tepid. If you disagree, check out the book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

I have been such a terrible blogger! This has always been a great outlet for me. It's curious to me also how people respond to blogs. Some older peeps don't get it. (That doesn't count my mom...who by all accounts is one of the coolest people I know.) I even had someone several years ago tell me I needed to only blog every other week or so. Dumb. Lately, as it turns out, I have not been the best at writing on this site. Sometimes I'll start to and then stop. Sometimes I am afraid of what will be typed. It's been an interesting year...good and bad. I find myself still trying to let go of bitterness and resentment. Neither of those are positive qualities. It reminds me of Ann Lamott's quote in her INCREDIBLE book entitled Traveling Mercies. She says that not forgiving is like "taking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die." Brilliant.

Now, hear me...I am not feeling these things about one person or place. I am feeling them very strongly about a system that seems completely screwed up. I have friends going through things at their churches and it just wells up all this emotion in me. Something is stirring right now. I see a dissatisfaction with the way things have always been...and I think that is a very good thing. I wonder what positive changes could come if we didn't allow fear to rule our lives and our churches.

Not every church is ruled by fear...in fact, there seem to be many healthy churches out there. But for those that are, I guess it's indicative of who WE are...screwed up people. Most of the New Testament letters speak to issues or problems that are a reflection of what happens when imperfect people get together. So, why should things be different today?

I don't have any answers. But, I have been afforded a very unique opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. I don't quite know what to do with what I'm seeing. There is very much this insider type language and feel that church people seem to propagate. We sit in our sanctuaries and watch edgy videos where non-believers tell us their impressions and we talk about it and nod our heads and yet--does anything really change? I don't know. Maybe it does. Again--these are questions...and mostly rhetorical. I'm not looking for Ken Sublett to pick this apart piece by piece with his insane brand of theology. These are simply honest questions. Sometimes, questions just need to sit for a while...without an immediate answer.

We are experiencing some great things in our Sunday morning time at Fellowship. The teaching is incredible, the worship is usually great...but there are some MAJOR holes. Community for one. We are lacking that. And, after a year and a half of being there it makes me wonder...can you exist on a Sunday morning experience? I would say the answer is NO. And I've always thought that...but it's hit home with me even more lately. But, isn't it interesting that about 90% of the time and resources seem to go toward that Sunday morning experience in most places? In a way it's funny for me to be saying this considering my role with ZOE and the kind of resources we offer (a lot of which have to do with Sunday morning stuff-although we all agree that community and personal spiritual growth are what makes any group of believers healthy). I love the church. I don't think the institution we have now is what "the church" really is though.

My temptation is to play devil's advocate with myself now...and maybe I'll do that at some point. But, as painful as it is, I think I'm going to just go on and post this with all it's imperfections. Please don't feel like you have to give answers. This post is more for me...therapeutic. I am interested in your thoughts though.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Celebrity Infinity-"Let's Rock"

The Celebrity Infinity cast is rockin! Here are some pictures and video clips from their run-through of "Let's Rock".



Laura

Eric

Stacey, Aaron and Laura


Laura, Danni, and Charlie

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Aaron sings "Superstitious"


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Stacey sings "Respect"



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Aaron--"Sir Duke"

Both the Infinity and Spirit casts leave this weekend. We'll be working all week to put finishing touches on the shows before we take them out to the ship. I will go to the Spirit first and then to the Infinity. These casts will be awesome!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NCL Spirit Rehearsals

Rehearsals continue in Nashville. Our casts are doing a great job. We add one more cast to the mix on Monday so we're all battening down the hatches, so to speak.

Here are some pics from the Spirit cast thanks to several cast members letting me post their pics....

Rudi and Gemma


Ruslan is one of our dancers from Russia. He is truly amazing to watch.


Jalynn and Adam


Adam and Rudi


Danni


Adam and the girls--a run-through of "Radio"

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Day of Music

This morning we went to see Sam's Spring program at his pre-school. It was kind of bizzare-o because it was like 30 degrees outside. As usual, it was super cute. The girls were out of school today for Spring Break so they got to go. Sam felt very special because we were all there to cheer him on.


After the morning program, we had a full day of rehearsals at the studio. The Infinity cast ran "Celebrate the World" and the Broadway show. They're doing really well.

Infinity cast run-through


Aaron, Laura, Eric


Eric and Laura

Laura, Stacey and Eric
Here are some video clips of the events of the day beginning with Sam's program

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Sam and his school mates sing "This is the Day". Sam is clearly clap-challenged.

Here are some clips from the Infinity cast's run of "Celebrate the World"...

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"One Vision"

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the end of "Nessun Dorma"

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A wee bit 'o the Irish section

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Africa section

After the run of "Celebrate the World" the Infinity cast did a run of the Broadway show...

video

Laura sings "42nd Street"

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Aaron sings "Maria"

At the end of the day the Norwegian Cruise Line's Spirit cast did a rough run-through of what they've learned so far for their show called "On the Radio". I love this cast too! It's been a pleasure to work with all of them.

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The cast of the NCL Spirit...Jalynn rocks it out

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"Heat Wave"

It was a long week. We've got several more coming. BUT-it's such a blessing to work with such talented and sweet people.

I pray that all of you ahve a restful and happy weekend! I sure plan to. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cruise Ships

Hello again, my friends. I am so sorry that I've been so awful at blogging lately. Things have been very very busy. We had a great time in TX on our ZOE weekend singing in Lubbock. I got to see a lot of old friends. Pictured below is Skip Dampier and his awesome kids.




Skip, Janice and me. Janice and I grew up together--our parents were in each other's weddings. We used to go to New Braunfels every summer with our families. It was fun seeing Janice.

I came back home and began teaching the cast of the Celebrity Infinity. They are a great cast and a lot of fun. I've enjoyed my time with them. Here are some pictures of their Broadway run last week.


Chorus Line


Laura


Aaron



After a week with the Infinity cast, it was time to bring the NCL Spirit cast in and get them started. This cast is also great and very international. We have cast members from America, UK, Australia, China, Russia, Mexico, and the Philippines.




Julio, Anoki and Ruslan work the Motown section


Rudi and Dani



video

Vanessa sings "Hot Stuff"...which my kids used to think said "I want some pasta baby this evening..." :) Jalynn is the singer next to her.

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Adam and the cast sing "Cup of Life". I'm glad to be working with Adam and Rusty again. (Adam did the Infinity last year and Rusty was in my very first Spirit cast).

Rehearsals will continue over the next couple of weeks and then I'll go out to the Spirit with that cast and then jump over to the Infinity for a few days.

Sam has his Spring program tomorrow so hopefully I will have some good pictures to post! It's kind of weird weather here...80 degrees on Tuesday and sleet today. Go figure.