Day 3, Music

(Sometimes writing is a bit of a struggle and you just have to push it out. that is today.)


Music is probably one of the most important things in my life. Whether I am listening to music that has been created by someone else or I am playing and creating. Music is at the very core of my being. There is seldom a waking moment when music is not present in my life.

Music can do amazing things. With the right selection it can change a mood, taking you from a funk into a happier state. Music can take a deep depression, and with the right selections it can ease that path and allow you to express what it is that is happening to you.

Creating music is such a wonderful gift. My music is my prayer. It is my commune with the universe. Music can express ideas, moods and feelings in ways that I simply cannot with spoken word. I am a pretty introverted person and music allows me to express when perhaps I couldn’t otherwise.

I haven’t created much music just for the sake of creating it in some time. I have come up with music for dance routines and performances but it has been a very long time since I simply sat in a room and created. This is one of the important things for me this coming year. I want to play more. I want to create more. I want to express more. I want to do this without the strings of I need something for this dance or this thing. I want to create what I want, what I need.

There are a couple more instruments that I have to figure out how to acquire as well. This is going to be a year of music for me.

Today I am grateful for having music in my life.


Rev J


Day 2: Phantom’s Feast

Today I am grateful for Phantom’s Feast. I am a Renaissance Festival performer and Phantom’s Feast is the Halloween production that we put on the two weekends following the end of our festival. It is an improv driven Halloween horror show combined with the dinner theater concept, usually set in a Victorian era Horror theme, such as Dracula or Frankenstein. This is our party and play reward at the end of almost a year of rehearsals, practices, workshops, preparations, and performance for the main festival. This is release.

In what has really become almost exactly a year of really struggling with my head-space, this years feast is a welcome escape. I have been in a weird place with patience and energy wearing down quickly as we reach the end of the festival run. This show is looking amazing. We are only about a week and a half into creating and rehearsing this show and I have to say, this is the best cast of actors I have worked with, ever. They all come from the greater cast of the festival this year, but in that, the cream has risen to the top. Everyone is on the same page, facing the same direction and working toward the same end with very little, if any, self interest driven drama.

It has been so helpful and fulfilling to be assistant director to this production. There are days that I struggle to even get out of bed but I leave a late night rehearsal with this show and feel the best I feel all week. There is something amazing and energizing to be able to work with these people. They are not just good performers and actors, but genuinely very good people. These are the type of people a person should surround themselves with. It is an honor and privilege to be sharing this experience with them.

Today, in a year where I feel stretched thin and over committed, I am grateful for Phantom’s Feast.


Rev J

Fall 2016 Gratitude Challenge Day 1

So today starts another 30 day gratitude challenge. Today’s topic will actually be the 30 gratitude challenge and how I choose to work these.

The reason behind doing a 30 day gratitude challenge is multifaceted. One of the reasons for doing this is to remind myself of the good that is in my life and to look at life through the lens of gratitude. Another reason for doing this challenge is reprogramming. In this day and age it is very easy to get pulled in a direction of thinking and dwelling on so much negative. A 30 day challenge gets you in the habit of thinking about the good, the positive. Another reason could be to share your blessings with other people.

An important reason for me is that this year has been challenging to say the least. There have been large financial obstacles to climb, very large and scary medical issues to deal with. There have been social issues in my personal life that have been extremely challenging and testing to holding my ideals. There have been global, regional and national issues that impact a world view, a sense of well being and security. This has been a year of conflict, trial, and chaos. However there has also been a great deal of good. It is easy to get pulled down into a negative place when your life and world view feel as if things are not well, but you need these reminders to keep you on track to how things actually are.

Some people can simply walk in this, but for some of us, those of us that are more empathic, those of us that have mental illnesses that can impact our moods and worldview, these exercises can truly help keep you centered, keep you on the middle path.

Some versions of these challenges have you start a list and each day you either create a 10 item list or add to an existing list. Those are fine and they work great and on a daily basis sometimes a pull out a list when I am too far into my own head. However, I prefer a different exercise.

I like a daily topic that is written about in a certain amount of detail. I enjoy taking one thing, idea, person, or event, and putting some effort into describing why I am grateful about this one thing, why it is important and why I am grateful for this. Sometimes it is a paragraph sometimes it is a page but everyday I want to write about one thing and why I am grateful for it.

Usually these things are started at the beginning of a calendar month or often times a year. I am starting today because I need this and it is time to start. I welcome anyone to join me in walking through this challenge with me. Whether published in a blog, written in a spiral notebook or in a private journal, giving yourself 30 days to write about what is good and what you are grateful for can truly help your outlook on life.

I am grateful for opportunities to press the reset button and refocus my outlook from a place of gratitude.

Own it

This was originally a Facebook Rant. It got so much attention and support that ok thought it would be good to share here.

Rant alert.
I have realized over the weekend that my patience for certain personality types has been reduced to near zero. Unfortunately there are many of this type of person within my current sphere of activity. It is easy to get pulled into their crap.  The question is this, is this an opportunity to stretch and open up or is this the signal to place distance between them and me? I want to surround myself with the genuine, the real. Yes, for nine or so hours we, in the name of performance, wear a mask, but behind the mask I want to be around people that are true to themselves and honest. 
When I say honest, I mean you own your shit. There is good in all of us, but we all have work to do. Own it and work it. No one I know is so together that they can’t own their shit and work on it. Self induced drama in order to gain attention and affection for its own sake damages the self and the collective. Be passionate but be real. Be courageous and show pride in your work but be humble. Take care of each other. Lean in on each other but support each other as well. Tearing someone down does not build you up. If the spotlight isn’t shining on you, it isn’t your scene, support. Your scene will come.
The is enough awful out there. You don’t need to invent more. There is a ton of good. Focus on that. Even in the shadows, life is beautiful. 
Ok, rant over. Be excellent to each other.