Saturday, July 2, 2011

Liftoff, we have liftoff!

This was in the Record-Courier yesterday.  I wrote the
caption and my dad took the picture.  Thanks to
Roger Di Paolo and Laura Nethken!
It's July, which only means one thing for me the last few years: another year of This is Kirtland! We opened last night for our 8th season.  I'm finding it hard to believe we are already open now as time has just flown by.  We've been out of school for a month already and by the time the show clsoes July 16, the month will be half over and then I go into two back-to-back trips that take me into August.

Because of not being able to find a teaching job yet and subbing, I find myself looking forward to school being back in session.  Never thought I'd hear myself say that!  But as much as I like having lots of free time and being able to sleep in a lot, not having very much income coming in during the summer makes it somewhat difficult to really enjoy.  Oh is what it is and after last summer, I made sure I saved enough money to get me by if I wasn't able to find a summer job, which has so far been the case.  Given the roller coaster ride I'm just now beginning, I doubt I'll be able to find anything before school starts again at the end of August.

I am also in the midst of taking three graduate credit hours at Kent State to renew my teaching license, which officially expired yesterday.  One class is online and deals with the use of social networking in education.  It started June 20 and officially ends July 10.  I have been working ahead in that class so that all I have left is the final paper (5 pages) and a discussion post.  I pretty much have gotten everything done for the week at the beginning of the week.  That was especially helpful this past week because my second class was a 3-day class on campus on how to better use SMART boards.  We met Wednesday-Friday at White Hall from 8 AM-Noon.  Even though I already have familiarity with SMART boards from my MAT degree classes and a few times where I've used them subbing, I learned some additional things and enjoyed the workshop.  Even better was the fact that there weren't any written assignments that I had to worry about, so it was a pretty easy class!

Now, on to the show.  I was pretty worried these past few weeks leading up, but as usual, most things came together for us to have a good opening night.  It was by no means perfect, but I was very pleased overall with how things went.  Definitely things to improve on for tomorrow and the rest of the run, but all in all, I wasn't disappointed at all.  I'm finding that the joy of being in the show I had back in 2009 is back this year, which I'm really happy about.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 2010's run, but in many ways it was frustrating, especially compared to 2009.  The difference for me is how I feel about going to practices.  In 2009 I looked forward to going to rehearsals, while in 2010 it wasn't something I looked forward to all that much.  Here in 2011 I found myself again looking forward to rehearsals and have found my testimony of the Gospel getting stronger.  It's fascinating to me to see how Church history affects my testimony along with anti-Mormons.  

Anyway, I'm excited about this year's run and my role as Lorenzo Snow.  After being Sidney Rigdon the past two years, I was ready for a change and have really enjoyed the process of learning a new part and having 2 solos in the show.  When the Lorenzo Snow part was added in 2009, it was a part I really wanted because I liked the solo he has so much.  It didn't work out for me that year (I was Sidney Rigdon that year and thoroughly enjoyed that part).  This year Lorenzo's role has been expanded somewhat and the main solo he has now includes a small duet with his sister Eliza R. Snow that sounds great!  My other solo is in a totally new song about building the Kirtland Temple.  It's not a Lorenzo Snow solo (especially since historically Lorenzo Snow joined the Church after the Temple was dedicated), but I really enjoy singing it in the middle of that song, which features quite a bit of choreography for the entire cast.  Hopefully tonight I will sing it a little better than I did last night.  It wasn't horrible, but could've been a lot better.  I have also enjoyed learning more and more about the history in this area and the characters in the show, especially my own character.  He grew up in nearby Mantua, Ohio, right here in Portage County, so it's neat to be able to portray him on stage.  

The other development related to the show I was very happy about was my own ankle.  3 weeks ago I sprained it pretty badly in dance rehearsal.  It was a "high ankle sprain", meaning I had some spectacular bruises on my foot (in 4 places) and on my leg just below the calf (2 bruises, one fairly large).  Since then I've done my best to stay off my foot as much as I can and while it's definitely not back at 100% (my last ankle sprain, also the "high" variety, took a little over a month to totally heal), it's well enough that I can dance both the men's dance (which is where the injury happened) and the couple's dance.  I started doing the couple's dance again about a week ago, but was only able to start practicing the men's dance on Wednesday.  I am happy to report that I relearned it enough that I pulled it off for last night's opening.  It can still be better, but considering how much I couldn't remember on Wednesday, I was pretty thrilled with how Friday went for both dances :).  I still can't really jump, but I do my best.

So, for those of you in the Northeast Ohio area, we still have shows tonight as well as July 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 PM.  Doors open at 7 PM at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kirtland, at 8751 Kirtland Road (S.R. 306).  I've been told the show on the 14th is full due to tour groups and a youth conference, so hopefully many of you can come to another night.  I'm sure we could fit a few extra then if we absolutely needed to!  And don't forget, there is NO admission cost and no, we won't be passing a basket around or asking for any kind of donations either.  If you do want to come and let me know in advance, I can get you reserved seats too! 


Tiff said...

Congrats on a great opening of the show. I have a question about Smartboards. I feel like they are a big expensive chalkboard, so tell me what is so great about them...My kids' school has them, and I just don't get it.

Jon said...

Thanks Tiffany! To answer your question, a SMARTboard is an interactive whiteboard. It essentially acts as a touchscreen for the computer and allows the teacher to have highly interactive lessons that can involve shapes, sounds, video and more. They can be used in pretty much any subject area and if used correctly, can really add a new dynamic to the lesson by allowing more class participation among other things. As a sub I've seen some pretty sweet math lessons done on SMARTboards by teachers I was subbing with. They were able to illustrate concepts that would've been very difficult to do on a chalkboard or even a whiteboard.

You should ask if you could see a demonstration of a good SMARTboard lesson. I think they're fantastic, even for choir!!

Granny J said...

Congrats on the show! Lorenzo Snow plays a huge part in Mel's family...Ella Jensen...she's not in our direct line but they go back to the same grandfather.
Glad to hear your ankle is're gonna feel it when winter comes on (I think that is a line from a movie...probably not one you would ever watch. ;) )