Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I know you haven't heard from me in a while, and I don't really have an excuse. The month of May was just too boring for words. As a teacher or student for most of my life (well let's face it-ALL my life), I get summers off beginning in May. Fun right! Jealous? For most of our lives we're conditioned to look forward to summer break-an end to work, an end to stress, a break from the daily grind. Quite honestly, a few days break from the daily grind is about all I can stand before I start to get really sick of myself. In my thirties summer usually means 10 extra pounds and isolation from humanity. "Help wanted" ads at the funeral parlor start to look really appealing. I wake up at 11:00, and straggle to the computer to check my empy inbox. The highlight of my day is 3:00 when I eat lunch and watch Dr Phil. Pathetic! "What did I get that MFA for? Did I just purchase a really expensive hobby?" These are the thoughts that send me into spirals of depression and snacking.

In June I received my lifeline. I have just accepted a position as Associate Artistic Director for Oklahoma City Theatre Company. Not THE head honcho but the Associate Head Honcho. My job includes setting up a school touring program for the company that we are calling CLASSICS LIVE. The focus of the program will be to instill love for the classics in school kids from 5th through 12 grades. We will perform 45 minute versions of classic literature from Shakespeare to Beowulf. We will also plan and teach workshop sessions for the kids to expose them to the material in a more interactive way. In addition to setting up the program, making sure we have scripts adapted, actors and director recruited, shows booked, AND the grant money to make it all happen in time for fall, I'm also in charge of OCTC's New Play Festival which is scheduled for spring '07. But don't think I'm giving up teaching. No, no, no. I already have plans to direct the musical at Oklahoma Christian in the fall, and if they offer me a class or two...well, why not. I already have the lesson plans. Whew!

Some of the people in my life worry: "Rachel, I don't want you to overwork yourself. Are you sure you have the energy for all that?" Are you kidding? This is a dream come true. A whole summer full of too much to do. Maybe this year I'll even lose weight. Starving artist has taken on a whole new meaning this year. I was starving, yes STARVING, wasting away spiritually and emotionally for want of work.

Enjoy your vacation.