Day 355: Live Nativity

For the past 10 years every Christmas I’ve attended a Live Nativity outside in the cold and sometimes snow. I went to it tonight (though in the warmer weather) and as always really enjoyed it. It’s one thing to read the Christmas story, but it’s completely different to see it acted out right in front of you, hearing the story read aloud, hearing and seeing actual animals, listening to the Christmas music to go with each scene. The one I attend usually takes place the weekend before Christmas, and especially when it’s a few days before Christmas Day like this year it really helps me get ready for Christmas. It’s a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is really all about!

Day 355: Thank you Lord for the Live Nativity! It’s such a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is really about and helps me get ready for it.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 341: Live Theater

I just got back from a church’s fabulous Christmas production, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it! I love watching live theater productions, while movies and tv are nice there’s nothing like seeing something live in front of you. You can watch a story unfold right in front of you, and feel a part of the story too, which rarely happens with a movie or tv show. If there are lots of actors onstage at the same time I like watching the ones in the background to see what they’re doing while listening to the main characters, it’s fun to see what they’re doing especially if they’re staying in character. I’ve been in many plays and musicals over the years and I love being onstage or working backstage just as much as being in the audience.

Day 341: Thank you Lord for live theater where gifts you have given people are so obviously on display for us to see and enjoy, and we can get invested in a story.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 302: Improv Everywhere

I go on youtube almost every day, mainly to watch videos of TV shows I enjoy, but there are a couple solely youtube channels I enjoy watching. Improv Everywhere is probably my favorite! I love watching their videos and seeing what they’re going to do next to surprise people out in public.

I would love to participate in one of their “missions” one day and/or come across one. I’m particularly enjoying their current project where they reenact scenes from movies in real life! I was happy when the video they posted from this series on my birthday was from one of my 3 favorite movies “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

I always laugh at their videos and think they’re awesome, but probably my 2 favorites are ones where they actually helped someone. The first is when they staged a surprise wedding reception for a random couple who got married at the courthouse. I think this was such a wonderful idea, and the couple really seemed to enjoy/appreciate it!

Another video I really loved took place on Black Friday last year. They camped out in front of a Dollar Store before it opened, then went in and bought stuff. I thought this was such a wonderful idea, and the store owner was so surprised and seemed to really appreciate the business.

Day 302: Thank you Lord for Improv Everywhere, and how they always brighten my day when I watch one of their videos!

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 279: Dinner Theater

Tonight I’m going to see one of my favorite musicals at one of the local dinner theaters and I can’t wait! This is the 7th time I’ve been to a show at a dinner theater and I’ve really enjoyed each one. It’s a neat experience to eat a meal, being served by a member of the cast, then watch a show. You get two for the price of one, and even though the tickets can be a bit expensive I don’t mind since I’m paying for both. It’s an interactive setting and helps me enjoy the show even more, because I feel part of the show and I pay more attention to my server onstage since feel like I know them.

Day 279: Thank you Lord for Dinner Theaters, they’re such a fun way to experience a show, and get a meal a long with it!

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 198: Musical Soundtracks

Yesterday I wrote about Avalon my favorite singing group of all time, and Christian music is definitely my favorite genre because it is so uplifting and glorifying to God. But I have a close second favorite genre: Broadway Musicals, which make up probably half the music on my iPod. Musicals are so much fun to listen to and watch, because they tell a story through their music and take you to another place, I especially like ones that tell an uplifting and inspirational story. I’d like to share with you my top 5 favorite shows along with my favorite songs from each.

#5: Newsies Of my top five this is the only one I haven’t seen live onstage, but it is the most recently produced one so it makes sense. I saw the Disney movie years ago and immediately fell in love with the story of kids taking a stand for what they believe in, and not backing down. It’s a fun show and the music is amazing, I’ve had the soundtrack for almost a year and I love listening to it! The funny thing is my favorite song from the movie and the show are different, in the movie it’s “Seize the Day” and the show it’s “The World Will Know” but in both cases the other song is my second favorite. Here’s the movie version “World”:

#4: Les Miserables Of my top five this is the only one I’ve actually seen on Broadway. I was introduced to this show through PBS’ broadcast of the 10th Anniversary show, and from the first I was hooked. The story is so beautiful and inspirational. There are a lot of songs that I love from this show, but my favorite is “On My Own” and even though I have seen many different performances of it over the years, this one from the 10th Anniversary is still my favorite!

#3: Godspell This is a fun show and I would love to be in a production of it someday, but I also love it because it tells the story of Jesus’ ministry so well. I remember once I had to answer a question about some of the things Jesus calls the Pharisee’s and I just remembered the lyrics to “Alas for You” and got the question right, because that song is taken straight from scripture. It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite song for this one because I love them all, even the three cut from the movie, (Except “Beautiful City” which I don’t really count because it was written for the movie) but if I had to pick one it would be “We Beseech Thee”

#2: Wicked My top two favorite musicals are almost interchangeable, but there can only be one favorite. I’ve always loved “The Wizard of Oz” and from the moment I saw “Defying Gravity” performed at the Tony’s I was hooked, the song itself quickly became my second favorite song, and fell in love with the rest of the show as soon as I heard the soundtrack. I got to see it on the National Tour and was surprised by the twists at the end that aren’t even hinted at in the soundtrack.

Before I move on I have to mention my other favorite song from Wicked which would not surprise me if it someday surpasses “Gravity” on my list, “For Good”. This song is so beautiful and so applicable to people in my life.

#1: The Sound of Music This was the first musical I ever saw, and I remember falling in love with it as a young child. I’ve seen the movie so many times that I can probably quote the whole thing. I remember watching it growing up and pretending to be whichever of the girls I was closest to in age, while I was watching it. (Which might be why Louisa remains my favorite of the kids because I stopped when I was about 13) Of my top five this is the only one where I might actually like for the story slightly more than the music. Growing up my favorite song was “So Long, Farewell” which it might still be, but to be honest I’m not sure anymore. So rather than post a video of a song from the movie I’m going to post something I know I love, the flashmob of “Do-Re-Mi”

Day 198: Thank you Lord for Musical Soundtracks, they’re so much fun to listen to and to remember great shows.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 123: Ms Cindy

I enjoyed the Homeschool Harmonizers‘ performance so much on Monday night that I wanted to go back for the final performance tonight. Since the beginning of Harmonizers it’s been a tradition that at the end of the final show someone (usually one of the Seniors) gives a speech thanking our director Ms Cindy and the main helpers, for the year. I must say this year’s speech was the best I can remember, and I was in tears by the end of it. (And I’m not a person who cries very easily)

Not only is today the last Harmonizer performance but it’s also Ms Cindy’s birthday, so I thought it would be appropriate to write about her today. But where do I even start? I’ve learned so much from her through the years and not just about singing, dancing and acting, though I’ve learned most of what I know about singing and acting from her! I always enjoy talking with her and almost always learn something. She always does an amazing job with Harmonizers and puts on a show everyone involved in can be really proud of. She is also one of the busiest people I know, I seriously don’t know how she does it all, but you would never guess when you see her because she always give 100% to whatever she’s involved in and everyone reaps the benefits.

Ms Cindy: Thank you for all your hard work over the years with Harmonizers and everything else you do. You are truly amazing, and everyone who knows you is a better person because of you!

Day 123: Thank you Lord for Ms Cindy and the blessing she has been in my life and in the lives of so many other people I know. Continue to bless her so she can continue to bless us.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 120: Homeschool Harmonizers

Last night I went to the first performance of the Homeschool Harmonizers’ spring production “Promise U.” Homeschool Harmonizers (or as everyone ever associated with the group calls it “Harmonizers”) is a group of Homeschooled students who meet Friday mornings to for drama, singing, and some dancing. During the fall they rehearse Christmas music and visit various nursing homes to perform in December, and during the spring they put on a musical.

Harmonizers was started in 1997 by Ms. Cindy as part of a larger Homeschool Co-op with 12 kids, one of which was me! It later broke off and became a separate group which at its largest had 70 kids. (After a while it became too large and had to downsize abit) I stayed in the group for the next eight years even after I graduated from high school, and I helped out with the spring musical the two years after that.

I love this group so much! I learned so much while I was in it about acting and being onstage, as well as developing some of my dancing skills in styles other than ballet. I’m rarely nervous when I have to speak in front of large groups of people and I know being part of this group is a big part of the reason why. I have fond memories of each of the shows I was a part of, and I was able to develop great relationships with the other kids in the group, many of which continue to this day.

Many Harmonizer alumni I know wish they were still in Harmonizers, which is probably why if they can many stay on a year or two after they graduate from high school. Jen is one alumni who has a master’s degree in organ, but still comes back every year to help out.

Last year because I was out of a job or working part-time for most of the school year I was able to come back to help out, and even be part of the show. I learned a lot in that year about reading music. I love to sing, but am not much of a soloist. I know how to read music, but not very well until last year. I was amazed at how much I learned about reading music and how much better I am at it now.

Harmonizers has done some pretty amazing shows from Christian kids’ musicals, to variety shows, to full-fledge musicals. (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, twice!) I love coming back each year and seeing how amazingly talented these kids are! It’s so cool for me to see kids grow and develop as performers through the years. I’m always blessed by the show they put on, and I know the audiences are too.

Day 120: Thank you Lord for the Homeschool Harmonizers and the impact it’s had on my life, and the lives of so many others. Thank you that I was able to be part of this group for so many years.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!