March 16, 2000 – Thursday – 9:06 p.m.

The Ides of March are over, and something happened over the past couple of days.

In the Flesh began to change from the ministry I first thought it would be to something entirely different.  It is an original script about a character with a pornography addiction.  The director told me that my role and the lead female would never be intimate on stage, that my character had issues with intimacy, but he soon realized that wasn’t working.  He had the actress, who is about 15 years older than me, unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my chest, while I was on my back.  Now I’ve kissed girls on stage before, and I’ve been in my underwear on stage before, but I wasn’t with Marie then.  And I got involved with this production because I thought it would help those with a pornography addiction, like my father, but now I’m not so sure.

Marie and I have talked and prayed about it.  She is clearly uncomfortable with it.  If I wasn’t with Marie, I’d probably work through it, for that is the professional thing to do, but I need to put her first in this situation.  I spent two hours talking with James, the director, last night.  He finally said that it would be wrong for both of us if I continued to be a part of the production.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I used to love acting, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth towards it.  I just didn’t have any artistic control in that situation and felt I should quit, which I didn’t like doing.  I currently have so much artistic control through directing Dang! and being there for post-production.  I can minister more through directing and not just entertain.

I have applied for a Resident Director position at Virginia Wesleyan College for the next year.  I pray God gives it to me.

Marie is doing really well.  She says school isn’t great for her, but that I am.  We both see that God brought both of us here for each other.  I’m learning much in my field, but she says she is not.  She says I’m her only teacher and her only friend.

Since I’m not in the show anymore, I’ll be able to go with her to a wedding in Pennsylvania in April.  April is going to be a great month.  March is half over.  Only five weeks of classes remain.

Marie’s mom has given Marie her approval of me.  We are contemplating a summer or fall wedding in the year 2001.  I would like to ask her in September of this year and then get married in June.

Life is beautiful with Marie.  Jesus is good to me.  I now know that on the day Marie and I wed, these Books of Days will end.  We’ll begin a new one together.

These journals have always been about me and me alone.  When my life is joined with hers, I won’t be alone anymore.  I won’t be single, so these books should stop.

Curtis is getting married on Saturday.  Unbelievable!  He’s the first of us in fact.  I think I’m going to give him a call.

 

August 19, 1999 – Thursday – 8:00 a.m.

Mary Jo and her guy Rob, plus Stephen, took me out to eat for my birthday.  All the beautiful waitresses sang happy birthday to me.

Lindy called me at midnight to wish me a happy birthday.  And Nate called me as well.  He is in high school now.

I worked at the bookstore all day on Tuesday.  It was the best day!  They had a cake and everything for me.

Sterling’s family had me over for dinner that night and Kimberly came over as well.  We all met up with other folks from the youth group to go pick David up from the airport.  He has been in Bogota.

I met with Lorene since she is going to be the chair for my thesis film I’m doing.  I’ve titled it DANG!.  I have to incorporate my own production company to produce it properly and legally.  I bought a book on how to do that last night.  This is kind of crazy.

I can feel in the air that autumn is on its way.  This 23rd year of my life is going to be something else.  My movie will take up most of it, plus a full year of classes, not to mention teaching at the church on Wednesday nights.  I’ll also be working on a feature length script for my story structure class.  The summer is almost over.

On Monday I have an audition for a CBN/700 Club feature story.  Someone told the director that I look exactly like this real life murderer, so I’ve been asked to read for the part.  Should be fun!

 

February 4, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:09 p.m.

Wow!  I just got off the phone with Elinor from Regent University.  We had an awesome time!  She even prayed for me.  I’m going there!  I’m sure of it! I’ve been sure of it for a long time.  We talked so much about film and ministry and everything.

In Radio/TV/Film class the other day I had a mock film audition and Doc said I was a natural.  Other people evidently saw the audition somehow and have been complimenting me on it.  Emily even stopped me just to say I did an amazing job.  Others have started calling me “Film Boy.”

I want to make movies so badly.  I want to learn this craft, to tell stories, to be used by God.  I just want to sit at his table and consume every good thing he has for me.

I’m reaching the point where I don’t want to be with Sarah anymore.  I’m going to give it some more time, but I don’t have much time left.  I need to spend that time being me with my true friends, and not just sitting around waiting for my girlfriend, who never seems to come by or call me.

September 4, 1997 – Thursday – 10:00 a.m.

It’s been a year now since that wonderful moment when I rode in Sharon’s truck with Hannah asleep in my lap.  Vince and Laura were beginning a relationship that is nearly ruined now.

Fall auditions are over and I got the lead role in The Misanthrope.  Pretty exciting I guess.  Thanks God!

The Misanthrope may be the last show I do here at Lees-McRae.  I’m directing a one-act next semester and I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to be in the next show in the spring, but we’ll see.

While here, I’ve played a singing knight in Once Upon A Mattress, a nervous messenger in Antigone, a gay orderly in Bearclaw, a grumpy old man in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and a lovesick speech therapist in Children of a Lesser God.

The only experience I had prior to Lees-McRae was church drama.  It’s safe to say that college has taught me much.

April 24, 1997 – Thursday – 10:50 a.m.

The Performing Arts banquet was last night.  To my surprise, I received the Acting Award for the year.  They complimented me on Children of a Lesser God, for learning a new language as well as memorizing the entire script, and they complimented me on my role of Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  I couldn’t believe it.  Within two days, I received awards for both my performance in life as well as my performances on the stage.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes, but I’ve already begun work for my Summer Theater Resident Director job.

I’ve come a long way and my dreams have all come true.

February 17, 1997 – Monday – 1:45 a.m.

It is over.

Today’s show was wonderful.  My whole family came, as well as Charlie, Kate, Abigail, Jeni, Tracey, and so many more from church.  Now it is over.

I did it.  This was easily the biggest acting challenge yet and I did it well.

Carla, Curtis’ friend from Atlanta, called me tonight.  We had a wonderful talk.

It feels like I just turned 20, but six months have already past.

What role will I play next?

It seems I can’t get to sleep tonight.

Life…this sure is pretty cool.

January 22, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:30 a.m.

Children of a Lesser God is a really hard show.  Not only do I have to learn my lines, but I have to learn them in sign language as well.  Plus, Dawn never speaks, so I don’t have those cues to work off of, I have to be able to read her sign language to get the cue for my next line.  And did I mention that the play takes place in the mind of my character? Meaning, I never leave the stage!  The only time I’m not on the stage is during intermission.  If the lights are up, I’m out there.  But this will happen in Jesus’ name!  Things feel like they are going by so fast, but I’m enjoying it the best I can.

Ann-Marie, Jessica, Tracey, and Vince and I watched The Land Before Time together last night.  We assigned each of us one of the five main dinosaurs and we all had to say the lines as our character’s were saying them.  I was Littlefoot and Vince was Spike, the girls were the rest and man, we laughed the entire time.

It’s so great to have friends.

October 26, 1996 – Saturday – 12:30 p.m.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern has gone on for two nights now.  Each night I’ve had people tell me I was the best.  I’ve spent most of the week working on my One-Act and I’ve had the show each night.

I’m so busy.

Looking forward to some more time on my own, but the show really is super fun.  Ann-Marie and Abigail are working behind the scenes.  Just seeing them blesses me.

I had a Mike McQuire Workshop this morning.  And I have one this afternoon.  There was a cast party last night, but I didn’t go.  I don’t like to be around all that drinking.  Ann-Marie went and didn’t get back until 7:30 in the morning.  She didn’t drink, but it kind of got to me that she was around that for so long.  But then again, I’m in no way perfect.

Mike McQuire helped in the production of The Usual Suspects.  He came to the show last night and said I was the best out of all the other 15 actors.  He said he could tell I was acting  all the way down in my toes.  Two other people told me I was their favorite character in the show.  I don’t understand.  I just go out there and do what I see as really nothing at all.  I just become Polonius.

I talked to Ryan over email.  She says she might come and visit some time.

Mom, Clay, and Nate will come tomorrow.

I ate lunch with Ann-Marie and Abigail today.  I just pray they both stay strong in the Lord.  For some reason I fear they may fall away.

I really want someone to look at me and smile in a way that causes the whole world to stop.  When will that come God?  When?

 

April 7, 1996 – Sunday – 11:20 p.m.

A beautiful Easter.  There were snowflakes in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon, and the most amazing sunset of the year so far.

The skit we performed went wonderfully at church.  By the end of the morning, I began to grow weary of the number of times I said “thank you” to all the compliments.  People cried.  Everyone was touched.

Thank you Lord.

Molly sat next to me in church.  She would play with her hair.  I would watch.  Our elbows would sometimes touch.  And she hugged me when the service was over.

We ate at Marty and Stan’s for Lunch.  A lot of people were there.  I now believe we even have some adults interested in doing some drama for church.  People seem to be amazed by me.  They asked me where I got the material, but I simply pointed to my head.  They couldn’t believe that I made it all up.  It is how I worship.  It is the gift God has given me.

Look how far I’ve come from those days with the Emmanuel Players at Abundant Life.

It began in 1990 when I was asked to be a puppeteer for children’s church.  I then began doing some scene, then they asked me to play a small part in the Christmas play.  I did and I was adored.  I continued with puppets, then did some clown work and created other characters and scenes.  In August of 1992 we began a skit group.  Jason led us.  I watched him and I performed several skits directed by him.  We became inseparable friends.  All of us.  Those names are forever stored in my heart.

For the summer of 1993, Jason had to leave.  I tried to lead us.  Pastor Steve tried, but the flame had grown damp.  However, it was not damp in me.  I directed a few skits before we split up and I continued with children’s church.

Then I came to Lees-McRae; Once Upon a Mattress, Of Mice and Men, A Few Good Men, Antigone, Bearclaw, Christmas Comes to Lone Star Gulch, tons of acting classes and now I’m leading church drama again.

But my greatest teacher is God.  I don’t need to be famous.  I don’t need to be rich.  I just need to use the arts to show people how much God loves them.

October 15, 1995 – Sunday – 11:57 p.m.

What a day!

Church was wonderful this morning.  Crystal was there and she sat with me.  I’m going to spend Fall Break with her and her family.  I’m looking forward to it.

It has been really cold today.  It’s around 35 degrees now.  It’s hard to believe October is already half over.

The last performance of Li’l Abner was today.  Everyone from church came.  We had strike afterwards and didn’t get finished until 8:30 p.m.

Eddie just left my room.  He came to get some notes for Diction.  We talked about Christianity some and then about acting and theater.  He tells me I have great talent.  I’m not sure how to take all of this.  Recently, because of Antigone, everyone has noticed my acting ability, talent, and gift from God.  God has given me this talent.  This gift.

And I can’t wait until the next time I get to use it!