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.

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February 7, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

How different things are here at Lees-McRae than when I first arrived.  Charlie was over at Canon Cottage and I went to visit him after rehearsal last night.  I’ve known him for two and a half years now.  I think for Spring Break we’ll just go to Kate’s house in Florida again.

This place is so important to me.  Some have come and gone: Jason, Jeff, Michael, Syndi.  And others are going: Curtis and Jeni.

Life is so funny, but absolutely enjoyable.

Children of a Lesser God has become so close to me.  Dawn has become so important to me.  Or perhaps it is her character, Sarah Norman, whom I’ve grown to love.  When I am on the stage, I am in love with her.  She is so amazing.  She has this smell and I look forward to smelling it every evening.

All of the other roles I’ve played were supporting characters.  Now I am playing the leading man.  Other characters are supporting me and I’m growing dependent on them.  It will be very sad when this ends on the 16th.  It will be like losing a lover.

Mark, my director, has meant a lot to me these past few days.  He sees my growth and says people will never look at me the same after they see me in this show.

Thank you so much for this Lord.  Thank you for everything here at Lees-McRae.  I’ve never felt like I truly belonged some place until you brought me here.

My dad might come, as well as Kevin, Mom, Henry, and Nate.

I don’t deserve this love.

Fifteen months remain until the new storm blows me away.

Please don’t let it come too quickly Lord.

If I am to move to Virginia Beach, then please prepare that place for me.

I give you my life Lord.

I give you everything.

October 19, 1996 – Saturday – 1:30 a.m.

A long day (Friday)!

I have a lot of work due by the end of this weekend.  I pray God gives me the strength and power to finish.

I’ve talked to Tenielle.  She doesn’t seem to be doing really well, but I don’t know what’s going on.  I tried to call her tonight, but she was crying and said she would call me back.  Hopefully all of this will make sense soon.

My Crosspoint interview was today.  Vince was unable to go, so Jeni took me.  We had a good talk; seemed like old times.  We are great friends again.

The interview went well I suppose, but I place this summer job in God’s hands.

I’m going to get some sleep.  There is a Performing Arts work call tomorrow.  I have to read two plays and write two papers by Monday morning.

I’ll do it all though.

September 25, 1996 – Wednesday – 12:30 a.m.

Life is great and busy.  There is hardly time to write.  Classes are fun.  Friends are awesome.

And God adores me.  I love him so much.

I led CSU tonight.  Amazing!  God showed up.

We have a sponsor named Kim, she is 26-years-old and the coolest girl!  We get along so well.

I can’t believe how amazing life is right now.

I performed The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe in Oral Interp.  The class couldn’t believe it.  They said I did such a good job.

I’ve already gotten tons of compliments for my Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and we’re only halfway through the rehearsal process.

Pastor Jim, Lisa, Hope, and Joy have left.  They moved to Florida.

But I am still here.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

I am happy.  I am healthy.

Nothing more can be said.

April 21, 1996 – Sunday – 8:10 p.m.

A hard day, but I learned so much.  My lip hasn’t gotten much better.  I felt really light headed this morning.  During the service, Molly and her friend Autumn sang a beautiful song.  The pastor gave a great sermon.  In Sunday School we learned about the last days and this afternoon I read the play Shadowlands.  All of this came together in my mind to form one central truth about life:

Real life hasn’t yet begun.

As I slept last night in my most wonderful bed with my teddy in my arms, I dreamt.

I dreamt of a girl.  She is 16, she has long black hair, she attends my church and goes by the name of Laura.  In this dream, just her and I were free, in a very nice car, driving out west.

We were in Arizona.  All we did was drive and talk.  We were a couple; the most perfect couple that ever existed.  By the end of the dream I dropped her off at a campsite.  A sign was posted at the entrance saying, “Laura Loves Someone.”

She walked up the trail and looked back and smiled.

I knew that someone was me.  My lip was even healed.  Life was perfect.  But my dream ended.  Sunday morning had arrived.  I was in North Carolina.

It took me a while to clean my lip of all the dry, crusted, saliva.  I finally made it to church, feeling very weak.  I discovered another odd something growing in my mouth.  I didn’t know what it was and I still don’t.

I grew very stressed.  I went to the bathroom and prayed.  During the service I was unable to sing.  Everyone kept asking me how I was doing.  I simply said, “Not too good.”

Jim’s sermon was on the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.  There’s a time for everything.  Good times.  Bad times.  It all equals out to be even.  Therefore my problems with my lip will be evened out with something good later.  Just like the terrible week I had before Spring Break was awarded with Arizona.  It helped me to handle my health problems better.

I saw Laura, but she did not speak to me.  She even came to Lees-McRae today to play tennis; Molly and others came as well.  I didn’t see them much though.  I had to read Shadowlands and go to the PA year end work call.

Which reminds me of last night.  Don had a party with a live band and all.  Don is our Technical Director.  He’s really cool.  I worked for three hours then went to the RA banquet.  When that was over, I went to the library, then came back here.

Earlier today though, as I read Shadowlands, was so special.  That play has so much truth.  This world is only the shadowlands of what is to come.  Shadows exist because of light.

April 9, 1996 -Tuesday – 7:50 p.m.

Another Tuesday.  I am on duty.

Earlier in the day I got a Literature test back.  I made a 98 on it.  I was pleased.

After lunch, Curtis and I went to Boone.  I had a doctor’s appointment.  On the way back we stopped by Eckerd Drug.  I walked in looking for some shampoo and a female voice said hello to me.  I stopped, turned, and looked.  A pretty smile, pretty hair, but I didn’t know her name.  I had had a conversation with her on Easter Sunday at Marty and Stan’s.  She is married however.  A new couple at church.  Our conversation was simply a few sentences about Michael W. Smith, but she remembered my name.  Thank you.

Dan and I played Tetris 2 and then I studied my lines for a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest.  Jensen, a guy down the hall, came in and talked to me for a while. I just got off the phone with Lindy.  I had to ask her about a work call for our team in Performing Arts.  We ended up talking for over half an hour about tons of different things.  It felt good to spend 30 minutes on the phone hearing a female voice other than my mother’s.

It has been snowing all day.  The second week of April and it’s still snowing.

Time is flying by as always.  I don’t mind it much though.

I am looking forward to heaven.

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.