I’m a fan Fridays!

PEANUTS60S4So, every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I break out my favorite Christmas album, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with music by the great Vince Guaraldi.

Instead of sharing something straight from that album, however, I thought I’d share a performance of this music by another one of my favorite pianists, George Winston.

Here’s George playing “Skating” by Vince Guaraldi.  Enjoy!!

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I’m thankful for a day full of thankfulness

CBthanks1I love Thanksgiving for many reasons, not the least of which is that it signals the beginning of Christmas season, and I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!  The main reason I enjoy Thanksgiving, however, has to do with the fact that it has nothing to do with religion and, at the same time, is at the core of my Christian faith.

On this one day of the year in the United States, everyone from every corner of the country is invited to lay down their differences, gather with whatever family they can get to, and reflect on what they’ve got to be thankful for.

Now, there can be a downside to all of this, I know.  Maybe you don’t like your family.  Maybe you don’t like football.  Maybe you have to work (and if you do, that sucks, and I’m sorry!).  Here’s the thing I love about it, though:  There is no “right way” to be thankful; you just are.  You’re either thankful or you’re not.  If you’re a Muslim, you can be thankful.  If you’re Jewish, you can be thankful.  If you’re an Atheist, you can be thankful.  If you’re a Secular Humanist, you can be thankful. If you’re a Christian, you can be thankful.  And, we can all get together and be thankful around the same table.

I think that’s one of the reasons Jesus and many other great religious figures describe the Kingdom of God by using feast metaphors.  Gathering together around a table for a feast is something that’s been done around the globe for centuries.  Eating together in community brings us closer together.  We all need food to sustain us, and sharing a meal is a beautiful way to demonstrate inclusiveness. When we gather together in an attitude of thankfulness, it changes us.  We recognize that we need each other.  We recognize that it is better to be together than alone.

I really don’t care what religion you align yourself with or even if you want nothing to do with religion whatsoever.  What I wish for you on this day, this Thanksgiving Day, is the experience of joy, peace, and love that comes from living with a thankful heart.

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If you find yourself flustered with the burden of trying to make everything perfect, try taking a page from Peppermint Patty’s book.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the perfect turkey done with all of the trimmings or if you pop a bunch of popcorn and put out a bowel-full of pretzel sticks and jellybeans.  What matters is who you’re with (whether in the flesh or in spirit) and what you mean to each other.

On this day, when we are all invited to the table of Thanksgiving, it is my prayer that you’ll be able to find the time to look around you and see, in the faces you encounter, more reasons to be thankful than you can name.

Peace to you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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These boots hurt my feet

bootsI recently bought a new pair of boots, and it made me think of a movie.  Okay, I’ll explain.

In 1990, a movie called, “Avalon” came out.  It’s the story of a Polish-Jewish family that comes to America at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  Early on in the film, one of the brothers in the family gets a job breaking in new shoes for his employer.

So, the man’s boss gets a new pair of boots or dress shoes or whatever, and the brother’s job is to walk around in those shoes until they are broken in and comfortable.  The boss doesn’t have to go through any of the pain or discomfort.  No blisters or corns for the boss, just the comfortable feel of the broken in leather.

That’s what I need, I thought to myself.  I need a guy to break in these new boots for me!

But then I thought about it again.

I know what a really nicely broken in pair of boots can feel like, the way they conform to your feet as if they were made specifically for your two dogs.  The thing about that is, no one else has your feet.  So, if someone else is breaking in your shoes, they break them in to their own feet, not yours.

I have a few things in my life that I’d liken to a nice pair of broken in boots, and with every one of those relationships or acquired skills I hold dear, I can say, without hesitation, that there was a significant “breaking in” period that I had to go through myself; nobody else could put in the time for me.  That’s what makes those special things so special–I put in the time.

People often speculate about what success means in this business of being an actor.  Is it how much money you make, or is it how often you work, or is it what size roles you get, or is it some other kind of measuring stick?

For me, I just want to work as an actor and pay my bills doing it.  It’s not an easy road, and God knows my feet have got more than a few blisters from breaking in this career.  It will be worth it, though.  I’ve just got to put in the time.  I’ve got to do the mileage.  Nobody else can do it for me.

But, Jesus, my feet hurt right now!

 

 

I’m a fan Fridays!

doctor-who-christmas-carol-movie-image-matt-smith-01In honor of Sunday’s opening of “A Christmas Carol” at The Media Theatre and tomorrow night’s “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary celebration, I’m bringing you something very special for this edition of I’m a fan Fridays!

A few years ago, the “Doctor Who Christmas Special” was an adaptation of my favorite holiday story.  What a treat it was to have two of my favorite things mash-up together!  You should treat yourself and find the entire episode this holiday season!  Enjoy!

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I dreamed a dream of times gone crazy

The_Scream_by_nalissisThere’s a bit of anxiety inherent in what I do for a living.

I prepare for a significant amount of time to be able to put on costumes, get up in front of people (the more the better!) and pretend to be someone else (or multiple people, sometimes) for about an average of two hours at a stretch, depending on the job.

It’s the preparation time that gives me the anxiety, especially if it’s a one-person piece like my adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” which, coincidentally, I’m opening at The Media Theatre in Media, PA on Sunday evening.

When I get this close to an opening of a show, things get a little hairy, and I’m really no good to anyone.  I don’t sleep well, so I disturb my wife; I sometimes completely forget about appointments even though I have them in my calendar, so I upset my friends, my kids, and people I do business with; and I sort of wander around, lost in thought like Norstadt in “The Man Without A Face.”

I also have weird dreams like the one I had this morning…

It’s this coming Sunday, and it’s less than a half an hour before curtain on the opening performance of “A Christmas Carol.”  I’ve decided that I need to go out and get something I forgot that I desperately need for the show.  The thing is, I’m not sure what I’ve forgotten, I’m not sure where I’m going, and I’m riding around town peddling my guts out on a tiny tricycle I don’t recognize.  It’s not even my color.  I should have a red tricycle and this thing’s blue!

So I’m peddling around when I get a call from the stage manager.

“Scott?”

“Hi!  Yes. What’s up?”

“Well, it’s time.”

“Time for what?”

“Time for the show to start.  You need to go on.  There are people here and they’re getting restless.”

“Oh, jeeze, right!  Yes!  Uh, okay, I’ll be right there!”

“Where are you?”

“I’m not exactly sure.  But I’m on a tricycle, so I’ll be just a few minutes. I’m on my way!”

And then I woke up.

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I don’t like myself much when I’m not able to run

bwrunner1I haven’t run in three weeks, not a step.  I’ve been suffering from vertigo.  I’ve been dealing with that for over a year now, so I’m not really sure why it’s got me down lately.

In fact, I went to the doctor about it (finally!…I know, I know).  She gave me some meds and told me to up my vitamins, so…

The thing about the vertigo is that it comes on so randomly.  I can never predict when I’ll have an episode.  It only lasts for about ten seconds every time and I can feel it coming on, but it’s just so random.

When vertigo strikes, it comes out of nowhere.  I could never put my finger on what was causing it.  At first, I thought maybe I was dehydrated, so I drank plenty of water and it still happened.  Randomly.  Then I thought maybe I was just looking at my computer screen for too long, but that wasn’t it, either.  Maybe the new vitamins will work.  We’ll see.

I don’t like myself when I’m not able to run.  I think what happens when I stop running for too long is that I start drinking more.  I start drinking more and writing less.  I start drinking more, writing less, and feeling depressed.

That’s what happens when I stop running for too long.

I had been training pretty hard for the Philadelphia Marathon but had to withdrawal because of the vertigo and the lack of down-the-stretch training.  That hurt, having to withdrawal.  I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own body; I couldn’t tell it what to do like I’ve been able to do pretty much my entire life.

I’ve been on the vitamins for a few days now and I don’t feel much different, but I haven’t had another episode, so there’s that.

I’ll get back out there, maybe later today.  Will something bad happen?  Will I have an episode in the middle of a run and have trouble getting back home?  Maybe.  But if I don’t try, I won’t ever know.  What I do know is that I’ll drink too much, write too little and feel too depressed about things I know I can’t control.  I don’t like myself when I get like that.

I don’t like myself when I’m not able to run.

I’m a fan Fridays!

doctor_who__the_day_of_the_doctor_wallpaper_by_skinnyglasses-d6m4e2wIf you’re a Whovian like I am, you already know about The Day Of The Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

What you may not be aware of is this mini-episode written by the series show-runner, Steven Moffat, starring the 8th Doctor played by Paul McGann.

So, I give it to you on this “I’m a fan Friday.”  Enjoy, and let me know where you’ll be doing your 50th Anniversary viewing next Saturday night.

You can follow me on Twitter at:  @scotylang

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