Here, There be a Writer

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A #ROW80 Tribute!

This blog is a BIG one! This post is special to me for a couple of reasons, first is that this will be my 100th blog since starting this blog back in November 2012; and the second is because with this blog I am going to pay tribute to by dear friend and mentor, Jane, one of my closest and dearest friends. (Of course I am also going to check-in with AROW80 more on that later).

Jangle the Clown
Jane Daum, actor, director, sets, costumes, improv queen, singer, nature babe, and clown; I met her in 2006 doing a dinner theatre called "The  Pirates of Pink Pants: A the Murder of Jolly Rodger," about pirates that pillage for fashion instead of treasure. It's Gilbert and Sullivan meet Monty Python, or visa versa, as described by the author. I was little more that a sound effects and lighting person, a techie. (Must be how I got to be a great 'techie', as it's where I got my start.) Jane played Oliver, a forelorned young man/woman on a ship full of pirates who wear pink pants, a maid (Margaret), a serving girl (Polly), and a Master-at Arms Smith.

It wasn't until after Pirates, when I really got to know Jane. She cast me in first role in "Audition for Murder." Not the single most stupidest dinner theatre script, but it was pretty silly. I had three lines and did not know how to improv. During rehearsals she would play improv games to exercises our brains and get us thinking of how to interact with the audience. Where one show ends, another begins and Jane brought David and I to the Lake Country Players where we did "Beauty and the Beast" in the fall of 2006.

Over the years I worked with Jane in countless roles, both on and off stage. She is the one who taught me how to be a stage manager and later a director. I stage crewed for her production of "The Wizard of Oz" and stage managed for her production of "Pirates of Penzance." I have had the pleasure of working with her on countless projects both on and off the stage. She was a fountain of knowledge doing my run as director during "Charlotte's Web." It was my first time directing and I was scared, but Jane was always there to help keep me grounded.

Not just with theatre, but going to the Renaissance Faire up at Sterling, or having the best summer picnics at her house, eating Wisconsin cheese and burning stuff (during the annual fa;; burn party, post theatrical production that is). We shared a loved of reading and science fiction. I credit her as the one of the two to finally get me into Doctor Who. I marveled at how she was able to be so amazing and talented, and of of my best and closest theatre friends.

I write these words because my friend and greatest mentor in all things theatre is currently fighting a battle with Cancer. I sometimes don't have the right words to say anything about these type of things. I am sometimes speechless.To say that I am unaffected is untrue. Jane to me is like my family. One year she and Cyndi invited us to Thanksgiving at their house, because it was just going to be David and I that year. Also, she came down from Watkins Glen (30 minute drive) to help me pack up a U-Haul and move David and I into our new house, right before thanksgiving (hmmmm, methinks I see a connection there). I did get to pay her back by helping to pack up her house in a giant-arsed U-haul in 2012.

Last week, my extended theatre family from across the board came together to make a "Living Memorial" for Jane, so she can know how many lives she has touched. I know plenty that have been touched by Jane's magic; whether by make-up, directorial, improving, singing/acting, or clowning. Jane is (and will always be one of the best). She is also the one to bring Lucy into David and mines life (a friend for our other kitty, Winkin). She is due to visit next Thursday, as her dying wish she wants to see her theatre family once more. This breaks my heart, but warms it as well because Jane has been resilient throughout this. It clearly is not easy when dealing with a life threatening disease and still find ways to be supportive. In the last few weeks I have been struggling through my own feeling and thoughts on Jane. I feel love and great respect, yet I feel sad too. But, I can no more be sad, knowing that Jane is my friend and mentor. To honour her now and for always, I present my piece that I wrote for her Living Memorial.

My  heart wants to say
a million and one things--
I try to rhyme them but
there is nothing but blankness.

My heart is full today--
Here I am, one singular person
that is so glad you have been in my life,
you who have helped build strong these walls
around me,
around you.

You've believed in me,
believed in others
(that's all that is needed)
and thus have told me so.
I then went out into the world
and made some pretty awesome things
because of that belief.

There are hardly words to say
that can convey what I feel for you.
I can never thank you enough
for the friendship and sage advise,
My dear friend.
From the long years since "Audition",
together forged in love--
friends we are forever.

From Wizards to Pirates and Demented Barbers,
we have seen it all, haven't we?
Like soldier's sojourning onward
to the next great renaissance
or within our own imaginations.
Built strong our walls,
the warriors of dramatics
and fantasy.

From out of the fire, you Phoenix, you shall rise--
I know this road is rough,
by your side I will stand, forever an ally,
shouting "Geromino!"
Dragon and Doctor
Clown and Dancing Flatware
(that was to make you giggle)
A journey is always about the journey
and far have you traveled, my Friend.
I only know that you have made my journey that much more awesome.

Where to next, one hardly knows,
my friend,
my mentor
mount up your Tardis and Allons-Y!

 2-6-2014 5:59 pm

After this, I can feel strong and know that what will be will be. Of course I will feel even better to see her once more. That I can't thank her enough for everything she has done. It is my turn to help her in what ever way I can.

I am working hard on the Tempest, getting into Trinculo's mind and interacting with Stephano and Caliban. I don't really have much else to report since Sunday. What I have I wrote above. I am in a better place mentally to move forward. That's all I can do.

I promise, Dear Readers there is more exciting things and stuff on the horizon. Have a great rest of the week, and be good to each other.

Blog Hop for AROW80!

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