Thanksgiving Edition: A small update, list of thanks, a short story, and more talk about my future. 

Hi Family/Friends, 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been hiding out as you can tell. It was the first weekend I’ve had off since August, so I basically did nothing…but fall deeply in love with PBS once again, listen to podcasts (I’m such a junkie), and slept a lot.

Friday I closed a chapter in my life: I am no longer working my second job where I have to go all the way up to Ulmerton. (Thank Goodness.) After our boat show this weekend, I will be working full time in the boating industry again, and I’ll be about 10 minutes away from the rest of my world with a flexible schedule. Before I left that job though, the boss said, “Do what you love.” So it was a great goodbye and that door is closed forever….

I am super duper thankful for…. (not in any order) 

– all of my friends / family

– my new friends / family this year

– my family at gulfport community players

– reuniting with my favorite person

– a chance at being stage manager

– patrick’s writing class

– the moment that all of us theatre people do lunch/dinner every single time we get together for some event

– attending the star awards / being nominated

– all opportunities basically

– being coached for bsg

– my world of boating family who i haven’t talked to in ages

– just this week: reuniting with the pirate captain friend from years ago

– just this week: reuniting with another pirate friend from years ago

– eisenhower

– my theatre couch

– the moments that i can actually remember

– good books & bookstore 321

– pbs / npr

– podcasts

– all the shows i’ve been able to attend by audience or help with

– my love for all things

– jimmy buffett’s music

– all music. all theatre. my ability to write. all arts. everything.

– etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Story Time — DREAMS 

I’m going to tell you guys a secret. It’s a deep, dark secret that maybe hardly anyone knows about… when I was in middle school I was such a weird kid. My favorite music was classical—mostly Mozart—and I loved opera. When I got home from school, my radio went straight on NPR and I listened non stop. My weekends were scheduled to listen to: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, World Cafe, Car Talk and so on.

When I finally got a TV (whenever that was), I fell deeply for PBS. I watched all Great Performances, and anything else that was related to music and theatre. I used to religiously watch award shows like mad, and—when I thought I was going to be a music director at one point—I came up with a list of songs my choir would do and entrances/exits.etc.

(Now, remember all throughout my entire life I was also a bookworm and I constantly wrote.) 

This weekend I started watching PBS once again after a huge break, and I fell back in love with it again. I first watched In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams. It’s basically a documentary that follows from when it was born to some of the practicing to the performance. It’s magic. I watched this full musical a while ago and it’s genius. I must say, it’s one of the first ones in present day since RENT that I really “got” and felt connected with. But to be a part of something like that—dreams coming true—absolutely wonderful and breathtaking just to watch/hear. To see the writer’s face when they were getting ready to perform… that… that is just something worth watching.

It’s just the feeling I get any time I am helping with a play. We work hard for the few weeks/months and then it’s show time. Cue the butterflies, the endless nights, the final day, the cast party and the goodbyes… all until the next show where you get to do it all over again just with a different script, different people, etc.  I told my former-former boss that’s how I want to live my life: work on a project for a while then it’s over, take a tiny break, and do the same with the next one…

I also found Noel Coward’s Present Laughter to be freaking genius. Everything that Patrick taught us in his writing class… it was in this play. No wasted dialogue. Characters are well developed, with a sense of purpose, and they made a difference each time they entered the room. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I really want to live in the set design too. Watching this really helped me understand even more than I did before.

I’ve also caught up on some (not all) of the film shorts, some of the music documentaries, and I found another program “Black Folk Don’t…” It is such a wonderful show on black culture and everyone should be required to watch it. It’ll open your eyes to what you don’t know.

All of this watching and listening to podcasts that follow these shows or even short radio shows has me thinking about something. One of these days, I’m going to have to make a decision, and it’s going to be which path do I take from here? It’s a difficult one.

I find myself willing to admit (at this point) that I know deep down in my heart that I really belong to the arts world. I’m going to be that late bloomer (wrong word?)… the one that actually does this in the second half of her life, which is basically right now, I just need to do a little bit more towards this dream if I’m going to make it.

One day… I will be doing all the things — like maybe writing a play that could be produced on Broadway, being a big part of some show that could be at the Lincoln Stage, writing lyrics that could be performed by someone at Carnegie Hall, working with PBS/NPR on stories, finally write/finish The Office 2.0 & it being a big hit, or even attend jazz fest because I’ve actually had enough guts to do something with my love for it. Or even—more importantly—that dream of what I write in general gives people hope to never, ever forget their dreams and to always set large goals and hit them. That’s what I want. 

Eventually, I will be there. I’m working on it now. One… by one…

Before 2016, I had been so disconnected from my dream’s path but I believe it was meant for me to get that experience, to fully understand that I am on the wrong one, and make that decision on how to start earning money where I belong. Joining the Gulfport Community Players in 2016 was the first step towards crossing off one of my dreams…. do you want to know how many more followed after that? A lot, and almost all of them. All because I joined my theatre group did my dreams start coming true. Totally meant to be. I mean, life didn’t really exist beforehand… other than experience, don’t get me wrong…

I am seriously due for writing new dreams because that’s what’s wrong with me right now. I’m out of goals, and big picture dreams. While that’s a huge and wonderful accomplishment of checking a lot of them off, having my world so cloudy because I’m not focusing on what’s important, hasn’t been great for me….

Writing with purpose is the first goal, and everything else will follow. I know deep within my soul that my future is in the arts industry (writing, film, theatre, music, etc.etc.etc.) it’s just a matter of time when I will switch over, and what my journey will be when it happens.

– Karen Maeby