As mentioned in my previous post, I did have a few other opportunities in the limelight this week. Goodness. Let’s just say I spent a chunk of this week nervous and insecure, staying up way too late and worrying far too much about what others think. Sigh.
This weekend saw the opening of selections from Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights at BYU. Ms. Zimmerman is a fabulous playwright and director, responsible for the creation of one of my favorite pieces of theatre: Metamorphoses, a collective of Greek myths connected to each other by the power and suppleness of water. She also has a beautiful interpretation of the stories of Scheherezade, and she agreed to allow BYU to adapt her play to be more family-friendly. The director, Megan Sanborn Jones, approached me with the project early last semester, asking me to work on “The Tale of Pearl-Harvest”. I had fun with the scene, and sent it off to Megan, and then promptly forgot about it amidst what ended up a very busy and eventful semester.
Saturday night my good friend Jen and I (happy birthday, Jen!!) went to see the show, which I was was seeing for the first time. I had a great time! Some really wonderful storytelling was happening on stage. And I think my scene worked well. I was particularly moved by the song, which I had been so worried about when I first wrote it. A student, Sarah Porter, composed the music and a former student of mine, Noelle Houston, plays Pearl-Harvest and sings the song. And it was lovely. I was touched, and it’s likely tears were shed by me (I’m not admitting to anything, mind you). If you are in Utah, you should go see the show! Here’s a little promo video for it:
Here’s a link for tickets: http://arts.byu.edu/. Hmm. It seems at the moment that the website is being finicky, so you can also call 801-422-4322 for info and tickets. Here is the Facebook event page too, just in case.
“The Tale of Pearl-Harvest” is the story of a young woman who, one day, enters the shop of a jeweler; the two promptly fall in love. When she suddenly flees his shop, he follows her home to discover she is the property of the Khalifah, and he must decide how much he is willing to risk for love. Anyway, I had fun with the story, which is taken from the original The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, and the song bit (at least the lyrics) goes like this:
Beneath dusky clouds
Where the earth is sweet
With growing things
In the tall, thin grass
Warm with sunlight
While my mother calls
And I’ll give you the clouds
I’ll give you the grass
I’ll give you the sun and the stars
The sea and the stones
The hills and the fields
I’ll give you my soul
And we will be as one
Remember that time when I was a hopeless romantic? Never mind.
I’m grateful to Megan for thinking of me and including me in this project. I think it’s something to be proud of, and I’m only a very small part of it. But I’m always on the lookout for another chance to speak to an audience, and this was great. Was? What do I mean, was? The show plays through June 9th! Go see it!
More limelight spilled on me Sunday morning when I had the opportunity to speak directly to people. In church, of all places. Egad. Talk about nerve-wracking! 15 minutes to talk about “What does Christ think of me?”. Yeah, that wasn’t intimidating at all. #Sarcasm. Speaking in church is one of those things that’s cool in theory—the fact that the LDS Church is set up as a lay church, so that we lead and instruct each other. But it’s less cool in practice—should I be the one doing that leading and instructing? Egad. It’s done now, and I hopefully don’t have to worry about doing it again for a long while. I much prefer writing pretty things and hearing actors say them prettily than saying them myself, complete with stumbles and halts and several “um”s.
Just a few minutes ago my friend James sent me a link to an article written by Paul Adams, the BBC gent who moderated our “World Have Your Say” panel last week. After the live broadcast, he recorded a few brief interviews with us, and it looks like some of those sound bytes ended up in this follow-up article. I get quoted! Which is kinda awesome. I did get a lot of questions specficially about Romney, and here is one of my responses:
“He’s just very much in a fishbowl,” says writer and blogger Melissa Leilani Larson. “His religion is going to be scrutinised. His choice of tie is going to be scrutinised.”
Notice the nifty British spelling. Also, I suppose Mr. Adams is implying that I’m a faithful blogger. Working on that, promise! Cool thing is, now I have two semi-trivial quotes in cyber space relating to Governor Romney and his 2012 bid for the White House. One involves his choice of tie, as you see here; the other refers to the ridiculous notion that, should the former governor be elected, President Monson will contact him via a red Batman phone on his desk and command him to lead the country in a way that will be beneficial to the Mormon Church. In case you read that and think it’s truth, it’s MALARKEY. BULL. NONSENSE. FLUFF. Etc., etc. But I did say it on the air, and hopefully got chuckles out of it.
My friend Nicole was also quoted in Mr. Adams’s article, making, in my opinion, a great comment about The Book of Mormon musical. Check out the article; it’s a good one, I think. Three cheers for the BBC.
Also, I may or may not have received an email today from a certain theatre asking to read a certain play… I will reveal more details if good things happen, of course, but it must remain a mystery for the time being.
One final limelight-y crumb of goodness: I recently discovered that I’m on record with the Library of Congress as an author! They have a little bio for me and everything, complete with place of birth, education, awards and honors… Good times. If you haven’t had enough of me being famous yet, check it out here. Nothing says success like love from the Library of Congress.
Anyway, I think that’s my time in the limelight for the moment, and thank goodness! I am just fine with slipping into the shadows, especially now that the weather is taking a turn toward summer.
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