Month: September 2014

‘Are you a feminist?’ — the question more and more female celebrities are asked – The Washington Post

True story, once upon a time in a land far far away (in reality about 20 years ago in a town about 100 miles away), I rejected the idea of feminism. Not because I didn’t believe in equal rights, but because I believed this notion that feminist = man hating woman. I thought, wrongly, that there was this evil cabal of women (who were jealous or something) ready to pounce and basically make us sperm donors or something. I believed and perpetuated this idea for a good long time. I had a friend and we jokingly referred to ourselves as N.A.M. (the National Association of Men). I got into a few near shouting arguments in my civics and government classes with a couple of young ladies who were just as passionate about things as I was, but on the “other side”. Yeah it was stupid. I was stupid. I listened to and believed in things that if I would have stopped and thought about it made no sense. Even lately, I tend to do what a lot of celebrities do and refer to myself a “humanist” (a believer in the rights of all humans to be equal), not because I’m not a feminist or whatever but because I think it’s a more accurate term.

There are things I agree with those who identify as feminist on and things I disagree on. I think that is the sign of someone who truly THINKS, I distrust people who blindly spout the same stuff as a blogger, writer, media personality, etc. because I WAS that person. If a certain radio or television personality said it was so, I repeated it verbatim.

I bring this up because this is an interesting article on the celebrity feminist question. What does it mean and what does it entail and why certain celebrities get asked questions about it while others do not.

‘Are you a feminist?’ — the question more and more female celebrities are asked – The Washington Post.

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The Life of a busy writer

I know I haven’t updated much lately and I’m hoping to change that and start updating on a regular basis, but i say that everytime I go through one of these stretches of little to no posting.

This summer was a busy theater summer for me. I performed in Hays Community Theatre’s production as “Into The Woods”, I followed that up by acting in and serving as a consultant to Phillips County Community Theatre’s production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: The Musical”. There is a bit of irony to this, as when both of these shows opened on Broadway the great Tom Aldredge created two roles, in “Into The Woods” he was the Narrator/Mysterious Man and in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: The Musical” he was Muff Potter. I performed as both the Mysterious Man and Muff Potter in the two productions I was involved in. So that was a bit of irony but also a treat as Aldredge remains one of my favorite performers. The day we closed “Tom Sawyer”. I began production of the radio play I wrote and directed called “Murder AT Home” for the feature “Sherri’s Playhouse” heard on the podcast “Chatting With Sherri”. As soon as that aired, I almost immediately began writing a new radio style play of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. I knocked out a 70 page, first draft in less than a week. I followed that up with another appearance on “Chatting With Sherri” this past Tuesday (the 23) to discuss theatre and my collection of plays, “Based on The…” (available now from Black Box Theatre Publishers).

So overall it’s been a busy time for me, I am hoping to blog a little more often, perhaps on my journey through editing, revising and hopefully producing A Christmas Carol.

Til the next blog,

Break a Leg

A Two Year retrospective: In Shadow’s Shadow: Neil Gaiman, 9/11, and me

I published this blog two years ago and remains one of the pieces I’m most proud of.

In the two years that have passed, more things have changed in my life. I’ve published two additional plays (one a year). Life is good for me, but we need to remember to keep looking back at the shadows that we have cast over the years and what we can learn from them.


In the days before September 11, 2001 my family had much to celebrate. The adoption of my sister was finalized, we attended a wedding of a cousin in Colorado, and got to spend lots of time with family. During that trip I made it a point to make sure we stopped at a bookstore. I have always been kind of a book nut, so no one was surprised on that Sunday afternoon, September 9, when I walked out with two brand new books, an anniversary copy of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and a newer book that I had recently read a review of called American Gods. I was familiar with the author, Neil Gaiman, but not versed in his writings. This was to be my initial exposure.

On Monday, the 10th, I read Goldman’s book and fell in love with Buttercup and Wesley all over again. The Princess Bride is an American classic that never fails to spark my imagination. I probably watched the movie that evening, although I can’t remember for sure, but that is usually par for the course for me, read a book and if it’s available watch the movie. I know I did some prep work for auditions at Colby Community College the next day. They were doing the play Heaven Can Wait. If you don’t know that story, it’s about a boxer who dies before his time and is sent back into the body of a dying millionare. He finds love and his world is changed.

I woke up Tuesday morning, September 11, and didn’t turn on the television. I’m a TV junkie, so this was a little weird for me. I didn’t turn on the radio, I didn’t have the internet in my little studio apartment, so there was no doing that. What I did do was pick up American Gods and begin to read.

American Gods is a “desert island” book for me. It’s a book I find challenging and inspiring and a true classic. It tells the story of a man, Shadow, who is released from prison a week early due to his wife’s untimely death. On his trip home, he finds himself being pursued and followed by a strange, older fella named Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With really nothing left to live for, shadow goes along for the ride. Along the way, while his zombie wife follows him and warns him, he discovers that the world he knew, isn’t what it seems.

American Gods is about the death of one world pushing against the on coming push of a new world. it’s about gods, myth, and magic. It’s about technology and its hold over us today. It’s about change. It’s about being lost in a world that is changing itself around us, reshaping itself, molding itself into something new and scary.

I read this book, all day, never once did my TV click on or did I tune in the radio. This would be betraying Shadow, and Mr. Wednesday, and Mr. Nancy, and Mr. Gaiman. I set, in a complete media blackout, while the world around me changed in a moment.

I went to auditions that night, which had been cancelled, and that’s when I found out. at 7pm CST, I found out what had happened. I, like everyone else, was in shock. Everything made sense now. The leaked words through thin plaster walls, dividing me from my neighbors, that “it looked like something out of Independence Day.” The lack of cars on the streets, the lack of activity anywhere. The fact that the radio station I worked for at that time, was airing the Presidents speech, when they hardly ever did things like that.

I felt like Shadow, lost in the shadows, not knowing what was going on. Lost, confused, shocked. I could take you to one of my “thinking spots” I went to that night. The place my friends Shane, Lacy, and Becca found me at. I can take you to the parking lot where the news was first delivered to me. I could show you the apartment we all went to and watched CNN, and Fox News, and Headline News, and CNBC and every other channel that was airing news. I could take you to the small Baptist church I went to and prayed. And even though I’m not a Baptist, it seemed like the thing to do.

I remember pouring over my Bible, looking for answers that didn’t come easily. Of drawing conclusions that probably weren’t there. The world around me had changed and I was fighting that change. I wanted to stay locked in a small bubble, in Shadow’s shadow, where maybe things weren’t safe but I couldn’t get hurt. Where I was forced to think, but not put thoughts into action.

Good literature forces us to think and to act. A life changing moment causes us to act and to think. For me those two worlds collided as a tower fell in New York City.

How has the world changed in 11 years? We’re a much more global society then we were then. As high speed and wireless internet has been developed along with cheaper, faster, more mobile computers and smartphones, more people are “online”. Information is passed along, thanks to social media sites, as they happen. In 2001, there was no global Facebook or Twitter. there were no smart phones and instant Instagram uploads. No YouTube. No Netflix. That’s life on a global, technological scale. What has happened to YOU personally in the last 11 years?

At the time, Shane, Lacy, and Becca were my best friends. My only friends. The 4 of us were almost inseparable. We went to church together, we went out to eat together, we were always at one another’s houses. We were hungry for a fresh spiritual awakening. And in the years that followed, we did grew up. They all three are married now, to wonderful, godly people. Becca has two beautiful daughters. Lacy quit her long time job and moved to a small town when she got married. Shane just bought a house. I floated from job to job working in various media jobs (radio and newspaper) and hospitality fields (hotel and restaurant). Last year, I lost my job and decided to go back to college. I rediscovered my love of acting and theater. I’ve been privileged to travel over the world. I’ve made new friends and reacquainted myself with some old ones. I’ve had a play published. I’m trying to make this writing/acting thing work for me while I juggle a job and schooling.

In many ways I’m in a similar place to where I was 11 years ago. Then I had just moved back to my home town and made some new friends and sparked an old friendship. Today I’m in a different town with probably as many friends, some new and some old. I didn’t act in Heaven Can Wait in the fall of 2001, I dropped out for personal reasons. I really wanted to do the fall musical here,  Curtains, but I didn’t get cast. That’s life though. In 2001 I was a scared 24 year old kid. Scared, not that terrorists had attacked us, but scared of change and what the meant. Now I’m a 35 year old man, and while I’m still scared of change, and I think we all are, I no longer fight change, I embrace it. And that, I think, would make Shadow proud.