Tag: writing

She Belonged On Stage

At least those were her words when Becky returned to an audition after years of being away. I’ve changed her name and productions to protect her anonymity. I was first introduced to Becky in a production of Mary Poppins when she played a significant role. She was someone who came out of nowhere, they usually do and found herself with a significant role, one that she would present with a fierceness a director may only wish a student would bring to a program.

I remember her having an edge with the cast immediately. People looked upon Becky and knew she was serious about her purpose in a show. She had her lines down early and was even helping the younger children find comfort with their roles and acting abilities. I remember being able to give her any direction and she always took it a step further. She one time told me she didn’t really get along with anyone else and she was just here to do her job. Though I wanted to disagree with her I could see in her dynamic she did stay close to the chest and it was significant to see her become close to anyone in the production. That wasn’t a bad thing I decided, she was actually so talented I let her do whatever she wanted. Off stage she may not have been everyone’s best friend but when acting and working on her role, there was no question of her commitment.

And then she disappeared. The production ran its course and suddenly Becky didn’t return for the one acts or later the spring play. In fact she vanished from the halls of the school. The next year came and went and no Becky still. I was puzzled because she was so good I was actually mildly planning my season around her (a taboo admission by a director). As I did find out she transferred to an ALC, an alternative learning center. I wouldn’t know the reason for a couple of years but once I did discover her there she did invite me to a couple of poetry readings, so I knew it was evident she wanted to perform. Turns out her angst toward other members of the stage was more likely anxiety, and she just couldn’t maintain a comfort level working with the school productions. I always encouraged her and she would give me a maybe look and be on her way.

Senior year came along and Little Shop of Horrors was our fare for the fall musical. Suddenly on the list of auditions I saw Becky’s name. I was beyond delighted. Here comes a monologue story. Students were mandated to have a prepared monologue for the audition. When Becky got up to do her piece it was one of the most heartfelt pieces I had ever heard – a story of a young woman that knew she belonged on stage but was afraid. She finally decided in the caveat of the reading she needed to take a chance and would go for it. I loved it. It fit her swimmingly. I asked her where she found the piece I would like to see it myself and maybe use it in my classroom. She looked at me with a pensive glance and said, “I wrote it.” In that moment I cast her in the show.

There is something about anxiety and students finding themselves on stage. They may walk the halls of school in a meek manner not wanting to upset the cart, their insides churning with fear the entire walk. Put them on a stage and that persona can change, I have seen it occur time and time again. In Becky’s case she belongs on stage, and to confirm this feeling I had, she continued to excel on stage in her post-secondary studies. I am delighted to reference such a wonderful human being and actor in my theater classrooms.

There is an illusion we all try to reach when performing our realities in the scheme of a stage. When we can lives may also become more complete and validating. For Becky, she did find a zone and embraced her opportunities.


© Thom Amundsen 4/2022

Writing Peace

Suddenly taken

by the normalcy of error,

would wonder speculation

that part of fear.

An indecision of the mind

We are tortured

within a wonder

when the brain

might matter

negotiating my state of mind.

Found in the moment

am I this facade

this fraud

this foul

this ill-wrought creature

of habit

some disregard

There is an apple of truth

waits the real me

basking

adoring how the meaning ‘be’

is


© Thom Amundsen 10/2021

First Days

There is a certain pull

a potential

a need to feel

that rotating wheel

of some significance

the quest, we guessed,

in first days

the moment of truth

perhaps

or better suggested

that moment when opportunity

strikes that initial fever pitch

~

Let’s hang on

gonna be a roller coaster

doesn’t mean you’ll fall off

just scare the hell out of you

scare the hell out of you,

unless

of course there’s always that

a choice, a recall, a desire,

passion

to keep those steps

moving forward on these, our

first days.


© Thom Amundsen 9/2021

Changing Paths – I Still Do

We all know what we believe

in the moment

as we breathe the air around us

would our lives begin to rush

beyond the truth of

what is love,

what lays within our heart,

how does the soul feel sweet reckoning.

~

I have experience in the truth of

changing paths

listened to fear

tried to understand reasoning

when even so, there is one person involved

in the mindset of two,

there is the quandary between me and you.

~

Your fear of changing my path,

if you study the real

then might you possibly feel the beauty

of one’s sacrifice to know life with the other,

to completely give ourselves

to one another.

~

I did love you, and I was willing to go anywhere

your desire would wish enhance our passion.


© Thom Amundsen 7/2021

Truth

I wonder if it is true

people have epiphany

while sitting by the lake

I wonder if it is true

a life can only become

consumed with happiness.

I wonder if it is true

civil disobedience

may change our lives.

I wonder if it is true

no matter what we do,

there will always be need.

I wonder if its true,

every step we make

will leave an imprint.

I believe it to be true

no matter acerbic nature

we all belong together.


© Thom Amundsen 6/2020

Writer’s Block

Well, its reality has arrived. I struggle to find something to write about. I know there are a bevy of topics just waiting to be explored, yet I’d rather sit in a stupor looking at a blank page.

When I teach students, I will often direct them to pull out a piece of paper or today, open their laptop and just start writing anything at all, until something hits and you find yourself traveling down a road of story-telling. I give them the option to use the phrase, “I can’t think of anything” over and over until they get bored with it start to write anything that comes to mind. In twenty five years of using this method in the classroom, I have one student give me a page – before laptops – and front and back, like a penance in the old tradition of detention, he wrote the phrase from beginning to end. I looked at it when he put it on the pile because in his early musings, I suspected that might be the case, and then I chuckled. I looked at him, and we both had a laugh because I liked this guy, as I do of course the majority of my students otherwise I would be in the wrong profession. I said to him, do you know this probably took more effort than you would have simply free-wrote on any topic coming to mind. He looked at me with a smile, and agreed and said it was one of the most tedious exercises he had experienced in a writing project.

I can’t think of anything.

Walking Upon Time

A reflection spoke prophetic synapse unwind

while the world in mechanical fashion

carried on, carried on inside the mind

sweet redemption await for years of burden.

 

If we could match our inside with the now

would it be easier in a balance

could  heart remind background

our vision, sad eyes, might forever shine.

 

The institution of a societal trial expectation

would the human condition consider

within a framed reference a spiritual

Mecca will always await sendentary soul

 

Wake now to her wondrous a natural task

for all entitlement is a waste

rather a commitment to peace

inside the stranger element of response

 

Our lives, create reawakened possibilities

would that every symbiotic paths beyond

 

 

Walking Outside

Pay attention to surroundings

the world in concrete dustings

we wear the right shoes

they’ll comfort the blues

make a long day seem rather

sweet in an odd sort of flavor

of calling the shots in a mid-day

conference where decides the way.

 

Welcome the summer air fresh

from last night’s rain, a thresh

makes her presence known at dawn

well listen wondering where on the lawn

will she find her dewy worm,

will we watch a bit of nature squirm.

watch the sunlight begin another hour

when while history occurs in our tower.

 

If in just a quiet moment this anxiety

we seem to hide to suggest our sanity

would step away for only a partial

afternoon, we could relax against a wall

rest assured our lives are all the same

it just seems more apparent we play the game.

Watch the sunrise one more time with me

for the wandering mind cannot deny the

 

simple beauty in the elegance of our way

this human condition, defines forever our day.

Are You Ok?

How do you ask

Why do you ask

Well, I’m alright

yeah, I am.

 

We cannot predict this stuff

nod your head

show affirmation

let the tears come

think about …

children nearby …

grown adults

they’re watching you,

loving you,

thanking you.

 

Everyone in the room is

grateful

within the tears,

they are laughing together

celebrating  the beauty of you,

you, today, embody love.

 

Today you shine

as much as any other day,

yet,

everyone with shielded eyes

is taking their moment

acknowledging your time

realizing how precious

life is today

while we bid adieu

some way away

we would ask, wish,

know.

We Spoke of Clouds

Ours were lofty plans

no one ever understood

that really was the plan

~

soft sunsets in woods

we lay in one another’s arms

playing with our moods

~

looking in her eyes

seeing clouds in satin skies

long before any lies

~

nature left us bare

with little consequence – love

dance within my dare

~

as a child winter

would freeze – bone chilling icy

clouds would love deter

~

In a still moment

I can still hear her laughter

winter’s freeze lament

~

starry starry eyes

yours would I remember when

I glance toward skies