May, 2020 Issue

From the Chair...



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From the Chair

by Corey Shelsta, NBS Section Chairperson

Todd    I’m sort of at a loss here.  Like all of you, my normal summer has been completely disrupted.  Our summer theatre seasons have been cancelled.  Internships and opportunities for the summer have disappeared.  Prospects for the fall are uncertain – it seems any plan we make for a season are tempered with “what if…” alternate plans.
    I find myself thinking along the lines of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” cliché during all of this.  My son finished his junior year of college from home and my normally busy daughter (a sophomore in high school) has also found herself spending more time in the house.  It is almost as if we are reconnecting as a family.  Are there difficulties?  Of course.  But we have had lots of good times as well.  S’mores over a fire, basketball in the driveway, working as a family on a few projects around the house and so many other small moments that have strengthened our family.
    Instead of sitting in front of a computer doing construction drawings for the shows we would have done this summer, I find myself sitting outside in my yard planting flowers.  Instead of hanging electrics I’m pruning branches.  My chokecherry and crepe myrtle are in full bloom and they are magnificent.  Do I miss my students and designing shows?  Yes.  But I have found other things I can do that give me satisfaction and happiness.
    Will my summer be all play and no work?  Of course not.  I have always wanted to learn Maya or Blender or another 3D modeling software application.  This is my chance to do that.  I’m pretty good with Photoshop, but I think I can take time to explore some of the more advanced functionality now and improve my skills.  There are some changes and updates needed in the VectorWorks template files of our spaces.  I can do that now.  And it’s also time to finally build a website for myself – I’ve started and stopped a few times – time to get it done!
    This is not easy.  It has uprooted and overturned many things.  But one of the advantages we have as theatre folk is that we are problem solvers.  We face challenges with every production we do.  We are trained to think creatively and collaboratively.  Find the good in what we are facing.  Discover (or rediscover) the things in life that bring you joy and happiness.  Learn something new.  Take care of yourselves and those close to you and let’s come out better and stronger on the other side.       [ ]