By Blog Coordinator Meghan Randolph
We’re concluding August Arts Month, where we celebrated the incredible offerings of art in our community. I sincerely hope you were able to do something new this month to experience art in its many forms. I also hope you’re practicing art whenever you get the chance! There’s truly nothing better for the mind, soul, and heart.
As I’ve mentioned, I grew up with a love of art. By the time I was four I was acting out full movies. At five I acted out the entire movie of The Wizard of Oz for my grandparents while I was visiting them. It was in four parts. Each day my Grandmom would take me into town to buy more poster board and markers so I could make new backdrops, and then at night I’d act out a new section of the movie. My Granddad, a farmer, would nod off…but I know he loved it because thirty years later he would still bring it up. About 17 years after that, they both got to see me play Grizabella on the National Tour of Cats, singing the signature song “Memory” for an audience of thousands. My Grandmom started to lose her own memory right around that time, but she could still talk about getting to see me do that for many years after. Music just sticks with you that way.
Giving your life to art can be challenging too. My theatre company just finished up our first world premiere. Everything that went wrong did. The hardest part was having to let go a director I had been friends and colleagues with for many years, which meant I then had to take over directing in addition to my many marketing duties, five grant deadlines, and of course my SAIL duties! It was tough. It was hard on my body and spirit, because I cared so much and didn’t feel I was giving everything I could give. The show opened and went very well, but then got pretty lukewarm reviews.
So on Tuesday, August 20, at the SAIL Midsummer Gathering, I was pretty down and very tired. But I was excited to hear my friends, Leslie and Anthony Cao, share their talent with our members.
It is hard to describe how warm my heart was while watching SAIL Members listen, sing, and rock out to Leslie and Anthony’s songs. I even teared up a little! It reminded me after a tough couple of months just how much joy the arts bring to our community. Anthony and Leslie were excited too because they often get Top 40 hit requests for their show at the Ivory Room. For SAIL, they got to play songs they rarely if ever get to play (and Anthony learned a new Englebert Humperdink song!)
So I hope, SAIL Members, that, if you don’t already, you will find art in your lives whenever you can. Draw a picture, listen to your favorite music, sing and dance, see a play, or grab one of those trendy coloring books and find the joy and relaxation. You deserve it! To those who came and enjoyed the Midsummer Gathering, thank you. And thank you for reminding me just what music can do for us all.