The Afterglow of Success

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Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Assisi

The last of a three part blog about author/playright Jorge Avila will be featured on All Things Fulfilling today. Before Christmas I interviewed Avila about his newfound sucess as a playright. To read the beginning of the interview, please go to from Local Author to Playright and Advancing the Story.

Sue: So what does it feel like now that you have stepped away from all the excitement of seeing your musical played out on stage?

Jorge: There is a little bit of sadness and a let down because it is easy to get carried  away with all that goes with on in the world of L.A.  But we aren’t done yet. My vision for this musical is even more than that.  I have been offered a huge opportunity at the end of September and the first two weeks in October. The production will return to California as part of at the Hispanic Heritage Festival. For four weeks, in four different districts, I am told that 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 people will attend the festival annually. Do you believe that?

Sue: And I understand you received special recognition during the three day run of the musical. What night was that?

Jorge: On the  middle night of the performance, I and the director and musical composer, Caleb Encampos, were each given certificates of award from the City of Los Angeles for work in advancing the arts. It was very exciting.

Avilas certificate from City of LA

Avia 3

Sue: What can you attribute to the success that you have had with Maricopa Men in Pink?

Jorge: It was a long five years but I never stopped believing that I had a quality product and it was a matter of getting it into the right venue or environment.

Sue: What’s on the docket for the future? 

Jorge: I have two more musicals I am working on and a book but, I would like to do something more with the local high school here in Steamboat. They did a Powerpoint presentation about my book’s storyline with the English as a Second Language (ESL) students. I’d like to put together some sort of workshop. We will see, I’ll have to put more thought into that. And I’d like to take the musical to Chicago. That’s where I’d  really like to see it.

Sue: You have been in a whirlwind for six months or more. Perhaps with a little time off, your visions will become more clear. Now that you have stepped away into a quieter environment, here in Steamboat, you can ponder it.

Before Jorge and I said our goodbyes  I told him how he is a shining example for other independent publishers to press on and not to give up. Although he mentioned feeling a little let down now that things were over, I saw a huge afterglow of success on his face and in his exuberant voice.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when we begin the countdown till the New Year! We will be fulfilling 2016 with new possibilities and opportunity!

A New Musical: Allegiance

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Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved and differences resolved. ~ Bernard Beckett

allegianceHave you heard about the  American story now being played out on Broadway? Allegiance is a real and important tale of the Kimura family who came to America after World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Similar tales of family bonds, duty and defiance, hope, loyalty and the power of the human spirit could be told by 120,000 other Japanese-American families who fled their country in search of a new tomorrow in the United States of America.

George Takei and Tony® winner Lea Salonga star in this live theatre production. To read more about this live musical production, visit the website.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Dedication of a Student

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There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. Theres no such thing in life as in between. ~ Pat Riley 

Tanner Visnick

Several evenings last week my husband and I were occupied with “art events” and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Tuesday, we attended the senior voice recital of  a student named Tanner Visnick. My husband knew  Tanner only through his athletic abilities, and was astounded by his musical talents.  Tanner is also a telemark skier who is good enough to compete with the Europeans at a high level, and he is only a high school senior.

The musical compositions he chose for the evening included classical (sung in his native language as well as German and Italian) and show tunes. A mix of the serious and entertaining, his diversity of interests in music was showcased. Ave Maria, Bella Notte and An die Musik were a few of the classical tunes that he handled with great finesse. Then onto some musical theatre tunes such as Mr Cellophane (from Chicago), On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables), Ending with “Thankful,” which has been performed and recorded by Josh Groban on one of his many albums.

Tanner’s commitment and dedication to academics, sport and music has been admirable. Surprisingly, Tanner has his sites set on science as his major field of study next year. Thus, the “The Scientist” was included in the line up of compositions.

I hope when he goes on to college, he’s not finished with his telemark skiing and his music. He’s put too much work into it. But something tells me he will able to continue to handle almost anything that comes his way. He already at a young age, understands the commitment it takes to excel in any field.

Tanner Visnick.pjg

Photo compliments of Jeannie Visnick

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will digging up more young artistic talent when I tell you about the second senior recital I attended last week that was held at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/1kd4g61, presented by the Houston Music Studiohttp://bit.ly/1tY5Yxo .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Sounds of a Pioneer Valley

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The weekend before Thanksgiving I attended a concert called “What a Wonderful World” presented by the Yampa Valley Singers.

A fulfilling selection of thirteen songs was so appropriate to the season of thanksgiving; reminding me of things I am grateful for. The compositions ranged from spiritual to patriotic to contemporary show tunes. Most of the songs familiar; some  creative renditions of the originals. Here is the list of musical numbers from the event.

  • How Can I Keep from Singing?
  • America the Beautiful
  • For the Beauty of the Earth
  • Home (from the Broadway show The Wiz)
  • Try to Remember
  • Blowin’ in the Wind
  • Stopping by the Woods (based on Robert Frost’s poem)
  • A Long Way from Home
  • Blow Bugle Blow
  • All Good Gifts
  • I Vow to Thee, My Country
  • Hava Nagila
  • What a Wonderful World 

I am so grateful the Yampa Valley Singers come together several times of the year to share their artisic talents and voices with our community. I’ve gotten such enjoyment out of each of their concerts since I moved to Steamboat.

As I  sat enjoying the tune “How Can I Keep from Singing?” I thought if it wasn’t for my lack of a decent musical voice I would answer their call and join in. But, they wouldn’t want to hear my vocal utterances. Why ruin a good thing?

The Yampa Valley Singers sell independently published DVDs of their concerts- affordable gifts!  The choral group is comprised of approximately 30 -35 of people -friends and neighbors to many in this valley. To order a CD of the music from the concert “What a Wonderful World,” please click on this link. http://bit.ly/UnLPCO. There are also some wonderful cds from the Yampa Valley Boys that make for great gifts.For ordering Christmas Trail by the Yampa Valley Boys. click here.

Thank you for a very enjoyable evening, Yampa Valley Singers, and to the United Methodist Church in Steamboat for providing a space to hold the concert.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

 

From Dust to Dreams

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Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Did you see “From Dust to Dreams” on PBS on Friday night? What an outstanding program; made for a fulfilling and fun evening. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been at the opening evening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. http://www.thesmithcenter.com   A stunning arena!

The 2,050 seats in the auditorium were filled to capacity reminding us as they pointed out in the show that “if you build it, people will come.” Like other top performing arts centers in the country, this creative space will stay booked and busy. It is in the city of Las Vegas, long known for its outstanding entertainment.

The show could not have been better orchestrated. Stars like Martina McBride, John Fogerty, Willy Nelson, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King, violinist Joshua Bell and many others ushered in the opening season and nearly brought down the house of this much heralded new venue that opened on March 10, 2012.

For me, however, the crème de la crème, were the artists trained in musical theatre; they sing so succinctly and clearly. Musical theatre is my favorite form of art, bar none. The range of tunes, from some of the most notable musicals in history, really carried the night. The audience heard songs from West Side Story, Ragtime,Man of LaMancha, Rent, Life of the Party, Sweet Charity and The King and I.  Some of my favorites.

The cost to build this facility was $470 million dollars and construction took 33 months to complete it. The finale was so appropriate to the evening. “Take Care of this House,” sung by Jennifer Hudson was performed with panache.

If you missed this show, there is a DVD of “From Dust to Dreams” available to the public, thanks to PBS. It is well worth buying and it would bring personal fulfillment as a Christmas present to the fan of performing arts in your family. Here is the link.From Dust to Dreams.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Advocating for the Arts

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“The degree to which the arts are included in our educational curriculum is totally inadequate. The arts are just as important as math and science in an education and just as important as any other endeavour in our lives.”.         ~Ken Danby 

Good Morning! My blog today is going to be short, but it is about a real concern that I have. Yesterday, I received an email from the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and it seems that a bill has been introduced to end federal support for arts education. 

My response to this is “what about the children who are not particularly academically wired but are artistically and creatively gifted?” School curriculum without art education will leave those children behind. Increased drop-out rates will come as a result of kids not being able to excel and prove themselves in non-academic areas. 

Don’t let bill HR1891 terminate federal support that is needed to continue arts education in schools. All this talk of “creative economies” will be for naught! Children who excel in the arts, are the future of creative economies. Many of them will lead the way in finding innovative ways of doing business that will ignite our country. 

Parents, arts groups, teachers, and business people who depend on hiring the “creatives” need to speak up now, and oppose HR 1891. As a country, we need to be fulfilling our obligations to educate children who think outside the box, too! 

For more information on the Arts Education Fund or to donate for the continuation of arts education, please visit http://www.artsactionfund.org/.  To voice your opposition to these cuts in arts education, please go on line now and respond by emailing

advocacy@artsusa.org

Thanks for listening, thanks for responding!  

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

What is Your Currency?

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Live out your imagination, not your history.” ~ Stephen Covey 

Creative economy has been the buzzword here in Colorado and in pockets all over the United States. It is about making a living artfully through our passions and living with purpose in all that we do. 

More and more, people are realizing that there is great personal value in fulfilling our lives with what we love to do, rather than just existing to make the almighty buck. Individuals are beginning to realize that the vicious circle of working lots of hours just to have, to spend, to accumulate and keep up with the Joneses does not necessarily make sense. It is not a sustainable way to live. It is hard to enjoy and live healthy lifestyles when we are stuck on the treadmill of working more hours just to be able spend more. 

Relationships, community, volunteerism, thinking beyond our selves and our material needs are beginning to take priority in people’s lives, as this slow economy has forced us to see that there are other ways of being. And that is not a bad thing! I love hearing stories of people who are successfully recreating themselves and their businesses in these times of economic hardships. 

There was a story this week in the Steamboat Today newspaper about an artist who decided to act upon his longstanding interest in the fabric arts. Now, he is winning international acclaim for his creativity and artistic talent in making quilts. To read his story, please visit http://bit.ly/l58Ad0. For those who are unable to travel to see David Taylor’s quilts, I hope some day he will independently publish a book and sell it on the world-wide-web, with images of his fabric creations and his thoughts about using his creative talents for personal fulfillment. 

Do you have creative currency that has been dormant? Believe in yourself and dare to expend energy on making a new life for yourself through your passions. Write it, publish it, sew it, knit it, cook it, paint it, mold it, build and grow it – what ever IT is!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.