for those of you who have asked me to explain my “get barbie to normal” donation campaign, here it is. : )
when i was 17 and a senior in high school my houseparent’s brother-in-law came to Mooseheart Child City (a sort of “orphanage”, for lack of a better word) to meet with me. Jerry Dellinger immediately took an interest in me and my future. he insisted that i dismiss my childhood dream of going to harvard university where i would be swallowed up by the tidal wave of incoming freshmen and instead attend lincoln college, the school where he taught theater classes, speech and oral interpretation.
over the next 20 years, Jerry was a formidable power in my life. he was the person who sweetly explained that i would never be a good lawyer, but that i would excel as a writer. he offered his support, encouragement and driving determination for my success at every opportunity which came within 100 miles of my timid ego. when i finally made my debut as the only rhyming poet at a barnes & noble in bloomington, illinois, Jerry didn’t just merely attend. he cheered me on, critiqued my performance and stole the sign which the store had put up to advertise the evening’s events.
when Jerry passed away in august of 2010, there was no hesitation to my driving the 650 miles to lincoln, illinois for his memorial service. before i left i discovered that some of the incredible actors & directors Jerry had introduced me to 19 years earlier would be attending the service as well. having lost contact with them since my move to north carolina in 1999, i brought along books of my poetry so they could see what i had been working on.
in december, one of those actors & directors named Phil Shaw, contacted me about the possibility of putting my work on the stage for New Route Theatre in bloomington, illinois. if it were technologically possible, i would have replied yes to his email before he had even finished typing it.
since i am living and breathing the world of the “paycheck to paycheck” class, my being there to attend the show is a dream. a dream which i am hoping to transform into a reality. i’m not very good at the online busker routine. i’ll be launching a fund raising project with the people at kickstarter.com soon, but money given there will be to purchase items, not just secure a wonderful memory for me.
and so, that’s the story. the “normal” part of “get barbie back to normal” is because the town which connects to bloomington is called “normal”. my website designer’s little joke.
i think if there is an after-life, Jerry is watching me and reveling in the irony that he is still helping me to realize my full potential and expand my opportunities. and yes, i’m certain this amuses him to no end.
the show will be held at Eaton Stage & Gallery in bloomington, illinois on february 9th. more information is available on facebook
New Route Theatre production of “And She Said….”
you will also find a link there to New Route Theatre, or you can visit their site New Route Theatre
thanks for supporting starving artists….