Welcome to the thoughts, actions and the all-around happenings in a day in the life of Jim Lawson

Location: Springfield, VA

Thursday, May 12, 2011

After looking at my blog the other day I noticed that the last time I posted has been just over a year. So why haven’t I posted in a year? I am sure there are several reasons but the lack time and Farmville are at the top of my list. I have pulled back on my Farmville escapades but I am still lacking a lot of time to sit down and write. In that vain, let me tell you a few things that have been happening in my life over the last year.

At the beginning of the summer I directed, re-wrote, and performed in The Complete History of America – Abridged at the Riverside Center. The experience was fantastic! The audiences grew for each performance and I got to work with one of my childhood friends and one of the best persons I know, David McConnell.

By the time fall came around I was asked to play Edna in Hairspray at Riverside. This time a dear old friend of mine, Mark Minnick, was signed on to direct. I think the world of Mark, he is an extremely young talented man. He tells you like he sees it but he is kind and generous. He’s also energetic and a heck of a lot of fun to work with. On the first day of rehearsal we had a read-through where the entire cast sits in a circle and reads their parts out loud and muddles their way through the music. At least that’s the way it usually goes. I was blown away by almost everyone in the cast knew their songs and belted them out full force. I had a lot of catching up to do. The show opened to rave reviews and the cast was fantastic! The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the high heels and what they did to my knees. Pricilla who played Tracy was a powerhouse and I had the fortunate opportunity to make a new friend in Jason who played Wilbur, my husband. The entire run was t

errifically fun and a great experience.

After Hairspray I had decided to take some time off from performing. But, I was asked to play Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly at Riverside. I have never done Hello Dolly and never really thought of it as a show that I HAD to do. They upped the ante by telling me that they were able to get Sally Struthers to play Dolly. I had a hard time turning down the opportunity to play opposite of Sally Struthers. I had no idea of what kind of a person she was but my gut told me that she was someone I’d enjoy working with. My friends, always go with your gut. We just opened the show last week and Sally is a hoot! She is a dear, compassionate, down-to-earth person who is a pure joy to perform with. I only knew her from All In The Family and the Save the Children commercials she used to do. When I told my girls that I would be performing with Gloria from All In The Family they didn’t know whom I was talking about. Then they looked her up and told me that they knew her as Babette from Gilmore Girls. Me not being a big Gilmore Girls viewer, they had to show me an episode they had and she was so charming.

I am still blessed to be working at The Perspectives Group doing public participation work and writing/directing videos. I love the people I work with, I know it is said too often but they are just like family.

I’m also still very involved with my church, Grace Presbyterian. I’m still singing in the choir and playing drums in the praise band. I also work as a youth leader and sit on the nomination committee. Our associate pastor, Shannon, left us this past January for a position with in the Presbytery and she is very missed.

Our girls have been great! Barbara starred in Once on This Island at her middle school and was fantastic! She looked beautiful; she acted, danced and sang like a pro. Her mother, Mary, and the Paynes flew up from Florida to see her, which was very special. All of my family was there so she had a great fan club. She is auditioning for Hairspray at the Little Theater of Alexandria in a few weeks. I really hope she gets and opportunity to do the show. Her passion for theater and for performing has really grown.

Danielle has been so busy and active at school this past year. She dropped by for a few hours every now and then but she really didn’t have that many opportunities to come home for a weekend or even a night. She is in her senior year at Shenandoah University and in addition to her classes at the campus she has been working in an elementary school with a fourth grade class. She has found the class very challenging but she really cared for the kids. She will be going back to complete her student teaching in the fall and graduate in December. I am so proud of her, she has really showed what kind of person she is and I wouldn’t change a thing about her.

Of course there have been many other things that have happened to us but those will be for another post, let’s hope it won’t take a full year for the next one. May God bless you. - Jim


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Coming Soon!

I know you've been waiting for it, I'm almost ready to add a post to this blog. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

To all of my dear friends, family and soon to be friends, Merry Christmas and God Bless you in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

John Hollinger as Scrooge and me a Ghost of Christmas Present

Barb backstage at Scrooge - she is 2nd from the right.

Barbara and I are having a great time performing in Scrooge down at the Riverside in Frederickbrug. She is loving every minute of it and has made some very sweet friends. It's a joy for me to work with her onstage but I think the best part for me are the great, long conversations we have driving there and back. I am also enjoying the opportunity to work with wonderful old friends like John Hollinger and Steven R. Hayes.

Dani is home from Shenandoah University for her Christmas break. She's keeping busy by helping to paint the interior of friend's house. She's doing it with Janet Little and Margeret Heine. I can just imagine the conversations between those three while they're painting. It is so great having her home!

Christmas is coming way too fast, doing the show has put me behind in Christmas shopping, decorating and cooking. We have decided to have a "scaled back" Christmas this year and do our best to enjoy family and friends and to celebrate the birth of Christ instead of all of the hustle and bustle. Let's see how that goes.

If I don't speak with you or see you before Christmas then I hope that you have a great holiday (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) and have a wonder New Year! God Bless you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What?? A New Post??

It was pretty good weekend. On Friday night I took Barbara and Sage to the West Springfield High School Homecoming football game. As anyone knows in the northern Virginia area Friday was day two of a steady downpour and temperatures drops. Barb and Sage went just for the socialization (I’m not sure if they knew there was a football game going on) and they dressed for it. Their hair was sprayed with a red color and sparkles. When we got there they went off with their friends and I, of course, got a hotdog and took a seat in the stands. The rain never let up and by the fourth quarter I was pretty wet and frozen. West Springfield was wining 30 – 27 with a few minutes left when Barb & Sage found me and said that they were a “little” cold. I had told them to wear appropriate clothes for the game but they strongly believe that fashion is far more important than practicality. We left with a few minutes left in the game and got home and dried off. West Springfield did win the game 30 – 27.

On Saturday Barb and I hung around the house doing laundry and some housecleaning. By mid-afternoon Barb asked me if I could take her and Sage to the mall for a while. I thought about it and I finally believe that the Springfield Mall is not a place I want my kids going to. It is such a shame that the mall has fallen so badly. I know that the mall has new owners and is in the middle of being re-modeled with a mixed-use plan but there have also been rapes, murders and kid-nappings there. I was at the mall the first day it opened when I was a kid and I really hope that the plan will come to fruition; Springfield could really use the boost. I decided to take them to Tysons 1 (the oldest Tyson Mall). The place was jammed packed! I hadn’t been there in a few years and they have added a 3rd level for AMC movies, a TGI Fridays and a food court. I felt totally safe letting them window shop for a few hours while I did the same.

On Sunday we made it to church for rehearsal with the Praise Band and both services. I think the band is really starting to come together. Adding Doug on the keyboards Dave on the bass and the electric drum set I’m playing, we are finally supporting Scott on guitar, like he deserves. After church Barb and I had brunch with my folks and them home to watch the Redskins. How bad does a football team have to play to make me start cleaning my bedroom instead of watching the game???

Barb and I had rehearsal for Scrooge in the evening. In case you don’t know, we are performing in Scrooge at the Riverside Dinner Theater. The theater is located in Stafford/Fredericksburg just off of I-95 and Rt 17. The theater is a great facility, one of the few built to be to actually be a theater. I have done about 10 shows there and everyone has always been extremely kind to me. Barb and Dani have also performed there with me and Barb will be playing Belinda Cratchet in this production. I’ve done this version before (Albert Finney did the movie) a few times and I’ll play the Ghost of Christmas Present again. The show opens the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 28) and closes and January 3rd. I’m sure they’ll be discounted tickets for friends of the cast, let me know if you are interested in seeing the show.

There are a few things that I am excited about doing the show, Barb and I will be working together (she is very excited about receiving a paycheck) and getting to work with some old dear friends. John Hollinger will playing Scrooge this time around and I knew that he will be GREAT. I’ll also get to see Steve R. Dee and Ron on a nightly basis. The biggest problem with doing the show is the drive. Once Barb and I buy our new helicopter everything should be fine. The Riverside said that they would build a landing pad for us on the roof.

Monday, August 31, 2009

No, No, No!!!

I can't believe that it's September already! I am so ready for the summer to BEGIN. Where did it go? Some of the great things were that my girls did get to travel and we had an awesome time at the beach for almost 5 days. I tell you, once that lottery hits I'll be taking a few more vacations.

A dear friend of mine and I saw Julie & Julia this past weekend, I was surprised that the the theater was pretty crowded even though it's been out for a few weeks. I enjoyed the film but I didn't think it was the great film that I had been hearing about. I think Amy Adams is cute and it was nice to see her in jeans and a little frumpy. Meyrl Streep was delightful as Ms. Childs and it was fun to hear her laughter with just about every line.

Barbara flies in tomorrow morning form seeing her mom in Florida for the last two weeks. It's been very quiet around the house with just me and Lady for 14 days. She has an Open House at Irving Intermediate on Wednesday and orientation on Friday morning for the upcoming 7th graders.

Dani has decided to play field hockey again at Shenandoah U. She wasn't going to play but the coach came and asked her back to the team the other day and as long as she puts her classes first it should work out well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer 2009

It’s been a pretty good summer this year. Dani finished her second year at Shenandoah University and Barbara graduated the 6th grade.

When school was out for Barbara she and her BFF Sage went to North Carolina to visit Sage’s mother for a week at he beach.
Barb and Sage

Mary and Michael drove up from Florida, a heck of a long drive, and took Barb back with them for about a month where they visited the theme parks and had a good time. The highpoint was when Mary’s Aunt & Uncle visited them fro California. Pat and John are very sweet people. Barb then came back and went to Meadowkirk, a Presbyterian camp where she hiked, tubed, swam and had a great time for a week. She then took off with the youth group for Great Escape, a Junior High retreat at the University of Pittsburgh for another week.

Dani, on the other hand, came home and enjoyed herself by going to the beach for a quick visit with Margaret, going again with Josh to visit his grandparents on their farm and taking an online class. During the midst of all of that she spent a week again at Tri Cities work camp in Petersburg where youth from all over the country are placed on work teams and repair people’s homes. This is Dani’s 7th or 8th year doing this and she loves it each year. I was able to drive down and visit her and the other youth to see what a wonderful job they were doing. It’s a Christian group and it’s a very meaningful event each year.
Dani and Josh also took a weekend camping trip….oh yeah, Josh is Dani’s boyfriend.

I pretty much worked throughout thee summer but was buy in other areas as well. I played on my church softball team again this year and we took first place in the league but we ended up in 2nd place for the tournament. We lost by one run in the bottom of the final inning. The fellowship, razzing, and camaraderie on the team is great.

I’ve been going to a good amount of National’s games this summer and they’re finally starting to win. It's me and my brother Bill at the Nat's game.

The girls and I went on vacation last week to Ocean City where we stayed at the Francis Scott Key Resort. It’s a cute place with activities for the whole family. The three of us had a great week even though we didn’t spend much time on the beach. We took a boat to Assateague Island
where we searched for wildlife in the marsh and wetlands, we rented scooters

and rode them all over the town, we swam and had a great time on the boardwalk.

Dani left for college on Monday morning, were renting a house with a few other roommates in a very nice neighborhood about 10 minutes away from the campus.

Yesterday Barb flew back to Florida to spend a few more weeks with Mary before coming back and starting school.

Life is great, I am having fun with some dear, dear friends and God is good! I hope that you had a good summer.

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