Posts tagged: theatre

Saying YES to the Universe

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — e.e. cummings

Many of you that read my work already know that I was a theatre major in college. I still participate in theatre shows when I can. (In fact, I will be in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in April and May of this year.) A very big part of theatre training consists of playing theatre games, and many of these are based on improvisational techniques. When an actor or actors make up lines, actions, and scenes as they go along, they are improving. In other words, there is no script to memorize or characters to embody. You fly by the seat of your pants and create the piece organically in the moment. If you’ve ever seen a television show like “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” or a stage show at a place like Second City in Chicago, these are fine, and usually very funny, examples of improvisation. A good actor has to understand how to improv because in a live production, you never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes improvising a line or doing something different can save a scene that has gone horribly wrong.

There are not a lot of rules when it comes to improvisation. But when I practiced improv every day in college, there was one rule that we, the actors, always had to follow. We had to play the Yes Game, as my teachers called it. You might be able to discern from the name of the rule what it meant. Playing the Yes Game required all of the actors to agree with whatever was going on onstage in a scene. For example, if I were doing a scene with another actor, and she came onstage and established that she had just fallen out of a window and injured her head, I couldn’t come onstage after her and ignore that choice or do something that negated it. I had to play into the situation without contradicting what she already established. So I might come onstage as a paramedic so that I could try to treat her injury. Or I might come on as a panicky pedestrian who doesn’t know what to do for her. Both of these choices say YES to the situation that my scene partner had already created. But I could not come onstage, examine her, and exclaim, “Oh my gosh! This woman is dead!” Doing this would negate what my partner had already set up, and it would ruin the energy of the scene. One of the most important things you must do onstage as an actor is trust your fellow actors. This trust is vital to building a scene, a play, a movie, or any kind of rapport. If I were to ruin the scene by not saying YES, I destroy the trust between the other actor and me, thus destroying the whole project.

So now you’ve learned a little something about theatre and improvisation. I was reminded of playing the Yes Game when I recently re-read the classic healing book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book has changed the lives of many, many people, myself included. In the book, Louise explores in great detail how our thoughts and our attitudes about ourselves create every situation and especially every health issue we encounter in our lives. Louise contends that by changing our thoughts, we can truly change our lives.

Now this is something that can’t be new information for most of you if you’re reading my blog. I realize that many of you believe in the power of positive thinking and understand the concept that thought creates reality. But even though we believe in this, many of us, myself included, have a hard time incorporating this into our lives every day. We have moments – and maybe longer periods of time than just moments – when we doubt, or we fall into patterns of negative thought. But one thing that Louise says in her book really caught my attention, and I wanted to share it with you today.

Louise writes that there are two mental patterns that contribute to dis-ease: fear and anger. Anger manifests as impatience, frustration, irritation, criticism, resentment, jealousy, and bitterness, thoughts that poison the body. Fear manifests as tension, anxiety, insecurity, doubt, worry, nervousness, feelings of inadequacy, or unworthiness. These also permeate the body and cause harm. And Louise says that we must learn to substitute faith for fear and anger if we are to heal.

“Faith in what?” she writes. “Faith in life. I believe we live in a YES Universe. No matter what we choose to believe or think, the Universe says YES to us. If we think poverty, the Universe says YES to that. If we think prosperity, the Universe says YES to that. So we want to think and believe that we have the right to be healthy, that health is natural to us. The Universe will support and say YES to this belief. Be a YES person, and know that you live in a YES world, being responded to by a YES Universe.”

So you see, Louise Hay is advocating playing the Yes Game in life, just like I used to play it in acting class. This Yes Game, though, is on a much bigger and more important scale. We are creating our own world by affirming to the Universe what we really want in it, and by affirming our divine nature and connection.

It’s important to realize that this is work, and it’s something we need to concentrate on and make a priority every day. We may also find that as we try to release a negative pattern in our lives, the whole situation may seem to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing, and it is NOT a sign that we are going in the wrong direction. It IS a sign that the process is beginning to move! Our new affirmative thoughts are working, and we need to continue to concentrate energy upon them.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are working on expressing your creative talents, and you lose your job. This may seem like a very bad situation, but it may be that the problem is moving in a different direction to reveal different things you need to understand. Imagine that your affirmation has been, “I create opportunities in my life to use my creative talents and skills.” Guess what? The Universe just said YES to that affirmation and opened up a very big opportunity—you can create a whole new job for yourself! Instead of seeing this as a negative, find the positive in it and say YES to it! This may be challenging in itself, to see the positive in some of these types of situations. But you have the answers inside of you. As Louise also points out: the same Intelligence that created this YES Universe also created you and dwells inside of you as your own inner Intelligence. Access it.

How can we do that? Through meditation and contemplation. And by affirming for ourselves, every day, how beautiful and divine we truly are. We can say something like, “I release all the patterns of consciousness and action that have brought about this circumstance in my life.” And then we can affirm what we do want: “I easily embrace change with joy and peace.” “I easily attract the perfect mate into my life.” “I easily attract the best job to fit all my needs.”

I love the word YES. It sounds delicious, light, and happy. Let’s use it more often. Let’s say YES to the Universe and all it offers to us!

Namaste.

 

Two Down, Two to Go

Well, I now have two performances of The Vagina Monologues under my belt. Opening weekend went well. We had a couple of very nice audiences both nights, and I felt the show was strong both evenings. Of course, I wish my performances would have been better because I am painfully aware of the mistakes I made. More than likely, the audience was not, however, so I won’t rehash those here. Suffice to say my aging brain doesn’t retain memorized lines like it once did, and we’ll leave it at that. If you’re interested in seeing me onstage, you can check out the photos our brilliant photographer, Mikki Schaffner, took during our preview show. I’m the one in the purple top.

To the photos!

Overall, The Vagina Monologues has been a great experience. I’ve learned a lot about women that I never knew before. I’ve worked with some fine actresses onstage, including three of my very best friends in the whole wide world, and I’ve really challenged myself as a creative person. I feel very blessed.

And I have another two performances to look forward to. Life is good!

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. See you on Tarot Tuesday!

xo

The Vagina Monologues

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Some of you may know that I have done theatre for many, many years. I studied theatre in college, hold a degree in theatre education, and still try to do as many shows as I can with my busy schedule as a mom, wife, and professional person. I don’t always announce shows I am doing, but I am extremely proud of the show I’m currently involved in, and I wanted to tell you all about it. 

The show is THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, written by Eve Ensler. This incredibly popular show toured the country for years because of its fresh, straight-forward approach to women and their sexuality. My theatre group, Falcon Theatre, will be presenting this award-winning play as the inaugural event in our “Falcon Gives Back” series, which celebrates Falcon’s success by raising money for a worthy charity.

 If we talk about it, we don’t usually use its real name–“girl parts,” “down there,” “south of the border”–anything but call it what it really is. In THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, a play based on interviews the author conducted with women from all walks of life, women discuss their vaginas…and their lives. Sex, love, birth, violence, fear, shame, redemption, power, self-awareness…it’s all there. This is a mature, ADULT presentation of thoughts, ideas, and feelings that all too often go unexpressed.

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES is a natural choice for Falcon’s first “Falcon Gives Back” show; it has frequently been performed as a benefit for the organization V-Day, a group founded by Even Ensler with the goal of eliminating violence towards women. V-Day is now in its 10th year of coordinating benefit performances of the show with domestic violence organizations local to each performance venue.

Our goals with “Falcon Gives Back” are similar: we hope, through this and future shows, to enrich our community by sharing our profits with various deserving charitable organizations. It’s one way for us to show our gratitude for all the support we’ve received over the years and to let our passion for performance serve the greater good.

If you live in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, I invite you to come and see me perform in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, running June 12, 13, 19, and 20 (8 p.m.), 2009, at the Monmouth Theatre in Newport, Kentucky, and support this wonderful mission. To reserve your tickets, please visit Falcon’s website:

 www.falcontheater.net

 I hope to see you at the show!

 

 

The Merry Month of May

Although my May did not exactly start out stellar (see my previous post about The Tower), I am determined that the rest of the month will be wonderful. My dachshund, Kipling (named after the writer), celebrated his birthday on May 1, which is also one of my favorite Pagan holidays, Beltane. A fire festival of fertility, Beltane is a time to honor prosperity and abundance and to ask for more of it from the Universe, if this is what’s needed. If you’re hoping to bring something specific into your life, use the energy of Beltane, still active, to do so. Considering that we’ll be moving into a Mercury retrograde on May 7 (with the planet going direct again on May 30), which may hinder communications and slow down processes, we need to take advantage of the positive, fiery prosperity energy of Beltane while we can! And if you’re more interested in *actual* fertility, be sure to take advantage of the Beltane energy. I know my twins were conceived during this energy in 1995–so be careful, it’s potent stuff! 

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Our weekend was highlighted by a trip to the theatre to see our favorite company, Falcon Theater in Newport, Kentucky, mount POSEIDON: AN UPSIDE DOWN MUSICAL. What a treat this show was! Featuring a wonderfully engaging cast and some truly outrageous and hysterical moments, POSEIDON was a welcome distraction from the stress of last week. POSEIDON is a musical spoofing the 1972 disaster film THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, which starred Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, and Pamela Sue Martin. The musical is making its regional premiere with Falcon, and it’s truly a delightful and rollicking stage adventure. If you’re in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, love live theatre, and are looking for a fantastic and fun show, POSEIDON: AN UPSIDE DOWN MUSICAL is highly recommended. You can reserve your tickets for the next 2 weekends of performances by visiting Falcon Theater’s website:

On Stage

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Don’t forget that tomorrow is Tarot Tuesday! If you haven’t already, you can submit a question by commenting on the blog or by emailing me at info@vandeneynden.biz. Every week, I choose at least one question from those submitted to answer on the blog, so don’t hesitate to send in yours.

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I am currently cooking up some new classes and workshops, which I hope to announce in the next few days. I’m also developing some new readings and opportunities for my clients to touch in with Spirit and access their own energies and potentials, so announcements about those new offerings will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

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Speaking of classes, I hope you’ll be able to join my office partner, Joanne Franchina, and I for a unique and exciting event coming up at the end of May. Keep reading for all the details!

 

SPECIAL WEEKEND EVENT: Mediums Demonstrate, then Teach, How to Use Items as Inspiration & Tokens of Remembrance in Message Work

GALA MESSAGE SERVICE with Guest Mediums
For this special evening, Joanne Franchina and her office partner, Rose Vanden Eynden, have collaborated to bring together some of their favorite mediums from the region to demonstrate platform mediumship for audience members in the Spiritualist tradition of a Gala Message Service.  What makes this type of service unique is that each message incorporates a special item inspired by spirit through the medium’s clairvoyance, such as flowers, tarot cards, crystals, flames, spirit art, or everyday/personal items, and the recipient of the message will receive the item as a token of remembrance from spirit
Friday, May 29, 7-9pm. 
$12; Limited seating. 
Joanne Franchina & Rose Vanden Eynden, hosts. Guest mediums include Jane DeVore, Judy Brooks, Mary Lynn Crawford, and Mary Kurnick Maass.


DIVINATION TOOLS & MEDIUMSHIP: USING SPECIAL ITEMS IN MESSAGE WORK with Guest Instructors
Join us for a special series of workshops where you will learn how to use various items, such as flowers, tarot cards, crystals, flames, spirit art, or everyday/personal items, in your mediumship.  Learn how spirit inspires us as clairvoyant mediums with special tokens of remembrance for the recipients of their messages, and how to present these messages “on the platform” or in a private reading.  Designed for intermediate level mediumship students (those with some experience giving messages, although perhaps not with these tools/items).  

Six workshops will be offered during three Saturday sessions: attend one, two or all three sessions!  Each workshop will be taught by the medium who demonstrated this type of message work during our Friday Gala Message Service.
Saturday, May 30.

Three sessions: 9:30-11:30am, 12:30-2:30pm, & 3-5pm.
$25 per session.
Seating is very limited; register early to ensure your place & selections.
Guest instructors (specified below). 

SATURDAY, 9:30-11:30am.  SESSION ONE: Choose A or B.
A. PSYCHOMETRY AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Mary Lynn Crawford
B. MEDIUMISTIC PORTRAITURE AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Mary Kurnick Maass

SATURDAY, 12:30-2:30pm.  SESSION TWO: Choose C or D.
C. CRYSTALS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Joanne Franchina
D. FLAME MESSAGES AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Judy Brooks

SATURDAY, 3-5pm. SESSION THREE: Choose E or F.
E. FLOWERS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Jane DeVore
F. TAROT CARDS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Rose Vanden Eynden

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A. PSYCHOMETRY AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Mary Lynn Crawford

Mediums know that “anything” can be read.  In this class, you will learn how to use materials from a person’s environment to communicate with that person’s spirit guides and loved ones in spirit.  Bring objects from your home in order to practice this skill; these can be “typical” objects, such as jewelry, or nontraditional objects, such as toys or food items. 

 

Mary Lynn Crawford is an associate minister with the Indiana Association of Spiritualists in Camp Chesterfield.  Mary Lynn brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her former career in teaching, and a lifetime interest in things of the spirit world and spirit communication.  

 

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B. MEDIUMISTIC PORTRAITURE AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Mary Kurnick Maass
Lend a hand to spirit (a drawing hand, that is) and improve your mediumship!  In this class, you will experiment with the processes of drawing and portraiture as both a creative focus and a tool to link to spirit and guides in the higher realms for more evidence.  Facial templates will assist students in the drawing process – so artistic skill is not necessary.  

Mary Kurnick Maass is an artist and clairvoyant located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  A published children’s book illustrator and writer, Mary has led workshops throughout Ohio on the imagination and creative processes.  Her workshops are based in Spiritualist principles; she has studied spirit art with Coral Ryder and Matthias Guldenstein. 

 

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C. CRYSTALS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Joanne Franchina
No stony silences in this class!  Learn how to “read” crystals visually through their colors and patterns, and energetically through the vibrations that they transmit, to bring through messages from the spirit world. There will be plenty of crystals available to practice with during class, or bring your own to play and work with too.  

Joanne Franchina enjoys using crystals in her daily life and in her spiritual counseling practice, Inner Compass.  A certified clairvoyant medium and ordained minister through Fellowships of the Spirit in Lily Dale, New York, Joanne helps empower and inspire people to live their most fulfilling lives by applying their own inner wisdom in everyday situations.  

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D. FLAME MESSAGES AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Judy Brooks
In this class we will explore the various materials that can be used and ways to interpret them.  We will discuss how spirit messages may be structured around a precipitated flame picture, and practice creating and interpreting actual pictures. 

Judy Brooks is a certified medium and ordained minister through Camp Chesterfield, a certified medium through the United Spiritualists of the Christ Light Church, and a Reiki Master.  In practice for 10 years, Judy teaches mediumship and Reiki.


E. FLOWERS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Jane DeVore
In this informational and experiential class, you will learn how to use the form, structure, and symbolism of the flowers to give spirit messages. 

Rev. Jane DeVore, clairvoyant, psychic, and a staff medium at Camp Chesterfield, has developed and refined her message work using flowers over several years.  Jane teaches classes in self-awareness, spiritual and mediumship development, and trance.  

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F. TAROT CARDS AS A TOOL OF MEDIUMSHIP with Rose Vanden Eynden
Learn to use your intuition and any Tarot deck to create meaningful messages from the Spirit world!  Please bring your favorite deck of cards.  No experience reading Tarot required.  
Rose Vanden Eynden began her professional intuitive career as a self-taught Tarot consultant over eighteen years ago.  Since then, she has become a certified medium with the Indiana Association of Spiritualists at Camp Chesterfield and an ordained Spiritualist minister with the United Spiritualists of the Christ Light Church in Cincinnati. She is the author of several books: So You Want to be a Medium? A Down to Earth GuideMetatron: Invoking the Angel of God’s Presence, and the forthcoming Spirit FAQ

Register for the Complete Weekend Event (Gala & Three Workshop Sessions) by Friday, May 15 for only $75, a savings of $12.  That’s like going to the Gala for FREE! 

To register for any of these events, please visit www.yourinnercompass.com.

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That’s it for today. Please check back tomorrow as we concentrate on the energies of Tarot and answer some questions for some readers. Until then, enjoy your Monday and the beautiful gifts that Creator has given to you!

xo

Think, Think, Think…

Lots on my mind right now.

1.  I’m working tonight at my church, The United Spiritualists of the Christ Light. We’re doing a spirit message service at 8 p.m. Cost is $7 per person. It’s a fun way to give short spirit messages to lots of people in the congregation. If you’re in the Cincinnati area and want to join us, please find your way to the U.S.C.L. via their website: www.uscl.org.

2.  If you’re a theatre lover and are in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, check out Falcon Theatre’s production of HAMLET, which opens tonight at the Monmouth Theatre in Newport. For more information, visit Falcon at www.falcontheatre.net.  Support the arts!

3.  My office partner, Joanne Franchina of Inner Compass, and I are hosting a special class Saturday, February 28. Read more about it!

Artist and clairvoyant Mary Kurnick Maass will lead the workshop Auragraphs: An Exploration in Psychic Art on Saturday, February 28, 2009 from 12 to 2 p.m. Come and enjoy working in a fun way with psychic energy. Participants in this class will learn to create auragraphs, an established form of psychic art done throughout the world by many psychics and mediums. Using simple art materials, you will create a visual affirmation or scene for another class member that can be read intuitively for shared insight. This is a psychic exploration of the energies and information that can be obtained in a person’s aura or what can be called the human atmosphere. Artistic skill is not necessary to participate in this workshop. All you need is a desire to experience creativity and to be open to a new psychic process.  Creativity is at our core and our soul waits for us to embrace it. All art supplies will be provided. COST: $40; early registrations by February 21, $35. To register, download a registration form at Inner Compass.

Mary Kurnick Maass is an artist and clairvoyant located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  A published children’s book illustrator and writer, Mary has led workshops throughout Ohio on the imagination and creative processes.  Her workshops are based in Spiritualist principles; she has studied spirit art with Coral Ryder and Matthias Guldenstein.

Really cool stuff. Don’t miss it! We’ve extended the early registration date (and discount!) to Monday, so act now!

4. Don’t forget about Tarot Tuesday here on the blog! Get your question in now for next week!

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On a more personal level: you may know that I’m currently working on my 3rd book, tentatively titled SPIRIT FAQ. My acquisitions editor called on Wednesday to check on my progress. I have a deadline of April 10, but she wanted to know if I felt I could possibly get them 80% of the manuscript by mid-March. Scary prospect. There’s still a lot to be done on the manuscript, and after an intense day of research and frustration yesterday, I’m not sure what to say. I need to sit with it, write with it, and meditate with it a while longer before giving an answer. However, I’m concerned about not having a balanced life if I give too much energy to one thing and not enough to the other important elements.

But…it could be a sign from Spirit, too, that I need to stop messing around online and work harder. There’s always that. 

So…until Monday, folks…I’ll be thinking.

 

There is Superstition

Happy Friday the 13th!

Lots of people are a bit superstitious about Friday the 13th, which is, by tradition, supposed to be an unlucky day. What, really, have we to happily anticipate on a day commonly believed to be fraught with doom? 

Well, lucky for us, this year, we have THIS to look forward to:

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Yes, the new “Friday the 13th” movie opens today! As if we don’t have enough to worry about, what with the economic nightmare, the ongoing war in Iraq, and the heartbreak of another plane crash, we now have Jason running around again, swinging his machete. What are movie executives thinking?

I guess they’re thinking “payday,” and sure enough, some people will ante up.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about today. I was thinking instead about superstitions and how they influence us. Especially since Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers played Stevie’s hit song, “Supersition,” on the Grammys the other night. (What a trooper Stevie is.)

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When I was a kid, I subscribed to the old “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” superstition and dutifully dodged the fissures in the sidewalk as I scampered along. I remember being horrified when someone, a friend or a cousin, broke a hand mirror, anticipating that she’d just sentenced herself to 7 years of bad luck. And I never, ever, walked under a ladder–who knew what the consequences of that might be?

Now that I’m older, I’ve mostly outgrown my superstitions. I still have objects that I like to carry that bring me comfort, but I don’t really think of them as lucky charms. I tend to take personal responsibility for my good days and my bad days, because I believe in the Law of Attraction. If you’re feeling funky and negative, you’re most likely going to attract more of that kind of energy. If you try to stay upbeat and positive, you’re more apt to attract happy circumstances. A good reason to try to stay in an optimistic frame of mind.

But I do still harbor one superstition, from my days in the theatre. There is a belief among theatre folk that the Shakespeare play, MACBETH, is cursed. For this reason, the name of the play is never uttered inside of any theatre. It is referred to instead as “the Scottish play,” and this wards off any cursed energy that may infect the theatre, thus wreaking havoc on the production and the actors involved. 

Do I really believe in curses? No. I believe that if we accept that someone can send negative energy to us to affect us, then that very thing will happen. If we don’t accept that kind of energy, it can be thrown our way all they like, but it won’t hurt us in any way. So why would I believe in some weird superstition about a play’s name?

When I was in college, our theatre department mounted a production of MACBETH. I wasn’t involved in it, having been cast in another show, but it was rehearsed at the same time as the show I was doing. I remember the young man who’d been cast as the lead character of Macbeth scoffing at the superstition. I also remember a friend of mine telling me that this guy had walked onstage and shouted the word “Macbeth” over and over in an attempt at humor. Not too many folks in the production were amused. Some of them thought he’d doomed their show for sure.

A couple of days before opening night, that actor broke his leg. He had to play the role in a full-leg cast hidden under his costume. He couldn’t perform his stage combat; the director ended up taking it out and adding a line into the show that spoke of Macbeth’s war wound. 

Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences. But I do believe that actor drew something negative to him. So am I superstitious? I guess I am, a little. We are products of our experiences, aren’t we?

So, what’s your favorite superstition? Do you have a story about a superstition and an experience you’ve had? I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment. 

I, for one, am not worried about Friday the 13th. In fact, I have a date with my husband tonight. Life couldn’t be better than that.

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