Julie Andrews Live

I haven't updated this in awhile, but I had to comment on the show I attended last night at the Hollywood Bowl. It was billed as Rogers & Hammerstein music, sung by a group of 5 people no one's ever heard of and hosted by Julie Andrews.

It opened with a montage of photos, spliced into pictures of the hill from the opening sequence of The Sound of Music, and then the first verse of the song with the video from the movie.

Then she walked onstage in a glittering gold dress. The woman is 72 years old, but didn't look more than maybe 50, and still stops an audience dead in their tracks with her mere presence. She began to discuss the evening, Rogers and Hammerstein, etc, and then talked about the throat surgery she had 12 years ago.

"I don't have the voice or the range you just saw in that video from so many years ago," she said, "but let me assure you, I still sing the HELL out of Old Man River!"

And then she sang. She actually sang!

Well it started as talk-singing through the whole intro of "Getting to Know You" from The King & I. And then sang:

Getting to (drop octave) know you (back up the octave) Getting to (drop octave) know all (back up) about you.

My chest tightened. I began to cry silent tears. And I cried for at least two more songs, until "Nothing Like A Dame" from South Pacific snapped me out of it.

Because Julie Andrews has a musical theatre legacy unlike any other. She is graceful, she is enigmatic... she just... there's no way to find words that do her justice. She had the most beautiful soprano voice - I saw her in Victor Victoria on Broadway 12 years ago, right before her throat surgery. She was 60, but the theatre rung with her voice, her presence.

And now her voice is gone, just like that.

Musical theatre is a safe place. Things like that aren't supposed to happen. Except in Schonberg & Boublil musicals, there are supposed to be happy endings. Julie Andrews being relegated to tenor is NOT a happy ending.

It got better, though - she sang a few more, but they were songs where it wasn't so obvious that she couldn't hit the notes.

Then, at the end, they played the clip from The Sound of Music where they're singing Do Re Mi, and the singers on the stage picked up where the film clip left off. Then, Julie said, "Well, sing along - you know you want to," and the whole Hollywood Bowl burst into song.

And I thought... she asked me to sing, and I sang. But if she had asked me to place my underwear on my head, I probably would have done that too.

CAMFT & end-of-semesterness

So the last 2 weeks of my life have essentially been nonstop craziness... These are the things I have done:

1. Analyzed the family structure within the film American Beauty
2. Written a 12-page "ethnographic interview" paper based on an interview with a multiracial friend from high school for my cross-cultural counseling class
3. Compiled a case file of about 10 components (case notes, intake application, informed consent, release to contact current psychiatrist, elder abuse report, treatment plan, etc etc etc) in response to a case study for my law & ethics class
4. Attended 9 workshops at the CAMFT conference near LAX (and, in the process, discovered two personal mentors & idols within the therapy field... although I also learned that we're less trusted as a profession than car salesmen, and just slightly more than lawyers)
5. Wrote a 40-page genogram paper, which, when you take into account my interview transcripts and various charts, ended up at a grand total of 77 pages!

So if I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, that may be why. Anyway, I have two classes today, and one next week, and then I'm done with this semester, and there is naught to do but grit my teeth until grades are posted.

I'm so impressed with my own genogram project... I don't think I've ever put that much energy and effort into a school assignment in the entirety of my academic career.

And the CAMFT conference - wow. Anyone who's interested in the field should look up Marty Klein, a sex therapist in Palo Alto with an incredibly brilliant, straightforward, unbiased and existential approach to working with couples, and Barry Duncan, who gave a seminar about "Practice-Based Evidence" (as opposed to Evidence-Based Practice) and taught us about being a therapist who, instead of looking for deficits and trying to fix them, searches for strengths and encourages clients to apply those to their own struggles. The conference completely rejuvenated me and reminded me why I want to go into this field. Fabulous!

That's it for now... now that zaniness is temporarily over, I shall attempt to write somewhat more often.

Miss Saigon is like a Dementor

I love Miss Saigon. It's an amazing show, and it has more heart than 90% of the other shows I've ever seen combined. But I can't listen to anything on the soundtrack, except possibly American Dream, without my worst fears of the future and the most horrible memories from my past surging to the forefront of my mind.



I got hired as a trainee at Friends of the Family, a clinic in Van Nuys. I start in June... life's career, here I come!

Giddy-Up, High Horse!

Maybe I just don't understand politics... perhaps that's my problem. But so many things I hear about and read about absolutely baffle me, and I don't understand how there can possibly NOT be an enormous public outcry.

For those not in California, or for those who don't follow the news, our lovely Governator has decided that the best way to deal with our budget problem is to fire teachers... and not just a few teachers, and not teachers who aren't very good at their jobs, but thousands of teachers throughout the state based on tenure alone. So all those bright newly credentialed minds seeking to influence the students and bring a fresh perspective to the craft - out of work.

I want to know what idiot even SUGGESTED that education was our most expendable asset! Gee, we have a budget problem... oh I know, let's get rid of teachers. That way, our students and schools will suffer, and the great minds of tomorrow won't become filled to their capacity. What a great idea!

And then, on the cover of today's LA Times, there's an article about how McCain would like to suspend the gas tax for the summer. Sounds good, yes? Well, I certainly think so - I hate having to pay $65 to fill my tank. But his proposal for how to do this is to cut MediCare funds so that lots and lots of old people can't get the prescriptions they need for their many health problems.

So essentially, the overall statement that has been made over the course of the last month is that education and healthcare are expendable. Yet we're still spending millions (or is it billions?) of dollars a DAY in overseas warfare. I just don't understand this...

We really need to get a Democrat into office...

End of the semester

Wow, I can't believe my first semester of grad school is almost over... two papers, three classes, an evaluation, and a presentation, and I'm a free woman for a few weeks. Much is in store for winter break, including 10 days in Israel on the birthright program. It really just hit me today that I'm going, now that I have my itinerary. It should be oodles of fun, excitement, education, etc.

Life is a bit zany at the moment... I have a bajillion things to do, so naturally I'm posting a livejournal entry. I have 250 invitations that need to be done by Monday. I wonder if invitations are like theatre... theatre always comes together in the final stretch - no one ever knows how - and I really hope the same is true for these invites, because I'm feeling super duper overwhelmed.

Um...... ok, back to work.

Oh my goodness....

After the Izzard show (which was fabulous, by the way), I was driving home on Laurel Canyon, and I swear I think I saw a dead guy in the opposing lane just south of Lookout Mountain... I guess it could have been a pile of clothes or a trick of the light or something, but it really really looked like a dead guy, completely sprawled out, like either someone threw him out of a car, or maybe like he had an epileptic seizure while walking down the road and passed out right in the middle of it.

I called the police, apologizing profusely on the off-chance that I sent them and the paramedics out there for a false alarm. They reassured me that it was ok, better safe than sorry and all.

The longer I sit here and think about it, the less certain I am it was actually a person... the image is becoming steadily less vivid in my mind. But at the time, it definitely definitely looked like a dead person. I felt a chill of certainty jump through me... I was on the phone with John telling him about the show and I just stopped mid-sentence and said "oh my god".

Is it weird that I was scared to stop or turn around and check? Does that make me irresponsible?