:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zondag 11 oktober 2009

One of our best friends, Kelsey, is an incredible actress and singer -- the kind that makes the hair stand up on your neck. She's had countless years of vocal and theater training, and has lived all over the country while performing in various shows. Although she's in law school now and is doing really well at it, she admits that if she had the choice, she'd make her living through the theater. She is beautiful and hilarious, with enough personality and talent for three people. I've known her for three years now (she and Liz have been friends since high school), and although I love her to death simply for being Kelsey, every time I see her act or sing, she somehow becomes more than 'just' herself. When I'm watching her onstage, she stops being 'just' the funny, quirky chick who joins us for weekend brunch and becomes... this incredibly talented human being that I somehow have the privilege to know. Everybody is good at something, yes -- we all have our areas of skill and ability -- but not many people are as good at anything as Kelsey is at acting and singing. It's like the equivalent of an Olympic-caliber athlete or a Pulitzer-winning author. It's hard to explain, but her talent touches something inside me that isn't often awakened.

Anyway, so Kelsey is currently acting in a performance of The Pajama Game, and we went to her opening night performance on Friday. As always, I was blown away. She had the female lead, and so had a lot of stage time and a lot of singing parts. This was a 'Little Theatre' production, in a small town outside Raleigh, so for a lot of the other actors, this was one of their first shows. Some people were good, others were mediocre, and one young man was almost equally as brilliant as Kelsey -- but the uneven distribution of talent meant that she stood out even more. During the final curtain call, there was a huge swell in the applause when she took the stage for her bow.

We took her out for hamburgers afterwards and told her over and over how amazing she was. She grinned and thanked us and seemed truly touched. "I hammed up that last scene for you guys," she winked. But then, after a few minutes, her demeanor changed. "It's weird," she said thoughtfully, "but that's where I feel like I'm most myself. I mean, of course I'm 'myself' at other times, like when I hang out with you guys... but somehow, when I'm up onstage, that's when I feel the most like me."

Rarely have I ever been so proud of a friend -- but at the same time, it awakens a sense of desperation in me. Kelsey will make a great lawyer -- she's got less than a year left of school -- but she is so talented and so deserving that I feel like it's almost an injustice for her not to make her living doing the thing she truly loves. Some people have talent, but don't choose to pursue it -- we've all seen the teenybopper movies about the uber-talented piano player who wins all the awards and then decides at the crucial moment that she "just doesn't love it" and wants to go in a different direction. Other people have the drive to succeed -- again, we've all watched American Idol; we all know people who are desperate to be singers or authors or athletes, who want it more than anything -- but just don't quite have what it takes.

But Kelsey has both -- the love for the field, and the incredible talent to back it up. And yet the chances of her ever 'making it' in that business are slim, just by virtue of the way our world works. She made the necessary choice to pick a 'real' career, and she'll be wonderful at it, but it breaks my heart to think of her wearing power suits to a courthouse every day, doing the lawyer thing and making the money, and only acting in a couple of tiny community theater plays every year to give herself a little taste of joy. She's so much better than that, and yet there is nothing I can do to help give her what I know she deserves. Watching her was a bittersweet feeling -- if she weren't so damn good, I wouldn't feel so desperate to see her succeed.

Anybody out there with theater connections? ;)

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