Monday, April 26, 2010

Sweet Spirits

The best part about doing these little fanclub trips are the people I meet. Eric attracts the nicest fans, probably because he is so incredibly nice himself. This trip has been no exception. Two young women who saw him in Houston in Miss Saigon, Katherine and Rachel, flew to LA to see Joseph. Katherine had contacted me via the fansite and we planned to meet at the show. After the show, we were walking out together and I invited them to come to the apartment for coffee. We had a wonderful time talking and sharing our faith with each other. It was an incredible blessing. I now feel we have begun an eternal friendship.

When I first checked into the studio, I met the cleaning lady, Rosario. She was extremely friendly, cheerful and warm and we hit it off immediately. Today as I am getting ready to check out we said our goodbyes and I said "God bless you." She immediately said "are you a Christian?" to which I responded in the affirmative. That opened the floodgates of our sharing our joy in the Lord and the discovery of a new sister in Christ. We were two strangers from completely different walks of life who found a common love through Jesus Christ.

That has happened to me on every trip so far. In most cases, those friendships have lasted and we are still in close contact with one another. Many times I will get prayer requests from fans and I share requests with them as well. Beth, a violinist I met in St. Louis is going to be a guest in my home next weekend. We are going to perform together at my church. Susan from Sacramento, Sherry from St. Louis, Anita from Boston, Riki from Georgia, I could go on and on. That was certainly an unexpected lovely side effect of doing the site for Eric.

A postscript:  It is now mid-July and today I received a card in my mailbox with a Redondo Beach address.  It was a sweet note from Rosario, the cleaning lady at my rental apartment.  What a lovely surprise! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Life is Good: Day Three

One of the things I love best about this area is the number of people you see enjoying the outdoors: jogging, walking their dogs, biking, surfing, playing volleyball.  There are two dedicated paths along the water just for that purpose, one for bicyclists and rollerbladers, the other for walkers and joggers.  Out of my window I can see surfers and volleyball games.  As a result, most people are in really good physical shape here.  It really inspires me to be more active as well.  Yesterday I spent most of the day riding one of the bikes available to the rental apartment in which I am staying.  The path extends for 20 miles in either direction.  The most fascinating thing about the path is the variety of multi-million dollar oceanfront properties, lined up next to each other, every one in their own unique architectural style.  The homes are separated from the path by just a small porch or patio area with a matchbox lawn.   They remind me of the rows luxury yachts in Cannes, where you caught just a glimpse of how the other half lives.  One elegant couple was being served dinner by their tuxedo clad butler on the deck of one of those yachts, within 20 feet of the boardwalk teeming with us ordinary folk. 

Back at the theater in the evening I had the pleasure of meeting two beautiful new friends from the fansite, Katherine and Rachel, who had traveled all the way from Houston to see Eric in Saturday night's performance of "Joseph".  We had previously communicated through email and found common interests besides Mr. Kunze.  We share a love of the Lord, music, art and architecture.  They sing at their church in Houston.  After the performance I introduced them to Eric and after chatting with him a bit, we decided to spend a little more time together.  We came back to my apartment for coffee.  Despite the difference in our ages, we had a really great time visiting with each other.  They were delightful.  That is one of the nicest perks of doing the fansite.  Eric's goodness attracts the nicest fans and I get to meet them.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Life is Good: Day Two

Enjoyed a lovely day just hanging out at the apartment. Marianne and Jenny were meeting me for dinner before the theater. I was trying to find a restaurant for us that was waterfront with a nice quiet vibe. All of sudden, it came to me: my place! So they picked up food from PF Changs and we sat in the living room, enjoying the fabulous view of the beach and ocean. They were blown away by the place! If I don't stop telling people about it I may not be able to get a reservation on the next trip!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

California: Life is Good

"Life is Good". That's the logo from a store at the LAX airport. A good one to live by. Gratitude each and every day for the gift of life. It doesn't hurt that I have been blessed with the opportunity to be back in California, seeing Eric in "Joseph" yet again and staying in the cutest beachfront apartment with a 180 degree view of my beloved ocean.

When I arrived, the wind on the water was in gale-force mode. The surf was crashing. Walking on the beach meant getting sandblasted. There was a chair on the balcony in the unit above that was being blown around, producing a rhythmic thumping that was unsettling.

The first order of business was getting staples. Trader Joe's nearby, yay! Love, love, love Trader Joes. The nearest at home is half an hour away. Found some delicious French Roast decaf, brie, turkey breast eggs and shrimp spring rolls and I was happy. Back to the unit to shower and change for the theater. Doing my hair was an exercise in futility since the minute I step out the door, the gale turns me into Medusa.

At the theater, front and center, I sat next to a lovely couple who were season ticket holders and enjoyed visiting with them throughout the evening. To my delight and relief, this version of "Joseph" was G rated. The costuming was imaginative, colorful and modest. The one scene that could be (and often is) over the top, is the where Potiphar's wife tries to seduce Joseph. Even in the film, that scene is depicted as an orgy. But Ron Kellum is able to convey the story without making it uncomfortable to watch, which is reassuring to those planning to bring their young children to this production. Compared to the last show, "Miss Saigon", this is a piece of fluff, but fun nevertheless. The redemptive theme of forgiveness is presented clearly by the direction and Eric's acting ability. If I were directing this, I would establish early on the special love between Joseph and his little brother Benjamin, making the ending all the more poignant.

Back at the apartment, I kept the TV on to block out the sound of the howling wind, but was able to get a good night's sleep and awoke (hallelujah!) to the sun this morning. I could sit in this place all day and watch all the varied and fascinating spectrum of people and their dogs parade by, not to mention the surfers enjoying the turbulent waves. But I must tear myself away to become part of that scene. The jogging/biking path in front of the apartment stretches for 20 miles. I'll report back again later.

Thursday, April 08, 2010