16 September, 2006

Sound The Call - Installment 1

I am sitting here in beautiful Traverse City on a breathtaking day. The air is clear and crisp, and smells so clean and fresh. It possesses juuust that hint of autumn that makes one feel so thoughtful, and makes one feel so connected to universal sorrow and joy. Hard to explain I suppose, but this place does render me speechless at times. I have just returned from a glorious drive through the countryside seeing all of the sparkling freshwater lakes to the various fruit orchards and and vineyards. Northern Michigan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen... certainly a worthy addition to a list of paradises.

I arrived saturday after a brief (35 minute!) flight. David greeted me at the "airport" (more like glorified runway), to pick me up and take me to the campus. It was amazing to see him, and he greeted me with such excitement and familiarity, it felt so wonderful. He is in every way a father figure, and his opinion and guidance is more meaningful than ever.

Once on campus, he escorted me into the theatre and showed me around all the new facilities! About three summers ago I sang at the groundbreaking ceremony and actually physically put the first shovel in the dirt outside the theatre on what was to be an extension-- and now to see it in all its glory, my...

I am so proud of this place, and to see it growing and improving fills me with additional pride. Anyway, a huge new rehearsal room (identical to the theatre dimensions--how practical), a massive new set and costume shop underground, new fly space, offices for all the teachers and a full dressing room area. All of these things would certainly outdo my own drama school, and I am sure the dressing rooms alone are nicer than any off-broadway or fringe facilities. I was impressed. It was really remarkable and I was beaming.

There are also so many new things. The most beautiful hunter's lodge-esque library full of academic and artistic reference books, and an entire music library on the ground floor. Every play, video, CD or sheet music you could ever dream up is there...

A new greek amphitheatre!
A new creative writing building with a poetry recital stage.
A new MOTION PICTURE ARTS major and a full professional editing studio and movie theatre! (this is the swankiest thing i have ever seen)

So beautiful...

I was then let loose for an hour or so to explore the rest of the campus and I had quite a trip down memory lane.

My old summer cabins - Intermediate Girls Cabins 1, 4 and 18... I saw my name written in permanent marker all over the boards when I peeked through the windows. I felt the ghosts of childhood all around me. My father's smile was right behind me.

I walked along all my old paths, put my feet in the lake, sat in he gazebo and in my favourite, and very special tree outside the dance building.

The smell of the place: musty, a little mouldy and damp but naturally damp. It penetrates the nose and fills your chest with the essence of pine...

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