Eclipsed

Finally!  Someone posted pictures from my daughter, Chloe’s, grad play at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  The play she was cast in is titled “Eclipsed” by Patricia Burke Brogan, directed by Amir Korangy.

The play was about a Magdalene laundry, a home for “fallen” women in Ireland.  Patricia Burke Brogan’s fictional characters represent a cross-section of women who, despite their deprived conditions and suffocating atmosphere of these forced labor camps, hold on to the last of their individual hopes and aspirations, using any opportunity to act as free spirits.  Very powerful play…funny and heartbreaking.  Here are some pictures of the stellar cast and my Chloe as Nellie-Nora.

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The mannequin is Elvis!

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I wish this was a longer running play, because I would see it again and again!  This is the first production I have seen Chloe in since High School.  I saw tremendous growth in Chloe.  She nailed an Irish accent and learned to smoke! The whole cast was strong with great ensemble work .  It is very gratifying as a parent to watch your children reach some of their goals and grow as people.

I know I seem to write a lot about Chloe, but it’s because she’s chosen an artist’s path which is media driven.  I’m very proud of my two boys as well, but it’s a bit tricky getting current pictures of them for the blog! They are not as forthcoming!

Highs and Lows

I traveled to Los Angeles last week to see my daughter’s final Grad Play and her graduation from The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts.  This Acting Conservatory is not a joke, turning out the likes of Grace Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Robert Redford, Danny DeVito, Paul Rudd, Sarah Paulson, Jessica Chastain, French Stewart, Kim Catrell… and the list goes on and on.  If you are a parent, you know the complete overwhelming happiness that envelopes you when you see your children succeed and also when they are happy in their personal lives.  I saw tremendous growth in my daughter’s performance in her Grad Play titled “Eclipsed”.  I was in awe.  She was always wonderful in her performances in High School (and yes, I am biased), but this performance really shook me up.  She has been well prepared to compete in the big leagues.  I saw her use skills I’ve never seen her use before, like a flawless Irish accent, smoking on stage, and a dramatic moment that was completely organic and not contrived.  The whole cast (all female) did some tremendous ensemble work.

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And now on to Graduation!

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Graduation was held at The Dolby Theater, the place they hold the Oscars every year.  Pretty cool, huh?  I was near the front, so I couldn’t help but wonder whose famous bum has sat in my seat!  There were some great speeches.  Very different from your standard graduation speeches, because the life of an artist has so many unknowns and roads to take.  Each of the graduates on stage will make (or have thrust upon) very different careers.  Many of them will give up because the entertainment business is cruel and hard, but a few will persevere and keep striving to achieve the career they were meant to have.  So many unknowns, so many variables.  It takes a lot of courage to keep trying when the odds are stacked against you.  This fact may depress some parents, but not me.  I know that Chloe has a drive and an intact sense of self that is unshakable.  She will succeed because she is hungry for it, won’t take no for an answer.  She is also very talented, beautiful, and unique.

My graduate and her favorite person!  Yes, that’s a photo of Meryl Streep winning one of her Oscars!

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Sooo Cute!!!  Don’t they look happy?!

Behind the scenes at the Dolby:

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Good Looking actors!

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This above, I believe, was Chloe’s Othello to her Desdemona.

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I think the person in the very background of this photo was an actor from the T.V. show “Ray Donovan”, who spoke at the ceremony.

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And there it is!  The Diploma ChloeJane worked so hard for the last 2 years.

Oh, and here is the dress I wore for the ceremony (for those middle-aged fashionistas about what to wear to a graduation):

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I know my daughter was excited to have me come out, but I know it was this young man who drove all the way from Logan, UT.  that made the last week very special and memorable for her, so thanks, John!

I’m excited for next year when Jim and I will be heading out to Ohio for my son, Keegan’s graduation!

The whole week was such a blur because it had these incredible emotional high’s, basking in Chloe’s success and happiness, but also there were rock bottom lows.  You see, my mother (who I was staying with during my visit) has been fighting a terminal illness for quite some time now.  At the beginning of her diagnosis there was some hope, but now with the passing of time, I believe that there will be no miracles for my mother, and that’s very hard to come to terms with.

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One of the hardest parts of ageing is that you start losing loved ones along the way.  The other stuff I can deal with, but this aspect of life is hard.  I think I will leave it at that right now because I’m very angry about my mother’s situation.  I just can’t find the words to describe my feelings about it, other than the word “angry”.