Month: April 2014

The Drowsy Chaper One (A Review)


Greetings Readers,

I know I’m just posting all over the place today.
First weekend of summer break (juries and call-backs notwithstanding).

Last night I attended opening night of Regent University’s production of the Drowsy Chaperone.
Not to be confused with the sequel, “The Drowsy Chaper Two.”

Bad joke I know, but it was funnier in person… You had to be there.

Let me start by saying I think this production was the best thing Regent has done in the three years I’ve been here.

And it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Now I have friends in this show… Several, in fact.

I want to stress that my opinion of this show isn’t altered by that fact. If anything, it might make me harder on it.

Don’t forget…I see these actors’ class work…  So… Without Further Ado – The Review:

I wouldn’t be much of an actor or acting student if I didn’t first comment on the acting. My thought going into the show was my typical thought of a musical… Happy music, quick dance moves, simple acting. I was surprised. Happily surprised.
Brad Cain’s performance as The Man in Chair is second to no performance I may have ever seen in a live theatre setting. He possess an uncanny ability to draw the audience into a warm, loving embrace before choking them out with the raw gravitas of truth. One moment, you’re laughing at, “Love is always lovely in the end.” The next moment, you’re cringing as he exposes the naivety of the piece effectively punching the air right out of the room. Brain is a good friend of mine. At the beginning, the character reflected Brad closely, but as the show went on I began to see the amount of homework and character development he’d done. His performance alone is worth the cost of admission (which to be fair was discounted because I’m a Com student, but it was worth the full price also). I may go see it again. Haven’t done that since Doubt.

I know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that went into  this show… and I’m happy to say that none of it was in vain.

Of the remainder of the cast, all I can say is there wasn’t a weak link to be found. Every single performer in the show from Man in Chair down to the ensemble worked their butts off to produce a marvelous show.

Everyone was wonderful. However, there were a few moments where I felt something was lacking. The solos were great. Everyone could clearly sing and well. Articulation and execution were great. There was just something missing in the chorus. An extra umph. I don’t know. I only have a couple years of voice lessons to go on. I’m not really a musical theatre person so… I don’t know. Stephanie Bishop, Isaac Gay, Emily Hogenmiller, Shaunte Tabb, Austin Fitzhugh, etc. Fantastic voices. Go see the show. Hear for yourself. Write a better review of the singing than I can.

Okay. The tap dancing. Oh, the tap dancing. So much tap dancing. Rakeem Lawrence and Isaac Gay… Impressive. Their performance of, “Cold Feet” was just plain awesome-sauce. I could tell C.J. Hill had put in a considerable amount of work on the choreography. However, I wish the execution was a little better. Not a lot better. It didn’t take me out of the moment, but there were a few moments where I could tell some dancers had a better handle on their choreography than others. This isn’t a musical theatre program, however, and most of the people here who are good at dancing don’t like to dance… Hey, I don’t judge. Hash tag: I’m just sayin’. Again, the tap dancing with Rakeem and Isaac was excellent. Even more impressive was the fact that Rakeem’s show became untied half-way through the piece and didn’t trip him up. I was in awe.

The set was fantastic. From the beginning, I believed the NYC apartment setting. The brick walls and musical posters. The tiny kitchen complete with refrigerator. I took notice almost immediately of two sections of wall, which I assumed rotated. I was quite correct. These facilitated set changes and character entrances/exits. The microphones. however, were way too loud. This is an easy fix, which I’m certain they’ll get around to. Stage Manager, Joshua Scott, should be quite proud. He did a remarkable job calling the show. Even the tiniest record scratch sounds were perfect. I do recall one early cue, but that happens.

If I were to give this show a review based on a five star system… I would give it 4.5/5 Stars.
If I was so crazy about, “Why not 5 Stars?” Simply because it wasn’t perfect. Nor would I expect it to be.
This is, at its heart, educational theatre. I wasn’t expecting a Broadway performance…
Even thought I think it was as close as you could ask for.
I beg you. I implore you. Go see this show. My friends, these actors, the director, the designers, etc. have worked way too hard for this show to NOT be seen. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell the guy at Starbucks.


– scritch out

Lives Change @ the Library (or how I won $150.00)

Happy Saturday, Readers!

In March, the Regent University LIbrary held an Essay/Video Contest in honor of National Library Week. In April, I discovered I won it. I was ecstatic. Mostly because the prize was $150.00. Huzzah! One hundred and fifty dollars I can spend on me and not on diapers! Very excited. Buying Wool by. Hugh Howey. Going to see what all of the fuss is about.
When I finished writing  my essay (as I have recounted a few times since) I thought to myself, “No one is going to beat this.” I was right. A library changed my life. What’s better is that this story isn’t at all fabricated.


Real life is often more interesting than fiction.
Without further ado…

The One Hundred and Fifty Dollar Essay:

I was eight years old, reading Farmer Boy, when I decided I hated reading. The curriculum at school required me to read a number of books throughout school year, which, to me, seemed like a monumental waste of time. Time, I believed, which would have been better spent playing Sonic the Hedgehog or watching Batman. For four years I toiled away at the school’s reading list, reading books like The Black Arrow, Treasure Island, and Moby Dick. It was during this dark time in my life, my parents decided it was time we moved closer to our church. The apartment we ended up moving to was conveniently situated four blocks from our church and right beside the Peckville Public Library.

The library was located in a former fire station and stood like an archaic monument to literature. Its faded brick exterior now stands out in my memory as one of the most beautiful images of my childhood. One day, spurred on by boredom, I took the brief ten foot walk to the library to inspect it. I had often heard of the wonders of these places, but I had never been brave enough to venture to one. When I arrived, I was met by a wall of VHS tapes unlike I had ever seen before. I stood amazed and awestruck before the selection.

I grabbed the first one that piqued my interest, the BBC’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Timidly, I approached the counter where the Librarian asked for my Library card, which I didn’t have. She made polite conversation with me as I waited for my card and consequently my movie. As she handed me the card, she asked if I’d ever read the book. I, of course, hadn’t. In spite of my protests, she led me to the fiction section where she set not one but seven books in my hands. These books were, of course, The Chronicles of Narnia by, my now favorite author, C.S. Lewis.

I took my eight items home and placed them on the coffee table. I reached for the movie immediately and watched it in all of its poorly produced glory. I was captivated. The moment it was over, I picked up and began reading the second book of the series, Prince Caspian. I was hooked. For the next five years, I spent every Saturday in that library picking out new books to read. I was there so often I managed to memorize my fourteen digit library card number so I could take out books even if I’d forgotten my card. I am now twenty-four with a fairly substantial library, working on editing my first novel, pursuing a Master’s degree, and have a list of books I intend to read to my son (the first being The Magician’s Nephew). I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without literature, but I do know the life I have I owe in part to that old brick library.


– Scritch out.

On a Lighter Completely Unrelated Note:

Here’s a list of scripts I’ve read this academic year.
This is in addition to the books I’ve had to read as a part of my studies.
Yay for me.

  1. Look Back in Anger – John Osbourne
  2. Henry 6 parts 1,
  3. 2,
  4. & 3 – Shakespeare
  5. MacBeth – Shakespeare
  6. Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare
  7. The Tempest – Shakespeare
  8. Two Gentlemen of Verona – Shakespeare
  9. Richard III – Shakespeare
  10. She Stoops to Conquer – Goldsmith
  11. Ah, Wilderness – Eugene O’Neill
  12. Frankenstein – Nick Dear
  13. The School for Scandal – Sheridan
  14. All My Sons – Arthur Miller
  15. The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams
  16. A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
  17. Summer and Smoke – Tennessee Williams
  18. Suddenly, Last Summer – Tennessee Williams
  19. The Way of the World – Congreve
  20. Nebraska – Reddin
  21. Beau Jest – Sherman
  22. Shadowlands – Nicholson

My Scarecrow for a Tin Man

Hey Reader,


I really wanted to write a post called, “Snatching Death from the Jaws of Life.”
I wanted to talk about what I think it is that makes people turn from Christ later in life.
Maybe sooner of later I will… But I have something else on my heart.

I went to a four year Bible college…
Earned a diploma like my friend the Scarecrow.
I’m in my third year of my Masters.
I’m at least  marginally intelligent.

But right now, I’d trade it all for a softer heart.

I sometimes get judgy (slang meaning: having a crappy superior attitude) toward people less educated than I. Even knowing I’m not perfect. Even knowing I still make mistakes.
I feel a smug sense of condescension.

And I hate it.

I hate being like that.

With the exception of meeting my wife, I wish to God I hadn’t gone to Bible school.

Sure it’s where I found theater…

But still…

Discovering you weren’t called into ministry right before your final year of a Pastoral Ministry degree is tough.

I mean, what do you do? What should I have done?

I felt like God wanted me there to grow and I did. Started dating my wife.

It all worked out.

But it left me hardened. Bitter. Angry.

I had such a negative experience with the church growing up with people back-biting and just generally being jerks that I just wanted to put it all behind me. That’s when I discovered it was everywhere.


Me being one of the chief executors of it.

So I got calloused. Learned to deal with it. Tucked and rolled with the punches.

Now here I am, 3 years later… With my faith completely lost.

Not in God. No.

In the church.

I’ve lost my faith in the church…

And it’s a crappy excuse to not be connected to the body of believers.

But what can I do?

I can’t sit in a pew on a Sunday without tearing everything the preacher says apart… Deciding whether or not he properly exegeted scripture… As if I, not God, have the final say on whether or not the Bible is properly interpreted.

I generally can’t stand modern worship with its glorification of self…

But what is all of this?

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

Reasons to sleep in on Sundays.

But it’s starting to eat at me… All of my negativity… How disconnected I am.

My once tender heart is rotting in the core of me because my blood has turned to ice, my eyes have turned to stone, and my mind to steel.

I have so much to be thankful for, and yet I never say thanks.

So many people are angry at God because they don’t believe he exists…
Me? I’m just angry…

Call this a confession of sorts…

Thank God for grace because I need so much of it… I’m turning into the Tin Man.

– Scritch out.


No Sir, Nostaligia is Not Practical

Greetings readers,

It’s amazing how your mind wanders when you’re listening to music. Anyone following me on spotify (all 3 people) can tell you I have something of a broad taste in music. It’s probably not a great taste in music, but at least it’s broad.

Recently, I’ve been feeling a tad bit nostalgic… So I’ve been listening to The Used.

Super-emo, I know…

But it’s amazing how listening to Box of Sharp Objects, Buried Myself Alive, The Taste of Ink brings me back to 14. I was so young. SO young. My group of friends was radically different than now, but I can’t say they were any better or worse than my set now.

It was just different. I was in a different place.

I think if we were to get together now, we’d reminisce about the good old days like old folks.

I’d really like that.

Everything was new. It’s one of the things I love about watching Jake.

Everything is new to him… even lights and sounds. It’s amazing.

When I listen to the Used, I’m 14 again. Sitting on the bus on the way to Convention or Winter Retreat. Tim beside me whisper screaming along to Atreyu or whoever. Everything so serious…and at the same time…so new…

Adulthood has given me perspective.

It was important. Those days, those friends, those cd’s, those trips were integral to my life. All of my problems, all my heartache, all my headaches, hurt feelings, all the triumphs, joys, and good times helped shape me.

A small part of me even misses those days.

Not in a, “bring them back” kind of way, but in a, “I totally took those days for granted” way.

We’re all adults now, hardly speak, and rarely see each other.

But we’ll always have fourteen.

It’s amazing how far 10 years can take you.

Speaking of 10 years…and in keeping with music.

Ten years ago, my long favorite band Showbread released No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical.



That album changed my life.

I still enjoy their music, but their message has changed so much.

Their lead singer (a person I’d love to get to know better) Josh has written novels and studied theology. Showbread’s music and message directly changed with him.

Though I don’t live the same way, I appreciate the dedication to their beliefs.

Showbread’s most recent album, Cancer, an album I helped fund,  offers a strong opposition to Calvinism and war. His theological beliefs dripping on the lyrics.

It hits home, but I don’t enjoy it as much.

And I think that’s more of a reflection on me.

It’s made me think…

God help me if my theological beliefs ever distract me from the body of Christ and from the core of the gospel.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that’s what they’re doing…

Their theological points are so prominent in their work that it inspired the thought in me.

It made me wonder about my art.

It made me wonder how strong my theological convictions bleed through into my acting and writing.

How much of it should?

All of it?

Or is the message of the gospel… God loves you. Jesus died for you. No other way to heaven but through him… Enough?

What if Arminianism, Calvinism, Creation, Evolution…

What if none of it matters in the grand scheme of things?

What if all that matters is Christ and Him crucified?

Although I don’t listen to Showbread half as much as I used to…
(I had to buy 3 copies of Nihilism because I wore them out).

They still make me think.

-scritch out

And may raw rock kill you forever and ever amen.


Loud Mouths & Clenched Teeth

Happy this week, reader!

I’m tired…really tired…and sore.
Have you ever done a staged shoulder roll?
Have you ever done 4 in a span on an hour on a wooden floor?

It is not fun.

Well, I mean, it is…But you get sore, ya know?

So I’m sure you’re wondering what this post is about…

and if you’re not you should.

My good buddy, Adam, accidentally reminded me yesterday I had yet to post this week and last weeks was kind of…filler.

To be fair it was.

Let me  tell you about my life.

I need sleep. A considerable amount of sleep. 8-12 hours a night if I can get it. I know that’s crazy, but I do, man. I can sleep.

At any given time, I have 2-5 scenes to memorize, analyze, and rehearse. Additionally, I have books to read, videos to watch, and papers to write for my degree. I work 20 hours a week for Career Services as an Internship Coordinator, which means I serve as a middle-man to a bunch of undergraduate students and their Department Chairs, our office, and the Registrar. I’m a husband, a father, and trying to be a good friend. But who has the time?

Oh and when I’m in a show I have rehearsal 5 days a week Mon-Fri from about 7:00 p.m. -10:30 p.m.

I live a very full life.

Someone I’ve also made time to read the scripts for next season, Look Back in Anger, and watch all of 30 Rock again.

But what does this have to do with working?

I’ve always prided myself on my work ethic. I try to attack things head. Put my shoulder to the plow and never look back. March until I’m given orders.

I don’t think there’s a problem with that.

I do, however, think there’s a problem with how much I bitch about it.

Like seriously.

I complain so much. For some reason, it’s never been enough for me just to let my work speak for itself. I have to draw attention to the work I’m doing. Even by writing this, I am, in one sense, drawing attention to myself.

This is what a friend of mine calls being, “self-aware.”


I realized pretty early on there are two types of people in this world.

The Kobe Bryants,

Los Angeles Lakers' Bryant celebrates after his teammate Howard scored during their NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles

And The Tim Duncans.


Being a Spurs fan, I’m sure you can tell which is the good one to be.

The KB’s tell you how great they are. The exude confidence, swagger, and spit their greatness at anyone willing to listen. If something doesn’t go their way, they whine until it does (Or give big,shiny diamonds to it).

The TD’s do their damn job and do it well. Nothing fancy. Just the greatest of all-time at his position. They let their work speak for them and often get overlooked.

Now that may sound absurd, but when I was a kid…that’s the way it was. Duncan was boring. Bryant was electric.
Both winners, but KB was talked about. TD was overlooked.

Me? I was raised to be a Duncan. I turned into a KB.



Ask my wife, I’m in need of almost constant verbal affirmation because if I don’t get it I won’t do anything.

I don’t take risks. I don’t try new things unless someone else has told me I could/should.

Needless to say, it’s really hard to put your shoulder to the plow and work when you’re so desperately looking for someone to cheer you on and pat you on the back.
BUT WORK I DID…And still do…But that’s where the bitching and moaning comes in.

I don’t do my work happily unless someone is flattering me. How messed up is that?

So… I know I need to work hard and let my work speak for itself…
Put 100% of me into whatever I’m doing at the time while staying humble not seeking the praise of others.

Like a professor said last semester, ” 100% of you sometimes is better than 60% of you all the time.”

Don’t suck at:
1) Humility
2) Being present
3) Working hard
4) Doing what you love

-scritch out

Music Series Part 1

So I’ve decided to do a couple album…I don’t want to say reviews, because it isn’t really a review per se…

I am going to offer some opinions on some albums I’ve been listening to recently and not so recently.

So Many New Albums…

I couldn’t be a much happier music strong-liker.
I hesitate to say lover now that I’m not longer an unbearable pretentious ass.

In August, Norma Jean – Wrongdoers
In November, Five Iron Frenzy – Engine of the Million Plots
In March, Skrillex – Recess
Also in March, Chiodos – Devil.
Now I hear Foxy Shazam has a new album out called Gonzo!

Let’s begin the series with Norma Jean – Wrongdoers.


For about 10 years, I’ve loved Norma Jean. Right before O’ God the Aftermath came out, I picked up Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child.  Excited that one of my new favorite bands put out another album, I jumped on O’ God… Didn’t like it so much. I couldn’t help but think the band was trying too hard to hang on to the style they had with vocalist Josh Scogin rather than fully embracing their new nature with Corey Putman. Disappointed by O’God, I hung up Norma Jean for awhile…until they put out Redeemer. Redeemer hooked me. Loved Redeemer and Vs. The Anti-Mother. Unfortunately, I missed out on Meridonal considering I got into an accident they day it came out, I bought it, and was listening to it. I’ve since listened to it. It’s really great, but I can’t help but feel like I missed it.

So…That said…when Wrongdoers dropped, I had to jump on it…

I am so glad I did.

Wrongdoers offers a fresh Norma Jean.
Right off the bat with track 1, Hive Minds, you’re drawn in and held right through the final (and best) track: Sun Dies Blood Moon. A little more melodic and thoughtful than previous offerings (including two tracks my wife likes). If you’ve never checked them out, I think this is where you should start and then move backwards.

Best Songs (in order):
T10. Sun Dies, Blood moon
T4. “The Potter had no Hands”
T3. Wrongdoers
T2. If You’ve Got it at Five, You’ve Got it at Fifty.

Like I said…Not really a review… more of some light opinions…

-scritch out