Monday, June 19, 2006


It's too hot. It's too humid.

But every once in a while, the beauty and joy of living this close to the ocean and tropical weather shines its face on us. I'm amazed how we can spend the entire day - I'm talking 8-9 hours - living, playing, eating, and "working" on the beach. When children are busy playing, building and creating you can see the beautiful concentration on their faces. It's all so very important. Each hole dug, each grain of sand displaced. They can be occupied for hours on a single project - a project which will offer no sign of their efforts in the morning. And that's okay, because a new project is begun that day, maybe a repeat of yesterday's project, with lessons learned, improvements made. The total acceptance of the expected futility does nothing to dampen spirits or enthusiasm, or the energy with which the task is undertaken. Somewhere along the way many of us lose that discipline. If we can't see a lasting outcome, or a result that will benefit us in some what we think is a lasting way, we do it half-assed. Or maybe that's not true, but do we do it full-assed? (Never used THAT term before!) Something to think about. To what ass do you do things? To what ass-degree do those around us do things?

Waves of Anticipation

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Big Fat Greek Face

Hey, and I'm not even Greek. Did you see my big ol' mug plastered on the front page of today's Orlando Sentinel (front page of Section E, that is)? And right under me it says "GOOD LIVING, cooking & eating."

Yowza! SAK got a great write up in the paper today thanks to Elizabeth Maupin. I just love how she has such a passionate heart for the Arts here in Central Florida. Anyway, if I'd thought the floodgates had opened after I sent e-mails to our ensemble and theater staff members and one to our patrons... I ain't seen nothin' yet. IT'S GREAT!!!! The word is getting out! My phone has been off the hook with calls already - Hey, how'd they get my number? And the e-mails of support have been pouring in. Oh, if you want to see the story you can find it online. See the SAK story in the Orlando Sentinel. And I'm going on vacation in 2 days. This is another God test, I just know it. I can't and don't intend to cut the vacation short. My kids have been a little daddy deprived over the last couple of months and my wife has been hubby deprived. I'm going to have a great reconnect with my family. I don't like not striking while the iron is hot, but it'll just have to stay warm a couple of weeks. With the responses that have already come in my "Hope Level" has increased several degrees already this morning. AND I get to talk to people I haven't talked to in months and years. How Joyful!!!

More rain - residual from Alberto? is just beginning to fall - reminding my hopeful heart that we're just beginning hurricane season so there's plenty to still be anxious about. Go away, little voice.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm Not Running Away

I'm running away. Well, not for an elongated period of time, but for awhile. Oh, and Rob's running away too. For a couple of days. This Friday marks the first day of my family vacation. For two weeks we will be basking in the Florida sun in Ormond Beach at a rented condo. This seems like a weird time to be going away, with all the initiatives just launched, but it's a train that's got momentum and can't be stopped. Actually, I don't want to stop it. I can't imagine stopping it.

At SAK it's always difficult to be gone for several days. Every day something new, exciting and wonderful happens. If you could hear the tone of my voice as those words come forth you'd hear the steaming sarcasm. Of course that really means aggravating, frustrating, and maddening. When it rains - like it did today, we get leaks. They come and fix them, but somewhere/somehow, it finds its way to leak again. Our network goes down, we don't know why. It comes back up, we don't know why.

So this vacation will be a welcome distancing from all that. I'll only be in Ormond, so if there is some great emergency, I can get back if necessary. Alberto has already passed, not quite a hurricane. Can you believe it? The first weather system of the year, and it becomes a named storm! Whoopeee!

I need to let it go for awhile. I'll still blog - probably some will be audioblogs, but won't that be fun - Dave blogs from the beach. I love technology!!!!

Rob's going to New York with Robyn Pedretti and Mark Baratelli, and his name doesn't even end with a pair of consonants and a vowel.

Seems lately every step forward is accompanied by one or two steps back. There are great and valuable lessons to be learned through all this. Perseverence, industriousness. Mantra words for my life. How many times have I been there? I believe it is building strong character within me.


Oh - My - God

Hey, the party went well. My words were somewhat coherent, and I think even inspiring. I talk too much though. I've got to learn to speak more concisely.

Anyway the SAK Company party went very well. A good turn out - still quite a few not present. When it was time to talk I wasn't nervous like I thought I might be. I think I'd run it through pretty many times in my head - what I wanted to say. I never really memorize these things which is why they can sometimes ramble - I remember something halfway through that I meant to get in there, so I weave it in. As I began speaking my first instinct was to pray - for SAK for the group, for our audiences. I don't know what people think when I pray like that. I don't say "Jesus" generally when I pray among the SAK family, but I do pray to God. I really don't know what else I can do. I really understand and believe that SAK is in God's hands. No matter what happens, I trust that it is God's will.

I did make a point to mention to everyone that if we find we must make/take serious or drastic measures to deal with our situation, that will view it as "suspending operations" and not "closing down" or "closing the doors for good," those kinds of things. It is my vision and intent that if we cannot stay in our current location SAK will spring up somewhere. Again, wherever the Lord may have for us. I intend for us to do that if necessary in celebration. That's going to be a great challenge. Actors love to feel the pain of the moment. I guess it helps us do what we do. Seems like we love to wallow in the sorrowful things. We will certainly cry if it comes to that, we will grieve, but most importantly we will CELEBRATE!!!!

So, to finish how this started, I felt very pleased as I went home from the company party. I am continually humbled by this group of people.


Monday, June 12, 2006

See How They Run...

Today's the Company Party and I feel kind of weird. I plan to (need to, want to, ought to) go into it with hope and positivity. There's that little part of me in the back of my head though that have my nerves tangled up. What do I say? Can I speak with confidence? Can I speak motivationally? I've got to do both. I actually do have both of those in me, but sometimes that other little sneaky freak peeks his way out. It's like that ad for lamasil - that little gremlin thingy. The one that lifts your toenail with the fungus. That's the picture. He's the guy who mutters - "it's all for naught. Nothing matters anyway!!!"

Two things I want to get across today. One is there's really one way and one way alone we'll get through this current tight time. We need more people here at SAK. We've got to get more butts in seats. There's no two ways about it. A lot of ideas, great ideas, have surfaced over the past several days. But any and all of those are temporary or incomplete fixes. We've got to get the word out about SAK to more people. We need new people coming here and getting hooked on our wonderful shows, and we need those who've been here to come back again. All on relatively no budget.

Talking with an associate the other day who's heavily involved in sales, I was encouraged when he said he'd been to a conference where they talked about a study which showed that the best form of advertising a company can have is word of mouth. He said it has been shown that strong word of mouth advertising works better than branding campaigns, direct marketing, and media advertising - that being print and television/radio. What a relief! As I've said many times in jest, "word of mouth is our BEST form of advertising, in fact it's our ONLY form of advertising!" I usually say it as I'm lamenting how little resources we have to throw to print ads for our shows and theater.

So I want to re-inforce the power of word of mouth. First and foremost from us. That we tell people to come to SAK. Beyond that I enourage everyone to tell others about their experience when they're here. These experiential testimonials I believe will prove to be our strongest ally.

The second thing I want to get across is the idea that as much as we love all the great ideas - we are strapped when it comes to implementation. Our humble staff of 4 has its hands full already just putting on the shows we currently have, and have in production [FourPlay: The (Improvised) Musical] for example. I'd love to steer some of the creative energies to manpower resources. Who can help us accomplish these goals - again, for little or no money. Because we are talking about some revenue generating ideas, it is possible for someone to share in the bounty of securing those deals.

My mind is awash with ideas and should dos and have to dos. Sometimes I lose time just trying to organize all the do's. But sometimes we get on a roll and things start happening. That's when the hope and confidence and excitement kicks in.

Time to go address the troupes. I hope my tie is clean.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Help Save SAK

Wow. I've helped create a monster! Now that the HelpSaveSak campaign has been launched, all hell is breaking loose.

I knew this would happen, and to a certain extent it is all unavoidable. A flood of concerned patrons and friends and others chiming in with how sad they are that things are so dire. I've never seen the word dire used so much as I have in the past couple of days. And then of course, there are the ideas and suggestions. I love them all, don't get me wrong, but man, what a pile! It'll take weeks to pour through them all.

All this to save our poor little SAK. Oh well, I am more than glad. Yes, it's true. I have a heart for this ol' SAK. This silly bunch of improvisers has lasted many storms over the years, through good times and bad, thick and thin, controversy and heresy (metaphorically AND literally). Why do I care so much? What's the point?

Well, my answer comes when I stand in the theater - the SAK Comedy Lab. When its filled with people from 8 to 80 and the show goes on and the laughter and energy and smiling... It's just awesome. I just LOVE what it does for the audience. And I have to admit, when it does that for the audience - it does something for me. It fills me with joy to see joy abound.

So I want it to continue. Much of this blog will be devoted to my journey through all of that. It will include SAK stuff, Disney stuff, family stuff, spiritual stuff... All that because all those things are all wrapped together for me.

If at any point you're interested in helping save SAK, there's a ton of things you might consider. Go to for lots of great ideas.