Weeks 20-24: A month of almost making the mark…

Project: Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind, Talk Backs for Lion King

Actual time: 2 hours

Ok horse, I see you.  (see last post…)

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So just writing about getting volunteer hours done doesn’t make it happen. Lesson Learned.

I can proudly, however, report that I am DONE transcribing the children’s book for the Bureau of the Blind (!!) after many weeks of working. I sent it off and breathed a sigh of relief. Now the blind children of Connecticut have a  mediocre young adult book to read in braille. (Sorry Secrets of Droon. I mostly was inspired to write my own version of a children’s book while working on this. And I’m not even an author. So presumptuous of me… for shame!)

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I still haven’t heard back from them, however… so I hope it got there ok…

At any rate, I did about three ‘talk-backs‘ after shows for the Lion King. These consist of school groups timidly asking us questions like “How long did it take you to learn the show?” and “Who were you?” all while being less excited about me than Nala standing next to me.

((Introducing Selena Moshell, ensemble dancer! *tepid claps* And here’s Nia Holloway, our Nala! *the crowd goes wild…*))

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I can’t blame them. She’s my roommate and I still get excited to see her daily.

I’m used to it though. And I love doing talk backs anyway. The kids are always really excited to meet us and some are aspiring dancers, so some of them are still at least mildly impressed that I get to dress up like an animal for a living.

So this week I’m starting a nine week run in DC at the world famous Kennedy Center.

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My house for nine weeks! I can’t even believe it!

It’s simultaneously humbling and exciting, overwhelming and unbelievable. It’s like the Carnegie Hall of performing arts, in DC. Crossing my fingers that the Obamas can make it…

This week I’m going to work on sending a care package to soldiers deployed though the website AnySoldier.com. I’m super excited about this, especially since we are performing in a town with so many memorials to so many service men and women who gave their lives for our beautiful freedom. In fact, as I write here in the cafe on the terrace in the Kennedy Center, I think I can see a few of the graves at Arlington from here… just incredible.

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Weeks 12-19: Even more fails, with some wins mixed in

Well, I am continuing to try not to be too hard on myself here. But to be honest, it’s hard.

 

I had a few friends (including my boyfriend) who encouraged caution with embarking on such a lofty goal as trying to do something good for the world for at least one hour a week. They were worried that if I missed the mark that I would be inordinately hard on myself.

 

Well, they were right.

 

But I’m also glad that I’m documenting this experience for myself. I’m fascinated to observe my own habits, my own priorities, what takes up seemingly all of my time, and how much motivation I need to get something done, front to back, January 1st to December 31st.

 

For the past few (7) weeks, I’ve travelled from Hawaii to Atlanta to Toronto, been injured and healed from a serious neck injury, reintegrated myself back into my work place, and decided to start a business in ernest, and to research buying and living in an RV for my remaining time on tour.

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None of this excuses missing my goal of volunteering once a week. But it does illustrate where in the heck my time went.

 

A few weeks I did manage to transcribe the book I’ve been working on for the Bureau for the Blind, as well as setting up a highly successful Goodwill campaign in Atlanta in my theater. One week I spent 45 minutes making and putting up signs around the theater, and then the next week I spent five minutes asking my dresser to bring it to Goodwill for me.

 

So it’s not all for naught.

 

But this is my mea culpa entry. I’ve missed the mark for a solid ten weeks of 52. Now, back to WORK. My mission is to get an hour of transcribing this book this week, and figuring out what more I can do to make the world better next week.

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Horse, I’m back on.

 

Let’s GO.

Week Six: Finishing up and starting a(new)

Project: Love Letters for the Elderly and Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind

Actual Time Taken: 30 minutes

 This week I made two realizations. One- I’m not technically behind on blogs. I can’t very well write about what I’ve done during the week before it’s over, now can I? So now I’m writing in retrospect– such as this week- since it’s currently Week 7,  I’ll write about Week 6. So now I won’t be so hard on myself for being ‘behind‘ anymore. (See my resolutions post on being nicer to myself in 2014)

Secondly, I realized that without proper motivation (i.e. money) I probably wouldn’t get close to the goal of 500 Valentines Day cards for the senior citizens with Meals on Wheels program in the greater Honolulu area. So after posting posters to entice my 100+ person cast to help out with the cause, I upped my ante (literally) and offered a reward for the most cards made and a random raffle that everyone who made a card would be entered into.

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Apparently, that did the trick.

By the end of the week, we were pushing 250 cards, and more were being made daily. On Sunday, our little cubs counted up the cards and found out that our grand total was 330 cards! Amazing!!!

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Unfortunately, making the incentive posters only took about 15 minutes, and I was feeling a bit run down, so I didn’t take too much time to make more cards. (I told you I would be honest about falling short of my hour goal every week!) To try make up for that lost time, I started on my next project, which is for the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind.

This is a program I signed up for years ago when I was touring in the north east, but never got a chance to actually volunteer for them. They offer many services, such as interpreting for and reading to the blind. I randomly received an email newsletter a few weeks ago and realized it was perfect for this my mission this year!

I wrote to them about possibly helping out while I’m traveling and they wrote back with the perfect project for me. I will order a book (or get it from the library) that they choose and transcribe it into a Word document. It’s usually a children’s book, so it’s not too lengthy. After I send them the book in Word format, they feed it though a program that will turn it into braille form.

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So I guess I’ll be reading/typing this book for a few weeks…

I ordered the book off of Amazon (another 15 minutes worth of work) and expected it to come early next week. We’ll see how fast Two Day service can get to Hawaii…

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t make my whole hour of service this week, but I am simply going to use that as motivation for next week. After all….

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