for everything a season


endless-summerBlogs are funny things. We post stuff out here on the internet we want people to know, sometimes news about our businesses (in my case art and theatre), and sometimes musings about our lives. I think the performer in me finds it much easier to address an audience than the introvert in me finds it to talk one-on-one.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’ve been married for over three decades to a wonderful woman who started out as the best friend I’ve ever had. We have had great times, we’ve had some terrible times, we’ve achieved some wonderful things together, and when we worked as a team, we were nearly unstoppable. We’ve seen each other through loss and heartbreak, and more challenges than are believable. We have Read the rest of this entry

The Nineveh Principle



I don’t believe in the doctrine of predestination, that God has an absolute plan for every moment of your life down to what necktie you’ll choose to wear today. I’m an artist. I know that God sculpted into me that spark of creativity that is an adventure of exploring possibilities, and I have no doubt, that is a reflection of his own image. She’s not going to tell me someday, “Nope, it was a farce, I was pulling your strings the whole time. And you thought you had free will!”

However, I do believe that God may on occasion call you to a particular task for which you are well-suited, even if you don’t know you have the required skill. God says, “One day, there’s going to be this kid from Wapokeneta who is destined for great things, but he’s going to need a bit of inspiration. Who do I have available, let’s see… Yeah, Jamie, that’s it, and you’re going to convey that inspiration in a graphic novel. Ha, and your teacher thinks you drawing funny pictures is a bad thing…” Read the rest of this entry

A Matter of Pride in Canton


City-of-Canton-OH lgbtAn anonymous quote states it well, “Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.” What began as Gay Pride has enlarged to include the LGBT community, and it is almost universally celebrated in June, while occasionally in other communities in other months. But if it’s Pride in June, it’s LGBT Pride.

Except in Canton, Ohio. Canton has a monthly downtown arts festival, as do other arts communities, called First Friday. Each of these monthly First Friday events has a different theme. There was February’s “Frosty Frolic,” April’s “Masquerade,” and coming this month, June’s “Pride.” Wait, that’s not quite right. June’s First Friday theme is “Canton Pride.” Isn’t that nice? Read the rest of this entry

From The Other Place to Another Place


knight with bearGilda Shedstecker just closed our production of The Other Place last night. I am so pleased and honored to have received such compliments for my performance of a husband who is losing his wife to the unforgiving nightmare of dementia. It was a role I fell in love with as soon as I read it. I understood the part of Ian, having lived it to some degree. From the comments I heard, I managed to convey real love, frustration, fear, anger, resentment, even humor, and the experience proved cathartic for me, to touch each of those memories in turn and tap them for my use, to make them work for me instead of being at their mercy.

My story is messy. And complicated. And told here, undoubtedly one-sided, but it is as I’ve lived it, as it has impacted me. At this point, no more apologies, no recriminations, no shame. God loves truth, this is my truth, and the lesson is that telling your story frees others to tell theirs, and is part of the cycle of healing. Life is hard, and sometimes in spite of your best, the thorns outnumber the roses.

My situation is not that unusual. I’ve heard it time and again with variations. A small town boy grows up in a Christian environment, full of notions of romance, love, marriage, a family, encouraged and pressured to fit the righteous mold of one man plus one woman equals happily ever after and blessed by God. Nobody wants to be alone, and how is he supposed to know the difference between the attraction he feels and the companionship he discovers in a best friend? The church even approves of the chasteness in the affection he feels for his girlfriend. So it’s a chick flick of a courtship, and how many of us thought that once we started actually having sex on a regular basis, everything would straighten itself out? Read the rest of this entry

And not a bad thing


After this last month, this last week, today: