Adventures of a Drama Teacher











{December 9, 2016}   Snow Day 2

I got the Carharts and only wore them once to school in Mesa,

carharts

then they ended up staying in Alaska, I wear them when I summering up north in the last frontier. They were scratchy and too short for my long legs.

 

alaska-carharts

It’s been over two years since I’ve written in Adventures of a Drama Teacher, or on any specific personal project at all, so much has happened.

mom-pic

First of all, not long after my last entry my mother passed away (breast cancer), it is an emotional recall that I don’t want to recall. She was 72.

whobabe

A year after that one of my BFFs Whobabe also passed of a horrible disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy. She was 48. My BFF Gregg, Mo and I took her to Disneyland as a dying wish. These events put a new perspective on life for me.

disneywho

 

So let’s skip the two years of dark writing hiatus and get to where we are today.

My dream position in my hometown in Oregon, my high school alma mater,  finally opened up and I got the job.

pio-1

I prayed so hard on the decision to leave Red Mountain, Mesa and Arizona. It was bitter sweet, one year after my mom died. But this area has my family and friends as well as 007s. Morrison will and is finally getting to know his extended family; he graduated from high school (a year early) and now is attending Mt. Hood Community College. He’s tall and handsome and still ever so opinionated but keeps totally to himself most of the time. I don’t care if he’s opinionated as long as he talks to me. He’s highly intelligent but different in the Asperger’s Syndrome sense. Hopefully someday he’ll like hanging out with his ole’ ma, like I liked hanging out with mine. He did turn me onto a new favorite band Theory of a Deadman, and I got to meet them. It was surreal, I felt like a fangirl. I want to write a play for their music (I’ve written a sketchy outline). They’re now up there with Sammy Hagar and Donny Osmond.

toad

My new school which is my old school, which now is a brand new school is really high tech and beautiful. My facilities are like The Mesa Arts Center.

pio-2

I just put on an elaborate production of Annie which was very well attended and received in this quaint mountain community.

 

I did The Tempest last year among three productions, which my friend Gregg, who is the production designer to the stars in LA, designed and built my set.

tempest

I got friends in low places.

Speaking of friends, let me brag about some of my ex-students:

taylor-sackson

Taylor Sackson with her band Vintage Wednesday opened for Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding last Saturday. We connected over our mutual love  (my mom’s too) of Fleetwood Mac, I taught her for four years and she was many a lead in a musical (and straight play for that matter), including my Lydia/Lola in  The Road to Shambala and originated Olive in my Donny Osmond musical Sweet & Innocent. I based the character of Marin in Buying My Way into Heaven, my Sammy Hagar piece, on Taylor Sackson.

Casey Ellings is booking away in LA! I have never had such a hard working student and actress, she was on my writing team for Shambala. One of the sweetest people I know.

Castille Ritter is a costume designer for Michael Jackson’s One Cirque du Soleil in Vegas, she designed the costumes for Shambala.

Morgan Evans writer/director/ actor for several late night talk show hosts, Host of Teen Wolf after show on MTV, has his own show on MTV with his side kick since my 7th grade performing arts class Tim Mahoney. I am so glad I made them write silly stories. http://www.totallymorgan.com/

These are but a few of my students that are on the brink of stardom, I also have many, many students that have gone on to be successful in copius other occupations in which theatre played an important role. I will feature them in future entries as I have been writing two and a half years worth of catch up today.

I have some wonderful and talented students here in Oregon too. One young lady who happens to be the niece of one of the first classmates to befriend me my freshman year in high school, Trinity Rodrigues,  the niece of Becky Rodrigues, is a talented costume designer like Castille and she also acts, writes, directs, lights, set, you name it. She wants to be a theatre teacher. She is going to direct a Shambala workshop so we’ll see what comes out of that, it will be our spring show, we’re going to film it, because I got me some brilliant film students too.  Another talented and gifted student, Riley-Boy, will hopefully take on assistant directing Our Town with me this winter.

That brings us to today, snow day #2.you see my new/old home town is at the foot of Mt. Hood. I can finally get caught up on things, rest mostly on my beautiful purple captain’s bed with my dog warming my feet, Annie as wonderful as it was, done tuckered me out. But now I am looking forward to the Christmas Holidays, my annual birthday photo shoot. (Hey I didn’t do one last year) and maybe doing Our Town again. OO7 is off saving the day as he does, trying to wrangle a deal in Fiji. TTFN Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!! I love you all!!!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/tomigriffin

https://www.instagram.com/tomigriffin/

and at my school webpage

https://sandyhighschooltheatre.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

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