This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Greatest Showman ( #AtoZChallenge ) ( #BOTB Results )


I've got an idea... I'm gonna write a show for us and put it on right here in Seaport.  Why, it'll be the most up-to-date things these hicks around here have ever seen.
                                Mickey Moran (played by Mickey Rooney) in Babes in Arms (1939)





#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letterImage result for barnum circus posters

       
        My A to Z theme for 2019 is "This Is Me" which some of you might recognize as the Oscar nominated song from the 2017 musical The Greatest Showman.  This film is not a Barnum biopic, but a musical fantasy based on the life of 19th century eclecticist entrepreneur. P.T. Barnum. It's one of those dreams come true through imagination, innovation, persistence, and belief in oneself to succeed, while discovering the heart and soul of what is important in life.  If you are looking for a fun, uplifting, and inspirational film then no need to look farther than this film which I now rank as my favorite film of all time.

         When I was a child P.T. Barnum was one of my heroes.  It's probably no wonder since my family had a juggling act and that put us in contact with the world of circuses and their performers.  My father, using good judgment, always had a regular job so we never toured with any circus, although we played some large Shrine Circuses during the 1960s and 70s.  We all dreamed about being on tour with a circus full time, but went the more sensible route of my dad working an office job, us going to school, and my mother maintaining a traditional household. 

         Show business has been in my blood all my life.  I still have this yearning to be on tour performing on stage on a regular basis. This was the life I led on my own and then with my own family for some fifteen years or so from 1975 to 1991.  I can make a good case that these were some of my best times of my life--years that I think of often.

         Herein lies part of my future dream that has been my focus since the beginning of this year.  No, I'm not going to run away with the circus, but I'm not necessarily looking homeward, angel, but I'm looking somewhere.  Maybe in a sense it is homeward.  In a way, being on the road does seem like home for me. But it can be complicated too.  Especially as I grow older.

          In my A to Z posts I am presenting clues to my current state of mind. I don't want to come right out and say what I'm thinking, but I'm hinting at it.  Yeah, I've got an idea, but for now it's a work in progress.

         Maybe these posts I'm doing for April will bring some clarity to my thinking...


Battle of the Bands Results



           My April 1st Battle was between two Mexican artists--Alicia Villarreal with her song "Capricho Loco" and Thalia with her hit "Sangre".  This Battle produced another surprise outcome for me.  I had kind of expected to see Thalia sweep this contest because of her more pop sound as opposed to the more Mexican Norteño sound of Alicia Villarreal.

         I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of votes coming in for Alicia because her performance and her song were my favorites.  I'm a big fan of Thalia and especially like her song "Sangre"--check out some of her early rock videos and you'll probably see why I like her so much. However, in this showdown of a Battle, as much as I am smitten with Thalia and her performance style, Alicia's sassy delivery of one of the more interesting songs I've heard in my lifetime demanded my vote.  I was happy to see that many preferred Alicia for whatever reason which turned this Battle into another close race to the finish.

 Final Vote Tally

Alicia Villarreal         11 votes

Thalia                        12 votes

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Next Battle of the Bands on Monday April 15th

         My upcoming Battle will once again be an international one with music from all over the world. This one might be one of my crazier Battles, but it's music that I like and hopefully you will enjoy as well.  But in the meantime, there will be lots of A to Z action between now and then so try to stop in as often as you can.


             Who were some of your childhood heroes?  What about those heroes had the most influence on your life and do you still admire these people?   Do you think you would like to live and work on the road?





29 comments:

  1. Hi Lee. You got itchy feet again? I love it when that happens.
    Because I was a single parent, life on the road wasn't possible but we did tour this great African continent as a family, often going AWOL for months at a time, it was a blast.
    People who I would now consider my childhood heroes would probably all be science fiction writers. People like Isaac Asimov or Arthur C Clark.
    I was quite a reclusive child and spent most of my time alone reading.
    So my answer would be the Authors I came in contact with in those years.
    Blessings my friend, Geoff.
    P.S. I didn't come to know Jesus until I was about 30 years old. Adult Hero.

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    1. Geoff, I think it's great when families can do some big road trips now and then. It can be a great memory for the kids (though I know some will hate it).

      I guess I often chose to be reclusive as a child and preferred reading or working on my stamp collection. But I still managed to be outside a lot back then when their were not as many options like kids today face.

      Lee

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  2. I had a feeling your G post would be about the Greatest Showman! I have it on my list to watch! I have to admit, my first "heroes" perhaps "crushes" would be a better moniker, were Captain Kirk in Star Trek and Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows. I guess I'd have to say for real heroes that did make an impact on my life would be authors, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, and Robert Heinlein. Every book I read of Bradbury's seemed to speak to some part of me, and made me want to write. Anne took me to a new universe and made me want to write. Heinlein gripped my soul in Stranger in a Strange Land, and made me want to write. These are only a few of the authors who did this to/for me. And my parents. They influenced me the most...

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    1. Lisa, G had to be Greatest Showman since that was my inspiration for A to Z this year.

      Bradbury was so much the writer's writer as we was the writer for all Americans. The best influence that many of us had were our parents. I feel badly for those who didn't have good family lives, but then their experiences add to the collective experience of us all.

      Lee

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  3. My granddaughter's winter dance recital was "the greatest show"- loved it -- I don't really recall any childhood heros-- just a love for many singers at the time- Beatles of course- James Taylor- John Denver- Carol King!

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    1. Lynn, Greatest Showman has inspired many dance recitals and other talent exhibitions. In my teen years especially, musicians were the people I admired and whose careers I followed closely.

      Lee

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  4. Believe it or not, I've not seen that movie yet. Ugh. I've seen some awful movies and I'm missing a good one. Gotta correct that.

    My childhood heroes followed the biographies I read, all sugar coated and shiney: Pocahontas, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc. Also, I realize now...all deceased. What does that say about me?

    Ciao!
    Cherdo
    Cherdo on the Flipside
    Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge

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    1. Cherdo, I've been seeing a lot of awful to not-so-good movies of late. They often feel like a waste of my time, but my repeated viewings of Greatest Showman always seems like time well spent as I always feel so good after watching it.

      What do your heroes say about you? That you're like the little boy in Sixth Sense: "I see dead people"? I like to read about those who came before us. Those lives all have something to teach us today--or at least interest us.

      Lee

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  5. 'being on the road does seem like home for me'

    Totally resonates, though I've led a boring stay-at-home life mostly. There is something about being on the move that is positively euphoric!

    Everyday is a journey and the journey itself is home - Matsuo Basho.

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    1. Nilanjana, I do enjoy my time spent at home. Some days I barely leave the house and I'm okay with it.

      Great quote and so true for me at least. The less attachment I have to possessions the better I am able to enjoy my experiences.

      Lee

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  6. A lot of my childhood heroes were U.S. presidents. I acquired my lifelong passion for presidential history in 1988, when I memorized all the presidents (then forty). I did it the old-fashioned way, by writing them down in order numerous times and studying the list, and reading the book 40 Presidents: Facts and Fun many times. It rather annoys me when I run across a younger person who brags about knowing all the presidents in order and proceeds to sing some stupid song. Anyone can memorize song lyrics, but it's much harder to memorize a long list!

    As an adult, I know some of my then-favorite presidents didn't do much politically (though I still think they had interesting personal lives). After all these years, Theodore Roosevelt is still one of my heroes, and my favorite president.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I don't know much about most U.S. Presidents nor can I name all of them off. And now my memory has gotten so bad that I don't know that I could learn them.

      Theodore Roosevelt is a great presidential hero choice since he had so much to do with establishing the National Park system.

      Lee

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  7. yes, this film, although not my favourite, is excellent and deserved much more come oscar time than it got. It was snubbed big time. Hugh Jackman is excellent portraying, not necessarily the man, but the dreamer that was part of this man. I have a feeling you love a bit of the nomadic life like a good friend of mine. Heroes...that is a tough one for me but I the first name that jumped out in my brain was Raoul Wallenberg. He saved thousands of Jews only to be taken by the Russians after the war and to die in their gulag...somewhere. he stood by his convictions.

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    1. Birgit, you came up with a hero of whom I never heard. His mission was definitely heroic by any measure.

      Lee

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  8. Lee,

    I always wanted to see Ringlings Barnum & Bailey Circus but never have. When I was a kid, my parents took us to a travleing circus a few times. That was great fun, too.

    WOW, your showdown was tight! My pick lost but fabulous battle. I don't know that I had real heroes as a kid. Perhaps I thought fictional heroes were neat and often pretended to have super powers but that was about it. Life on the road never appealed to me. I always preferred being rooted in one community and I'm still very much like that. It's hard for me to imagine living such a life but what doesn't appeal to me appeals to another and that's what makes this world so interesting - people of diversity. Happy a2zing!

    A2Z Little Mermaid art sketch series ‘Grimsby’

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    1. Cathy, you seem to take a lot of day trips that you and your husband enjoy, but it's always nice to come back to one's own home and bed after driving around all day.

      Lee

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  9. I too saw Barnum & Bailey, but I was only "5" maybe 6, but I was there. At that tender age everything was soooooo huge and what I remember of it was the elephants were HUGE & THE BEAUTIFUL LADIES flying through the air. Oh & the jugglers too, but most of all the popcorn & cotton candy & my cupie doll! I wish I still had that doll. I do remember what happened to that doll & every time I think of it I cry! My first husband (that's past tense) broke it in front of me. grrrrrrrrrrrrr Anyway, enough of that. It's beautiful outside and I'm going for a walk. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on such a great topic for me!!! Personally, I loved the show and all the tunes & dancing & just everything! It was like being there. Just awesome! The song was great! Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories my new friend! See you for "H"! You have good pickins' here! I'll be back! hugs

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    1. Dolly, a husband broke your kewpie doll in front of you? No wonder he was an ex! Circuses have changed in our time--still good, but not the same kind of magic.

      Lee

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  10. Did you ever play at the Medinah Shrine in Chicago? (Of course you did... duh.) It's quite an interesting place. Back in my pipe band days we would run into a few Shrine pipe bands; in fact, our pipe sergeant was the pipe major for the Orak Shrine in Indiana (couldn't tell you where that was). Shriners are, by definition, Blue Lodge (Scottish Rite) Masons, so you can see the connection there.

    I spent most of my working life in a job where travel was a requirement, though it wasn't the sort where I was gone for weeks at a time before coming home. It was kind of a drag anyway. It got to where the getting where I needed to go and getting home was the best part of any trip. I used to like to hang out in airports.

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    1. John, actually I can't recall ever playing the Medinah Shrine in Chicago, but I didn't keep track of where we played much of the time back then. Later when I was with the touring show we played a few Masonic auditoriums and they were very interesting with very nice stages.

      Back before airport security got so tight, I used to go to the Knoxville airport to eat sometimes. I guess those restaurants were more reasonable back then. Now they have you hostage and rip off their captive audiences because they have nowhere else to eat. I don't like hanging around airports now.

      Lee

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  11. I've been on stage since I was six years old (the Y on the Grand Concourse, The Bronx). Never hit Broadway, and honestly, something I never really wanted.
    I did theater through k-12 and into college (my highlight being in a cast of Godspell. My solo was "All Good Gifts." Memories of that time still carry me along.
    After the divorce, I re-discovered Improv, joined a couple of workshops, did a little Gilbert & Sullivan, and then I created, ran, performed in, my own Improvisational Storytelling theater company. We ran for 12 years, did just under 1,100 shows, and...
    Something inside me wants to hit the boards.

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    1. Stuart, maybe I should look for something like what you did. I'm sure my opportunities in Los Angeles are endless. Money would be nice, but just doing something might be fun at least.

      Lee

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  12. One heck of a close Battle, LEE. I can't remember for sure who I voted for, but I think it was Alicia Villarreal. I seem to be on the "losing" side the majority of the time. Not that it matters to me one way or another.

    I've had a string of BOTB blowouts recently, but as long as they aren't shutouts, I'm content.

    See ya on the 15th.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. STMcC, you and I both voted for Alicia. I didn't think she'd get as many votes as she did.

      Lee

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  13. When I was a child and into my late teens (and very very early 20s) I dreamed of becoming an actress. I took HS and college classes in it, participated and even held the lead in a major student play - but I was also greatly influenced by my mom who was very conservative - didn't see this as something I could earn a living at. And she was probably right. Most aspiring performers - spend all their lives living below the poverty level, working low paying jobs etc. Only a very very few (out of all the people who follow that dream) can make entertaining (of any type) a good living - especially if you have a family (another dream of mine.) So I became a teacher and set aside those acting dreams. I am not sorry, but I often wonder the 'what ifs'. I guess if the performing bug was really strong enough - I would have dumped all those 'grown up' expectations and followed that path. We will never know.

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    1. Knitter, dreams of youth often don't take into account the harsh realities of life. Your mother was right and you most likely made the right decision. I was fortunate in that I had a steady paying gig that lasted for years, though I should have done better at planning for retirement. "What ifs" are interesting to ponder, but are best when looked through that lens of experience and wisdom.

      Lee

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  14. Sounds like you're getting ready to hit the road! I know folks who did that after retirement and loved it. I'm happier anchored, I guess, and I do love Northern Colorado so much.

    As for the Greatest Showman, I just bought the DVD so I can watch it whenever I want...and buying a DVD is a very rare thing for me.

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  15. mmmm, your clues - I look forward to deciphering them. Childhood heroes? I can't remember really - what does that mean I wonder? An impoverished childhood? I don't think so ..
    Good luck Arlee with clarifying your dreams - writing about them always helps :)

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  16. I Have s hard time remembering my childhood and often wonder why but you have done awesome memories and experiences!

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee