Boy, am I tired!
This last three weeks has been a complete whirlwind.
Saturday, I drove to Ft. Worth and sang a children’s show at 4, which was completely fun and adorable, and then did a quick photo shoot and then grabbed some pizza and then played another show, for big people, at 8. I played until 10:30…what a loving audience. (Thank you, Russell, for being my one armed sidekick and for having such an excellent sense of humor and timing. Thank you, Craig and Karen, for giving me a place to rest my weary head. Thank you, Mark, for running sound. Thank you, Robert, for letting me use you as my foil from the stage. Thank you to the women who ran the merch tables for me and Abi. Thanks to Abi for sounding so great and singing such heart felt songs!)
I think we raised about $3000 for the Arnold family, who came out with two of their sweet children in tow.
(I found out yesterday they need $9000 to make the driveway/gate that they are putting in, so they are 1/3 of the way there!)
To everyone who responded, your generousity and committment to making a difference never cease to amaze me.
Once again, my passion/enthusiasm led me over the top and I uttered words I NEVER use, but I immediately apologized, especially to any Baptists in the audience. I am so grateful that everyone was so forgiving and understanding. You know, I am just a big risktaker who has a very fast paced brain, and sometimes it gets ahead of me. I am constantly editing and trying to plan ahead to set up funny (or moving) moments on stage, and sometimes I just slip up. It is part of the art of being live on stage.
I suppose if I just sang songs and didn’t talk at all, things would flow more smoothly, or consistent. But I have always believed that being on stage means being vulnerable, and sharing myself, faults and all.
So, Sunday morning I got up and drove back to Austin around 9 a.m, got home around 1 and showered/changed to go sing the National Anthem at a Wranglers Arena football game. That was a blast!
This is the second time I have sung the anthem in the Erwin Center…last fall I sang as Asia the elephant walked around the rings of the Barnum and Bailey Circus with the flag plastered on her back. That was a glittery, colorful show…yesterday was smoke machines, football players in dark blue and cheerleaders in fire engine red, with the color guard holding the flag at half mast (one of the players died last weekend.)
I love singing the anthem. It dips and rides like a vocal rollercoaster….I always get a sense of huge
pride as I sing it. But it is old pride, pride that the whole world can be one, that as human beings, we should all be connected in peace. The words are about war, but the melody, the sentiment and the strength of the song remind me of being in elementary school, placing my hand over my heart and feeling that America was a country of liberty and justice for all. That is what I feel when I sing that song.
Lance and iolana got to come with me (Lily was at her dad’s.) We ate popcorn, cheered and explained to iolana about the scoreboard, the place kicker, the goal posts (which are teeny-tiny in arena football), the giant bottle of Rudy’s BBQ sauce that floats around (an indoor blimp). It was fun, and I told Lance that
we are so blessed to get to do so many odd and interesting things because of my voice.
Last Wednesday, I emceed the CASA event. CASA in an astounding organization that helps abused and neglected children find a voice, through volunteers, in the court system. The event was just so loving.
I have done a zillion of these benefit dinners, and this one had everything you could hope for…emotion, comedy, children, politicians, good food (really!), flowers, people with money who want to share their money with a group that will take that money and use it for the greater good….and lots of laughter and caring.
I had had this idea, and CASA went with it…I wanted to make produce a video of the award recepient, Colleen Barrett (president of Southwest Airlines), showing pix throughout her life. Tracie Martin, from Southwest, suggested “Strong Woman”, so I used that song as the bed. I had such a great time going in an edit suite and putting the piece together. And it looked beautiful on the big screen, music blasting!
Thank you, CASA! Thank you, Tracie, for getting the pix together!
And then, during the night, I got Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines and comedian at large, to come up on the stage and do a duet with me. Oh, man, he has the best comic timing! We had so much fun. At one point, I said, “I have this urge to kiss your nose…” and he responded in his deep, billowy voice, “That’s funny…I have an urge to kiss your lips!” So he did, and we all had a roaring laugh out of that one. I then said, “Gosh…your lips are so SOFT!” So I had to kiss him again, of course!
And…beyond all the silliness, a young woman who had been through CASA got up to speak, and it was heartbreaking…her story of abuse and feeling lost in this world was incredibly moving. She was the center of the evening’s love and radiated out to everyone why this organization is so important. Her CASA volunteer was in the audience, and stood, when asked, and we applauded both of these courageous women.
I have been at the Paramount, where I got to sit in with Lyle Lovett, Patti Griffin and Ray Benson…we sang “That’s Right…You’re not From Texas” and there was a moment when I was standing next to Lyle and we locked eyes and I thought, “Man!” That’s about all I can say about that. Wow. Really.
And I played with my super band at the Texas Medal in the Arts Ball…and I played for the Texas Library Association (sang one morning, the next morning I came back and did an hour’s speaking engagement on “Where Our Words Take Us.”)
And….I played with Lily and iolana….we swang in the swings and we made cards for our grandpa and we watched “Rabbit Proof Fence” as a family…..and we went to the Austin Children’s Museum to see the Robot Dinosaur exhibit…and we washed the car in the cheery Austin sunshine…
And now I am about to wake iolana up to get her ready for school….Lily and Lance and I just finished breakfast, and they are off, about in their day…and the house has that momentary stillness, where the sun is starting to peek over my neighbor’s roof….and the day will begin….