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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Of Hobbits and Happiness

 A colorful pattern of light much like the one Bambara's song painted in my mind 

Do you ever just close your eyes and let a song take you where it will?  A couple of days ago, I was listening to Native Tongue, one of my favorite Bambara songs, and I did just that.  Wow, that song brought me on a ride!  Maybe it was the two hours of sleep I had gotten the night before, but in my mind's eye, I saw myself walking along patterned tunnels filled with swirling lights and colors.  There's something about that song that just conjures up such vivid imagery!  I can't wait to see their show this Thursday at the Caledonia!

In other, less trippy news, Lord of the Rings' most loyal Hobbit graced the UGA Tate II stage on Monday night to discuss fellowship and leadership with an audience of several hundred people.  No, it wasn't a concert or anything like that, but getting to hear Sean Astin give a speech has to be something worth mentioning in my blog, right?  He was pretty cool, not too absorbed in the whole Hollywood scene which was nice.  Also, he kept interrupting his own written speech to tell arbitrary jokes that popped into his head or to entertain us with various impressions of people he knew and characters he'd played.

After he explained in great detail what he'd learned while acting in some of his most famous movies (mostly that because he was a public figure, he could embrace the opportunities he had to help others and spread a message of love and unity throughout the world), he took questions from the audience.  Yeah, there were the standard ones about Lord of the Rings and 50 First Dates, and then there were the more substantial ones, like those focusing on how he felt about his contributions to society as a whole.  A few tidbits I gained from the questions he answered:  he played a small part as a voice actor in Balto but doesn't remember the character's name, he's worked with countless charities for various different causes including literacy, he loved filming the LOTR scenes on the mountain tops because flying up there in a helicopter made them seem more significant, he considers himself part of the "liberal media," he once worked at a movie theatre and took his job there very seriously, and his most treasured achievements include graduating from UCLA and being a father.

I found it most interesting, however, that he and his wife are currently working on a film version of the beloved book Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.  This was one of the stories that caught my attention in elementary school when we were learning about the mass exodus of the Jews from Germany during World War II.  Miraculously, I still remember how much I loved that book and how much I cried while reading it.  From the reactions of those in the audience, it seems that I'm not the only one who looks forward to seeing what comes of this project!  Very, very cool.

Alright, I hope you all stay healthy this week!  Athens is getting a little crazy as far as health is concerned.  Oh, and don't miss the latest additions to the schedule of spectacular September shows here!  More delicious performances from Doctor Squid, the Warm Fuzzies, the Constellations, and Bambara have tiptoed their way onto the list.  I'm so spectacularly excited!

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