Saturday, August 16, 2014

To Jim, On His Birthday...


When you write a daily blog, it's difficult to stay uni-topical, at least it is for me. So to fill the digital pages of this blog, I write about several things, photography, writing, my family, my day job (though, I try to avoid writing about that subject--it may be too exciting for some audiences...), and other things I find interesting.

Occasionally, I write about people that I admire, sometimes my friends, sometimes not, but always people I respect and in some way deserve recognition. You might think writing about people you admire would be easy, a simple exercise in putting how you feel on the blog. And sometimes it is--the words flow.

But, there are times when the thought of writing about a particular person makes me a little nervous, which brings me to Jim Christian.

Now, it's not that Jim makes me nervous, far from it (except, of course, when I haven't studied my script, blocking, or choreography...). But the thought of choosing the right words to describe him seems daunting. However, since to day is his birthday, it's about as good a time as ever to write about my friend.  

I borrowed the first picture from the Centerpoint Legacy Theatre's website. The show he directed and which I am a cast member, Peter Pan, is currently playing. Jim's directed a lot of shows at various theaters across the state and country.

But more importantly, he's directed a lot of people. I spoke with a cast member at the show last night who said Jim directed her in a show when she was in high school. The experience changed her life. She decided to apply for and ultimately complete a degree in the arts at Weber State University where Jim is the Director of Music Theater Studies. Everyone who knows Jim (at least, everyone I know...) has a story about the man and the effect he's had on their life. I first met him back in 2000 when he was the musical director of the first show I did at the old Rodger's Memorial Theatre. Since then I've been in several of Jim's shows and I've never regretted a single minute doing it.

The above picture is so appropriate because he is a director. He directs more than shows, he directs people. He sees something in us that we might now see in ourselves. He teaches us to be not just the best actors and performers we can be, but the best people we can be. 

Today Jim spent his birthday with loved ones in a hallowed place. Pictures of his day were posted on social media and we all shared in his joy. That's the effect he has on people; he brings out the joy in us and makes us want to share it with the world. 

Happy birthday, great a director and performer, he's an even better person. Here's to many, many more!

Top photo used without permission from Centerpoint Legacy Theatre website. Bottom photo used without permission from Jim's Facebook account. Both photos can and will be removed if asked to do so.

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