Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Change the Stakes' Fred Smith Infiltrates Super Bowl Press Box, Little Mermaid and MORE

During NY Jet games I text my fellow Jet fans "turning point" -- usually with the Jets losing and often all too early in the game. Super Bowl night I texted "Turning Point" - after the first play.

Saturday, at the MORE Than a Test Score awesome event organized by the amazing crew from MORE and Change the Stakes, testing guru Fred Smith pulled me aside and showed me his Media Access pass for the press box at the Super Bowl.

Red Hot Chili Pepper Fred Smith and friends at Super Bowl

Fred is a statistician who works for the NY Jets at their home games and this led to his actually getting paid to be at the Super Bowl. A dream job to many football fans. But Fred took it further, as the photo shoes. "I told them I was a Red Hot Chili Pepper," Fred emailed.

I gave up the game and joined my wife in watching her favorite program, Downton Abbey, which had the 2nd highest rating to the game. Lady Mary was doing much better than the Broncos. I couldn't make it through Sherlock Holmes which requires a level of alertness I am not longer capable of.

I want to write a separate blog post on the wonderful MORE/Change the Stakes event on Saturday which drew 150 people. While so many people did so much to put this together, the leadership of Jia Lee deserves much recognition. To remind you of the power of organizing, especially around testing, Jia came to an event we held on the eval system in April 2012 and jumped into the work of MORE and Change the Stakes with gusto. She is one of those game-changers -- and a chapter leader to boot. I taped some of her remarks and will put that up with the more in-depth blog post.

The Rockaway Theatre Company just completed 2 weeks of a wonderful production of "The Little Mermaid" directed by Susan Corning and my former acting teacher, Frank Chiati. The performers ranged in age from 5-18 and were amazing. There is so much young talent out there they had to use 2 casts. Last week I taped the "green" cast and Friday I wanted to tape the "blue" cast but I screwed up the time and got there in the middle of Act I. I hand-held the camera for the rest of Act 1 while shooting from the production booth. I was able to set up for Act II and took this pic at the end. Check out those wonderful costumes.

As a newly-minted chorus member in the upcoming production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," I am desperately trying to remember even one song and get that coordinated with the dance steps. Oy! Rehearsals are almost every night of the weekdays and then the set has to be built - I am part of the set construction crew -- and in fact should be heading over to the theater soon to see if that is happening today. Last night's rehearsal was cancelled and we were told to be there by plane, train or snow plow tonight.

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