Sunday, August 30, 2009


I don't quite know what brought this on, but I have been thinking about dance a lot lately.
I love dance - Any kind. I appreciate it all. But I think what I love most is Social Dance. Not to be confused with Ballroom. Ballroom dances, mostly are competition in style, and while it is very impressive, it is a little too impersonal for me.

I especially love the Waltz. I adore it, really. It is the most beautiful movement. And the music. It's just such a sweet and romantic dance. Plus, its the only one I'm okay at. I can decently Foxtrot and a little Swing. Somewhat bearable with Rumba, and I get the concept of Cha Cha and West Coast Swing. But Waltz I can feel. It's as close to confident as I get. Honestly, there are times when I am waltzing that I can stop thinking about and just feel it.

When and if I ever get married, I want my first dance with my new husband to be a Waltz. And following this fantasy further, I need to Two-Step with my dad, Swing with my brother, Foxtrot with my friend Rob, and Waltz and East Coast Swing with Barry.

I miss social dancing. About as much as I miss singing. The good thing about singing is that you can do it alone. Dancing, to work right, you kinda have to have a partner. As terrified as I was in class and at the monthly dances, I also enjoyed them. Dancing can be so fun with the right people and in the right spirit.

Try it sometime. Any kind of dancing at all. Even dancing at home with a blanket ...


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rediscovering RENT

Ok, so I am watching the dvd of the final performance of RENT on Broadway. And I have to say, I love it. Watching this show, I can't imagine why some people don't take it seriously. It is such a beautiful show.

Most of the objections that I have heard from people have to do with the ideas behind the show. You know, the "It's all about a bunch of slackers with AIDS who refuse to get a job, so they can't pay their rent" argument. And really, when you boil away the show down to a sentence like that, yeah, it will sound stupid. But that is not at all what it is about. RENT is a metaphor. It's about looking for "connection in an isolating age" It is not about slackers, it is about people who refuse to conform to other people's ideas of what they should do - staying true to your vision without selling out. Yes, a number of the characters do indeed have AIDS - but why is that a bad thing? Consider the time in which it is set. 1990s New York City - a time when AIDS came out to the public in a wave. So many people were struck by it - and they had to learn to live with that horrible, degenerative disease.

RENT was groundbreaking. It was one of the first rock operas, and it dealt with issues and life that hadn't been presented in a musical before. And one person did it all. Like it or not, you have to admit that Jonathon Larson is talented. Music, Lyrics, and Book all by him. That is not easy to do, and he did it well.

It is just so powerful, and it's so real. Its interesting, the juxtaposition they are in. Life is too real for them - so hard - and they're looking for an escape from it. But at the same time, they are also searching for something that is more real, something they can own. Trying to live all they can now, in the moment, because that may be all they have left. Finding something, or someone to connect with.

Why do I like it so much? The disillusionment, the fight, the pain, the despair, the love, the joy, the heart, the message, the words. It's just a beautiful story.

I challenge you to watch it or listen to it. Check judgements at the door and keep an open mind - and really listen to it. The stage version if possible, the movie if you have to. The movie is good, but as Hollywood has to do, they changed some elements and they had to cut a large amount of the music - but it does have most of the original cast members and the story is the same, so it's still pretty good.

Seriously, experience it.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome Me

Hello there. I'm going to try to keep this pretty short, as it is only the introduction and I don't want to scare you off.

Just so you know, I have a hard time keeping things short. All my email updates are paragraphs long. I like to write, so ... that is that.

My name is Teresa Rankin and I am 23 years old. I'm currently living at my parent's house in Thief River Falls, MN. I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2008 with a BA in Theatre with a double emphasis in History & Literature and Performance as well as a Work Emphasis in Creative Writing. I have a very interesting family. Dad and Mom have been married 31 years (I know, small miracle in this day and age). I have an older brother who is married with 3 kids and I have an older sister as well.

Number One thing you should know about me is that I am all about theatre. It's my life, my reason, my obsession almost. I love it dearly. The past 5 summers I have worked at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse which is a professional summer stock theatre company in Bemidji, MN. It's actually one of the oldest consistantly running groups in America. Next summer we will be celebrating our 60th season! My dream is to get enough money to move down to the Twin Cities and work on theatre there.

Like I said, I am going to try and keep this short, so I think I will end it there for now. More to come later, I assure you.