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      I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE by Thomas Putnam

      bw20aThis is the title of a little musical we produced at the Arcadia Theatre years ago. Besides the catchy title, it has songs that are fun and others that are surprisingly moving. I've used this title in conversation at times since that production, and lately I found it resonating in a new way during this time of isolation and reflection. 

      I seem to have some time that I didn't have before the “Intermission” to watch mini-series and longer TV series. I've found that those that have characters who change, who are transformed in some way, who are not the same people at the end than they were at the beginning, are the shows I most like to watch. The HG mission is to provide opportunities for people of all ages to enrich and empower their lives through community performing arts; and this is change, right?

      I've been reading a number of plays in the past two months. Some with an eye for possible production on our stage/s and some with the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca Script Reading Club on-line. I've been much more tuned to the change and/or transformation of characters and find that I am much more connected and intrigued and heartened by those who experience it. Why?

      Change and transformation means hope. Stuck in a situation or an attitude or a philosophy or a habit or a life circumstance is an incredibly despairing place to be. When we are stuck it's difficult to see our way out. There is no hope. When we see a character who is able to move out of a constricting situation or attitude or whatever we cheer for them; we are encouraged by them; we rejoice with them. When a character remains stuck, it's a major downer for us. 

      The title of that little musical offers a way for us to help others to become enriched and empowered; to experience transformation; to provide hope. If we begin with love—open, empathetic, welcoming graceful acceptance—and affirm them with the truth of their dignified perfect humanity, we can provide fertile soil for growth. I realize the title is meant to be a bit whimsically snarky, but let's re-frame it for ourselves and for others. 

      I love you. You are indeed perfect in your humanity. Now...realize that you don't have to be stuck in whatever constriction you find yourself in...you can be transformed, enriched, empowered. (And start with not being afraid to ask for help.)

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