The Legend of the Artist

For some reason I have never thought about true art belonging to a certain place, or a particular city, or a specific part of the world. I have seen Michelangelo’s David in Florence and Picasso’s pen and ink sketches at the Guggenheim in New York, but I’ve never equated great art with a location. It’s everywhere.

I guess it’s why I have never pined away to be somewhere that I am not. I have always been satisfied to have the work that I have in the place that I am. Every morning I read the words of historical geniuses from a tiny paperback book called Thoughts for the Quiet Hour; one for every day of the year. It lost its binding years ago and lives in a little pink zipper book pocket meant to hold a bible. August 25th offers the legend of an artist by Orison Swett Marden. To completely appreciate his words you should Google him.

“There is a legend of an artist who long sought for a piece of sandalwood, out of which to carve a Madonna. He was about to give up in despair, leaving the vision of his life unrealized, when in a dream he was bidden to carve his Madonna from a block of oak wood which was destined for a fire. He obeyed and produced a masterpiece from a log of common firewood. Many of us lose great opportunities in life by waiting to find sandalwood for our carvings, when they really lie hidden in the common logs that we burn.”

– Orison Swett Marden

Never wait to give life to your vision. It is for now, not for some other time and place.


Meet David Lanza

Peter Pan - David the PirateDavid Lanza

Years at Kids Who Care:
1995 – 2003 (Student)
2003  Present (Staff)

  1. What are you doing now? I’m working as a freelance Audio Engineer and Sound Designer. That means that I work with various theaters and companies to design the sound for their productions, install sound systems, mix shows, and more. One of the companies that I get to work with is Kids Who Care!
  2. What was your favorite role or show you were in at Kids Who Care?  Thats a really tough choice but the two that come to mind are getting to sing “Those Canaan Days” in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and playing a rival gang leader opposite Michael Simeroth in Choices (2003).

  3. What is the strongest lesson you took away from your time at Kids Who Care and how has it made you who you are today?  Probably, “to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to be history”. I’m still not always good at it, but for whatever it’s worth, I think of that and feel dread whenever I am late somewhere.

  4. Earth and Soul - DavidWhich KidPower Point of Power do you most identify with and why?  While I wish I could say Efficiency, I’m going to go with Role Model. The role models that I had and still have at Kids Who Care have had such a huge impact in shaping who I am today. I would not be where I am without the work ethic, professionalism and drive that I learned from watching and working with my friends and role models at Kids Who Care. I often hope that I am able to provide that to others when I am given the chance.

  5. Tell us how what you are doing today applies to what you wrote on your cloud card as a kid.  I wrote that I wanted to have my own recording studio. A few months ago, I recorded Deborah Jung leading the relaxation technique in my recording studio. Boom. Cloud cards work

  6. DITH - DavidAny favorite or funny story about your time at KWC that we may not know?  When I was probably about eight years old, I wasn’t in KWC yet but still went to California with them, tagging along with my mom and sister. I will always remember trying to woo an ill and bed-ridden Vanessa Rohrer by saving rolls from a restaurant to bring her at the hotel.

  7. What is your dream for Kids Who Care? To see a presidential race between Riley Morrison and Alix Kiles.

1992 – Heart 2 Heart

“Heart to heart, it isn’t very far!” rang the declarative ballad of Kids Who Care’s 1992 musical, Heart 2 Heart. This show was created to state that although we have our differences and our own busy lives, we all have a heart, and everyone deserves a little compassion!

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Check out Executive Director Deborah Jung on the far left, and current Company Manager Kate Lovelady in the center! Just goes to show that you are always a member of the Kids Who Care family.

Things That Can Derail Your Day

There are things that can derail my day in a nanosecond if I’m not careful. So I have created a list over time that I look at almost daily. I wouldn’t have to read it over and over if I had mastered these things 🙂 I am a “work in progress”! I love this list…

  1. Be careful of tiny distractions.
  2. Don’t be distracted by people’s temperament
  3. Don’t worry about vindicating yourself 🙂
  4. Give people a fresh start.
  5. Visibility is not about being seen, it’s about connecting.
  6. Seek to understand, not to be understood.

Each of these “one liners” has a story of course. I will share those at another time.

1991 – We Have a Voice

“We Have A Voice,” that oh-so triumphant and defiant anthem from Free to be a Family became its own show in 1991. We Have a Voice is all about how kids have the power to speak out and stand up for what they believe. Why can’t kids be the leaders of today instead of merely the leaders of tomorrow? Perhaps We Have a Voice gave Co-Founder and Executive Director Deborah Jung some inspiration for KidPower Leadership, the training that is infused into every aspect of Kids Who Care culture.

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1990 – A New Decade

This week, we move into a new decade, the 90’s, with Kids Who Care’s production of The Me You Cannot See. The cast is representing the decade very nicely with wind shorts and scrunchies! This company had the amazing opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center on their annual Study Tour and dazzled Washington D.C. On the company’s 2nd anniversary, they were already in the big leagues!


One Bird at a Time

I have this phrase that lives in my head; “One bird at a time, One bird at a time, One bird at a time.” It comes in 3’s, and if I am really lucky it resurfaces when I need it. It’s for those days when I am catapulted into foggy confusion by the sheer volume of information. It’s for those moments when I feel like I am under water and everyone around me is up there on the pool’s edge moving along. I can’t quite understand them, and I certainly can’t join the conversation because if I open my mouth I’ll drown. All that water pouring in.

So, “one bird at a time” helps me take the first step, get into the flow, and naturally, I move forward. Perhaps this story will help you. 🙂

There was a young boy sitting at his kitchen table with an open tablet of Manila paper, colored pencils out of the box, and his text book lying open. He was frozen; staring at the text. His dad came into the room and asked him if he could help and the little guy burst into tears. His assignment was due tomorrow; 12 state birds drawn and labeled. It was impossible! He hadn’t even started. His dad gently smiled and simply said, “One bird at a time, son. One bird at a time. Just take one piece of paper, draw the bird, and label it. When you finish with that one, go to the next, and then the next. Before you know it the project will be complete.

It’s September and my list of to-dos seems to grow exponentially. Before I can check anything off, the list has doubled or tripled in length. So today, right now, I say to myself, “One bird at a time, one bird at a time, one bird at a time.” It’s working! Join me. 🙂

Alumni Profile: Kate Lovelady

28469_639482644674_18311562_36788393_4765296_nKate Lovelady
Years at Kids Who Care: 1989 – 2002 (Student)
2005  Present (Staff)

  1. What are you doing now? I’m the Company Manager and Resident Assistant Director of Kids Who Care.  I manage the communication with the actors in the company, assist Deborah and work with the production staff and actors on all of the mainstage shows.  I also book the Resident Company and serve on the development team on staff.  My favorite thing is that I’m in the class room every day with 4-year-olds and 17-year-olds who love Musical Theatre and want to study together.

  2. What was your favorite role or show you were in at Kids Who Care?  The most www.zuilma.comfun experience I had  on stage at KWC as a kid was when I was a wife in an orange leotard in the 1998 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The year that stands out to me most was the 1994 tour of Choices. I sang the end of the Star Spangled Banner at the top of the show – in the dark! It was my only part in the show and it was my favorite year. But, if I had to choose only one favorite it would be getting to play Mrs. Darling in this summer’s production of Peter Pan. Coming back to the Scott stage as an adult was delightful and I will never forget it.

  3. What is the strongest lesson you took away from your time at Kids Who Care and how has it made you who you are today?  You can create the life you want to have.  The best way to a happy life is to find your dreams, say them out loud and make the choice to chase them every day. And if you surround yourself with the right people who will encourage you and love you no matter what…anything is possible.

  4. Which KidPower Point of Power do you most identify with and why?  As a kid, Role Model shaped me the most. The idea of being authentic to myself is at the core of who I am. Now, Encouragement is an active part of my day-to-day life because for me it is the most powerful thing I can receive and gift I can give to those around me.
    Kate Earth and Soul
  5. Tell us how what you are doing today applies to what you wrote on your cloud card as a kid.  When I was 7 years old, I wrote on a cloud card “I want to make Kids Who Care happen forever.” And over the years, I continued to say that out loud and now I’m living my dream every day.

  6. Any favorite or funny story about your time at KWC that we may not know?  My very first Sparkie was Clinton Foster. I was 16 and he was 7. Before a tour performance, shortly after we’d become Sparkies, he walked up to me while I was talking with some friends, gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me to have a good show. After I walked away, he said to my friend Taylor, “I just kissed Katie on the cheek and I bet it was the best thing she ever felt in her whole life.”  And it was. First Sparkie For Life.

  7. What is your dream for Kids Who Care? This summer as we celebrated 25 years, I was reminded over and over as each alumni spoke that this is our home. My dream is that our family will continue to grow and that we stay connected and most importantly will never lose sight of the heart of the company.

1989 – From the Beginning

This summer we began our year-long celebration of twenty-five years of pure joy exploding from children of all ages on the stage of the Scott Theatre. Throughout the next year, we are celebrating twenty-five years of summertime lunches enjoyed on the patio. We are celebrating twenty-five years of original work, monologues and dialogues from six-year-olds and seventy-year-olds! We are celebrating twenty-five years of beautiful international students from Italy, Israel, Germany, Albania, Hungary, Indonesia, Spain, and Latvia. We are celebrating twenty-five years of memories.

So let the reminiscing begin! We kicked off our celebration this summer and for the next 25 weeks we will be sharing a timeline through the years, starting with 1989, and ending with this past summer.

Take a stroll down memory lane.

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This gem is from the 1989 production of Free to be a Family. The talented kids declared, “We Have a Voice!” on the bare Scott Theatre stage, to a house that was packed to the max. Something unique was born, and people were hooked. Kids Who Care was already legendary.

Rejuvenate Your Feelers

Following any marathon of work that mimics the explosive ongoing energy required of a Kids Who Care summer, you need more than a nap. You would do well to create a window to “rejuvenate your feelers”. Like a butterfly that sunbathes to refill the solar cells in his or her wings, we all need dedicated quality time off in order that what follows will have the possibility of being fruitful.

What I learned this year on my annual trek to breathe the Aspen filled Colorado air is that I should always pack a journal. I found myself writing in a Mead College Ruled Spiral Notebook I picked up from one of those gas station/fishing bait quick stops along the highway. When I am quiet I discover things, and I always want to write these things down because I know from experience, that if I write these morsels down they will find a place to resurface in my life.

Like today, I read Nora Ephron’s I Remember Nothing. You know her. She wrote Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, Julie & Julia. Her play, Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks is on Broadway now. She talked about the difference between 30 and 50. There is a difference by the way. I loved them both for totally different reasons.

Then it struck me, this is the place, Purgatory, Colorado, where Kids Who Care’s Heart to Heart was conceived. I suddenly realized I have been observing generations of families from balconies overlooking the ski slopes for over 25 years. Daily I sit with frothy coffee, or a glass of Malbec, or maybe something with huge volumes of crushed ice and lime, and watch families play; multiple generations dedicating time to be together, apart from their daily stressors. It’s is good to see. After my summer marathon, it is a place of bliss, to “breathe a little”. Sip a little. Observe.

So I am closing my Blue Mead College Ruled Spiral to return to Nora Ephron’s words and a fresh avocado with chips. I’ve bathed myself in sunscreen, “Freckles only please with a little Colorado tan to take home.” Dexter stands in the crystal clear lake catching dinner, I hope.

It’s September, and it’s time to ”rejuvenate my feelers!” Wherever you are, I hope you will do the same.