I had the privilege of attending the MasterWorks Festival in Winona Lake, Indiana -- through the generous invitation of Rich Swingle -- a very talented and dedicated brother in the Lord who has served in the Theatre all over the world. MasterWorks festival was originally for Classical musicians and then incorporated Dance, and in turn Theatre into their curriculum in the past 10 years. The Faculty was pretty amazing, the talent level is extremely high -- and the fellowship and the work of God in this community is amazing.
I have not been actively involved in the arts for some time -- so it was a pleasure to be back. I had the chance to work with the actors one-on-one with their audition pieces and gave notes on their singing and acting pieces. So many really talented young people -- blew me out of the water. It felt really good to pour into others things I might have learned along the way. Additionally, I had the privilege of sitting in as a judge for the Honors Recital. Probably the most encouraging was sharing my journey as a person and as an artist and how God met me in my place of struggle and turned my life around. I had a chance to share, first with the Theatre Students and then with the whole school/faculty. It was really wonderful to see a direct connection between the work that Jesus has done in my life and how that impacts others. And also was reminded of the unique journey that each of us is on -- and that when we are going through hard times -- it is never just for us -- but for someone else -- when we surrender to the Lord He uses our struggle to free someone else.
Additionally -- at the end of each week they have a Faculty Recital - where I was able to sing. This was challenging for me as they had incredible musicians who were all playing live -- I only had a track to sing with because the short notice -- I guess it is healthy and humbling to be able to move from the slums of India to a concert stage -- but you definitely need to be "up on your chops" as they say.
Bottom line -- God encouraged all of us in this time -- and I even had the privilege to return back for the last few days of the Festival to see the performance of Miracle Worker (Rich directed and did a great job).