Days of Grease and how they apply today..... Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Recently I've been thinking of an old, nasonex dear friend. Because of a series of events which continue to present themselves in my life, nasonex I've been thinking about "Sandy". Actually her name is not Sandy, nasonex but that's the part she played in our production of "Grease".Â I played the part of one of the Pink Ladies, nasonexÂ Jan. The summer of 1985 was a memorable one. My father had passed away that April, nasonex and in many ways that summer was one of sadness and grieving, nasonex along with conversely some wonderful memories of the opportunity of being cast in some great productions. Summer stock as with any small community can be an interesting one. Like any small community, nasonex and one that has proven to be competitive as well as caring, nasonex there are a variety of personalities and perspectives, nasonex and of course, nasonex there are the politics. However, nasonex despite any personality problems, nasonex fatigue, nasonex hangovers, nasonex deadlines, nasonex the shows were up and running and done so in a very professional manner. As with any community, nasonex especially one where competition resides, nasonex interesting dynamics and power plays would (and will) inevitably occur. We, nasonex as a group of young students performing in Summerstock theatre, nasonexÂ were not immune to such situations. It doesn't lose irony that the situation I write about was prompted by the girl playing Rizzo who began directly and indirectly fueling her hostility and aggression towards my friend who happened to beÂ playing the lead, nasonex Sandy. The girl playing Rizzo could be said to have had many of the characteristics of Riz off the stage as well. A complex, nasonex funny, nasonex passionate, nasonex sexy, nasonex alpha female, nasonex "Rizzo" was also known to be fiercely competitive and for whatever reasons, nasonex which have remained inexplicable to me, nasonex decided to engage in a sort of covert campaign against Sandy during the rehearsals and performances we played. Looking back I tend to think it was simply because she was immersing herself, nasonex quite heavily, nasonex into her role. However, nasonex her tactics and choices created unnecessary problems and damage, nasonex at least at the time. It created divisions and alliances between others as well. I remember feeling very powerless and conflicted at the time, nasonex wondering how to respond, nasonex how to defend her against all the whispering which I didn't even fully understand and/or was not privy to such conversations. I remember Sandy walking into our room after rehearsals, nasonex silent and hurt, nasonex but she never said anything. That was her style.Â Â And I instinctively knew not to approach her or provide any "sympathy". Sandy was a person of enormous pride and self-awareness. She didn't need or have time for anyone's sympathy, nasonex or for that matter, nasonex anyone's petty gossip and insinuations. Nasonex To sum it up, nasonex Sandy was more mature and evolved than the majority of us. There were the nights during the production she would take long walks out in the corn fields. It's Iowa remember. I was always extremely relieved when she returned - the corn fields are a place where one can all too easily get lost. However, nasonex Sandy always found her way through the corn fields and eventually through the situation that we would later laugh about, nasonex but not without the realization of what individuals are capable of inflicting from whatever pain/perceptions they hold in their hearts. Today what I remember had little to do with the production of a show. Today I remember my friend Sandy who was a grown up, nasonex even though she was only eighteen.Â Â When she was the first of our friends to marry, nasonex and the last one we expected to because of her independent nature, nasonex I sang at her wedding.Â Â Â I was honored. The past few days I've thought about calling her. I would like to channel the dignity and poise I continued to witness in that young girl who I saw as a mentor. While compassion and conviction often seem to be too huge to carry at times, nasonexÂ qualities like temperance and reserve are necded especially when situations and individuals actions elude. Sandy had the ability I've seen in only a very rare few - to remain true to herself and her convictions and additionally detach from situations, nasonex whispers, nasonex innuendo that at that time at Okoboji were swirling and simmering. It seems my nature to understand situations is being broadsided by the reality there are situations that we simply shouldn't attempt to understand, nasonex at least at the time they are present in our lives. My own "summerstock" experience has lasted a much longer time than a summer. Since moving to California, nasonex finding a freedom and an independence has come with a cost. While it has been imperative for my own growth and maturity, nasonex it has also placed me in positions with some family members and those in powerful places that I frankly would not have thought to ever adequately anticipate. I've learned many things. I'm learning the value of insight and the art of discernment. I've learned that people see what they see and additionally they say what they want to say. I am no different in that regard and as such am a student as is everyone else. However the importance is in the realization that we all are both students and teachers to each other. Some choose to realize that, nasonex others may choose to exploit it. Its a choice we all make. Today I remember Sandy's poise, nasonex self-respect and inner strength during what was a turbulent moment years ago. I've been reminded by friends recently that others will make choices by their own perceptions, nasonex judgements, nasonex and/or agenda.Â I can choose how to respond, nasonex or likewise, nasonex not.