Awoke this morning to fresh air after a good night’s sleep with the windows open!  Can’t help feeling the optimism after yesterday’s first round of MISS SAIGON auditions continuing into Choreographer Katie Spelman’s dance call today!  It was a full day of appointments with a tremendous turn out of talent.  I’m struck with the privilege it is to receive the attendance of so many I meet for the first time and those I have come to know and love and have worked with.  It is a privilege.  I don’t use the word lightly.  To be given a production to direct is a privilege in itself.  To attend the gathering of such enthusiasm for the work by so many talented individuals, well, I can’t express how lucky I feel.  I felt pride for the first timers and couldn’t help think about the process of getting to know someone by their singing a song.  How moving and emotional the human voice and music itself can be.  Some great first impressions and recognition of great potential in so many.  And those whom I know who showed progress and growth in their work, developing their skills, refining and challenging themselves.  The air of freshness, optimism and progress!  Just what we need these days, right?!  The Theatre gives us so much!  Hope.  The next audition.  The next show.  It’s interesting the challenge MISS SAIGON presents.  High expectations.  Anticipation.  I’m finding the challenge is focus.  What is it we zero in on.  What is it we shoot for.  Our aim.  The story.  Of passion.  War.  Politics.  Despair.  Sacrifice.  High stakes, Life and Death.  Alone with this, it is daunting.  Surrounded by the team, the light of others’ gifts, I feel the fresh optimism, we can do this!  Shawn Stengel (MY FAIR LADY, JOSEPH, A CHORUS LINE) joined us yesterday as Music Director and Conductor of The Paramount Orchestra.  Linda Buchanan (ANNIE) designs the set.  Jesse Klug (JOSEPH, HAIR, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) on lights.  Linda Roethke (Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Paramount debut) designing costumes.  Adam Rosenthal (A CHORUS LINE, HAIR, GREASE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) on sound.  Sarah Ross (THE MUSIC MAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) designing props.  And among the actors who began to make their showing yesterday, our cast…will we hit?!  That fresh air sure feels good, doesn’t it?!