Sunday, June 25, 2017


Just sitting in my living room doing nothing last night, Saturday, I fell upon Shakespeare On The River being done at Confluence Park in Binghamton. One of my favorites, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, was to be performed outside, where the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers meet, near dusk. An entrenching experience of the Shakespearean sort of centuries gone by.

So, I hopped on my bike and rid not a mile, and although I was late due to a rainfall, I was greatly surprised at the gathering of the crowd at this difficult undertaking. However, Shakespeare done well is worth any journey, and the confluence of rain, or technical snafus.

After a slight hold up due to unforeseen electrical issues, the play undertook its plight, and oh what a dream it was!

The direction of this marry band's play was undertaken by Tim Mollen of Binghamton notoriety, and excellently executed within the confines of a grassy knoll and park amenities. Full use of their space, and beyond was noteworthy and offered some sweet surprises among the crowd.

The performance overall was delightfully played, and the players themselves delved completely into their roles from the start!

The entire company was splendid and had the crowd laughing and wowing at the theatrics presented.

With a few minor cuts, to fit it under the moon's waxing gaze, I found myself entranced from the start with strong performances by the main characters of Hermia (Jessica Nogaret), excellently played, Lysander (Ben Kent), who truly impressed this writer with his cavalier expressions and good use of his voice to put forth an excellent story, and that of Helena (Heather Merlis) and Demetrius (Ciano Briga).

The scenes involving the band of actors to perform for the court were hysterical and excellently performed with standout performances by an actor I've mentioned in past reviews, and continues to amaze me with his natural and Broadway-caliber performances, (Connor Haynes) as Bottom/Pyramus. The Shakespearean dialogue rolled off his tongue as it should, without pretense, or thinking, but with character and depth. (Tony Yajko) as Peter Quince also greatly amused with his timely facial expressions, and line deliveries, and (Matthew Vavalle) as Theseus greatly impressed as well, with hysterically laden comedy!

A few more most notable performances came from (Andrea Gregori) as Titania, who performed Shakespeare in the finest of performances possible, as her lines smoothly and enticingly flowed from her lips. (Shan Towns) as Oberon also was stupendous in his portrayal, and showed a familiarity with Shakespearean dialogue, with great projection. Finally, I come to Puck, who's role was cut a bit, including his opening monologue, but was cunningly performed by a young (Gil Choi), who correctly filled the spirit of Puck with his spritely ways, and caused quite a few chuckles amongst the crowd.

The entire cast put on a great performance that never waned or ebbed and continued to flow together, as perfectly as the rivers beyond.

Bravo to an excellent cast, a great show, and for doing this all for free for a large attending crowd on a cool, damp Saturday Evening in Downtown Binghamton! The City of Entertainment!!!

Written by: Colin Bruce Munro Wood - 6:23PM ET - 06.25.2017
Copyright 2017
Heart and Soul Commentary
The World At A View Magazine

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Life is an amazing thing. It can change on a dime, and it can throw curves, uphills, and downhills at you. Sometimes,  you see them coming, and other times, not at all. You can spend a lifetime possibly living in the negative, or you can make it all change, yourself!

Since I left Germany in 1992, after starring for a year in Starlight Express in Bochum, and earning more money than I knew what to do with, my life has mostly been all downhill, with lots of loops and curves. I would always ask myself why?

Through two marriages, three births of my beautiful children, and more changes than I could possibly list here, that some deem to be unfitting for a human being, I could never find the answer to LIFE!

"Why are we here", I would always ask myself and others, including my Pastor, when I was a Christian.

I don't know if it's just wisdom with aging or my father's passing that kicked something into me, causing me to have a drive I haven't had in 25 years, but the answer is becoming abundantly obvious to me.

We are here to love, cherish, and appreciate all we have in life, despite hard times. How is this done? Through the power of positivity!!

For the last 25 years, I walked around with a chip on my shoulder, blaming everything, and everyone I could for the downfalls in my life. Negativity should have been my first name!

In the past four months, I have put out a second book, experienced living somewhere other than our great country of America, and have started to rebuild my life here again, after returning to the state of NY.

I have finally come to realize that it is not ME that is important, or what I want, or what makes me happy that is the fulfillment of a joyous life.

I have recently found that it is what you do for others, putting their needs first, and making choices that can help give others a better life. Whether it be returning to finish raising my precious 9-year-old son, or eventually being able to help someone with money, the key to all of it is a positive attitude. Believing, that no matter the odds, and no matter who is against you, a positive attitude will pay off in the long run.

When others look at you, they are looking for someone who breathes life into others. An attitude that all people should be loved, and appreciated. It's believing that you can be successful, by negating the negativity! 

I have opened up to others, more than I have in the past 25 years. I got out of my head, and have decided to live each day for what it is, and to not dwell on past mistakes, or to try and figure out what my future should be based on my wants and needs, but to base the future on what I am doing today that will positively affect others in life.

I struggled for years, with putting my own addictions, whether it be marijuana, alone time, always needing to be right, proving others wrong, ahead of others...whatever my falsities were, they kept me on the same path. I could never seem to break free.

In Germany for my second time, I had hoped to escape all that was bad in my life, but instead, that change showed me all that was good in my life in America! Things such as having an amazing son that I missed, two other children, whom although we don't talk, still mean the world to me, and I can still find ways to support, without communication from them; great people that I could make friends by treating them better, and being more outgoing, happy, and positive around; doing what I love in writing, and all the great things America has for us, that one doesn't appreciate until it's all gone.

Also, against all odds, a mother whom I struggle to get along with that still supported me when I returned, and I did my best to do things for, to show my appreciation. Something I had never considered in the past because it was always all about ME!

This article may sound like it's about me, but it's not. It's about what we can do for others, and how we can breathe out positivity, and love to others all the time, without fail, no matter the circumstances, and keeping a stable attitude and personality, that others can come to count on, without concern as to how you're going to act the next time they hear from you or run into you. 

I have done that. I have made a permanent change to speak positively and support others on social media, to engage, and be fun at parties, and to show excitement in what others have to offer, as well. For example, being joyous at karaoke when you hear a friend singing, or even strangers you don't know, no matter how they perform, but to celebrate their strength in getting up and giving it their best try.

When you look at the world this way, you can always find good and positivity in everything, despite any walls you might hit, or issues that may arise, and you find ways to work around them on a daily basis, instead of letting them bring you down, and force you back into a grumbling, unhappy, useless persona!

I hope that this article helps others who are also struggling with the same negativity I once enveloped, and shows them that life can change, if they change, and create a new lease on life, through love, positive energy, and acceptance of others. Putting others before yourself!

A drug addiction comes from self-inflicting wounds, not the world around you. We all are affected by the hard things in life, not just you! Once you realize that and fully accept that it is you putting you in the position you are in, it becomes easier to kick a bad habit and to make changes that will surely make you happier.

So, get off the self-absorbing false carousel, and jump into the world of love that is awaiting you, and be the light that shines for others!

Written by: Colin Bruce Munro Wood - 4:25PM ET, 06.24.2017
Copyright 2017
Heart and Soul Commentary
The World At A View Magazine

Friday, June 16, 2017


Already, as a father who has failed many times over, I find it difficult to find direction for this short article.

For some, fatherhood seems to come easy. They get up every day, Monday through Friday, work the old 9-5, some more, and they come home and spend time with the kids, and put them to bed, then look forward to romping around like a kid on weekends.

Some fathers don't show up for the task of raising their own kids, either by being absent while there or just by literally being absent.

Some dads try to be in and out of their children's lives, battling with drugs, indecisiveness, job changes, divorce, and the list could go on.

Some dads cherish every moment they see their children and can be a mix of, or some of, the aforementioned. 

My dad, regardless of his personality challenges, and his battles with getting through life, when I was younger, was always there for me, no matter what. Never gave up, never put me down, and never ignored me. Despite rough times with him in childhood, he never stopped supporting me.

I have also tried to always be there for my children, despite constant failure, bad attitude at times, lack of funds, wrong words, depression, anxiety, and many other faults.

I have not been the best Dad to my kids, although, once upon a time my oldest children used to say I wasn't a bad dad, but in my opinion, I was. Now, I haven't heard from them in 15 months. 

I can honestly tell you, that when it comes to your kids, words can hurt, and mistakes last!

I have had a second chance, you might say, in raising my youngest child. I have done things very differently with him. Things I should have done with my other two. More time, more love, more talking, more humor, better attitude, more positivity, and THAT list, thankfully goes on every day, as I learn and add more to how I raise him positively and lovingly.

The difference in my children is partly personalities, partly different mothers, and much more, ATTENTION! 

Suffering from deep depression through most of my younger kids' lives, they didn't get to see the person I was in my twenties, nor the person I've challenged myself to become in the past year.

This Father's Day weekend, I ponder my first without my Dad. I think about why, despite all his faults, did I always go back to him?

I don't know what causes kids to not be involved with their parents. Not to say that I don't understand what my children's reasons are. 

Guilty! I am guilty of many of the things mentioned in the beginning of this article. 

If there are dad's wondering what it takes to raise your children, in hopes they stay in your life as they age, it is not self-righteousness, it is not money as some might think, or having a great job, or being stable as a rock. None of those things hurt, but it is two things, most importantly. Attention, and love! If you can't offer anything else to your children, make it attention and love, and you can't go wrong.

Don't ever bad-mouth your children. Don't cause them to feel guilty. Don't scream at them, or swear at them, as I see many parents do in public, dragging their kids around like puppet dolls, with no care for their hearts.

It is your child's heart that matters the most! The memories, the love, is what they will always remember.

We all make mistakes as Dad's, but being a Dad is a treasure richer than anything this world can offer us! Watching your children grow, too fast, seeing them achieve, and go off as successful young adults into this harsh world. The best gift you can give them to be efficient and gain all that you want them to have is your time and love!

My dad, despite all, did this. He loved us and gave us his time. Made sacrifices for us! That's what Dad's do. They make sacrifices.

This Father's day, be sure to cherish every second you have with your kids and carry it through to the end.

Don't give up, don't give in. Try your best, and love, love, love!!

It would be a great gift to redo my past, personally, but we don't get to do that. So, do it now!

Give your soul to them, and they will never give up on you!

During this emotional weekend for me and all Dad's, focus not on yourself, but on their needs, desires, and when they ask you to play, PLAY! When they ask you to read to them, READ! Respect them the way you want to be respected. When they ask you to hold them....NEVER LET GO!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, wherever your soul is enjoying life now, and to all father's who try to do it right!

Written by: Colin Bruce Munro Wood
Heart and Soul Commentary
Copyright 2017