Section Family, Faith Features editor Marco Martinez (509) 664-7149 [email protected] C Friday, March 25, 2011 Shawn McDonald gets ‘Closer’ to Wenatchee ◆ Christian singer brings message to Valley Praise Center BY MARCO MARTINEZ World features editor Shawn McDonald describes himself as a work in progress. The popular Christian singer/ songwriter has lived a colorful life. A former drug dealer and now a recently divorced father, McDonald brings his message of hope and redemption to Wenatchee on Wednesday for a concert at Wenatchee Valley Praise Center. Prior to McDonald taking the stage, local singer Alex DiMare will perform a few songs and Quincy singer Holly Starr will perform a half-hour set. The 32-year-old McDonald chatted by phone from Nashville, Tenn., last week on the eve of the release of his latest CD, “Closer.” It’s his fourth studio CD, in addition to the two live CDs he has released. Q: From the sounds of it, you got into some trouble and then you discovered God. What happened? A: I had a heavy encounter with God about a month before I turned 20. It was the end of my freshman year in college. It was kinda when it all clicked. Q: What was the catalyst? A: I wasn’t a Christian. I wanted nothing to do with that. I thought Christians were loopy and kinda in Provided photo their own world. Christian singer/songwriter Shawn McDonald will play a 7 p.m. show Wednesday at the Wenatchee Valley Praise Center. I was a hippie kid. I was into the drug culture. I was caught dealing marijuana and faced nine felonies Obviously, you’re professing life. Hopefully it helps them with because of it. Christ. The whole message of their journey and discovery of God. If you go I was really questioning life and Christ is that he takes broken Q: Tell me about your new album. What: Shawn McDonald concert, what my role was in it. There had to A: “Closer” is a hope and people in and ﬁxes them. There’s with opening acts Alex DiMare and be more to it than what I was doing. redemption record. It’s about this expectation of perfection, Holly Starr Over about six months, the whole brokenness — the stuff we go which can turn into something thing kinda changed for me. One through, the joy and pain, the slightly judgmental if you’re When: 7 p.m. Wednesday night, I felt I needed to read the hope and redemption on the not perfect. No one achieves Where: Wenatchee Valley Praise Bible. For whatever reason, I felt other side. There are rejoiceful perfection. But I’ve received a Center, 435 S. Mission St., that God was saying that drugs and songs and there are broken lot of care and love through the Wenatchee this lifestyle I was leading was my songs. Life doesn’t always look church. demon. I got scared and cleaned the same; sometimes we’re up Q: What do you hope people Cost: $13 for single tickets, groups everything out. The next day, cops and sometimes we’re down. It’s a walk away with when they go to of 10 or more are $10 each showed up with a search warrant. diverse record. one of your shows? Info: 664-3250 They looked, but didn’t ﬁnd A: I really try hard. I make songs Q: The bio on your website tells McDonald released his latest anything. That was enough for me personal. They come from me and a somewhat dark story: dysfuncalbum, “Closer,” last week. to pursue Christianity. what I’m going through. I try to make tional family growing up, former worked itself out. I found out real Q: So, you’re onstage in front it applicable to others. I want people drug addict and dealer and next things that were important to me. I fast that I have a lot of growing up of an audience — what’s more to personalize my music. I feel like started doing it live and people were month it will be a year since your to do. We divorced about a year ago, my shows are an extension of that. I important, the music or the divorce. How do those things showing up for my shows. It sorta but we’ve been separated for about message? just hope that God can heal and use impact your music? fell into my lap. I didn’t play prior three years. It’s been a real long A: That’s a hard question to the songs I’ve created. It’s a journey. A: I always try to write my to Christ. I feel like it got handed to answer. I feel like I’m a fellow experiences. I went through a hard road. We tried to save it. In the end, Nothing gets created overnight. I me. I think a message is important, she didn’t want to be married. journeyer, someone trying to ﬁgure but my whole goal is transparency. hope my music becomes live and season. Divorce — there’s a lot of Q: As a singer of Christian it out myself. I write from a place of I think message is great, but I don’t active in their everyday life and reasons for it. I signed something experience — my experience with journey. that said I wouldn’t speak publicly songs, do you feel like you are consider myself a pastor. I tell held to a higher standard for your God, life and love. I never got into it people about my life and what I’ve about the reasons for it. personal life than a secular singer? Marco Martinez: 664-7149 Coming into it, I thought everythinking I had a message. I started learned. My main goal is to write A: Deﬁnitely, and rightly so. [email protected] writing songs as therapy, getting out songs that people can apply to their thing in my past had magically Preschool sued for ruining 4-year-old’s Ivy League hopes S he goes by the name Divine, but her life is anything but. When she can afford it, she speedballs cocaine after a long night giving lap dances at the Diamond Bar. Early mornings are hard — the sun Oh, Baby coming up, the old baby toys glaring and gathering dust — and the memories of her baby, born drugaddicted and taken by the state, haunt her. The Xanax helps her sleep until her next Teresa Strasser shift. When money is low, she carefully plucks half-smoked butts from the coffee can on her stoop and saves them in an Altoids tin. She tells her johns she’s working her way through med school. No one ever believes it. She smells like cheap detergent from the vending machine at the laundromat mixed with vanilla and regret — all of this could have been prevented 19 years before. The same is true for Sam, who waits for dinner to be left in the dumpster behind a Pizza Hut. He eats the cold slices left behind by families who will go home to warm apartments and ﬁnds comfort in a tattered green sleeping bag perched on the stairs of a church where he sleeps most nights. Both of these young people could have been spared a life of failure, struggle and despair. Sadly, because their parents didn’t push hard enough to get them into the right preschool, didn’t do their research, didn’t attend the requisite schoolsponsored Mommy and Me classes and fundraisers, because their parents missed this all-important bus to happiness and achievement, Sam’s and Divine’s fates were sealed as toddlers. Without admission to the right preschool — which could have provided access to elite elementary schools, which of course would have meant a highcaliber high school followed by college — their lives hit the skids. With one boneheaded move, Sam and Divine were robbed of the fulﬁlling lives they could have had. Sam and Divine aren’t real people. They are only real inasmuch as this is how serious parents are made to feel our choices about preschool really are, as evidenced by the lawsuit ﬁled in State Supreme Court in Manhattan alleging that a $19,000-a-year preschool failed to properly prepare a 4-year-old for the ERB, an exam required for entrance into the city’s top elementary schools. The toddler’s mother, Nicole Imprescia, is suing York Avenue Preschool for sticking her child with younger students who were still learning shapes and colors and essentially charging her for running “one big playroom.” According to court documents ﬁled by the family, “(G)etting a child into the Ivy League starts in nursery school.” When Imprescia realized her daughter wasn’t getting appropriate test prep (the ERB happens to be notoriously unreliable as a measure of intelligence from what I can tell, but no matter, it’s important to schools in New York, so it was important to this mom), she yanked her kid out of the school in a matter of weeks and wanted her 19 grand back. The school told the mom no dice, we’ll have our lawyer, who is well versed in shapes and colors, see you in court. Sure, there’s much to mock here. Overpriced preschools, parents who bite and claw for the privilege of paying a fortune for “creative play.” I have visited one preschool so far. My only question: Where are the books? You know, books? Those things that help you learn how to read? “Learn by play,” they explained. As we drove off, I muttered to my husband, “Whatever happened to learn by ... learn?” and he muttered “$17,000” over and over to himself, like the name of a lover lost at sea. On the upside, the tour was very diverse: There were not only white parents; there were also SUPER-white parents. It would also be easy to make fun of the mother for suing. But hey, I don’t fault a lady for wanting her dough back after a few weeks of shapes and colors. I’m just saying, let’s focus on what’s important in the life of a child: It’s the preschool, folks. That’s obvious from this lawsuit. Forget family of origin, community, genetics and peergroup inﬂuence, and focus on where your kid will ﬁnger paint for a couple of years. Make the wrong choice, and mark my words, Sam and Divine won’t just be imaginary. They will be as real and stupid as this entire ﬁasco. Teresa Strasser is an Emmywinning television writer, a two-time Los Angeles Press Club Columnist of the Year and a multimedia personality. She is the author of a new book, “Exploiting My Baby,” the rights to which have been optioned by Sony Pictures.
© Copyright 2017