Friday, September 04, 2015

My God is too big for a snowcone

Maybe seven or eight years ago, after a long struggle with religion and faith, I finally decided it was okay to let go of the dogma and contradictions of religion and just allow myself to experience God. No rules, no constraints, no dogma. Just... God.

And I was... amazed.

I found that religion is kind of like a snow cone. You have your paper cone (let's say that's the religious text of your choosing, Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.), you have your flavored syrups (let's say that's your specific religious flavor, catholic, lutheran, baptist, hassidic, etc.).  Then you have the shaved ice, without which a snow cone would just be a coneful of syrup. Let's say that this, the pure water, is God. The purest essence of love.

I found that outside of a cone, God was much bigger and vastly different. Continuing the metaphor, I found that God is not actually cone-shaped!! I discovered that my God has no real shape, no boundaries. And without that flavored syrup, God is actually much more refreshing for my body and soul. In fact, without the flavored syrup and constraints of the cone, I find that I can go sledding and skiing and make angels.

I also found that God can take many forms! God can be the ocean that keeps me afloat, the drink that nourishes, the ice that creates solid footing. God is really kinda amazing!!

The way I see it, the inventors of the multitude of religions (all human people with their own human agendas, btw, historic fact), created a container in which to stuff their specific bits of God, concocted a flavor they liked and suited their purposes, and soaked that pure essence of love in the thick syrup of religion.

Recent 'religious' controversies make me even more glad that I was able to let go and get to know God apart from the cone and the syrup. God is boundless, vast, and loving. The various small-minded hatreds that are slung around the news and interwebs in the name of religion are sad. That's not the God I know.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Confessions of happiness

I am happy. I realized this recently. I mean, I've always chosen to be happy as a matter of course, but there were so many things I wished I'd done differently, things I wished I could change. High school memories made me sad, made me long for those good times, those people. I think I lost myself for a long time, and wanted to find that person again. That is no longer the case. Over the past two years of being essentially single and self-sufficient, I found me again. And I am happy.

So. Single and self-sufficient. Yes. D and I have been separated for much longer than you would ever suspect, and we're finally in the process of the legalities needed for us to be completely independent people. We are still friends. He owns his own company in another state, and we get together as a family as often as is feasible. This has been our life for more than two years. People noticed that I just recently dropped the King from my name at work and in social media and gasped, but y'all, this has been imminent for many many years.

And yes, I am dating. Sort of. I have very high standards, apparently :) My work and rehearsal schedules are crazy, so it takes someone very patient and secure to persist in a dating relationship with me. So far only one guy has had the patience to coordinate a second date, and even a third, and he also seems, for the moment, to be okay with the fact that my closest friend is male.

Apparently the last five words of the above paragraph is 'weird' to family who live far away, who haven't seen or spoken to me in a very long time. Whatever.

I am so unbelievably fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. My kids, my friends, my theatre people. I've got some good shows and great projects coming up (I get to assistant direct Camelot!), and my very first trip to New York City is coming together. Sure, I wouldn't mind some romance, or a bigger place to live (having a real bedroom would be awesome), a little bit bigger paycheck...  But truly, I'm happy.

Those high school days that once held more appeal than present day can kiss my... grits.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Humans are dumb

I was shopping in Goodwill yesterday afternoon, browsing the mens' section for interesting shoes. I looked back over the row of shoes I'd just passed, seeing if I'd missed anything, and a pair that had not fazed me a bit caught my attention. It was a pair of quite large neon orange ballet flats. In the men's section. And I got to thinking. Whose idea was it to dictate fashion based on plumbing? WHY do we have social constructs regarding 'suitable' behaviors and 'appropriate' clothing based solely on the presence or lack of... um... external liquid waste nozzle? Once upon a time, EVERYONE wore dresses and sandals (shhhh... even Jesus). Why is it okay for women to wear 'mens' clothing but not the other way around? In other species the males get the flashy, frilly, colorful, lacy, stiletto markings/plumage to attract the ladies. They don't give a flying flip what gender their fellow species-member chooses to pair up with. Yet humans, who supposedly possess the advantage of 'reasoning', have based an entire complex social paradigm on the presence or lack of a penis.

I know, right?

I work with an older gentleman who has some mental disabilities. His mild disability has been pronounced by the system to be more severe simply because he would rather wear skirts and earrings. He has been shamed all his life, and was initially described to me as a short-tempered grumpy old man. Well duh! If I were shamed for being ME, I'd be short-tempered and grumpy, too! I don't give a hoot what he wears, and I've become one of his few friends. He's a gentle soul who is so rarely accepted for who he is, and truly doesn't understand why people are mean to him when he wears dresses.

I was thinking about that for the rest of the day, and obviously this morning too.

Humans are stupid.

But kudos to whoever 'filed' those shoes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We officially live here--we have beds

So I'm sitting on a train with my laptop, trying to be productive. A blog update is productive, right?

Cash on Delivery is going into its last weekend. I love this cast, and I'm so blessed to have had this opportunity to work with them at a, well, a new theatre. This is Granbury Theatre Company's fifth official show (1776, The Secret Garden, I Do I Do, Plaid Tidings, Cash on Delivery). Anyway. Such a wonderful group of funny people who have a boatload of talent. Only four more shows.

And then The Sound of Music opens at Plaza. Norseman is sort of excited. I've not seen a rehearsal, but he says he's literally in two scenes, which is about four fewer than he'd anticipated as a chorus member.  But I guess a good portion of the show takes place in the Von Trapp household, where only family members are. That opens next Friday, and runs five or six weeks.

I did not get cast in Title of Show, so I have nothing officially on the horizon until March auditions for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  Granbury Theatre Company is doing Fiddler on the Roof, which opens just after Scoundrels auditions. That will likely audition sometime next month, and I would love to go for Fruma Sarah. That's the part I'd wanted when Plaza did it last February, but the role was cast before callbacks. I was happy to be Yente, though. Carrie Rivera kicked boo-tay as Fruma Sarah in that production (and earned a Column Award nomination for that performance! --edited 2/2)

Sunshine was asked to be part of the chorus of her school's production of Guys and Dolls, but with only two weeks' notice. That and the $100+ in costume fees (say what?) caused her to politely decline.

I guess our big news, at least for me, is that we adopted a piano! It's a 1903 Kimball upright player piano. The player part is non-functional, but the piano part is fine. It's even mostly in tune, though I'll have it tuned up soon. My friend JL posted a picture on Facebook Saturday saying 'Free to good home! Just come get it!' My thumbs could barely type a reply fast enough (I was on my phone), as I nearly hyperventilated with excitement. Dad, the kids and I took his flatbed trailer to get it the next day (and then moaned and groaned in pain all day Monday—player pianos are even heavier than non-player pianos). I've wanted a piano since before I was five. Grandma Greenawalt had a piano, which I was sometimes allowed to 'play.'  Our piano is missing the player roller assembly, but it has the pneumatic bellows and such. Norseman and I went poking around in it, figuring out how it worked, how the player pedals folded out, how the player control panel was revealed. It was like National Treasure. “I wonder what this lever does... Oh wow, that is freaking awesome!”

Also, as of Sunday, we all now have real beds. No one is sleeping on a mattress or fold-out foam couch on the floor. All mattresses are now on real bed frames. I got my bed frame a few weeks ago, Norseman got his Sunday. Only six months after we moved in.

One other piece of odd news: I'm parting with my brainchild, ShutterMuse. A professional photographer in Canada contacted me about purchasing it. At first I was reticent (understatement) and completely ignored his inquiries. ShutterMuse is mine, dangit. It's part of me, part of my growth as a photographer, and by association, as an artist. But he persisted, and I had to concede that it really is doing no one any good as is. It's parked, unused,  And realistically, I'm not likely to do anything with it in the conceivable future. So I gave in. And I have mixed feelings about selling. It's weird, I guess. Even weirder to have such mixed feelings about what is essentially a blip of creative thought.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chances are slim, but hopes are pathetically high

Norseman is deep into rehearsals for Sound of Music, Cash on Delivery and See How They Run are both open (got a great costuming mention in the Column review today!), and we're still not as busy as we were during Carol rehearsals.

Now that Cash is underway, of course I'm looking ahead to what's next. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels auditions aren't until mid-March, which is kind of an eternity away when you have nothing in the wings until then.

I'd initially figured I wouldn't audition for [title of show] because only two of the four roles are female, and with only four roles, all roles are major roles. I figured there was nothing in the show for me; that I really had no chance of getting cast, so why bother, right?

Then I did a show at another theatre. In Cash on Delivery, I'm working with a whole group of very seasoned actors, many of whom actually make, or have made, their living doing this--cruise ships, ballet companies, theatre directors and teachers, with more than a hundred years combined experience--who don't know where I've been other than what's in my bio. They see where I AM NOW, what I put on the stage NOW. And they utterly respect me and the talent I bring to the show. I can more than hold my own among these pro and semi-pro actors.

And then I listened to the cast recording--I mean truly listened. To the lyrics and the characters who sing them. The whole show is so FUN! Plaza is doing the Apropos version, so it'll be somewhat different, but still: FUN! One character in particular stood out, though, and I went, "Hey! That's almost me!"

So I'm auditioning. I know I'm capable. And if by chance I can convince the director I'm capable and right for the role, that the baggage of what I could do ten shows ago has no bearing on what I can do now, I'll have a kick-ass time on this show.

If not, the audition will be valuable experience, and I'll look forward to my Dirty Rotten Scoundrels audition, with perhaps another Granbury audition before then.

Here's a pic of our awesome Cash on Delivery cast!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

5:08 and I'm still sane

It was a little disconcerting this morning to realize that there was no place any of us had to be today. No rehearsals, no holiday parties. It was almost akin to that weird panic you get when the Internet is out. I may or may not be addicted to going and doing.

It's now nearly 5pm and I've not yet lost my mind, so it's all good, probably.  Laundry is going, kitchen is clean, bathrooms are clean-ish. Vacuumed, ate, emailed. So far a productive day, and I'm still in my jammies.

Norseman did get cast in Sound of Music, though there was a bit of hubbub surrounding that. He killed auditions, did fabulously. He nailed his song and the German accent, and received great feedback that night from the directors. He watched his phone like a hawk on the appointed call day and even the day after, but received no invitation to callbacks. He found out later that he was in fact called back, but for some reason never received the voicemail left by the stage manager. He also learned that only significant roles were called back, so he was more than a little bummed to have missed the opportunity to at least compete for a good role. Instead, he was cast in the male chorus, and will be a solid vocal contribution.

Cash on Delivery is shaping up to be a hilarious show, and I am giddy-thrilled to be a part of it. Now that I'm more familiar with the script, I have to say that even though the role of Brenda Dixon is the smallest, it's the most fun. If I'd known more about the play when I auditioned, I'd have asked specifically for this part.  Brenda is a special mess of crazy, and in my barely ten minutes on stage I get to run the gamut from annoyed, concerned, angry, hysterical, seething, worried, crushed, sad, devastated, tipsy, anguished, surprised, relieved, excited, and lovestruck. I got a 'Bravo!' from a castmate at yesterday's rehearsal. I love this role! And she's a far cry from Ethel McCormack.

A Christmas Carol is heading into its final week. Shows every night this week, closing on Saturday night. I'm already bummed that in one week it will be over, and I won't be playing with any of my Carol peeps any time in the near future. I miss 'em already. :-(

Soon we'll be attending the wedding of two of my Annie castmates (one of whom I bragged about here), which will undoubtedly be a reunion of many shows, as both have been busy Plaza actors for a while. I'm excited for them--they are adorable together.

I am so blessed to know the people and have the opportunities I do.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ready, set...

The Saturday shows were a little easier. I think most of us at least managed not to cry at all by the evening show. The Tiny Tim grave scene is the hardest.

One good thing: I snagged my script for Cash on Delivery at Granbury Theatre Company. Yep, that's a bit of news I've not found time to blog. I shared my dilemma, but not the outcome.

I did manage to scoot across the street that Saturday to audition for See How They Run. It went very well; I read for all three female parts and even the usually-male Sergeant. They had very few people audition, and I think I did as well as I could have, so I was encouraged.

Cash on Delivery auditions were changed to one-and-done (no callbacks) on that same Saturday. I'd arranged with Luke, the director, to audition for him before the matinee of Ragtime, but when he heard about the sparse Run auditions, I think he figured I'd be cast there, so we didn't take the time to read for Cash.

On Tuesday, one of the producers pulled me aside at Carol rehearsal and said they were very impressed with my Run audition, and really tried to figure out some creative casting options for me, but since the three female roles were all pretty big parts, my Carol performance schedule conflicting so much with rehearsal schedule was just an insurmountable obstacle. Which I totally understand. I' sort of forgotten... that we had four additional weekday performances... which would obviously necessitate my missing rehearsal.

The next day, I messaged Luke and let him know that if he needed people (he also had slim pickin's as far as auditioners) and could work with my schedule, I was available. He sent me some audition sides, I read for him before our Thursday performance of Ragtime. Then the following Sunday evening, he called to offer me the role of Brenda Dixon, the fiancee of one of the main characters who doesn't show up until half-way through Act II. Of course I accepted. Those rehearsals start next weekend for me.

I'm excited to add another theatre to my résumé, and this is a fun, small-but-juicy comedic role. Miss Dixon is the center of attention nearly every minute she's on stage.

Norseman will audition for The Sound of Music at Plaza on Tuesday, so between costuming Run, Cash rehearsals for me and possibly Music rehearsals for him, we may be running silly for a while.
What a blessing :)