Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good day, Annie.

Annie is done. Final performance was last night, with the strike/cast party after.  Somewhat bittersweet.  I got a little misty as I came offstage after the cabinet scene, and reluctantly shed the Frances Perkins suit, hat, and persona that fit me so well.

Our director, Taffy Geisel, was there to watch the last show, and I don't think we could have done a better job.  It was a near-perfect performance.  Hooverville rocked. NYC flowed. The mansion bustled. The cabinet blustered and harmonized. It was a fitting close to a record-breaking show. (97% of all available seats for the entire run were sold--that's nearly 4000 seat filled.)

Taffy is directing The Happiest Millionaire at Plaza in a few months. She asked if I was familiar with the show and encouraged me to audition.  She remarked at how much I'd grown as an actress since the audition. As I lamented at the time, the audition sucked beans, and wasn't remotely indicative of what I'm capable of achieving.  But she only knows what she sees, and yes, from crappy audition to final show, I guess I've flourished.  And I'm flattered that she's impressed enough to share her thoughts with me.  Yeah, it was a bit of an ego boost, I won't lie :)

We got production photo CD's last night, too (those who ordered them). So as I write this, I'm working on a photo book on Shutterfly. Totally copying the idea from castmates Shauna and Jay Lewis, who have a large collection of photobooks from shows they've worked on.  Below are a few pics from Annie that include ME in them. These were taken on opening weekend, Saturday, November 19th.

Mrs. Greer and Mrs. Pugh kibitzing

The painting from Paris that grows on Mr. Warbucks

Eavesdropping on a phone conversation

You won't be an orphan for long...

Frances Perkins *gasp* agreeing with a Republican!

Frances Perkins and Cordell Hull getting riled up!
New Deal for Christmas (show finale)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bah humbug

I'm not doing it this year.  The ridiculous commercialization of a date set rather arbitrarily in the late 4th century to commemorate the birth of the Christ Child. I'm not doing it. That is to say, I'm celebrating the birth of my Savior, but not the BUY LOTS OF STUFF!!!!! aspect of it.

Christmas shouldn't be about 'stuff', yet I see people rushing around, cranky and selfish, being rude to others in the stifling crush of last-minute retail shoppers.  And that was last week! I can't imagine what it's like this week!

I admit, when the kids were younger, I did succumb to the 'stuff' aspect.  We didn't do Santa in our house, so I felt like I needed to compensate, perhaps.  I did what I could to make that obligatory Christmas morning tree photo look as impressive as possible, so they wouldn't look back on childhood memories and remember that we were as monetarily-challenged as we were.  But now that they're older and know that Jesus' actual birth month and day is as yet indeterminable, I'm more inclined to stay far far FAR away from retail establishments and their in-your-face commercialization, and celebrate quietly, remembering those less fortunate than us.  I do have a few small things to unwrap on Sunday morning, and I think we may venture out next week to pick up some needed items in the post-holiday sales, like a winter coat for Sunshine, some black jeans for Norseman.  But you can keep your last-minute mad dash to find and purchase that so-called perfect gift.  My Perfect Gift arrived about 2000 years ago.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One more week...

A little melancholy tonight.  Doug (aka Roosevelt) observed that one week from tonight will be our last show.  It's been so hectic lately that I hadn't really thought about the impending close of Annie.  And so I'm a little sad.  Milette (producer) shrugged and said "There's always the next show."  This one is particularly special, though, since it was my first.  And it's gonna be a bummer when it's over.

But then it will be on to Foreigner, and finishing the costumes for that.  And Fiddler rehearsals have already started, so there's that.  Annie details (like dance steps I've done a bazillion times) have already started trickling out of my head, replaced by Yente mini-monologues.

I love it <3

Friday, December 09, 2011

Skinny college dress....

Yesterday I dug a dress out of my closet, one I bought at goodwill in the spring of 1992 and wore often.  It's a green and white sleeveless sheath dress with flattering darts and not a smidgen of elastic.  As I remember, it fit just right if I remembered to suck in my itty-bitty belly pooch.  Yesterday when I found it, I held it up to my 20-years-later body and smiled, thinking "This thing probably still fits!"

Today, just for grins, I tried it on.

And it's way too big!
Like at least 2 sizes too big.

What the heck? No way, after 20 years and 2 kids, am I smaller now than I was in college.  I lost 5 pounds that year because I lived on the 6th floor and hated to take the cramped elevators thanks to claustrophobia, and subsisted on salads and Mt. Dew.

I'm a little more than an inch taller now than I was then. And I guess I weigh about the same as I did then. Can an inch of height really make that much of a difference?

Monday, December 05, 2011

It's a Yente!

I think my disappointment that Sunshine was again not cast is overshadowing my glee at landing the role of Yente, the Matchmaker.

BUT, Sunshine and I got to talking and we noted that pretty much everyone in Annie has theatre training.  All the kids have done Plaza Theatre summer camps at some point, most of the young adults are theatre majors in college. Most of the older adults WORK in theatre, like teaching, opera, etc.  Even I had four years of drama in high school. I started to inquire about theatre as an elective at her school next semester, but she nixed it immediately, said "all they do in there is color." (?) So we looked at the spring schedule for Plaza Academy, and there's an Acting for Teens class on a day and time that's nicely compatible with rehearsals.

And we both feel better.

And I am really super stinkin' excited about playing Yente!  I'm double-cast, which is fine with me.  I didn't have any scheduling conflicts to need a double, but I'm okay with sharing the love. The full cast list will be posted tomorrow.  Woot! An almost-principal, almost-comedic role! 

Show opens February 3rd, so mark your calendars!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

I hate wait

This is the excruciating wait.  The time between callbacks and the possible call to offer a role.  Less than 48 hours... Oy!

I feel good about today! So very many ridiculously talented people; it was an honor to be among them.  Although it was only my 2nd real audition ever and I did 6000% better than last time, I could have done better. But nerves and inexperience were very real obstacles (that will diminish with every play). Even so, I think I have a real shot at getting a more principal role.  I'll be happy with nondescript 'Villager', too, just for the experience!

A few other things to note today...  Positive note first: Taylor O'Toole, the actress who plays Annie in my cast, injured her ankle on stage half way through the second act (in the cabinet scene in fact, just feet away from me).  But she got up and kept going, and the audience barely noticed.  Her mom whisked her off for x-rays after final bows (ankle was already swollen and purple--looked really bad), but thankfully it's 'just' a severe sprain, rather than a break.  The grown-up actors in particular were just awed at this young woman's professionalism and grit. Amazing.

Now the crappy note: Found out this morning that my friend Brian Harrington died on Sunday, apparently by his own hand. I last saw him about a month ago--we went to see the Caravaggio exhibit at the Kimball.  He was in good spirits with plans for the future.  He was going to come see me in Annie, and go with me to try the Thai restaurant near the theatre.  He was arrogant and self-absorbed, annoyingly intelligent, but witty and gracious when he wanted to be.  I'm sad, but mad, too. Dammit.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FotR auditions and an Annie pic

This one's the rather easy wait--the wait to hear if we're invited to attend callbacks.  Sunshine and I auditioned for Fiddler on the Roof last night, and I think we both did a good job!  We went armed with CD's of our accompaniment music this time, to avoid another potential piano disaster.  Which was almost a bad call.  The CD player skipped for a few other auditioners.  And the pianist this time was much better.

Thankfully the CD player did fine for both Sunshine and me--yay!  I feel really good about my song (Popular, from Wicked--a tough one because the tune of the song is independent of the music, and because it has several different tempos and a few spoken parts).  It wasn't as good as I sing it in the shower, but it was still really good, especially for being nervous! Sunshine said one of our Annie castmates in the waiting area said 'Wow, she's really good!'

What I heard of Sunshine's Candle on the Water was wonderful, too!  We should hear by 9pm-ish tonight if we'll get to go to Saturday's callbacks.

EDIT 8:30 pm: Got the call! Callbacks are for the main roles (which are all older teens or adults), so Sunshine doesn't have to go but is still being considered for a role. She's going anyway, because we have to be there before 2pm for the afternoon performance, and it's too long of a drive to go all the way home to get her and drive all the way back.  So yay!  Very excited!

Okay, here's a pic from Annie.  This is the Hooverville scene, one of my favorites.  If you draw a big circle in the middle of the pic, I'm at the 3:00 position, in the gray hat and braids, looking to the left (my right).
Photo by Ginny Rodgers

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trust me, I'm a professional!

Oh hey-- I forgot to blog this:  Plaza's costume guru asked me to costume the next production, a comedy titled The Foreigner by Larry Shue. And I am so excited!  I met most of the cast of that show this morning, and will start communicating with them on specifics for their characters in the next few days.  And the best part?  I'm getting PAID do do it!  Yeah, I know, right?  So that would make me a professional costume designer :)  How cools is that?

Two down, eleven to go

Rockin' Frances Perkins
Twenty six total shows, I get to do half.  Two down, only eleven remain.  I am having a blast.  I love every second of it, even the glitches!

Hobos for Hooverville (I'm in the braids)
Last night was opening, and I *ahem* flubbed one of the dance numbers (nailed the one that changed minutes before curtain, flubbed one that hasn't changed in a month).  I got all my open/close curtain cues no problem.  I was fully costumed for every scene.  So my part went smoothly.  However, a set table broke, some set bits were left on stage, and a few other minor snafus... but overall it was a GREAT show, exhilarating and exhausting.  I slept like a rock last night.

This afternoon's show was even better!  I just about nailed all my dance steps--didn't flub them!  Didn't break any of the set!  And had a wonderful time!  I love love love being a part of this.

After the show and I was saying goodbye, I realized I won't be seeing these guys again until FRIDAY, almost a week away!  After two months of seeing my castmates nearly every day, it's gonna be sad not to see them as often.  That alone is a reason to audition for Fiddler on the Roof.  Which I will be doing, next Tuesday (11/29)!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A whole mess of somethin'

I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to concentrate on anything today. As per my normal (and somewhat odd) stress-management strategy, I keep making lists.  At-Home Prep. Pre-Show. Intermission. Post-Show. Homeless costume. Greer costume. NYC costume. Perkins costume. Mansion curtain open/close times. Costume changes correlated with curtain duty.

ANNIE opens tonight!  To a sold-out crowd! Annnnnnd there will be details that I haven't rehearsed: props I haven't used, prop placement and timing that has changed, and curtain duty for a curtain that wasn't yet installed at my last rehearsal.  Another thing we didn't rehearse: The actor-greeting-line in the lobby after the show.  How the heck are we going to fit 34 actors in there and still let theatre-goers get through to the exit?  So a wee bit of trepidation, but mostly...


I'm honestly more nervous about Fiddler on the Roof auditions in ten days than I am tonight's performance.  Okay, so I did dream about not having enough time to don my NYC costume and having to go hat-less (GASP!!!!), but overall I'm very confident!

I'll update, hopefully with a pic or two, after tomorrow's matinee performance....

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It was sort of a strange thing today.  I went to see a stage performance ("Crazy for You" at Plaza Theatre) and did not yabber on endlessly on the way home about how I wish I could do theatre again. Instead I was thinking "This is a really fabulous show, and in less than three weeks, that's gonna be me on stage! Ohmygoshthat'snotalotoftime!"

I sat by the Crazy for You director's mom, who's 80+ but was still proud as punch.  "That's my son!" she told me, pointing to his name in the playbill.  A neat lady, who definitely plans to come see Annie.  Will have to keep an eye out for her.  Her baby boy (Jay Lewis) will be playing Daddy Warbucks in my cast of Annie, and Mr. Bundles/Hull/Drake on the other cast.  I think her [really very subtle] perfume might be what triggered my allergies, though.

Had costume fittings today, and I left there rather excited because two of my four costumes were really wonderful: an evening gown for the NYC scene that fit almost just right, was long enough and not too chesty; and a suit for the cabinet scene that wasn't actually very Perkinsy, but was very cute and made me look like I have some curves. (The other two costumes are intended to be understated and bland: homeless person and housekeeper.) However, after the CFY performance, Tina, one of our producers and the costume goddess, regretfully informed me that she needed to reassign my two 'pretty' costumes to one of the actresses playing Grace.  Since Grace needs to be in them longer, and is, you know, a principal character, I will be content with a slightly less wonderful evening gown that's on the snug side and is only calf-length on me (I'll be in it for five whole minutes with a fur coat over) and a much more Perkinsy suit.  I am excited to be wearing a costume at all! Woot!

My project this week (besides processing photos) is sewing bloomers for orphans for under Christmas dresses.  And doing the fit alterations for my Mrs. Greer uniform.

It's coming together! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The story of Mrs. Greer

Our Annie director, Taffy Geisel, encouraged us to find out WHO our characters are.  Frances Perkins is a little easier because she was a real person.  From written histories and photos of her, you can get a feel for who she was.  Mrs. Greer, however, is perhaps more difficult.  She's the head housekeeper in the employ of a billionaire in the midst of an economic depression.  Who is she?

So, being a fiction writer accustomed to finding and fleshing out characters, this actually kept me awake last night. Thinking about Mrs. Greer.  What's her first name?  She's a Mrs, so what's the story with the Mr.? How did she come to work for Warbucks?  Where is she from?  What made her who she is now, a woman clearly capable of managing the household of a billionaire?  This is what I found:

Adele MacKay Greer in 1933

Of Scottish descent, originally from Dunmore, PA, near Scranton.   She has seen much tragedy, but has kept her chin up and become a better person for it.

Widowed 17 years ago; husband Edward was killed in a railroad accident where they lived in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.  She was left with two young boys, Sylvester, 3, and Alexander, four months. Alexander was very sickly (what we would now know is a heart defect).  Broken and homeless, Adele returned to her parents' home with her boys, took work as a housekeeper for the much-aged-but-rich Mr. and Mrs. Earl and Caroline Fairchild.  Wages paid doctors who really couldn’t do much for her son.  Even the Fairchilds' own doctor couldn't help.  Alexander died before he was 18 months old.

Adele is perhaps a little OCD in her household duties, but it serves her well. After three years in their employ, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild decided to move to Yonkers to be near their children in their advanced years. They invited/insisted Adele accompany them, which she did reluctantly, leaving Sylvester in the care of her parents.  By that time Sylvester was nearly seven years old and proving to be a big help in his grandfather's repair shop.  Within a year in NY, however, it became apparent that Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild needed more care than what Adele could provide, as their mental capabilities deteriorated markedly with the change of environment.  The Fairchild children, themselves in their 50's, decided to put their parents in a full-time care facility.  Belinda Fairchild Hurst then recommended Adele to a friend of her own housekeeper, Mrs. Rumsford, who was at that time head housekeeper of the Oliver Warbucks household.  Adele struggled with the decision on whether or not to return home to her son and parents, or stay in NY to earn enough money to support them.  Coal mining was the largest industry in NE Pennsylvania, and she didn't want her father or son to have to take mining jobs as the economy declined.  So she elected to stay on in NY, started as a laundry maid and worked her way up over the span of the next eight years, and took over as head housekeeper when Mrs. Rumsford retired four years ago at age 83.

Over the years, Sylvester came to visit at least every other month and Adele took him to baseball games at least once per year. They are both avid Yankees fans, and have a tradition of listening to games on the radio when they aren't together, imagining that they're sitting beside each other in Yankee Stadium.  She wrote him letters at least once a week, almost always including a story she made up in installments.  When he was 12, he started adding to the story in return letters.

Sylvester is now 20 and has worked as a mechanic in Alfred Fairchild's personal garage in Yonkers for nearly two years, maintaining the Bentleys.  They see each other about once per month, still go to Yankees games and listen on the radio.  Adele continues to send nearly all of her wages home to her aging parents.  She is well-paid by Warbucks, and has few expenses, so she is able to support her parents quite well.  (She doesn't know it, but her father is putting most of the money away for safe keeping, because they don't need it.)  Mrs. MacKay has kept all the letters with her stories.

Adele is sharp, intelligent, well-mannered, perhaps necessarily a smidge on the stiff side (except at baseball games!).  She has a soft streak for her son; he's generally the only one who gets to see her fanciful side.  She has a firm grip on real life and its struggles.  She works hard, has earned a great deal of trust from her employers, and deserves every bit of it.  Even though she is well employed, she has been destitute and appreciates her job very much.

Favorite flower: wild daisies
Favorite beverage: unsweetened iced tea with lemon
Favorite color: Yankee blue
Favorite food: Frankfurter loaded with ketchup, onions, mustard, and relish
Favorite sport: Ha!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How does that head voice work again?

So I thought this Annie thing was going to be quite a drive for me, to and from rehearsals and performances.  And it is.  35-40 minutes in moderate traffic is a long commute when you're accustomed to a five-minute drive. But some of these folks are driving from Arlington.  In order to get to 7pm rehearsals, they have to leave by 5:30-ish and fight through rush-hour traffic...  O.o

I won't complain about my measly 35-minute drive.

But this does speak to the fact that A) Plaza Theatre Company is pretty dang special, and B) community theatre in this area is pretty sparse.  That folks would drive 50+ miles as many as five times a week to be involved with an admittedly FABULOUS theatre company is amazing.

Anyway, last night was the first singing rehearsal.  Just learning the songs, being assigned particular notes in harmony splits, etc.  Even with not singing singing for 20-years (radio-singalong and karaoke don't count) I think I held my own.  Definitely need to work on my range, though.  I haven't used my 'head voice' since I was standing on the risers with Red Raider Chorale.

Looks like I'll be in the Friday cast, which means I'll do Friday performances and one of the Saturday performances (not sure which one or if it varies). My 'double', Terrie, will do Thursday performances and the other Saturday performances.  So if you're planning to come see me (*high five*) and want to buy tickets way ahead, Friday is your best bet...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I think I'm gonna like it here

(That's a song from Annie, but still apropos)

I attended the first rehearsal this morning.  Oh thespians, how greatly I have missed thee.  It was wonderful to be around that many theater enthusiasts!  Mostly it was orientation: expectations, scheduling, costuming, policies, etc.  Some warm-up exercises, some improvisation, and a read-though of the script.  We were told that we cannot cut or color our hair, or get any new tattoos or piercings, without first consulting the director and producers.  She didn't say anything about adding to existing tattoos, so I think I can get away with adding water to the koi on my arm--it's hidden by short sleeves anyway >;-)  But adding turquoise to my blond chunk will have to wait.

Next rehearsal is Monday evening, and I'm eager to really dig in.  I'll have to miss this coming Wednesday and Saturday rehearsals because I will be photographing a wedding in another state, but after that I should be on hand for most rehearsals.

Also today:  Picked up a pair of very nice gray wool felt heels (3.5+ inches).  Might be able to wear them in the play, but even if not, I'm about 5'11" while wearing them.  Tall, lean, and fierce.  And I am embracing that fierceness lately.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Parts will fail... yeah whatever

A couple of friends' trials and tribulations with health and well-being have gotten me thinking.  I know, dangerous stuff, that thinking.  I'm thinking I'm very blessed.

Blessed to be Ignorant: You know how WebMD can be for some people?  They look up every relatively mild symptom, find it under a deadly condition and freak out? And then they post to social media and get attention from their friends and family in the form of worried prayers that the 'afflicted' person is not, in fact, dying?  Now imagine a person with those hypochondriac-needs-attention tendencies, but who's had extensive medical training. He doesn't NEED WebMD to come up with terrible conditions or mysterious symptoms. He can self-diagnose independent of the Internet, and does so with gusto.  Symptoms and tests and procedures galore, all posted in social media for friends and family to latch onto and offer 'support.'

Blessed to have a high pain tolerance: How about the person who can't do anything because his knees hurt?  So he sits at home and complains via social media that he wishes he could do this or that, but can't.

Blessed to be ornery:  The person who had her knee replaced but was afraid of the pain of rehab.  So she scooted around in a wheelchair, popped too many anti-anxiety meds, refused to do the prescribed rehab exercises, and now can barely walk.

Orneriness is a toughie:  A friend of a friend in England sank into utter despair when her eyesight failed.  She just shut down and waited to die. And then died.  I never met her personally, but it still broke my heart that she wasn't strong enough to move beyond the use of her eyes.  Granted, I still have good eyesight so I can't truly relate, but I have had friends over the years who were mostly or completely blind, a recent condition for some of them, lifelong for others.  They live full, almost normal lives.  But now I have another friend struggling with her failing eyesight, and it's heartbreaking again to see her giving up.  I do know her personally, and I know she's strong and feisty, but she's having a hard time moving beyond the use of her eyes.

Y'all, this is my personal vow.  The only way my body is ever going to keep me from living my life and doing the things I want to do is if it's deadAnd even dead there are things I'd like to do.  My knees may fail; I'll replace 'em.  My elbow might tear; I'll be a lefty again for a while. I might lose my hearing; I'll brush up on my sign language.  I might lose my sight; I'll fumble around and ask for help. That painful clicking in my shoulder might be something bad, but I've not yet let it interfere with my life.  Parts are bound to fail, but I'll get over it and move on.  That's a promise to ME.

We are NOT guaranteed healthy bodies.  What we choose to do with our imperfect, failing bodies is ultimately more a matter of attitude than actual health.  Which means we can CHOOSE to live a fulfilling, mostly complaint-free life, even in an imperfect, malady-afflicted body.

For some refreshing contrast:

Angelica's leg was shattered in a car accident three years ago. She lives with a great deal of pain and chases around a 3-1/2-year-old, but she lives her life without excuses!

Ben had a softball-size tumor removed from his brain.  He posted before and after brain scans, and said his incision was tender. Didn't complain about the awful headaches he'd had leading up to the diagnosis, didn't complain about recovering from brain surgery.  Lives every day to its fullest.

My very own mom had knee-replacement surgery in July.  She has a good balance of pain tolerance and orneriness, and powered through rehab, gritted her teeth through range of motion exercises, and two months later is almost completely back to normal.  Better normal, since her knee works!

Added 10/2:  The director of PlazaCo's Annie, Taffy Geisel, has muscular dystrophy.  She's an actor, director, playwright, and no-excuses kind of lady.  Loves her work and doesn't let physical limitations slow her down.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mrs. Greer, if you please

Holy cow nugget schnitzel balls!  I so totally did not expect to get a call, so I really wasn't paying attention to the time.  This time my phone did ring, but it was in the other room.  Sunshine rushed it to me and I answered.

I GOT CAST!!!! As Mrs. Greer, the head maid in the Warbucks household. They don't have a part for Sunshine on stage, but would like her to help backstage if she'd like.  She's fine with that.  I think she's been nipped by the Drama bug (finally!!!) and really just wants to be a part of it, in whatever capacity.

First rehearsal is this Saturday. I'm kind of in shock.

**EDIT 9/27/11:  I'll also be playing Frances Perkins, a member of FDR's cabinet, and a Hooverville resident.
Click here to see the full cast list.  Perkins is actually a more substantial part.  Greer is on stage more, but Perkins has more to say/sing. YAY!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A learning experience

So callbacks were a learning experience! Learned a short bit of choreography and had to perform it in groups of four. Then cold-read four two-word lines for Mrs. Pugh with a few other people. Felt seriously out-classed, as everyone there was just amazing. Highly doubtful I'll be cast (too many people better and waay more experienced than me who really deserve a part), but grateful for the experience! This was my first ever audition for a musical, and it was really cool to watch the process and hang with other people who love live theatre! Will definitely audition again, and perhaps see about starting something similar closer to home (this would be a 40-minute drive for rehearsals and performances).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Called back!

We were told we'd be called by 9pm tonight if we were invited to the callbacks on Saturday.  Sunshine and I  were pretending that we didn't notice it was approaching 9:00 with no word, but I know we were both very aware of the time. 

At 8:49, my phone, which was sitting right beside me, beeped that I had a new message, even though it hadn't rung.  But I listened to the message, and it was one of the producers asking if Sunshine and I could come to callbacks, and could I give her a call to let her know I got the message.  So I called right back!

Woot!  We're supposed to wear comfy clothes and be prepared to dance.  
Sunshine and I did the drop-it-like-it's-hot dance in the hallway.  So excited!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Audition is done

Auditioned tonight. I put Miss Hannigan as my first choice, but I'll take any part, honestly.  Even Warbucks!  But we'll see.

My turn was right after Jan, a woman probably in her late 50s that the director and her assistants knew by name, and were gushing about. "I can't remember the name of the nun you played in Nunsense in Fort Worth!" and "Oh, I saw you in Follies!". She sang a fabulous song and cold-read for Miss Hannigan and was amazeballs awesome. I knew then I wouldn't get the part of Miss Hannigan, but was still hopeful for perhaps Lily or Grace. So I bravely stood (in my Miss Hannigan getup) when my name was called, gave the pianist the sheet music for "Little Girls," and prepared to sing.

It turns out that as much prep as I did, as much practice, as many vocal exercises, I did not prepare for singing with a live pianist. She was unfamiliar with the song, so it sounded awful. And so I was awful. I wanted to ask if I could use my own recording of the piano, but didn't want to hurt the lady's feelings.

I think I did okay on the cold read, though. So I'm hoping that because the pianist was obviously struggling with the song, maybe I'll get a callback anyway, perhaps for one of the household servants, or a Hooverville bum. They'll call by 9pm tomorrow. I'm 50% optimistic.

I'm proud of myself for doing it, proud of Sunshine, too (she went after me and did great!). But next time I will have my music on CD, to eliminate the if-factor of the pianists skill.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Went to see Treasure Island

Attended the matinee performance of Treasure Island at Plaza Theatre Company, good Saturday afternoon entertainment, AND we'll already have been there so Wednesday's auditions will be a little less stressful.

What a great show!  Very well done!  The set design was really clever; I was uber impressed!  Norseman was really impressed with the sword fights!  Everything was wonderful: the costumes were amazing, the lighting was perfect, and the performances were superb!  The young man who played Jim Hawkins... wow.  He's 14, but carried the entire play on his shoulders and did it so well you'd think he was a professional actor.

This time I was still wistful, but it was tempered, knowing that I'm gonna do my best to be on that stage soon. The theatre is really small, which is reassuring and intimidating at the same time.  Even a sold-out show is only 140 or so, but there's little room for error since the audience is so close to the action.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thinking about Annie

Auditioning, that is.  For the musical production of Annie at Plaza Theatre Company in Cleburne.

For years I've attended live theatre performances and sighed wistfully, wishing I could get involved in dramatic performance again.  I was more than a little envious of my baby sister, who got to work with Theatre Tuscaloosa and appeared in The Music Man and How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying).  I made the twelve-hour drive for both shows so I could see her on stage while I sighed wistfully from the audience.

A few weeks ago, my mom took me to see Motherhood the Musical in Fort Worth.  Once again, I  vicariously soaked up every crazy minute of the show, and on the way home expressed my wish that we had a community theatre close by.

I guess my mom was listening and did a bit of research over the next week or so.  When we went over there today, she handed me a sheaf of papers she'd printed off the internet, with details about this little theatre in Cleburne.  As soon as I saw the audition info, I immediately thought (and said aloud) "I want to be Miss Hannigan!"

But it's been close to twenty years since I was involved in dramatic productions, if you don't count the kids' talent show acts LOL.  But as Norseman reminded me this afternoon, I wished a long time to get a tattoo, and was totally stoked when I finally did it!  And I said for years I wanted to pierce my nose and was stoked when I finally did it!  In other words, I should quit wishing and just do it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

You seem a lot younger

Haven't blogged in a while... Haven't really felt I had anything to say that needed the long-format of a blog post. But recently I've been thinking a lot about age, partly because I turned a year older this month. Okay, yes, I do joke about being old, as my kids can attest, but the truth is, I don't feel old.  And I flat-out refuse to succumb to age.  Why does mid-life have to be a crisis?  If you're still young at so-called 'mid-life', where's the crisis in that?
I regularly run into people years younger than me who look years older, or people just months older than me who seem as much as a decade older to me.  Yesterday I had a twenty-something express surprise that I was in my 30's, and outright shock that I'm courting 40.  "You seem a lot younger."  That's because I AM young!  If attitude is everything, then dangit, I'm gonna be young for a long, long time.

But attitude isn't everything, I know.  The body that houses the attitude is a small factor.

I've been told I must have fabulous genes, and that may be true, but probably not.  My mom and dad, all of my aunts and uncles, most of my cousins, on both sides of the family, are or were at one time, overweight (many significantly so).  I observed this growing up, saw the health problems, the propensity for diabetes, and decided that was NEVER going to be me.  So I was in my late teens when I devised a plan for avoiding the fate genetics seemed to have in store for me.  Here it is, so simple it's almost silly:

Your pecs/boobs should always stick out further than your gut. Male or female, doesn't matter how old you are. One exception for ladies: you're five months either side of giving birth.  Belly fat, it turns out, is more harmful to your health, so not only will you look young, you'll look young longer.  I've always been very small-chested, so this rule has served me exceptionally well.

I do have a 'panic weight', too.  But it's sort of a by-product of the above rule, sort of a double-impetus to revise eating habits and burn more calories when I get on the scale and...panic.  :)  And I haven't let anything be an excuse.  Not pregnancies, not being laid up by car wrecks, not being overworked or overstressed, not health problems, nothing.

Lots of people are older than me, but seem much younger than their age:  JLo, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, etc., etc., etc.. But you do not have to be a megastar to stay young.