Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ragtime family affair

Much to all of our surprise, we were all called and offered parts in Ragtime :) Norseman will be a newsboy, Sunshine a person of New Rochelle, and I will be Kathleen, the Irish maid. What did I say about my ease with accents? And I've already twice proven I can be a terrific maid. I'm very excited to be doing another show with both my kiddos.

I can't lie, though. I'm still disappointed. But ever since Annie callbacks, I've known without a shred of doubt there's a Higher Plan. I needed Plaza this past year more than I possibly could have known I would. And thus far, the hardest disappointment paved the way for the biggest blessing. Not getting Adelaide was brutal, but now I see that if I'd gotten Adelaide, I wouldn't have gotten Ethel. And it turns out that I really needed Ethel. So I will trust that Higher Plan, trust the producers and directors, and play the best danged Irish maid I can.

With my amazing kids by my side. Yes, this will be a great show.

Is 'Update' too boring a title?

Work. Still on the fence about this. My boss and coworkers are wonderful people, and I'm eager/anxious to become more familiar with my job and gain the confidence I need to do it effectively. This week I spent three days in training, learning Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression (SAMA) and more standard stuff that every MHMRTC employee needs to know. Friday I was actually in the office for the first time. And somehow Friday was much more exhausting than the three days of often very physically challenging SAMA. Right now I'm still a little overwhelmed.

At least I was able to get the first few days out of the way without also having to worry about getting kids to school. But alas, school starts tomorrow. For the first time in my memory NO ONE is excited about it, not even Sunshine. At one time school was the center of their social universe, but they now have a much wider circle of friends. So we're all sort of stressing about this coming week.

Also this week: Classes start at Plaza Academy. Both kids are on scholarship as interns, and are taking Ballet for Teens AND Audition Prep. I'm excited for them! We couldn't afford classes this semester, so the intern scholarships are hugely appreciated.

Related news: We all auditioned for Ragtime, and were all very disappointed. Which happens in theatre. There is always stiff competition for roles, and in good theatres that's especially so. Plaza is a stellar theatre. Sunshine and Norseman sang beautifully at their auditions (it was Norseman's very first audition ever), and felt they did well on the cold read. Both were complimented on their voices, but neither was called back. I was crazy nervous as usual at the audition, but thought I did very well--better than usual. I was called back for 'various female roles', but didn't understand until I got there that that meant the female roles that were not Mother, Emma, or Evelyn. That I was deemed unworthy of a main role without being given the opportunity to read for it was... really tough. In this case it wasn't actually a surprise, per se, I didn't truly expect to get one of those parts, but I did think I'd be given the opportunity to at least read. Anyway, as a result of my trying not to cry/throw up/scream, I didn't do so wonderful on the stuff I WAS asked to read. Lots of other very talented ladies there did much much better and deserve the opportunity, and new/prodigal faces are never a bad thing, so I don't expect to get cast. Pretty much the only thing I have in my favor is my ease with accents.

Callbacks were yesterday, so the day started out on a rough note, but ended nicely! My sister and mom wanted to go see Forever Plaid, so I got us all tickets. Saturday night shows are always great, especially because that's the night more Plaza alum attend.  Got to see lots of former castmates and give/get lots of hugs. Which I really really needed yesterday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Internet access!

Buahahahahah! It's ALIIIIIIVVE! (The computer, I mean).

We were without Internet access for nearly a month! Okay, when I say 'without Internet access', I'm speaking of REAL internet. We had our phones, which I guess count--we could facebook and browse reddit and whatnot. But it sure is nice to be able to type with ALL my fingers on a full-size keyboard!

Update on the job: I went for my pre-employment testing yesterday. Had my very first breathalyzer test, on which I scored a .000. Shocker. She even gave me an escape clause... I'd been sitting in the waiting room for more than 35 minutes, but she asked if I'd used any cough syrup or mouthwash in the last 15 minutes. Um, no. I think hair gel/spray is the most alcohol I've been in contact with in the last six months. She laughed at me 'cause I was just a wee bit excited--I'd only ever seen breathalyzers on television! Now I have first-hand, hands-on experience!

I had to be able to lift 25 lbs with only my arms, measured with a spring gauge. I got to 72 lbs before she stopped me. Had to step up and down the stairs at a specified pace for three minutes. I don't even think my heart rate elevated. What is sad is that there are young, so-called 'able-bodied' people who would not be able to meet these requirements.

Got a TB skin test, which I have to go get checked tomorrow. Right now it looks like a teeny needle stick.

Also tomorrow! Going to see Urinetown at ICT in Irving. My friends Caroline (Annie and Fiddler) and Jerry (Foreigner and Fiddler) are in it. I'll be taking Sunshine, another theatre kid, and my Ethel double Heather with me! (Norseman will be Plaiding). Very excited!

And yeah, still apprehensive and a little melancholy, but I choose happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kinda freaky

Just a smidgen freaked out. One month before my house sold, I had a dream, detailed in this post: Celebrity Dream Oddities. In that dream "Rod Stewart showed up at our house, except it wasn't THIS house, you know what I mean? He drove a little blue Mini Cooper."

A month after that post, almost to the day, I learned that we'd be moving to another house. Our new landlord, Mike, sort of resembles a manly, bald Rod Stewart. And, get this... HE DRIVES A LITTLE BLUE MINI COOPER.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Little did I know...

I've been without Internet access for a while, and so much has happened since I last blogged, that I'm a little bit at a loss where to start. In my last post I said life was calming down. Ha. HahahahahahahaHA!

Little did I know that my house had been sold in foreclosure that very morning (but I wouldn't find out for another week). I won't go into gory details, but suffice to say life was NOT anywhere near a calming-down point.  Within three weeks I found a new place for the three of us to live, picked up, and moved. So easy to type, but really a STRESSSFUUULLL thing to do.

Our saving grace throughout the whole ordeal was Footloose and our amazing castmates. The fact that all three of us had that escape, where we could take the stage together, become other people, struggle as our characters and triumph every single time... It was precious.  I had no idea when Footloose opened just how much closer to Ethel's life mine would become. I had no idea what stress she would see me through. I had no idea how much those 'I love you, Mom' hugs from JB, my terrific stage son, would mean.

So after Saturday's closing show, all day Sunday, and into Monday, I was a hot mess. The show, and our saving grace, has ended, even though life's craziness goes on. The people that we've grown so accustomed to seeing over the last twelve weeks are headed back to their regular lives, many to college in other cities. We miss them already. A lot.

And a new chapter of life begins for us, too. I've got a new job, with Tarrant County Mental Health and Mental Retardation services as an employment specialist. My official first day is August 21st, but I've got pre-employment appointments next week. I haven't worked full time for someone besides me in a very long time; I've never worked full time as a single parent. It's going to be a huge adjustment for all of us, and I'm honestly a little scared. (What? Stacey scared?)

Tonight I went to preview night of Forever Plaid at Plaza. We helped with the changeover on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Norseman was asked to Assistant Stage Manage... It is such a cute show. Not as high-energy as Footloose, but quite entertaining nonetheless. It was still sad for me, though. One week ago, I was Ethel on that stage. I'm not sure if it helped or not to know the eyes I painted for Footloose are still there, visible if you know to look for them, under the cheesy Fuselounge wall fringe.

I did have a hard time letting go of Annie, largely because it was my first show. But at the time, I was already cast as Yente and had something to jump directly into. Millionaire's close was sad because it was such a small tight-knit cast, but I had no emotional attachment to Emma (frankly she annoyed me), and I had Guys and Dolls immediately after. Footloose, though... *sigh* This one has been especially hard to let go of. Ethel was me, and I was Ethel. She wore my clothes, now I'm wearing hers. She struggled and nurtured and danced victorious. I'm struggling and nurturing, and I hope someday to dance victorious. And I have nothing to jump directly into. Ragtime auditions are the evening of my first day of work. I may get cast, I may not. Even if I do, Ragtime is a big heavy show like Fiddler, not high-spirited and fun.

Until work/Ragtime, we're getting settled into the new place. Unpacking, moving in, adjusting. Trying not to think too much about upcoming changes. Missing our stage family (Sunshine and JB would argue about whose mom I was. "She's MY mom." "No, she's MY mom.").

God never gives you more than you can handle. Right about now I'm clinging to that promise.