Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Worth It

      Yesterday the crew and I traveled to Batesville, AR to do two performances. We were on the campus of The University Of Arkansas Community College at Batesville and performed in their theater, which was perfect because the audience for our first show was 770 kids! It was absolutely exhilarating to shake my giant butt and make so many of them laugh!! I thought that was going to be the best part of the day, but at the evening's public performance we had our first opportunity to really talk on one on with the audience and answer any questions they had. The kids were so sweet telling me, "You're funny!" and "I like your leggings!" But a few Arkansans also came up to me and asked how I got started doing theater. They wanted to know how to get involved and start doing that kind of thing themselves. That really made me feel accomplished. I remember being that kind of inquisitive young person, and how desperately I wanted to perform. I thought about how hard I have worked to get to this place where I am able to inspire someone else who maybe hasn't been as exposed to theater as I was growing up. It really just put things into perspective and reminded me how blessed I am to be working and how what I do matters even the tiniest bit.

We get so sweaty during this show. But we always smile afterwards.

So many of these kids hugged my big fat belly. PRECIOUS.

P.S. I will be home in 24 days! SO excited!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

25 before 25

    So my 24th birthday is rapidly approaching. (Less than two weeks to get something in the mail to me friends! :P) I realized that this is the first birthday I won't be spending with my parents at least in some capacity. I have had less than spectacular birthdays the past several years, but I always had a nice time with my parents even if I didn't have a great time with my friends. I really want to try to have a nice birthday here if possible.

    Turning 24 in Arkansas also got me thinking about was what goals I want to set for myself. It's a trend in the blogosphere to make a list of 25 goals before your 25th birthday. Generally the goals should be able to be more or less reasonably accomplished in a years time. I know I won't check off all the things on this list, but I think taking the time to reflect on some things I want and laying this map will help set me on the right course. These are in no particular order of importance.

1. Move to NYC and audition like a beast- I think the number one thing holding me back from moving to NYC was fear. I called it other names of course, saving money, getting more experience...blah blah blah. I'm (will be) 24 and I have to get busy trying or get busy doing something else with my life. And I'm not ready to give up without a good long fight.

2. Record with a band/musician - I have always wanted to record some songs with my brother, but so far that hasn't happened yet. I'd really like to see how my voice would sound singing something other than musical theater. Who knows, maybe I will write something with someone!

3. Make a Reel- I don't feel like I have enough good footage of myself singing. So I need to find some more opportunities to sing and tape myself! Then I gotta quit being so lazy and figure out how to edit it all together and put it on the youtubes!

4. Make a Website - This and making a reel are actor must haves and I really need to get on the ball asap!!

5. Ride A Horse - I have never done it and I want to so badly!!

6. Get a tattoo

7. Do another cabaret

8. Get another piercing

9. Land a role. - Like... a real role. I've pretty much been a career ensemble member up to this point. And I feel like I am really good at it and am so lucky to have worked as much as I have. I can support the lead characters and tell the story and I have a great time doing it. But I really want to stretch myself and land a lead in something. I don't feel like I've really had the chance to prove that I am an actress capable of playing some of the great roles since I have hardly played any characters with names at all. Just something I have never really had a chance to do and I know I can do it.

10. Try Moonshine - I mean, I'm in the south!

11. Write more - I really enjoy writing in this blog, however simple and unimportant it might be. It would be really great if I could write a play or a short story in the upcoming year.

12. Explore the West Coast - I have never been and some of my best friends are out there. I want an excuse to go there!!

13. Learn to play guitar and bass

14. Learn to not suck at piano

15. Teach someone something- I am afraid/intimidated to teach my own class here at work. But I really REALLY want to try and see if I can teach these kids something I know and love. I think it'd be super rewarding.

16. Apply to grad school - I think this is something I really want to do.

17. Touch a Great White Shark - Yes, I realize I might not accomplish this one this year but it has been on all my life lists so far so I gotta put it here for posterity. (I also lied about these being in no particular order of importance. This is always numero uno.)

18. Get new headshots

19. Learn a new hobby- something crafty! knitting? Something to put on my resume would be awesome.

20. Let go of some baggage I've been carrying along

21. Pay off lots of debt

22. Fall in love (again) - I think it's very hard to be an actor and able to maintain a committed, stable relationship. If you're working the regional circuit, you are out of town for months at a time, in my instance almost a year. I know people do it all the time, but I feel like I am pretty guarded when it comes to relationships nowadays. I'm not saying I need a boyfriend this year...far from it. I just want to be able to open up to the right person if they come along, and maybe I can take steps this year to do that.

23. Change my hair - So hard to do as an actor because it's kind of risky. But I have always wanted to drastically change my hair...maybe go red or brunette. I don't know if I will have the guts to do it but its something that I've been ruminating about for a looong time.

24. Get into a good exercise/warmup/yoga routine

25. Build up my dance skills- This means get back in the studio and work my butt off.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Child's Play

       So I've had about a week of touring under my belt and boy am I earning my money for this show! It is a lot of work but the kids seem to really enjoy it. Friday was a pretty intense day. I woke up around 4 am to get to the van by 4:45. Kiiiind of disgusting. There should never be a call time for actors before any Starbucks are open. It's just cruel. Anyway, we drove almost 3 hours to an elementary school. We unloaded the truck and did two shows back to back. These kids were the best audience we've had yet! When Santa came down the chimney, you would have thought Justin Bieber had just entered the room. They lost their minds! Poor Jeremy could hardly get through his lines these kids were screaming so hard. "It's SANTA!!! AAAAH SANTA!!!" The early wakeup time was worth it right at that moment. Afterwards we broke down the set and got some much needed lunch at a local barbeque joint. We decided then to drive to our next stop (the library in town) and park the van and attempt to nap for a few hours. I don't think I actually fell asleep for very long, but we all made valiant efforts, as captured below by Aleigha.

       The last show of the day at the library was interesting. It was pretty strange setting up a loud kids show with music in the middle of a quiet library. Plus, the audience consisted of about 15 people, 5 of which were children. Awkward. But those five kids were so involved it was definitely worth it. When we started doing the rap, (Yes, I rap in this show. It's BEYOND white and ridiculous. And about sugarplums...) this one little girl's eyes lit up so bright it was absolutely heartbreaking. Little moments like that keep you going during one of the hardest days I have had as an actor. By the time we finished the show at the library all of us were really feeling it. Physically exhausted I felt like vomiting several times and my vision got blurry and went to black a few times. Poor Aleigha had no voice by the end of the show and Jeremy was pretty beat too. We got some victory cheese dip at a mexcian restaurant, drove home, and I ended up going to the bar afterwards to see my friend's band play.
#longestdayever #iamachamp

On another note, I am excited to spend Thanksgiving with my arts center family. I will definitely miss my grandmother's stuffing (I have encountered no stuffing better in my 23 years of life), but I think it will be a lot of fun.

Here are some other snapshots from this week:

Life on the road.

Gettin cozy in the back seat. I keep adding things to this set up: several sweatshirts and jackets, pillows, and a fuzzy blanket. It's becoming a home.

This is what 4:45 am looks like. The things I do for theater...

New favorite place in Little Rock.

So much to look at. So pretty.

R. I. O. T. S. rawking out.

One of the happiest sights ever. The food at WWT is scrumptulescent.

Friday, November 9, 2012


        This weekend is going to be a pretty intense one. Things are coming together really quickly for our Christmas touring show. We head out on the road Monday morning and we have yet to rehearse in our costumes (which are going to be fairly large and hot) and figure out exactly how the music is going to work (since we have to press play inconspicuously in the middle of scenes on stage). I've really had a lot of fun getting to play so much in rehearsal, but I know the next two days are going to be long and stressful. Particularly because I have the strike of Bunnicula to look forward to after our final dress rehearsal Sunday! Eek! 

  • From the countdown app I recently downloaded. Can't wait to see my girl!
  • Pom Poms I made in the costume shop that are gonna be on my awesome costume!
  • Best. Thrifted. Sweater. Ever.
  • Sneak peek of Aleigha and I in 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.


 Anticipating...  1. Actually getting on the road and performing! I know it will be a lot of hard work, early morning calls, carrying heavy set pieces in and out of buildings and onto the truck, lots of time on the road... but I think I'm ready for a new experience. Also ready to see a little bit more of this state that I know so little about. I've been told not to expect much but I'm still anxious to see what's out there.

2. I can't WAIT to go home for Christmas. It will be the shortest ten days ever but I can't wait to see my puppies, family, and friends. Nothing is going to spoil those days for me. I EARNED THEM. 

Reading... I'm currently reading Michael Shurtleff's book Audition. I had never read it and so far it's pretty intelligent but hasn't said anything I haven't already heard before. But it's a really good idea to brush up on the basics and get yourself into the mindset of "Hey, I'm devoting this time to working on my craft as opposed to stalking boys on Facebook and looking at cute pictures of dogs." Yeah. It happens. But I'm getting better about it. Wanna kick some butt at UPTA!

 Relieved About... I'm relieved that I've been losing some weight. I'm not at my ideal weight yet, but I've been eating less and drinking less and I feel a little better when I look in the mirror. Two months ago I felt absolutely disgusted. I don't know what tour has in store but I want to try and incorporate more exercise into my schedule. Plus, this show has me doing a lot of cardio in a big fat suit, which is awesome. Also pretty relieved that I've met a few more awesome people here and have gotten to spend some time with them. :)

Watching... I've been watching a lot of random stuff on Netflix. I recently finished two series: Louie and Freaks and Geeks that I LOVED and am looking for something to get just as hooked on. So far I haven't found anything mind blowing. I watched Zack Galifanakis' stand up and that was pretty wonderful. But I'd like to get sucked into a series again soon! Working on... Exercising more, Research and Prep for UPTAS, Planning inexpensive but thoughtful Christmas presents for my family and maybe MAYBE keeping this apartment clean. Maybe.

 Craving... Sushi is a given at any moment in my life. But I'm kind of craving a new beanie and cardigan. I live in those and boots all winter and I feel most like myself when I'm rockin them. And some kick ass shades.