Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear God, Please Don't Let My Beard Fall Off

    This morning we had our first show for the kiddies! The audience was SO responsive and amazing. They clapped and cheered during every blackout like they were at a rock concert! I was very nervous that my billy-goat beard would fall off, but thankfully it stayed on as long as I needed it to. I've figured out that if I can get through the goat play, I can kind of relax a little bit in the pig play. (If only for the fact that I don't need to worry about fake beards falling off.) I really enjoy playing the Sleepy Pig. I really love Keith's (the playwright's) sense of humor and bringing life to his characters. They are sarcastic and muppet like and it's just an absolute ball to do the show. (I'll let you know if that opinion changes after a few two-show days.) 
    Now that 3LP&3BGG is open, rehearsals have begun for the next touring show, The Arkansas Story Porch. This is another Keith play, but the characters are homesteaders living in the Ozark mountains. The rehearsal period for this show is going to be much shorter than last tour and I have a ton of lines, a lot of which are monologues with lots of odd southern-isms. I'm also the tour manager for this show, so that is a lot of extra work I am not super excited about. But I'm hoping to make this tour as smooth and positive an experience as possible for everyone involved.


Anticipating... Rehearsals for the tour to get going so I can get my bearings with this script. Also anticipating getting my body back into shape with a solid sleep schedule so I can accomplish all of the things I need to these next few months. Also anticipating buckling down and really hitting the gym now that I've joined one!

Reading... The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It's helping me get back on track. I wish I had more time to read other things!!!! 

Relieved About... Hmm... This is a tough one. I guess on a deep level I'm relieved that people like my work in this show and still enjoy my company and working with me. When I come up with something less vague than that I'll let ya know.

Watching... I watched Sleepwalk With Me and really enjoyed it. Highly recommended. I've also been watching a lot of reality t.v. , mostly as motivation on the treadmill. Also been watching Girls this season, but am not gonna lie, not really liking where the storyline is heading. When will all the girls be in the same scene again? That'd be nice. Just sayin.

Listening to... The Joy Formidable and The Tallest Man On Earth on Spotify. I love listening to new (or at least new-to-me) stuff. Please share! 

Craving... Some good sleep. Some relaxation. Some focus to get my UPTA package finished and send out some last minute submission packets. Time for the gym. Just time for me, I guess.

Here's some pics from this week:

Tryin to learn a few chords on this here Banjotar for the next show.

A sleepy, sassy pig.
T-Rexified Tony. 
It just kills me how adorable Garrett is with the puppy.d
All the puppies!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goats and Pigs and Trolls, Oh My!

    So I’ve been back to work for two weeks now and it has been a whirlwind! I get to be back on the Mainstage in The Three Little Pigs & Three Billy Goats Gruff starting next week! Rehearsals are in full swing and we are just getting into tech this weekend. I also taught my first improv class for the kiddies. I have 7 students, all of them female save for one little boy who made it very apparent his love for all things guns/military/violence/etc. Yikes! These kids say some crazy things and I just have to be on my toes so they don’t eat me alive. So far the first class went smoothly, but I know I will lose the attention of these kids fast so I need to have a lot of things planned for just an hour-long class. I also really hope I can impart some portion of my “wisdom” to them through the guise of silly improv games and exercises.

Didn't use this board as much as I thought I was going to. But I did draw them Toast MaGotes.

 Sitting at rehearsal today and watching my castmates really gave me some perspective. These four people are so incredibly talented. They are all smart actors with different strengths that they bring to the show and I have already learned so much from working with them. This is our first show where us young company actors are playing all of the lead roles and carrying the show. I already am just so proud of us. I know we have a long way to go before we open but I already feel like this play is going to be such a great joy to be a part of. I’ve also really enjoyed working with our director. He’s a super laid back dude with a great sense of humor. I hope the kids think I'm funny too!

The set was up and painted and beautiful when I walked into rehearsal tonight!

One of my favorite moments in the show.

So much talent in this Ginger.

Just wanted to add this adorable pic of Charlie. So glad he's back home with Jillian and Garrett!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hello (20)12, Hello (20)13, Hello Love or How I Catch Y'all Up On Over Three Weeks Of My Life

Where to begin? The past two weeks have been pretty crazy. I guess I should tell you how the end of tour turned out.

Santa's Workshop was just down the street of our last performance venue. It was a photo opportunity that couldn't be passed up.

     I’m not going to lie; performing a show at 3:00 when I had to be on a plane at 5:30 was very stressful. Not to mention the fact that I had to bow and immediately run off stage and change out of my fat suit as quickly as humanly (elfly?) possible and jump into a car with a man whom I had just met to rush me to the airport 20 minutes away and make my flight. But Bruce turned out to be such an interesting, wonderful person. He told me how he had performed for decades in Chicago as an opera singer and actor we had a lot to talk about: the fact that we both know Ed Sobel, family acceptance of our life/career choices, tough audiences, and how ultimately rewarding this job is. I had just met this man but I hugged him several times before rushing down to security screening. I just found out that I am on the next touring show so hopefully I will bump into him again. Sometimes you meet the sweetest people only for the shortest amount of time but the impression they leave on you is lasting. 
     I arrived in Philadelphia around 11:30 pm. I was exhausted but so happy to be home and see my parents. The puppies’ greeting me was also a particularly high point. Once I get my hands on the HD version of that video I will share it here.

Christmas Eve Day with my family is traditionally spent seeing the light show at Macy’s in Center City, followed by the walk-through Christmas Carol, complete with old-school 3 foot tall animatronic characters telling the story of that ol' miser Ebenezer Scrooge. I’ve seen this thing so many times it has somewhat lost it’s luster. But my Mom loves it and she has been coming since the 60s and I can suffer through a long line to make her Christmas a little happier. My bestie Joey was able to meet up with us so we had some fun to lighten the mood. 
Yay we're in line for A Christmas Carol!

Boo.... this line is WAY too long and we are WAY too old to be waiting this long.

Just couldn't escape it.

This is me having flashbacks of having to read Great Expectations in 9th grade English. 7 pages describing a chair? Not cool, CD... NOT COOL.

My mom wanted my picture with this illustration. So she got one.

We ended the afternoon with lunch at the Hard Rock (another unfortunate tradition) and shopped around Reading Terminal Market before retiring home.

     Christmas Morning was fun. I was the last one up (sorry!) so I was holding up the present-opening but tension soon dissipated as everyone started getting gifts. The first present I opened was a paper cutter and I was thrilled. Now I can easily cut my resumes to fit my headshots! Other favorites from Santa include a bike helmet, bike pump, allergy medicine, instyler hair curling system, and $50 in gift cards to TJ Maxx, so I can wander for hours and decide how best to spend my money. Santa was good to me this year!

     The day after Christmas my mother and I went to NYC with my aunt, her daughter, and her daughter’s friend. The plan was to wait in line at TKTS and see what show we could get tickets for. Bumped into my love Heather in Penn Station! She was doing the same thing with her family. Unfortunately we didn’t end up getting tickets to the same show. She got Peter And The Starcatcher (dang-it!) and we ended up seeing Nice Work If You Can Get It. Now, I was not expecting to like this show. But I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! I spent a lot of time doing classical musical theatre comedy in college and my one professor taught me everything I know about the genre. Watching these A-List Broadway actors (Matt Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Judy Kaye and others) was like a master class in physical and musical comedy. After just closing a show where I employed a lot of my comedy training, I felt both appreciative of the excellence in the art I was seeing in front of me and also confident that I had done a similarly good job of the same in my last show. I have not always been the most confident actor. I have never gotten a lead in anything before. But I am becoming more and more confident in the skill-set that I do have, and you can’t put a price on that in a world where the odds are so stacked up against you. You have to find your niche in this market, and I think I’m starting to finally do that.

Temple Buddies!

      After the show we trudged through a freezing rain/snow mix to visit the NBC store and get out picture next to the tree in Rockefeller Center. I arranged to bump into Nathan there and he had a chance to tell me about what life has really been like trying to do the NYC actor thing these past few months. Nathan said it is scary, and hard, but it is also exciting and promising and worth it to be pursuing what you want to do. I still am timid about moving but hopefully I will have a more formulated plan about where I want to go next in a few months from now.

The rest of the break flew buy. I got to spend some quality puppy time, visit with several friends whom I had missed dearly in my months down South. I got to see a comedy variety show in Philly, grab drinks with my girls, coffee with an old friend, and connect with a relatively new friend (albeit too briefly) at a Christmas Eve shindig. 

All the girls spooning.

Celebrating my Grandma's nth Birthday!

Snugglin with Mila on the couch.

Coffee with my former professor and spirit guide.

So much judgement. All the time.

She was being particularly snuggly. I think she knew I was leaving in the am.

    When I was sitting on the plane home recovering from a slight panic attack and through a one-beer haze I actually felt very calm and hopeful about what Little Rock has in store for me for the next 8ish months. What going back down here means. First and foremost, it means a job. It means a reason to wake up every morning. It means making the best out of sometimes less-than-perfect situations. Thinking on my feet. Being creative. Performing. When things aren't ideal and you keep going and clawing your way through it... that is being alive. I think there is a strange comfort in that. I've been in rehearsal for a few days now and I am excited for what is to come. I'll be here, taking care of my apartment and my body, prepping for UPTAS and just generally working on ME.