Monday, 1 August 2016

So, here's the thing...

Friends, I have been sewing my hind end off, and I have gotten so much better! I'm really proud of myself. Diving in head first into sewing costumes was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I truly love to sew, and costumes are my dream come true. Anyway, that's why it's been nothing but tumbleweeds and crickets on the blog here. 

So, where were we? Oh, yes. My second ever audition! It went very well (according to the awesome director), and I even got invited to the call backs! Unfortunately, I wasn't what they were looking for. I know, I make that sound all "Oh well! I am fine! No big whoop!"; but, the truth is, I was crushed. I wanted to be in that show VERY MUCH. But, after a few good cries and some excellent advice from a good friend (thank you, MS); I had a real change in attitude. It is common sense, but negativity makes you feel like crap, friends! IT'S TRUE! (I'm planning my self help book as we speak). My whole life, I've looked on the crappy side of everything. And I'm sick of it (and it only took me 46 years to realize it!). 

So, what now? I know that my instinct will be to feel negativily, but I can choose how to respond to that. And I choose to try positive responses. And I realized what I am really afraid of. Here it is:

I'm 46. I'm a mom to a young child. I can only act in one show per season, because of the time commitment. So, why I SUPER FREAKED OUT over not getting in this show was also because I'm afraid I won't get in another show this season. Fear that time is not on my side. Fear that my extremely limited experience will mean no one else will cast me. The pain from kicking myself for not trying all of this when I was younger. So, the therapist says, "How true is that? How likely is that?" And I say, "I don't know!" I only want to participate in theatre. I'm not looking to be on TV or in movies or any of that.

So, I ask you, my friends who know a LOT more about theatre than I do: how true is it that I won't get into another show? How likely is that? 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Little Mermaid is Not So Little

I've been hunkered over my sewing machines for oh, what--two months?, sewing for StoryBook Theatre's production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid". And, friends, I am totally exhausted. What a mammoth undertaking! Magz told me it would be a lot of work, I believed it would be a lot of work; but, just like parenthood, I had no idea just HOW MUCH work it would be. 

Let me tell you, I have never sewn so much in my entire life. I have never learned so much about sewing in my entire life. When Magz asked me if I would assist her, with my girl, Kim, on this juggernaut, I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. I would be getting a master class in costuming. And, brother, IT WAS. I am blown away with the creativity, effort, dedication, and skill that it takes to be a costume designer. To think of beautiful and unique designs for iconic characters and to bring them to life, with the hard work of a team of like minded sewers--it's just unbelievable. I am NOT a costume designer. I am a sewer, and a much better one for this effort!

I have a knot the size of a softball in my shoulders. I haven't had a decent night sleep in a month. My nerves are frayed like a cord in a dog's mouth. My family has missed me, and I've missed them.

And I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

Thank you, Magz Ross, for everything. All you have to do is call; and I'll be there, yes, I will. I love and admire you very much. Thank you, StoryBook, for giving me a shot. I hope I didn't let you down.

And I booked my next audition! More about that later...Back to full on, devoted attention to South Pacific!!!!

Monday, 18 April 2016

When You're So Busy With Theatre that you forget to Blog about Theatre stuffs...

Costume assisting (in the small way ai can do it) for Mermaid had been a big project, you all. I knew that it would be, with all of the very detailed and neato costumes they'd need; but, whoa, Nellie, I'm all in! And it's the freakin ' BEST! I'm learning so much about sewing, fitting, creating fancy pants costumes (and actual pants), and I am very grateful. So many of these people have been so gracious with me, explaining things carefully, showing me examples. I'm just very lucky to be sitting in on these master classes. Magz has trusted me, trained me, and put up with me. I adore her even more than before!

Makeup for South Pacific is planned, and, thank the Maker, I have my friends Sammi and Heather helping me. They actually know something about hair! And wigs! And makeup! Team Sham Wow will set that stage on fire with beauty--and I'm not just talking about Luther Billis as Honeybun! But, seriously, Rich will be lovely. Just saying.

The new season was announced for FRC, and they picked JECKYLL & HYDE!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I'm so excited to audition for it! It's the one cast recording I've heard already! And there are more parts for a lady of my age group! Now, if I'm not chosen...

Commence obsessing over audition in 3, 2, ... Oh, who the Hell am I kidding? Obsession started the damn DAY I heard the announcement. I have a plan to go for my dear Jamie's How To Succeed in Business... If they don't think I fit for Jeckyll. And if that doesn't work out, uh....

Now, you know this wouldn't be a true 16 Shows post without a bit of anxiety, would it? OF COURSE NOT! The board also apparently decided on their production teams yesterday...and I've heard nothing.

You know what that means, RIGHT? FREAK OUT THAT THEY HAVE REALIZED THAT I TOTALLY SUCK AND THEY HATE ME AND THEY DON'T EVER WANT ME TO SHOW MY FACE AROUND THE THEATRE, NAY, THE WHOLE COMMUNITY OF BEDDINGTON, EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry. I had to get the nasty fears out somewhere. Stay tuned, my friends, because I didn't even mention my serger love yet! 

Sunday, 28 February 2016

She Kills Monsters!

Yesterday, I went to the very first show I've ever attended that I did not volunteer for: Simply Theatre's "She Kills Monsters". Now, the show was great, and if you want to read a great review of it, Vicki wrote an awesome one for On Stage blog. Me, I'm going to tell you about overcoming my monsters.

See, I HATE going to a place I've never been before. And I REALLY HATE driving to a place I've never been to. AND I am afraid to drive at night. 

BUT, I'm all about living life now, aren't I? Damn right I am. So I got in the damn car, only got a little lost, and made it to see my friends and all their hard work. You know what? I know some really talented people! The work everyone put into this show; the touching, raw, hilarious acting blew my mind. I laughed so hard, I had to muffle my voice so I didn't drown out the dialogue. I got all choked up; and, if I hadn't worked hard on my makeup, I would have cried (there's no way I was smearing that paint job...). AND THE DRAGONS!!! Kristine even made their eyes light up! And the sword fighting! And the fact that Steven Morton took on a character so different from himself, and was so great, I did even recognize him at first! And the soundtrack was the music of my twenties! AND THERE WAS A DANCE BATTLE! Anyway, if you haven't gone to see it, get there! It's a story of loss, love, regret, and understanding. Just go.

Special thanks to Darren, FRC's prez, who kept me company before the show. I like to sit in the front row (because my vision sucks), and Buddy took one for the team and hung out.

Anyway, overcome (or at least BATTLE!) one of your monsters, my friends. You won't regret it. And if you need help, I'd be happy to borrow a sword and come in swinging!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Post Show Blues Are Real

And they suck, my friends. This show has been on my mind for so long, and now, it's just over. I was exhausted. I was emotionally wrung out. I left so much of myself on that stage every night.

And now, it's just...over.

I thought I'd feel a bit sad for a few days and be done; but this emptiness has been dragging on. Today, I had to force myself to leave the house to go for coffee with my Mom. Thank God I did. I fell much better this evening. But what did we talk about? Quite a bit about Tommy, let me tell you. Ma was very surprised by how easily I expressed anger on stage. That's what happens when you never express it in real life!

Dammit, I can't wait to see what shows FRC are doing next season. My drug of choice has been selected, there's no doubt about that. I wanna get out there again, aching knees and feet be damned! Petrifying stage fright, you didn't scare me enough.

Monday, 25 January 2016

And now it's done.

We closed the show on Saturday, and, let me tell you, I'm spent!

What an experience, my friends. People asked me "how was it?", and I just couldn't explain it. It was like when I gave birth to Baby 16. It is one of those things that can't be compared to any other. The amazement of finally fulfilling a dream of a lifetime, of having people like what you have performed for them: I don't have vocabulary for that kind of awesomeness. 

The run down of all the great things I learned that I can apply to work on a production team:

- The dance ensemble are already busting their asses. Try to keep any changes you have for their hair and makeup to NONE. One style for the whole show, if you please.
- Actors really do want to help bring your ideas to life. All they ask is that they can be comfortable. Try to make hair and makeup designs as quick and easy as possible.
- Quick changes are a bitch.
- The script gives you a tonne of information. USE IT!
- Go to some rehearsals, so you get a good idea of what the actors will have to do.

The run down of the emotional growth:

- This was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
- As much as I love to sing, I had an intense fear of singing in front of people. NOT ANY MORE!!
- I really enjoy acting! It is very liberating!

I guess I'm still processing it all. The friendships and commitment to a common goal, being surrounded by people who teach you new things about others and about yourself, the sheer joy of bringing a story and music you love to life--I don't know how to describe it in a way that feels sufficient! I'm hoping the words come to me. Until then, I guess I'll just have to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night, smiling to myself as I remember all of the great fun I had.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Just Past the Half Way Point

Ten shows down, my friends! I'm really tired, more than a little beat up (musical theatre is PHYSICAL! And not just the dancing!), and in love. I love this. I love singing, acting, and, yes, even dancing! I love it so deeply, even more than I thought I would. This was what I was waiting for in the process--sharing a story and some great songs with people. Exploring behaviour I would never do in real life (like yelling at Ty, who is a lovely person). Being loud, noisy, singy! In most areas of life, it's best to be quiet. Not on the stage, most of the time! I can be who I was as a child, before my anxiety disorder took horrible shape. I wanted to become a combination singer/actress/dancer. And now, I'm doing it!

It is worth it, folks. Every bruise (I've finally learned how to carry a chair without letting it smack against my legs), every pain, every yawn. Following my dream is worth it. My dream was not really to be famous, it was to sing/dance/act. And I've been doing that for the last week and a half. And it's been amazing!

I don't think I can do more than one show a season as an actor (I am not nearly as energetic as my fellow cast mates, and the family is missing me); but, even if I never perform again, I have lived a dream and loved it!

A special thanks goes out to everyone in the cast of this show. They have, down to each person, helped me to adjust, learn and thrive out there. The operative word in community theatre is Community. Everyone really does want to help. It's not just a cliché, it's more than the truth. People helping right and left, so that all of us enjoy the process as well as the show. 

Are you thinking about sticking a toe in your dream pool? I really think you should, in whatever way feels right to you. Don't wait, don't let the fear stop you. You don't have to be the best. You don't have to become rich or famous. EVEN IF YOU FIND OUT THAT YOU HATE IT AND WANT TO DO SOMETHING ELSE. Just give it a go.