Saturday, 29 August 2015


I wanted to blow people away. I wanted them to be amazed that I could be hiding all this unbelievable talent all these years. 

Instead, I panicked. I didn't practice with the accompaniment track. I got lost, could not keep tempo, and then blanked on the lyrics.

I'm trying to cut myself more slack. It was the first time I had done anything like this. No teacher cueing me when to start.  And the version I did of "Here I Go Again" (my driving song, and a song I've been singing along with for almost 30 years) wasn't bad. 

Lindsay is incredibly supportive and encouraging, but I could not feel more disappointed in myself. I know this song. I have it memorized. It sounds good at home. I even took my meds before I went! But I didn't cry. So, that's a plus.

I don't want to just be the funny fat lady. How can I channel all I've gone through over the years to bring out more depth?

Friday, 28 August 2015


I've been spending some quality time with the song we've chosen for my audition: Nobody's Side, from Chess. Thanks to the good people of Wikipedia, I now know more about that musical than the 80s hit, "One Night In Bangkok". Yes, we've established that I'm a former teen of the 80s (which is a much nicer way to say "I am old"). Also, did you know that the two guys from Abba wrote the music for this show? We loved Abba when I was a kid! Thanks, Mom!

Anyway, back to the song. Right now, my stupid throat is hurting (because of forest fire smoke? Because of fear? Little bit of column A, little bit of column B), so I've just been listening to the song on loop, committing the lyrics and sound to memory. See, my thought is this: memorize the song so completely that I could sing it if I were awoken from a coma. Because THE ANXIETY could cause me to collapse from fear, and the show must go on, right? Psychotic break or not, I AM SINGING THIS SONG ON SEPTEMBER 12. Unfortunately for THE FEAR, THE DESIRE to live and "do things" has grown stronger. Suck on that, FEAR. 

So, that's what's up with that! MEMORIZE!!! Also, Elaine Paige kicks ass. Go, go to the YouTube and enjoy. I wore my hair that way back in the day!

Monday, 24 August 2015

CATs, audition classes, and Always Trusting Jamie

It was a big, fat theatre weekend for me! The incomparable Magz Ross asked me to be her guest to the Calgary community theatre awards after our friend (and wicked seamstress) Kim Johnson, couldn't make it. They were nominated, along with many great friends, for their work on Anything Goes. As I predicted, AG cleaned up, bringing home a whopping 8 awards! I was a very proud member of Team Eastgaard-Ross that night! The only down side was my outfit. Tights were cutting into my thighs, my feet hurt from wearing fancy shoes (not to mention that I couldn't make it off the carpet with heels on), and I felt worried that my skirt was too short. It's a whole lotta Shan that I don't want to show off. I vote that next year's awards have a yoga pants theme.

Earlier the same day, I got the pleasure of joining an auditioning class run by Front Row Centre; and it was awesome! I got to read my very first monologue, IN FRONT OF PEOPLE! And I VOLUNTEERED to go first! (Who is this crazy woman, and what has she done with me? Or, was I just hiding?) The wonderful Lindsay Kurtze is our instructor, and she reminds me so much of my beloved voice teacher, Karin Asselstine. Damn, I miss you, Teacher! Anyway, Lindsay said I did ok with the acting! Not bad for my first attempt ever. Thank you to everyone for holding my hand. I, like Ebenezer Scrooge, know that I don't know anything.

"I don't know anything
I never did know anything
But now I know that I don't know
Upon this Christmas morning!"

(Yes, I love the version of A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim. No, I am not sorry for Christmas movie quotes in August. No, that does not make it my fault that it snowed here on August 20.)

I do feel a bit sad that I wasted all these years in fear. I know that there isn't any point in it, but sometimes I do wish I had been different. I just have to go for it now, and make up for the time lost. Jamie picked a few excellent songs for me to choose from for the audition, including "our song", Wig In The Box from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We listened to that as I did his makeup for each show during the run of Jesus Christ Superstar, and I holds such a special place in my heart. And at least I know what an 8-track is (look at me, using musical theatre jokes!)!

I love this all so much. I am a lucky woman to be able to have my family and live this dream.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Going for it!

I booked my audition time!
Can you hardly believe it? I can't!

Yes, I'm completely freaking out. Yes, I am scared shitless. Yes, I want my Mommy (good thing she moved back here). Buuuuuuuuuuttttt...

I HAVE to do this. There is a quote from Anais Nin that I read a few years back that really hit me square in the feels...
Before we moved to Calgary, this was exactly how I was feeling. And now, I feel this way all the time. No matter how frightening, no matter how filled with anxiety, no matter if I fail miserably, I must TRY. After all these years, my dreams have gotten bigger than my fear. It started with moving, continued with finally getting my driver's license (the biggest fear I've ever faced, short of death), and is now this audition and (God willing, or production team, whoever is first) performing in a show.

I will give it my all, and if I'm not right for this show, I'll gather up the courage to try again for another.

Let's see how it goes, hey?

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

It's REAL!!!!!!!

THE AUDITION NOTICE IS FINALLY UP. The show I have been dreaming about since the new Front Row Centre 2015/2016 season was announced: The Who's Tommy. 

See, I'm a old rock 'n roller from way back. Alice In Chains, Seether, Pearl Jam, etc., I could go on forever. Not to give away a lady's age, but I even had a Union Jack t-shirt to express my Def Leppard love in (gasp!) 1983!!!! 

Ok, I needed to have a lie down, since I'm such an old lady. But you get my drift. I have been in love with rock music since I was in short pants. So, here I am, faced with "Put Up or Shut Up" time. I have finally gotten to the age when I can't hide behind my fears anymore; I have to get out there and live my damn dreams!

That sounds really motivational and whatnot, hey? We all know I'm scared out of my wits; but I have supportive, loving people coming along with me for this ride. Jamie will crack the whip and get me as ready for this as I can be, I'll lay it all on the line, and then I'll hope for the best. And now to prepare/obsess...the middle of September is ass kicking time!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

And the winner is...FEAR!

No surprise there. The bottom line truth is that I am "throw-up-a-little-in-my-mouth" terrified to audition. Do you want a list of my horrific fears? Sure you do!

1.  They might think I'm terrible.
2.  I can't read music. I am really good at memorizing, especially with songs and lyrics; but I cannot read music.
3.  I have never taken dance lessons. I loved to dance as a kid/teenager, but that was a loooooooooooong time ago.
4.  I have never acted. Not even drama classes in high school.
5.  I know almost all of the people for whom I'll audition.
6.  See #1.

The theatre company has generously offered a "how to audition" workshop that coincides perfectly with auditions for the show I want to go for (it's TOMMY, OK??!! I want to audition for FRC's Tommy. There, I said it.); but, unfortunately, I can't afford it right now. So, I will ask my dear friend, Jamie, if I can take him up on his offer to help me. If I can work up the nerve.

Gah! Why can't I just be happy doing what I'm doing?!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Acceptance or Fear?

We know I'm very tired right now. Ok, maybe not RIGHT now, because we're on a weekend break from shooting the movie. But, in general, I'm a tired person. Probably a combination of late nights and the mental stress of doing all of these things that are so far out of my comfort zone. At any rate, it's all made me wonder about something: 

Do I have the energy/endurance/stamina, whatever word you want to use, to participate as a cast member of a theatre production?

I have figured out that I do need some down time/time to myself (though not nearly as much as I thought), and that many days in a row of being away from home will burn me out and fill me with guilt that I'm not doing what I should for my family. I also do have some knee pain and am overweight.


Am I just talking myself OUT of auditioning because I'm really AFRAID? Am I coming up with rationalizations for not trying due to my anxiety and self hate? 

I know it's putting the cart in front of the horse, as there is no guarantee whatsoever that an audition would end up with me actually getting a part. Being able to sing does not mean that you are right for a particular part or show. BUT, WHAT IF I DID get so lucky as to be chosen?

I hate being this way. I hate not being able to trust my thoughts, but I've talked myself out of or into doing things because of fear many times in the past (see: my first marriage). I don't want to end up regretting...

Like everyone, I have overcome a lot when I really want or believe in something. Like most everyone, maybe I need to give myself more credit.