Walking Into 2015 With Nothing But Optimism…

Image from SunSigns.com
Image from SunSigns.com

So far everything that I have read for the Chinese Zodiac Dragon and for the astrological sign of Cancer have been about 85% positive! There are some things to heed during the later part of the year, but isn’t that always the case?

I am truly looking forward to the upcoming year, but you can’t look forward without looking back.

Thank you to the many, many people that helped to make 2014 so incredible.

First, thank you to the amazing cast and fellow staff for Jesus Christ Superstar!!  You were so wonderful to work for.  You thought me so much about myself and what I still need to learn.  You were fun and I loved watching you shine on stage.

Thank you to my WVLOMT family that always makes me feel welcome whether it is as a staff or cast member.

Thank you to Bill Starr.  You are such a great person to work with.  I adore you and thank you for all of your encouragement, advice, and friendship.  Thank you for the opportunity to bring your vision of Bobby Child to life.

Thank you to the cast and staff of Crazy for You! When I felt like it was too much for me, watching you all work so hard made me dig deeper because I didn’t want to let you down.  I hope to work with all of you again and again and again.

Thank you to Jen Maggio and Myra Diamond for allowing me to be a part of A Chorus Line even though I missed auditions. It was another fantastic experience working for both of you.

Thank you to the cast of A Chorus Line! You are such beautiful wonderful souls and I was very lucky to share the stage with you.  I am so glad no one actually got a case of the sexy ebola.

Thank you to James Kopp and the cast of Super Villain! I have never laughed so hard during the process of putting a show on its feet.  It was a joy to get to do another play.  I hope I get to do more.  Like James is always saying, “I ain’t in my 20’s anymore.”  To you young’uns like, Haley and Gaby, thank you for always pretending I am! hahahahahaha!!

Special Thank You’s to Aaron Weisberg, Kevin Brownstein, Valerie Valenzuela-Misra, Ronnie Misra, Judy Steinle, Mike Brothers, Andrea Furtado, Michelle Elrick, Ms. Rhona McFayden, David Lamcke, Amanda Vogel, Emily Goes, Gabby Au, Susanna Wagner, Elizabeth Lawrence, Nancy Kwong, Cameron Kwong, Riley Kwong, Emily Pye  Christine Ormseth, Amy Root, Samantha Carson, and Tammy Mackenzie.  You have all offered help and support throughout the year and it meant the world to me.  There’s no particular order, so don’t read into it. LOL!

Most importantly, Thank you to my munster and my BFF’s (the T.P.B. and J.S.)  for never making me feel worse that I never had time to hang out.  You are the other half of my life that keeps me going.  So much of my heart belongs to you all for keeping me sane and grounded and well rounded. Without you fabulous people, I would be lost. I love you.

So 2015, bring on Life! I have my arms open ready to hug the hell out of you.  I am excited for what’s to come.  I don’t make resolutions.  I feel like when I need to change something about myself, I don’t need to wait til the beginning of a new year.  I just want to continue carrying on like I have the past three years.  Theatre and friends! That is all I need.

May you all have SAFE and fun and wonderful New Year celebrations.

For the world, I shall still wish for peace and coexistence. It is the same wish every year. I will still hope that mankind will finally open its eyes and hearts to one another.

I wish you everything you want in 2015.

Now let’s go get it!

Image courtesy of Sunsigns.com
Image courtesy of Sunsigns.com

Not Yet. Please Not Yet…

Photo Courtesy of Edmond Kwong at Imagewurx
Photo Courtesy of Edmond Kwong at Imagewurx

If you are really lucky, you get the chance to be in productions where you wish it wouldn’t end. At least once.  I have been crazy for Crazy For You.

The reasons can be for anything; you love the role that you are playing, the show is going to Broadway, or like my case, the cast works so incredibly well together. We have celebrated birthdays for multiple people every single week of performances. We have laughed, been silly, stressed out, and danced ourselves sticky sweaty these last 10 weeks of rehearsals and performances.

It isn’t every show that I truly look forward to seeing every person every day.  I feel a wee bit sad that I won’t get to see them as much. Even though I have left the theatre at the end of the night sometimes with the need to soak in an ice bath or a tub of icy hot and bruised up, I have had a truly wonderful time working alongside such an outstanding group of people from every aspect of this production.

Every drop of sweat, every achy muscle, and every bit of glue has been well spent.  I think this little gem sparkles just right.  But just for two more performances.  Friday and Saturday…

I am going to be a sad mess on Saturday.

Maybe even Sunday.

I am not looking forward to this.

Crazy-for-You-logo1-300x469 When I was asked to come in and read for the part of Bobby Child, I never thought I would actually get it.  I know that I shouldn’t think that way. When you are in contact with someone who teaches you something negative like this when you first start out, it is a hard thing to stop hearing in your head.  Over the past few years, I have been trying to keep my distance from such people so I can retrain those bad thoughts.

This show has been a challenge and a chance for growth.  It has had some great highs and personal breakthroughs as well as tons of self doubt and bouts of panic.  What makes the whole thing incredible is the rest of this cast and staff.  I am surrounded by unbelievably supportive, upbeat, and talented people that helped me through all of it.  I adore them for this. When I speak of personal breakthroughs, I gotta say, I don’t feel like I have ever connected to a character as much as I have to Mr. Child.  It has been said that this show was simply a fluff piece.  I think of it differently.  Like I thought of JC Superstar, it is a show about Love. Love is the greatest thing to fight for. Bobby has this tremendous love for theatre and an unquenchable need to be part of it.  The first time I said the lines “Because this is my life.  It’s all I care about.” aloud, I got that choking feel that one gets when you want to cry.  Throughout this two and a half hour show, everything that he does to help just falls apart. So by the time he makes his way back to New York, he is not in the best state of mind.  The producer that he auditioned for doesn’t want him.  The show that he tries to put on doesn’t sell any tickets.  The theatre that he was trying to save is getting sold to a forward thinking business man.  The girl he falls in love with “sticks the knife in” when she says that there isn’t any reason for him to stay.  After all of these failures, this guy still has a tiny bit of hope. And where there is hope, there is the will to fight.

The song “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” is such a fantastic song and it’s so upbeat.  It’s about remembering every detail of this girl and their time together and knowing that there is never going to be a relationship.  Whenever I hear it in the context of this show though, I feel like it is missing something.  I know it’s probably just me being the weirdo that I am, but the song comes after all of the stuff in the paragraph above has happened. The first time we worked this scene, I couldn’t get through it because it made me so sad.  Even just talking through the song had me weeping.  It’s tragically romantic in a way  and I began to think about my life and connections with this song grew into something heavier.  As we worked through it, I began to dig deeper into what multiple disappointments feel like.  What does the ultimate disappointment feel like? This man shouldn’t be so upbeat.  He’s come to the realization that Mother has “won” and he must stop dreaming of a life in theatre and work in a bank.  I believe there needs to be some weight to this song.  I am so lucky that our Music Director, the AMAZING Joe Kelly, lets me slow the song down.  The challenge there is if you sing it fast, you get it over with like “I don’t care, but deep inside I really do.”  If you slow it down, you get to sink into the sadness a little more which could get you caught in that space where you full of emotion, but not holding out the notes.  What I love about that is it makes you fight to get the train back on the track which, I hope, translates to Bobby Child accepting the cards dealt and heading home.

I love this well intentioned guy who doesn’t always think through every scenario.  He dives right into half baked ideas.  He believes in the theatre wholeheartedly.  But most important is that he never gives up the fight.  It was a part that was never on my radar of bucket list shows, but I cannot say how grateful I am that Bill Starr asked me to come in for this role.  I have never worked so hard to try and get something right than I have on this show.  It’s like playing yourself, but you can’t BE yourself and that makes it so much harder than being a whole new character.

Then came Opening Night and suddenly all of the weight of the work seemed to just disappear and while there were flashes of panic (mostly during some insane costume changes that only worked once Saturday night showed up), we put on a helluva show!

The show runs weekends through July.  Click for ticket info!

Keep Your Eyes on the… Oh Tap Dancing!


Antsy that I didn’t have a next project, aside from something I need to create from the ground up, I auditioned for the baseball play “Take me Out” and for the musical “Crazy for You” to varying degrees of success.
The play is being produced by Dragon Theater, and I have been trying and dying to do a show there.  At the callbacks there were about 15 other gentlemen there. The ones I auditioned with were all great. That didn’t make me nervous. The nudity in the play didn’t make me too nervous, but what I think was my kryptonite was when the director had me only read for one of the characters that only speaks Spanish.


Damn, delicious caramel colored skin. I know some Spanish, but I cannot carry on a conversation! Curse you, terri ble high school decisions!! Why did I opt for French, when Spanish is so much more useful? I am sure longtime readers can see the pattern that I never take the easiest route. That’s what I get for being an “on a whim” person.  After the reading, he actually said, “I completely believed that you were fluent in the language.  That was really good.” I felt much better after he said that. 
Sadly, my happy fuzzies would only be a fleeting moment. He then asked us to circle up and after doing so, he brought out a baseball. It looked like it had been well used. The dirt on it wasn’t just on the surface of the ball. It found a home in the small wrinkles of the cover and stained a majority of the surface. He began to use it as a type of hackey sack for his hands. Each time he would use the back of his hand to catch it, I could hear the hard ball knock against his knuckles. He wanted us to do the same and being the slight germaphobe that I am, I already didn’t want to play. With everyone’s hand in the center, I figured that odds are pretty good that I wouldn’t have to touch it.
Yeah, those were terrible odds to count on. I dropped the ball like 4 times and threw it wildly to, or more accurately at, someone. Ahh, then the horrible memories of high school phys ed came flooding back and all I wanted to do was to get back into my car and drive away and sing. No me gusta, my friends. Not inthe slightest.

Then, last Thursday, I got to audition  for “Crazy” which was a show I didn’t really know much about. After some research, what sold me was the character motivations. I realized only after I got to the hall that I had no music, as I had spent much of my time searching for tap shoes that have long been missing thanks to a car break-in and a pilfering of my dance bag. So sans music and sans taps, I nervously walked into the hall.  There was a quick round of “how do you do’s?” Sides were given and we got right into some renditions of “Happy Birthday” and then into reading. I never try to think “what can I do to be funny” because that never seems to work for me. Instead, I try to find an exaggerated way of saying a word here and/or a line there that I think may make sense in a regular conversation. It doesn’t always work out, but I lucked out.  There was a lot of laughing and I left there feeling good about being able to play with the script and finding some solid moments with only a handful of minutes to see the scene.
And now we wait…
Welp, as I was writing this, I got my “thank you for auditioning” letter for the play.  Not that I was expecting to get in.  Just glad I didn’t chicken out of going in the first place. Feels good to move past a blockage that I had created for myself. Oh, there is still a wall there, mind you. It’s just now there is a window for me to jump through whenever I decide to open it.

With the P.E. feeling still fresh, I wish I tried to participate more in the group games.  Archery and track were the only things I did more than half well.  Do you think a more partipatory role in high school sports would have been beneficial?  Did you have a good experience in your P.E. classes? Or were you more of a lone player like myself?  Lemme know in the comments below!

Thanks for readin’!