🎼Say What You Wanna Say, And Let The Words Fall Out, Honestly, I Wanna See You Be Brave…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

It has been a great few weeks.

I am having a period of time that I am not fully accustomed to and instead of analyzing it, I am just trying to accept and grow with it.

You know how there are things that you know you can do, but you haven’t had a chance to show people? It feels like I can relax my shoulders more and take bigger breaths for the moment.

For those that haven’t seen the Instagram post, I have been given the opportunity to bring to life the character of John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible! A dramatic role has been offered to moi? For the last decade and a half I have wanted to have a shot at something serious or even something dark. Aside from the Leading Player in Pippin, I have never had the chance to play with darker moments of shows. Weeelllll, I guess West Side Story… twice… So after I worked for Pear Theatre in their anthology of original works last year, I had a bigger yearning to do something serious because it felt so good to play these characters that felt mature and more solidly grounded (one was an absent father, another was a hurricane survivor trying to rebuild their home with his wife) than what I usually play.

I almost, ALMOST, let my own doubts and fear get to me and keep me from attending the callbacks or round 2 of auditions, for those that aren’t familiar. Not even doubts about my ability to do any of the roles in this play, but doubts about whether it would be a traditionally cast production. The play is about a small town of Puritans in the 1690’s during the Witch Trials near Salem, Massachusetts, so I was debating if it was just going to be a waste of time to go.

I changed my work schedule specifically for this reason so even though one of my doubts was that I would never make it on time to rehearsals, I already had planned for this. Then, I thought about the time that I was offered a really cool role of a Devil by a casting director of a show but had the director say that they were going to split the role into 3 parts and I would play the aspect that was more energetic and movement based. That brought up some bad vibes for a bit but then I thought about how I stood up for myself and agreed that the contract I signed would be broken and I wanted a new one. Since they wouldn’t give me a new contract, they just paid me for the role and released me from the contract as if completed. It was fine by me. I was a little mad at first, but I was paid in full and “won” the “argument.” I didn’t expect to get a check in the mail. LOL. But that was a very important lesson to learn.

But, Dear Reader, I went and did the thing!

And even though I wondered if I made the right choices or strong enough choices to embody the script once I was released from the room, I felt great that I just powered through that fear. I know that I had said a few lines wrong and I think it may have thrown off the actors I was working with. The intent was the same but the wrong cue line is kind of a bummer. So I did feel bad about that. Man, can you imagine? I said “You shall not speak of my wife!” instead of “You shall not speak of Elizabeth!” and the surprise made the other actor not get the part? Oh, I would feel so bad! I hope that didn’t happen.

So, yeah, the thing was done.

The other thing is that I have been working with a vocal coach sporadically. We have a bit of trouble syncing our schedules, but there is a comfortability and a trust that I have with them that makes the sessions feel like all these little light bulbs of knowledge are lighting up. Recently, some shows were announced that I thought, “YES! I want to be a part of that!” So I found an audition song that I think would be fantastic for one of them. My coach usually stops our warm ups at about an A but this song’s ending has a great phrase of just hopping from E to G’s and then popping up higher for the ending. He says “Ok, let’s give this a go” after we worked through any sort of rhythmic or diction issues. So I sing it like I will be singing it at auditions and he just stares at me for a few seconds.

“Where the hell have you been hiding that B? At full voice?!”

He was excited about how easy the E-G phrase was to do and then to blast out that ending made him wide eyed. 😂

He said he is looking forward to the next session because of this new information and we have yet to really dig in to falsetto, so I don’t know how much higher I can actually go.

Kind Reader, I have always been hesitant to say I can sing. I know what I can do, but I feel like my sound is more like a sing in the shower kind of sound. Since I started these sessions, I do feel like I have grown as a vocalist. I still hesitate to say, I’m a singer so I will just say, give me a bucket and I can carry a tune. 😂

With all of this new input and outcomes, I am a little mad at myself for being afraid or for choosing self sabotage (because let’s face it, I did choose it) when I know that these are things that I can do. I started to spiral out thinking about all the chances not taken and what my projects would have looked like and would I have been more confident because of it. However, on the other side of the coin, many of the projects that I did work on are like little treasures to me. Maybe this was the lesson I was supposed to learn?

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Well, Gentle Reader, I cannot say thank you enough for letting me bend your ear once again. I have already been considering trying a new tactic for helping me associate how I feel about the different characters, but first I have to see if I can match up all of them, then I will let you know how it goes.

Until next time, stay safe and alert and be kind to yourself and those around you.

❤️

🎼 Thought I Heard Your Voice Yesterday, Then I Turned Around To Say… ðŸŽ¶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Can you believe that my current show A Christmas Story is in its fourth and final week? Too soon, I say! 😂 But as I say in the show “Finally, all good things must come to an end. There were no more presents to be opened, just empty boxes and paper around the tree.”

While this is bittersweet, it isn’t what I wanted to write about. There is something that has been bothering? No, that isn’t the right word… weighing on my mind is a better way to put it.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Amazing highs from the show and seeing some adored friends in the audience after to lows and valleys of sadness because work has had some terrible news for colleagues and friends of mine. Yet in the middle of all that was this encounter that I had after the matinee last Sunday.

After the show, I had gone into the lobby because I was hoping to snag a hot chocolate, it may or may not have been spiked🤭 and while I was out there, this gentleman approaches me. But he has this really weird energy and my paranoia went into red alert. I checked my surroundings to see what and who was around me.

Being out in public always puts me on edge anyway because of all these mass shootings. But now add all the hate crimes that seem to be popping up all over the country, and that just makes my fight or flight response even more active. My Dear Reader, I totally know that women live this life everyday and THAT is a tragedy because when do they get the chance to not have tension in their lives? I feel for them. It makes my soul weep that our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends have to live with the fear always lingering.

At this point, he is standing next to me and I say “hi” but he just has this sad smile on his face. After a group passes by, he says that he really enjoyed the show. I tell him “that’s fantastic. Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome audience.” Then he starts to say something, but his voice catches so he clears his throat, the way guys do when they don’t want to give away that they are experiencing an emotion, and says “you remind me of my best friend that I had.” He told me the friend’s name, I want to say it was Eddie, but I am only partially listening because my brain is wondering if this guy was ok. He goes on to tell me that his friend used to love “doing drama” but that while it wasn’t his particular thing, but he would go and support his friend when he did perform. He said he almost thought I was actually him. Voice, appearance and mannerisms all lined up according to this man. The thing was that his friend had died when he was 30.

I could see that he was still feeling the sorrow of that loss and I extended my condolences. This man was a little younger than I but I couldn’t tell how much so I wasn’t sure how recent this was.

This experience has been in my thoughts since then. Did he need closure? Did he truly just miss his friend that much? What was the rest of the story? I didn’t know how to respond and I am disappointed in myself that I didn’t say something more than just vague condolences. After a few minutes, the guy left and I wandered back to the stage in a daze, confused by what just happened. It felt like an hour but it was really only moments, I rushed back to the lobby to find the guy. My intent was to offer to go grab a cup of coffee or even a drink and just toast the memory of his friend. He seemed like he needed it.

However, I was so thrown off by this encounter, I couldn’t even recall what he was wearing. I could have been looking right at him and I wouldn’t know it. Well, I do remember he had on a black beanie that was pulled low on his forehead.

I just wish that I had caught him in time. His sadness was palpable and it just seemed that this little gesture could have been of some comfort to him. Or should I have offered him a hug? I just feel like some compassion was needed and I failed miserably to offer it.

For the life of me, Kind Reader, I cannot get it out of my head that I didn’t act in alignment with my personal ethics. Logically, I understand that I don’t have to do anything, but my heart just keeps saying, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

It is exhausting to have your brain and your heart disagreeing. I am trying hard to put this to bed so that it doesn’t affect the show. One thing I would like to put into the Universe is that if that fella happens to be reading this; I hope he will send me an email and let’s go have a toast to your friend and you can tell me some of your favorite memories.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Good Reader! I hope you know how much I appreciate you. What would you do in my situation? Let me know because I feel like I am falling down the ladder of human virtue.

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

❤️