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

I Feel Like Mr. Toad…

Some of the Chorus Line cast
Some of the Chorus Line cast

If you would have told me that Tech Week for A Chorus Line would truly begin one wild ride, I may have rolled my eyes.  It seems like tech weeks have gotten much easier in recent years.  I don’t know why.  I can remember that first decade of shows and the tech weeks truly living up to the name “Hell Week.” This one started out simple enough and as we progressed further into the middle of the week, I could feel the tension rising through the cast.  Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely excitement mixed in there as well, but knowing how exact this show had to be there were repeated clarifications and adjustments.

Then, I got laid off from the nursery.  Oy!  Right smack dab in the middle of tech, I suddenly find myself without my financial stability.  So the practical part of my brain, as small as it is, panics and stresses.  But then the actor in me took over and said, this is probably the sign you need to get off of your ass and really try! So I didn’t even think about that situation until after we opened the show.  What I did do, however was use it to add to my character.  Since all I had was A Chorus Line, it made the determination to make it into that fictitious show all the more real for me.

What I didn’t expect was that because there was so much invested into that “reality” for me, I found this show so much harder to say good-bye to.  When we were in rehearsal mode, I never thought I would be so sad that I wouldn’t be dancing these steps with these people eventually.  I just thought that it was one more really good show that I was a part of and I will work with some of these fabulous people somewhere else down the road.

Yamagami's Family
Yamagami’s Family

Could it be that I now tie the nursery and the show together and I am really mourning the loss of both?  I can’t say for certain.  While I loved working with the people at the nursery, I was feeling like I needed to move on  so I have absolutely no ill will toward those wonderful people. But I will miss them. But because of that little work hiccup, I truly got to experience the out of work actor feeling. It’s one thing to be able to create and pretend the world you need to “live” in for the stage, but to actually really know how “oh shit, how am I going to pay my rent?” feels gave me a link to the physiological changes I experienced.  Like when I get really angry my heart beats faster and stronger,  I can access that whenever I need to for a scene. Now, I have this link to help me when I next have to create this particular feeling.

I am so grateful for the show because it was an incredible feeling to not only represent this character written for the show but to be able to identify with it not because of where they come from or their sexuality or their religion but because they are actors. I know firsthand how those songs like “I Hope I Get It” and “What I Did For Love” live in that character’s soul because I have lived them too.  From the nerves and self doubt at auditions and sometimes even in the rehearsal process to the sacrifices and dedication we give to our time for the theatre.

I don’t know when I will be able to listen to “What I Did For Love” with out bursting into tears. Or looking around to see if I can see those beautiful faces that were on the stage with me.  Or recalling all the missed time with friends and family that I cannot re-do because of rehearsals or performances.  Or remembering the good times and laughs that I had during all those rehearsals.  Or thinking of all the incredible people that I have been lucky enough to call friends over the years. Or being able to help others learn a step or lines at one time or another.  It is the ultimate love song to the theatre in my humble opinion.

To the amazing cast that I was so lucky to play with: I hope you know that even though I may not have been one to join in the social gatherings outside of the show that I love you guys so much.  It was an honor to be able to share the stage and share our vulnerabilities with each other and the audience. I can only hope that our paths cross again.  To our directographer (yes, it is a word… at least I have forced my system to recognize it as one) Jenn Maggio, you are incredible. What a task you had and what you gave us and in turn made us give to the audience was nothing short of magical.  And of course all that other stuff I told you after rehearsals.

So for now, I’ll “kiss today goodbye, the sweetness and the sorrow.”

Wish me luck.

The same to you.