Saturday, April 17, 2010

Performing again!

A lot has happened in the last week! (see, I told you I would try to do this more regularly) And this gets to be a happier post.

Since my last post, Aaron and I went down to San Diego for a friend's wedding, I got a horrendous cold, I auditioned for a musical for the first time in years, I went to callbacks for that musical, I got into that musical and Aaron had his birthday.

So I guess I'll go chronologically:

1. Karyn's wedding.

My friend, Karyn Ruark, got married in a beautiful ceremony in San Diego. Karyn is like my little sister - seriously, I remember her in diapers. So it was kind of weird to see her get married. I wasn't in the bridal party this time, but I had the honor of doing the bride's makeup. Sharon and I woke up at some ungodly hour and drove down to the salon to do Karyn's makeup, as well as help some of the bridesmaids with their makeup. Then we drove over to the church and helped set up some of the decorations. The ceremony was at the Immaculata at USD, and then the reception was at the Town and Country hotel. All the roses at the hotel were in full bloom. The reception had dancing, karaoke and yummy food. Later that night I started to feel that familiar scratch in the throat. Of course, it could have been shouting . . . er, singing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" for karaoke. But, the next morning, I knew it was a full blown cold.

2. My cold

Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. I knew it was much more than just wine and karaoke. Aaron and I came back to LA and I slept on the couch the whole day. I ended up calling in sick to work on Tuesday because I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like someone had burned a hole through my throat, and every time I swallowed, the fire would rise up and retaliate against my body for that involuntary action.

3. Auditions

Monday night were auditions for a community theatre production of "Chorus Line." I haven't done a musical since I played Wendy in "Peter Pan" 10 years ago (I cannot believe that it's been that long). I've been missing musical theatre so much. At least when I was dancing with Mehtropolis, I was performing regularly, so I was still able to satisfy that performance bug, but it's been over a year since my last show . . . and if you know me, you know that screws with my sanity. So, when I saw the audition notice, I thought "if there's a better show than 'Chorus Line' to be my re-introduction to musical theatre, I don't know it." I dug up my old headshots and resume, old sheet music and voice lesson cassette tapes and started practicing. (For once thankful for my horrendously long commute in my car that has a cassette player).

Of course, Monday came and I had no voice because of my cold. So I was hoping they would dance first and then sing. I showed up at the auditions ridiculously early because a) I always do that, and b) the theatre is around the corner from work. When I got there, there was just the director and one other auditioner there, so I asked if we were singing or dancing first, and the director said singing would be first - immediately I said "Ok, I have a cold!" She had a good laugh and thanked me for telling her. When I sang, it was OBVIOUS that I had a cold, so I am really glad I said something.

Fortunately, they didn't do a cut between singing and dancing - everybody got to dance. We learned the first section of the original choreography to "I Hope I Get It." Let me just say this, 80's jazz and me don't necessarily mix well. And the choreographer taught it really fast! It was not good. Seriously, I think we maybe spent 5 minutes learning the choreography before they broke us into groups of TWO for judging - and I had to go first, with a guy who doesn't dance! It was bad. Before doing the combination, we had to do a double pirouette on each side, followed by double and triple time steps on each side. My pirouettes were fantastic (yay ballet!). I can't remember the last time I did a single time step, let alone a double - and I don't think I've ever done a triple time step. I did not have the choreography down for the combination at all. I walked away from the experience thinking "Well, I'm glad I went. Now I just need to get back into the practice of auditioning . . . I'll find other auditions to go to." Honestly, I wouldn't have called me back after the disaster that was my initial audition.

But, lo and behold, the next day, they called me back! I seriously think it was my pirouettes that got me called back. After getting the callback, I went to YouTube to look up the choreography to see what I was missing. The first callbacks were dancing only – so we added to the jazz combination (good thing I looked it up). That round went much better, though I still was fighting my cold and my energy plummeted part way through. After the jazz combination, we learned a ballet section . . . (big sigh of relief). I like ballet! I can do ballet in my sleep (and sometimes do). But I still wasn’t sure if it was enough to get me called back again for the acting callback.

The next day, they called me back! I read for Val (T&A), Kristine (can’t sing), and Bebe (sings the alto part of “At the Ballet”). I was ecstatic to even be considered for Val – last time I was auditioning, I would have been the young ingĂ©nue, so to get to be considered for a “sexy” role, was exciting! When I read for Kristine, I thought I did pretty well, got a few chuckles, but then this other girl went up and was HILARIOUS! I felt confident about my read on Val’s monologue. But then we learned Val’s song, and there was a girl there who already knew the song and could belt it out of the park – seriously, she had an AMAZING voice. I didn’t get to see her do Val's monologue, though - we read those individually in front of the director. When we learned “At the Ballet”, there were a bunch of us all in the room together. It was the end of the night, and we were running late, so the director had us sing in groups of 2 or 3 and she just picked our voices out from the groups. It was weird learning the alto part (in the past, I had been a soprano). Honestly, I think the only reason I was able to hit some of those low notes was because I still had a cold and my voice was not yet back to normal.

4. Getting in the show.

I got into the show! I’ll be playing the “Cut Dancer” and understudying Val, Kristine and Judy, with “guaranteed performances.” Part of me is kind of disappointed that I didn’t get a named character role. But honestly, I really just wanted to be around musical theatre again. And this way I get to learn 4 parts (mine and the other 3) instead of just one. If I hadn’t gotten into this show, I probably would have found an acting class to take anyway, so this way I get to sing, dance and act for free – and still get to perform! It has seriously been so long since I’ve done a musical, I’m really kind of starting out at the bottom of the totem pole again, so I’m just glad to be involved.

Here are the details for the show: It will be at the Morgan Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica, June 26 – July 31. Here’s a link to the theatre’s website: As soon as I find out when I’ll be playing the bigger roles, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Birthdays that could have been

Wow - so it may appear that I have abandoned this blog - but I haven't. I'm always composing in my head things to post. Perhaps I will start to get better at actually posting the thoughts that rattle around in my head on a constant basis.

If you are reading this, I am going to assume a) you know me and b) you know why I haven't touched this blog in over 6 months (something to do with the last part of 2009 being one of the worst times in my life). That being said, I don't feel the need to re-cap anything that's happened in the last 6-7 months.

On to today's topic: Today, April 7, would have been my father-in-law's birthday. So many things have happened in the past two days that remind me of him that I can't help thinking that perhaps it's not all a coincidence.

1) Last night the wind was so bad that it kept blowing a tree branch against the roof of our bedroom - Aaron and I ended up sleeping in the guest room for some peace and quiet. The last time I slept in the guest room was when Aaron was in Chicago while his dad was in the hospital. I slept there because I didn't want to sleep in our bed alone - not really the best reason for my first time sleeping in the house alone. At least this time I had Aaron with me.

2) Today I went to the beach for lunch. I used to text my father-in-law about all kinds of random things - I'd almost always text him when it was nice out. I really wanted to text him about how gorgeous it was today and send him a picture of the beach. I also went to the beach to de-stress after I dropped Aaron off at the airport when he returned to his dad in the hospital. The backdrop for my phone has been a picture that I took that day - I think I might change it to the picture I took today.

3) Oprah's new network (OWN) licensed some music from us for promos - of course, today was the day that deal went through. Almost cried while drafting the contract because I definitely would have texted or emailed him about it right away. We may be entering into a longer term contract with them, too, which is something I always told him they should do.

4) On my drive home tonight, the light-post, that had been going out almost every night after he passed, went out right as I drove past yet again. Apparently that sort of thing can indicate a sign from the other side.

There are plenty of other things, but I can't think of them right now. I just know that I miss my dad-in-law very much. He will always be remembered by me as being full of life and love and he would want us to keep living life to the fullest.

P.S. Stuff like this reminds me that life is short and you need to tell those close to you how you really feel. To all my family: I love you. :)