Blowing Dust Off the Old Keyboard

Hi!  How is everyone doing out there??  How is life?  How has your summer been?  Mine has been pretty interesting and pretty low key.  It’s a very interesting mix.  I feel like I should pick up where I left off with the Disney/Universal trip, but that has been so long ago, that I don’t really remember where I left off except that Disney Onstage = Awesome for Glutards, Disney Backstage = Not So Much and that Universal was a blast, but a total food wash.

So, what have I been up to??  Well, near Memorial Day the studio where I was taking Burlesque classes   
had a Graduation Recital and I got to perform with a group of my fellow Beginning/Intermediate students in that while the gradates prepped after their individual numbers for their finale.  I only went down to a bra and my second pair of panties (the routine had us removing the outer pantie), but it was exhilarating.  I felt strong, sexy, and confident, three words that I do not feel that often and rarely at the same time.

Not too long after that, actually ON I went up to Northern Wisconsin for a friends weekend.  It was a fun weekend with friends and I got to see her marry the love of her life.  How can that NOT make you happy??

I think not long after that, I did a 20th anniversary show for a friend’s theatre company.  It was not everything that was promised when I showed up to the first meeting, but in the end, I had a lot of fun with some talented people and got to share the stage with some friends.  And I hope, beyond all hope, that the next time I ever sing “Seasons of Love” is because I am in a production of RENT.  Can I please call for a ban of that song in any and every musical revue show?  It is honestly the entire reason I never saw RENT until about the time the movie came out.

The big highlight of July was cheering on a friend in her international beauty pagent here in the Chicago area.  She rocked out, won “Most Photogenic” and was an amazing advocate for her platform, Celiac Awareness.  I met her at the Gluten Free Cooking Expo that I have been volunteering at for YEARS and I love my “cupcake monsters.”

photo courtesy of Steve Merkel

August started with a bang.  Almost quite literally if you consider the gun that was fired in show.  Anyway, I had been asked by a director I have auditioned for several times to take place in a musical revue that he was putting together as a fundraiser for a local theatre company.  Of course I jumped at the chance to work with him.  Then I saw who else he asked.  EVERY other person in that cast has, at one point in their life or another, played a lead or a main supporting character with solos in a show.  Some of these performers I had seen on stage and just wanted to learn as much as I could from them.  And then there was me.  The tall chorus girl in the back.  But in this show, I wasn’t going to be a chorus girl.  Every single person in the show was featured in at least 2 numbers.  What did that mean for me?  I was going to be singing Magenta in “The Time Warp” from ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and Mazeppa in “Gotta Get a Gimmick” from GYPSY.  Plus ensemble in 4 other numbers.  **GULP**  Nervous.  Scared.  Floored.  Honored.  Determined.  Terrified.  What if I got there and I was the weakest person in the show?  What if I got there and the director realized he made a mistake?  Well, I got the sheet music about a month early and did everything I could to start working on my parts so that when the time came for rehearsals to start, I could be (somewhat) professional and at least know my music.  I knew it would be tweaked as I worked with the director and knew what he wanted, but I could know words and pitches.

11 Rehearsals.  22 people put on a 2 hour show in 11 rehearsals.  We sold out 97% of the house over the run of the show.  I came into the rehearsal process determined to be friendly, but to keep my head down, work hard, learn by observing others, and not let all of my crazy energy out.  And for the most part, I think I succeeded.  I don’t know how my performances went.  I know they felt great, and each night they felt stronger and stronger.  I don’t know how well I succeeded in everything else I wanted to accomplish, or even hope to accomplish.  But I know this.  I came out of it with a bunch of new friends and the knowledge that I got to play with the big boys and I held my own.

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One response

  1. […] production in its entirety or die! Or not that extreme, but dammit it was funny. Plus it featured a friend of mine that I have grown to respect in the short time that I have gotten to know […]

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