Holy Crow People!
Is it just me, or did July fly by like a bat outta hell?? Granted, for the most part this summer has felt like an extended fall, but is it really August already!?! YEESH! I felt like it was just last week that I woke up and looked at what my July had in store and thought, “Bring It.”
Let me tell you, July heard my challenge and Brought. It.
The month started off with 3 days on the set of a major motion picture that was filming in town. Let me just say that film sets are not the place to be when you are an extra on a special needs diet. Thankfully I thought ahead and brought food, for the most part. While lunch was covered, the first day I discovered there was no hot water for oatmeal, so that made for an extra long day. I also failed in the bringing of enough snacks. Thankfully there was lots and lots of fresh fruit available for me to nosh on.
It was a fun couple of days where I got to see, but not interact, with some pretty famous people. I have no clue if I will make it into the finished film, but I will know I was there and a part of something magical that ignited a spark that had been a bit dormant.
After that, rehearsals started picking up for my summer show. This year I was thrilled to be a part of the Chicago Community Theatre premier of SHREK: THE MUSICAL. Now, before you get all eye-rollie with me, the script is by the same gentleman who brought us the brilliantly touching RABBIT HOLE. Shrek is actually one of my favorite newer musicals because the story is one I relate to and there are several songs that I absolutely adore! But it also involved 2 weeks of rehearsal every night with no internet connection to fill the time between. This is when my amazing cast shone. This was probably one of the closest casts I have worked with, and there was so little internal drama that it was heavenly.
So those two events filled a bunch of time. One Saturday of the month saw me attending both an open background call for TRANSFORMERS 4 and then doing background work on an Exxon commercial. I was paid to look at the Chicago skyline and get color on what was the hottest day of the year. Granted, if you have been in Chicago you know that it is not too hot and we have had very, very few warm days, so it actually got me a little bit of color!
This month also saw Brandy Wendler returning to Chicago for the 2013 Mrs. International Pageant. When she got into town we met at the headquarters of ENJOY LIFE FOODS for a tour. This was a fantastic visit a) because they sponsored Brandy in her pageant, and b) they are an awesome company that is free of the top 8 allergens. If you have not tried their food, I highly recommend you pick something up. Brandy and I have a fondness for the Plentils, and I am also a big fan of the Decadent bars. After some talking and getting us suited up in our white coats and pretty pink hairnets, it was time for the tour. All I am going to say is “WOW.” Wow that this company still packages things by hand, wow that they do so much in so little space, wow at the steps they take to ensure the food is safe, wow, wow, wow. The Marketing Manager, Kasey, was an absolute joy to have as a tour guide and somewhere she has a picture of Brandy and I climbing Mount Plentil.
Brandy was in town to compete in the Mrs. International pageant. While I could not afford a ticket, I was dying to see her in her finery and bring her some celebratory cupcakes, as I was that confident she would do well. So, on Friday I got in touch with the fantastic FrannyCakes and we decided that it would be fun and go “crash” the pageant. Ok, I should probably define that. By crash we meant go hang out in the lobby, get the results, see Brandy and her handsome hubby after the show. So…we met up for dinner of a cupcake each at Swirlz Cupcakes before heading up to Skokie to hang out at the mall before it was time to hang out in the lobby. Granted, by hang out at the mall, I really mean go to Barnes & Noble, get tea, read magazines.
After a bit of light reading, we headed over to the venue to hang out in the lobby and see how she did. Sadly, we forgot that the first night they only announced who won Most Photogenic and not the Top 10. Oh well. We still got to see Brandy and JR, as well as Andrea and her new beau who had come in to cheer.
What else did I do?? New headshots were taken, I worked on a commercial for Exxon by lying around a park all day, stood in line for an extra cattle call for the next Transformers movie, attended a holiday party, and I got together with friends to feed our SYTYCD addiction. It was a crazy busy month, but boy, did I have a LOT of fun!
In other news, it is now mid-August and I am late posting this because I have been cast in yet ANOTHER show. My goal is to get at least one post up a week, as I juggle rehearsal, work, exercise, lessons, and all the other craziness that is my life. If I miss, please bear with me, I am not done with y’all yet!
This past weekend was the Chicago Gluten Free Allergy Free Expo. This was my first time attending as anything other than a volunteer. In the week (!) leading up to the Expo, I was asked if I would be willing to dress up as a superhero to promote a T-Shirt company. Considering I used to dress up for work (and still do for theatre), having the opportunity to create my own character was something I jumped at! I have to send big thanks to the staff at both Ragstock and Beatnix Clothing for helping me figure out the pieces.
Since I am a geek, I even started putting together a back story for her. The only reason I am not sharing it, is because I am playing with ideas to grow with it and maybe turn it into a comic. How cool is that?? Just need to talk to some people, but I had it in my mind.
I took to my Facebook page and to Twitter to try to come up with a name. I knew the shirt had a big “GF” on it, so I thought the name should have that as well. Laura, who writes tweets for Taste Guru and is a fantastic blogger in her own right, gave me a bunch of suggestions based on the article she was editing including “Sorghum Siren.” I love alliteration and creativity that comes when you are working on something new.
Anyway, Saturday morning came and I got suited up and headed to the booth.
To say I did not know what to expect would be an understatement. My thinking was that no one was going to want to meet a character they did not know. And considering I could not even remember the name I came up with (Glutonazon), my thought was that it was going to be a LOOOONG 7 hours!
I was wrong. It started out a little slow, because the booth was near the center back of the expo hall and there was not a lot of business, but then I started wandering. My favorite moment of the day actually occurred during that first pass through the hall. There was a boy of about 4 there with his parents, who were manning a booth. He saw me and immediately told his father he wanted a shirt like mine. I took him by the hand and we headed to the booth where he immediately started wearing his shirt before his dad even PAID for it! It made me smile and made my heart happy. The next day his mom told me he put it on again as soon as he got up. **Happy Moment**
The rest of the day was taking pictures with people, including 4 ladies from the Notre Dame GIG group, coming up with a motto (“Fighting Hidden Gluten One Crumb at a Time”), taking more pictures, walking, trying a couple of products (more later), enjoying conversations with vendors and guests, and being pulled into booths for pictures. I learned a lesson that will be valuable moving forward. This character is a brand. She is someone I love with a message I am passionate about. Moving forward, before I take a picture in any booth, with any merchandise, or with any logo, I will be 100% sure that I love and support the brand. It was very flattering but I know there is at least one picture out there with me in the booth of a product I do not like/enjoy/support. Lesson. Learned.
I’m going to fix a couple of things and I hope that She-Liac appears at more GF events in the future.