January 16, 2011
I finally feel like I’m waking up from a fog of snot. Yuck. Lucky for me, I’m married to the most wonderful man in the world. Herbie took care of all three of us for the past three days. And he’s been on Juice duty for four nights in a row. Yes, he’s quite tired.
For Christmas, my fabulous brother-and-sister-in-law gave me tickets to A Chorus Line, a show I’ve been dying to see since the terrible Michael Douglas movie version came out in 1985. (But I loved it, ohhhhh I loved it.) Our tickets were for last night, and I just couldn’t make it – I felt like my head was going to topple off my body and roll out the door. But lucky for me (again), I also have fabulous parents-in-law, who just happened to have tickets for tonight’s show. So we traded, and although I will probably be frequently coughing into a handkerchief and annoying those around me, I DON’T CARE. Finally I get to witness “uhFIVE! SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT! dunna-duh-duh, duh-dunna-DUH! DUH!” Liiiiiive!
Can’t wait. (Sniff.)
February 24, 2010
So I got a message from Tempe Little Theatre yesterday, asking if I would like to join the cast of Sweet Charity, like NOW. Apparently three girls have had to drop out due to medical reasons and so they’re a tiny bit frantic, trying to fill out the cast before they open in about a month.
They’d heard that the director had some reservations about my pregnancy (so is THAT why? it’s not that I suck?), but if I felt I was up to it…
I said no. No, thank you, because even though Katy Choreographer’s involved, I’m not feeling the vibe with this show. And because I am getting big quickly, and my back hurts. And I’m tired. Oh, and I’m having a BABY. And I should probably get ready for that. Say, dive into that office/disaster and turn it into a baby’s room, which will definitely take every last minute of the next few months (especially because I would so much rather watch Lost and ice dancing than wade through piles of…. I don’t even KNOW what’s in there).
But OH I miss theatre. I miss being on a stage, memorizing lines, learning dance steps. I miss being me, and not Mommy all the time. I love being a mother more than anything, but now that it’s been almost a year since I’ve been in a show (sigh), I feel my identity being swallowed up by this little daughter of mine, so hungry for me and my attention all the time. I’m a good mother, but I think I was an even better mother when I was more…filled with myself. And now there’s another little hungry one on the way, and in a few short months I will be swallowed whole. Willingly, of course. Happily consumed by motherhood – but counting the days (weeks, months), until I can audition again.
October 7, 2009
Haven’t heard anything yet, but there was a second round of auditions Tuesday night, so I would guess the director wouldn’t let people know until Wednesday – actually, she said Wednesday afternoon at the latest. And for a nice change, she contacts everybody by email, telling them yay or nay. That’s nice! I much prefer obsessively checking my email over constant silence from my taunting phone.
Between visits to my in-box, I spent possibly the most awesome afternoon of my life watching Michael Jackson videos with the choreographer of “Mary Poppins.” Even that sentence is awesome. I visited my former director Mary because she was gifting me a copy of “Mary Poppins” (after I told her that Moo loves the music and we don’t have a copy). Her house is plastered with pictures of the amazings things she’s done and people she’s met – she was even on the cover of Life Magazine! (That one hangs in the bathroom – hee!) There was also a picture of the 1993 Superbowl halftime show with Michael Jackson, which she choreographed. !!!!! Oh, I love this woman. So we started talking about Michael Jackson, and then there we were on her couch watching Beat It, Thriller, Bad, and even the unedited version of Black and White. But she saved the best for last – a performance from the 1993 American Music Awards which I’d never seen before. We watched it three times.
Seems like performers these days cram every damn thing into their live shows – circus acts, giant blow-up clown puppets, gymnastic equipment – but maybe all you really need is talent like that, choreography like that, and some cool lighting. I think I’m just going to keep watching that until my email arrives.
*P.S. – If you can dance like that, I don’t give a shit if you lip-synch.
September 27, 2009
I’m FAMOUS! (In approximately 75-100 mailboxes across the greater Phoenix area.)
September 22, 2009
That’s one of my favorite quotes of the night, courtesy of Sonia, right after we discovered the theater bar was cash-only, and right before we filed into the theater and I realized we’d gone around the side instead of down the center where the red carpet and fake paparazzi were, and unless I wanted to look like an idiot and frantically back pedal and scootch around back to the center aisle to get my picture taken by a 20-year-old photography student, I’d better just mosey on in and take my seat.
And so I did, missing my fake red-carpet moment, and then I sat my butt down in the 2nd row (woo!) and didn’t move my aching ass for two and a half hours. Ouch!
Also, I didn’t win, and am now seriously questioning my worth as a human being. I mean, WHAT AM I?!
But Mary our director won for choreography, and Toby for sound! And so we were well-represented, the show was great, and I enjoyed being in my dress and my fancy jewels, with my handsome man at an awards show.
Afterwards, Mary tried to give me her choreography award, “because I made it look so good,” and that pretty much made my night. Then we went over to the restaurant, FINALLY found some alcohol, and schmoozed the night away. I got to chat with all my theatre buddies, and remembered once again that one of the best things to come out of this whole durn quest is all the friends I’ve made.
Then I tortured myself awhile, because I should GET UP and schmooze with people I don’t know, like all the producers and directors of theaters I’d love to work for (hello, Theatreworks, Fountain Hills, ABT!), and so finally I dragged myself out of my seat and wandered the patio aimlessly until I saw Sonia again and escaped to the safety of her side. And then, lo and behold! I got to talk to the tap-dancing horse. THE tap-dancing horse, from Hale Centre Theatre’s “Sleeping Beauty” production, the tap-dancing horse that Moo idolizes, her go-to character for most games of pretend. I regaled the horse (actually a very talented young man named Skylar) with tales of Moo’s devotion and he seemed impressed. After a discussion about the dying art of equine tap-dancing, I returned to Herbie and Julie.
“Where have you BEEN?” they asked. “You just missed the directors of Fountain Hills Community Theater and Southwest Shakespeare. I would have introduced you!” Julie said.
“Where were you?” Herbie demanded.
“Um… talking to a tap-dancing horse.”
They thought that was preeeetty hilarious, but it was all worth it, because when I picked up Moo this morning at my mom’s house, the first thing I told her was that I talked to the tap-dancing horse. Her mouth fell open.
And I told her how the horse hopes she takes tap-dancing lessons some day, and how he bets she’s a wonderful dancer, and she fell into my lap and giggled and giggled and giggled, and that made me happier than any new dress, fancy jewelry, or shiny gold plaque ever could.
Although – that jewelry was kind of to-die-for. Maybe next year I’ll have another reason to borrow it again.
The whole look (since I rambled on about it so much):
With Mary, beloved director/choreographer and Zoni award winner! (She can just add that to the shelf with all her Emmy’s and Oscars.)
With Sonia, after we FINALLY found some alcohol:
My date (we’re very misty/mystical out on the patio):
Back home at the laptop, refusing to take off my finery:
August 6, 2009
So there we were, driving down twisty roads Tuesday, back toward civilization after a lovely vacation at our no-cell-service cabin. Of course, I checked my email on my phone as soon as I got a signal, as any good wired-in blogger/Facebook addict would do. And there were all these messages saying congratulations, and sometimes even, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!”
My heart danced a little boogie. I knew that the Zoni Award* nominations were announced Monday night, and I knew that I was submitted for consideration, but every time the thought, “maaaaybe…” began to creep in my head, I stomped it out and focused on choosing a potty seat instead. But finally, there was the email from Desert Foothills Theatre’s producer, announcing the news that not only had I received a Best Actress in a Musical nomination for “The World Goes Round,” but the entire cast had also been nominated, and the director and sound designer as well! So now I don’t have to stomp out secret hopes anymore, and can shout out loud (virtually):
I can barely get my mind around it. How did I go from here to a Zoni nomination in one year? How is that possible?
I’ve been playing it pretty cool around all my family and friends since I found out, like, “Yeah, did I mention? It’s pretty cool, I got nominated for this Zoni Award thing… yeah yeah, I’m pretty excited about it…yawwwn.” Maybe I feel that at 35, I should really be mature about this whole thing, but what I really want to do is be Moo for just a few minutes. I would run willy-nilly around the house, windmilling my arms, quacking like a duck, kicking, somersaulting off the furniture, and shouting at the top of my lungs.
Ahh, what the hell – nobody’s home but me and Moo. You won’t tell, will you Moo?
*The Zoni Awards are like Arizona’s version of the Tony Awards, giving out annual best-in-show awards to professional and community theaters in the Valley.
June 29, 2009
I received a sweet surprise yesterday at Tempe Little Theatre’s end-of-season party – an award with a guy on it who looks like he might have a bad tummyache, but actually he’s taking a bow. My name is engraved on it and everything! I even had to make a speech! I thought about thanking Herbie, but after all we were in a small community room, not the Shrine Auditorium, and I thought people might roll their eyes. I won the award for best actress in a featured role, for my little role as the crazed stage manager in “Kiss Me Kate” last fall.
To drop the ironic detachment for just a moment – it’s just so incredible to me that for so many years, I believed the theatre world was as impenetrable as, oh…the UCLA Medical Center last Thursday? Complete with angry guards ready to beat me down upon approach. I have found the opposite – theatre groups that have welcomed me, encouraged me, and even given me awards to boot. I’m trying not to think about all the years I wasted sitting at home thinking it was such a scary world. I’ll just enjoy my little tummyache man instead.
Looking ahead, Herbie says that I should audition for as many shows as I like and not worry about him and Moo. (Herbie is a pretty wonderful guy.) But I feel like I should try to get myself on some sort path that would lead to making money, not that my hazy plan (writing?? oh yeah, big moneymaker) is a surefire hit. I’ve been struggling the last few months, missing the security of having a quest, knowing my purpose and even having a handy-dandy set of rules to follow. Now I’m twisting – enjoying Mommyhood but feeling a whole lot of blankness all around me. What’s next, little tummyache man? Do tell, do tell.
June 22, 2009
I have discovered the best game in the whole world. On Saturday, we went to see a wonderful production of “Sleeping Beauty” at Hale Centre Theatre, starring my talented friends Sonia and Bill, and since then we’ve been playing “Sleeping Beauty” non-stop. Moo is the horse (a tap-dancing, talking horse, of course), and for a while I was the dragon (I give good ROAR), but yesterday I got promoted to the lead role, the sleeping wonder herself. Moo instructed me to lay down on the couch and close my eyes. Happily, my dear! Then she told me to go to sleep. Mmmm, yes please! Then she proceeded to surround me with her favorite toys and books, so that I felt like an Egyptian mummy.
Finally, while I tried to sleep in a beatific manner, everything got quiet. I tried not to giggle. Then I felt her sweet soft cheek against mine, and a tiny kiss at the corner of my mouth. Moo is not normally one to give kisses, and I usually have to politely request (or demand) a hug, so I positively glowed as I awoke from my slumber, imitating Amy Adams in “Enchanted.” Moo giggled delightedly as I thanked her and declared her the most beautiful horse in the kingdom, and then she introduced me to her best friend, Prince True the Snake. And then-
“Again, Mommy! Go to sleep!”
You betcha. I spent the next half hour taking cat-naps and getting little Moo-kisses all over my face (I love it when she kisses my nose). Best game ever!
May 4, 2009
Big theatre weekend for me – on Saturday night, Herbie and I miraculously made it to Katy-Molly’s performance of Man of La Mancha at Desert Stages, even though I was a lazy slug and waited to get tickets until they were sold out. Herbie and I got showed up anyway, got on the waiting list, got tipsy next door at Coco’s and finally made it into the tiny theatre-in-the-round at the last second, although we didn’t get to sit together. I sat in the front row, where (happily) I had the best possible view to watch Katy-Molly twirl beautifully, and (unhappily) smelled like sweaty actor by the time the show was over. VERY small theater.
Then last night my Mom and I went to the Celebration of Dance performance and got to see dear beloved Mary the Director, who functions as sort of an Ambassador of Dance in Arizona. The annual show consists of a wide variety of dance companies, schools and soloists who audition to take part. We saw everything from belly-dancing to break-dancing, and I loved every second.
Some Lessons Learned During my Theatre Weekend:
1. Don’t sit in the front row at Desert Stages Theatre.
2. DO sit anywhere else - they do amazing things in a teeny tiny space. Wonderful, creative staging!
3. I know virtually nothing about the Spanish Inquistion.
4. I wish I had a cool Spanish name like Aldonza (even though she’s a desperate trollop).
5. Belly dancers have AMAZING bodies. Am seriously considering belly-dance lessons.
6. Celtic dancing – not as boring as you’d think!
7. Apparently I have very firm opinions about dance. Dear modern dancers: are you running off stage and on stage, throwing yourself on the ground, doing small stacatto isolations, grabbing your head/knees/stomach, then running off stage again? I’ve seen it before. THINK OF SOMETHING NEW. Please.
8. Also – Dear dance studios of the world: Please do not make your young dancers pull stupid faces. They look like blowup dolls.
9. Finally, someone else who believes that ABBA’s Chiquitita is long overdue for a dance tribute!
10. Tap-dancing lives!! I have a big, big crush on Mike Wittmers, who tore up the floor to a version of Sting’s “Walking on the Moon.” He was by far the favorite dancer of the evening, receiving round after round of rousing WOO’s, especially after he danced with the sexy belly-dancer during the curtain call.
Biggest lesson learned – Phoenix is brimming over with talent. After my last few theatre outings, I am convinced that the Valley (and its sister cities) is filled with incredibly skilled dancers, actors and singers. It makes me wonder why so many of the professional theaters still bring in outside talent from LA, when they have so many wonderful options right here in town. Buy local!