Oh It’s Nice to be Moo

March 18, 2012

Refresh (F5)

February 15, 2012

Nine days ago I auditioned for “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” at a theater in Scottsdale.  It was all part of my master plan for the year – to diversify, branch out, and get to know as many theatre people in town as I can (without heading all the way to Gilbert).  I had some doubts – I haven’t done two shows back to back before and I don’t know what kind of strain that would put on my family.   But I know this theater does great work, and “How to Succeed” is a show I’d love to do.

Eight days ago I went to the callback (yay!).  I got there at 6 p.m. and left at midnight.  In between, I learned and sang two songs, read and read and read again for three different roles, learned a dance with a TOE-TOUCH and a SOMERSAULT and a KNEE SLIDE, performed the dance, performed the dance again, read some more, watched people get cut (but not necessarily out of the running), read some more, belted out a song at 11:30 p.m., stood on stage and tried to look pretty and awake, watched more people get cut (but not necessarily out of the running), and looked around in amazement when there were only three girls remaining.  …What that meant, I’m not sure.

Three days ago I went back again for another callback.  The director mentioned I’d be reading for the sexy secretary role (who, me?), so I attempted to turn it up to 11.  I poofed my hair, slipped on my slinkiest dress, plucked my eyebrows into reluctant obedience, painted my nails slutty pink, and even wrangled some ridiculous lashes onto my eyes.  I got there and read again for all three roles.  I went home after about an hour.

Supposedly, supposedly, the casting results would be posted on Facebook and the theatre’s website by today, February 15th.


No, they are not.

And so I quietly go insane…


January 28, 2012

Four people in the last month have proclaimed that I look just like Jane Fonda.  Three of those people prefaced their comment with, “I’m sure you hear this ALL the time, but…”  The other person whispered it loudly in the middle of the show.  For the record, I do NOT hear that all the time, and as long as it’s the young Jane Fonda we’re talking about, I’m quite thrilled.

I think it’s an improvement over Ally Sheedy, who people used to tell me I look like:

No offense Ally Sheedy, but you’re kind of morose.

…And that one drunk guy I waited on who told me I look like Monica Lewinsky.

I would assume that the Fonda comparisons are because of my shiny leotard and teased-to-the-clouds coif in the show, but the first man who declared me Fonda-esque said it to me before I’d adopted my “Cassie” look.

So I think I’ll stick with the hair-teasing thing, buy some legwarmers, and maybe look into becoming a global exercise maven-slash-Oscar winner.

Moves Like Moo

January 20, 2012

Whenever I get really down on a performance, Herbie rubs my sore muscles and reminds me to “Orbach it,” referring to a piece I read a while ago by Jerry Orbach (not only a police detective but also a long-revered Broadway song-and-dance man), in which he talks about the challenges of performing the same show over and over and never being satisfied.  He finally came to the conclusion that he should view each performance as a chance to do better than the last, and that’s the view I’ve tried to adopt as well (it applies to every new day of parenting, too).

I was watching one of Moo’s shows this morning (“Superheroes!” starring Moo as Wonder Woman), and as I watched her dance, complete with sound effects – “Whoosh! Wah-ha!” – I saw in her performance what my performance is missing: total abandon.  When Moo dances, she is completely lost in the joy of spinning and leaping, and being completely lost in the joy of dancing is what my dance is supposed to be about.  But I haven’t quite allowed myself to do that.  I can tell I’m still holding back, for many perfectly valid reasons – strained hamstring, my feet hurt, I hate dancing in character shoes, ohmygodthisdanceissoexhaustingI’mgoingtodie…

But basically, I think I just need to suck it up, let go, and dance like Moo.

Every Little Step

January 19, 2012

I didn’t mean to stop writing.  It just happened, and then the not-writing kept happening until I seemed to have simply abandoned my blog.  But I didn’t mean to.  I wanted to re-focus, re-design, and be a little less public…but the re-design hasn’t happened (no money), the re-focus hasn’t happened (too tired for quiet contemplation), and I’m currently dancing and singing on stage in the midst of a four-week run of A Chorus Line, so…not public?  Not really.

Since October, I’ve been dieting, exercising, rehearsing and preparing for a dream come true – playing Cassie in A Chorus Line.  It’s the postage-stamp-size version of A Chorus Line, but it’s still fuckin’ 5678, music and the mirror, singular sensation, mm-kay?  Our stage is so small we can barely fit across it in a straight line, but we’re still dancing our hearts out and high-kicking with the best of them.  We’re kind of awesome, really.

…And I get to be Cassie.  It’s a funny thing, having a dream come true.  It’s not like getting married, where you float along indefinitely on a cloud of euphoria until the first credit card bill comes along, but it is a little like having children, because it’s so very physical, often painfully so, and I am plagued with self-doubt even as I’m filled with joy.  I get to dance on stage like I haven’t in such a long time…or maybe ever, really – and that’s heavenly, but it also means lots of strained muscles, and constant striving for a personal standard I don’t think I’ll ever reach.

So I remember what my friend Mary Frances said when I told her I didn’t know if I’d ever be satisfied with my performance:  “You won’t.  Every night, you’ll wish you could have done it just a little bit better.  But at least you’ll be happy you had the opportunity to try.”


Right now, Moo is coughing in bed (she seems to always have a cough or stuffy nose, thanks preschool).  She’s planning her 5th birthday party, learning to ride a bike, and she puts on a new show every day.  Just as much time goes into setting up the audience of stuffed animals as putting on the actual show.  She’s finally, finally going to start ballet class next week, and she adores her little brother, although she hates how he’s always messing up her carefully arranged toys.

Juice is sleeping soundly in his crib, using Boofa his Ugly Doll as a pillow, a pacifier clutched in each hand and one in his mouth.  When he wakes up in the morning, he will cry out for us until we set him free, and he will immediately greet his beloved trains.  Within 30 seconds, he will destroy the brilliant track set-up that Herbie so lovingly created.  OH does this boy love trains.  He also loves cuddles, kisses, hugs, making funny faces during dinner, running down hills, and NOT sitting on his bottom on the couch.

I’ve been home the last three nights in a row, which hasn’t happened since Christmas.  Being home and putting my kiddos to bed has been wonderful, except that it’s been three straight days to doubt everything about myself, and wait in vain for my muscles to stop hurting, and wonder whether the joy of performing will continue to outweigh the side effects of self-doubt?

Home Sweeter Home

August 25, 2011

We are here!

Top 10 Things About Our New House:

1.  No weird smell in the master bathroom.  Our old house had a tiny bathroom, which we realized had a mysterious smell after we moved in.  (We previously thought it just needed a good cleaning.)  We tested for mold – nothing.  We scrubbed and scrubbed – still I scrunched up my nose.  In five years, I never once used the master bathroom.  Instead, it became Herbie’s bathroom, and I shared a bathroom with a preschooler and a baby.  Now I share a room with my hubby (double sinks!), and Moo pretty much has her own bathroom, which means I have to check once a day to see if she has remembered to flush at all (usually no – not a pretty sight).

2.  Saying goodbye to the Cave.  Also known as our kitchen – the Cave had no natural light, and when I washed dishes, I stared at a beige wall.  Plenty of space, but that space came with ugly green countertops and cabinets that had been installed for people over six feet, so I had to stretch on my tip-toes to reach the plates or even the microwave (and I’m tall!).  The oven was also installed in the refrigerator’s spot and vice versa, leaving a lovely little chasm next to the stove, perfect for drips, drops, and suicidal noodles.  Now I have a WINDOW over the sink, looking out on two orange trees.  And if I turn around, I can see my children tackling each other in the family room, instead of trying to interpret their shrieks from the Cave.  And the TV!  I can see the TV!  I can’t wait for Christmas, so I can bake cookies and watch Elf – a dream come true!

3.  Not feeling creeped out by my neighborhood.  Cars parked in the yards.  Fat men without shirts.  Houses falling apart.  Having NO desire to go trick-or-treating in my own neighborhood.  And we were robbed a few years ago, which I realize can happen in even the nicest neighborhoods, but in our case, we kinda got the feeling that our robber could live on the next block.

4. Not feeling embarassed to invite people over.  When Moo began preschool and made a few friends, I longed to start scheduling playdates.  But I felt ashamed of our neighborhood, no matter how many times Rosalind assured me that nobody was judging us.  When we gave Rosalind a tour of the new place, she said, “Whoa, this house is so much better.”  I’m planning a back-to-school party for Moo’s new preschool class next month.

5.  High ceilings.  Now Herbie can throw Juice and Moo in the air without worrying about giving them concussions!

6.  Pool!  And a backyard that we actually use, even when it’s 108 degrees.  We neglected our old backyard, because it was barely visible from the house and never had any sort of landscape design.  Now, our family room looks over the covered patio, pool and nice, grassy landscaped yard.  Bonus:  FAKE patch of grass in the front yard!  Joke’s on you, weeds!

7.  Master bedroom.  Like the kitchen, our old bedroom was distinctly cave-like, made worse by my misguided decision to paint it dark blue (“It’ll be like the ocean!” I chirped).  So small, Herbie and I often had traffic jams just trying to walk around the bed.  Our new bedroom has a window seat, a GLORIOUSLY HUGE closet, and room for piles and piles of laundry.  It’s a nice light blue, and so far I’m resisting my deep-seated desire to paint everything teal and violet.

8.  Garage.  Hey, where does this go?  Garage.  Hey, where should we store this?  Garage.  What, it’s 115 degrees again?  Ah, the car is nice and cool in the garage.

9.  No more ugly diagonal white tile.  It never looked clean, it always looked ugly.  Now we’ve got lovely dirt-hiding tile and lush carpet, upon which Juice adores throwing himself mid-tantrum.

10.  Santa won’t have to come in the front door anymore – he can come down the chimney!

As Herbie said, It’s like this was always our house, we just didn’t live here yet.

AriZoni Awards

August 4, 2011

Oh yes, and one more thing – I received a Zoni nomination for Actress in a Major Role for my last show at Desert Foothills Theater!

This one:

In fact, every single person involved in the show received nominations!  The whole cast, our director/choreographer, music director, lighting designer, sound designer, set designer, everybody!

It’s nice to be one of the cool kids, especially after my epic fail at Phoenix Theatre auditions.

It’s even nicer to have an excuse to go shopping for a new dress for the awards ceremony!

Countdown to Chaos

August 4, 2011

The movers are coming at 7 tomorrow morning.

Both houses are complete wrecks – however, the newer one boasts much less dust.  Score one for Mama.  And the kid’s rooms are kinda  sorta adorable.  I didn’t get all the cars and trucks done in Juice’s room, but at least I finished the section behind his crib.  He’s already trying to reach his toy trucks up to the “road.”  And Moo has named all the birds in her new bird tree.  For the record – Siranna, Megan, Greely, Roxta, Kooky, Emma, Maddie, and Doc. (Emma and Doc are married.  Maddie is kinda shy.)

I am approaching HIGH-ALERT stress levels, and that stress is seeping out and infecting my children with whininess and grumpiness, and hell, who wouldn’t be grumpy with all. this. mess.

Juice is spending the night at Herbie’s parents’ house tonight so he won’t try and heft the couch into the moving truck all by himself, but Moo really wanted to be here for the big event, and I’m trying to respect her feelings and wishes during this transition.  Although I have frequently needed to remind her that Big Change does not equal an excuse to act rude.  (“But I’m not acting, Mommy!”  “Behave, then – don’t behave rudely.  Just stop whining!”)

And then, in the middle of my bubbling grumbliness, something funny will happen – Juice open-mouth kisses me, Moo presents me with a Polly Pocket trapped in a slinky, I find Juice’s missing chicken in the “bathroom stuff” box – and I remember that moving to a nicer house is a good thing, and the chaos will gradually smooth itself out.

But where…the hell…is the CHEESE GRATER?!?!?


Slowly but Surely

July 30, 2011


A lot has happened.

We bonded with cousins:

Juice turned 1:

And enjoyed himself immensely:

Our dear friends got married, and Moo got to be a flower girl:

Moo also performed in her first “show” at Phoenix Theatre’s summer camp:

We went camping:

And this happened:

Yes, we’re moving!  Nicer house, nicer neighborhood.

So happy.

Let the packing madness commence!