Well, it still stings. 

But great advice and empathy really do help, so thank you very much for your wise counsel.

Now, I pick up the pieces and move on.  I need a better monologue (and I need to take a monologue class, but must feed and clothe children before working on character motivation).  I need to schedule voice lessons, even if it’s only every six weeks, and start working on those “bad habits” my most recent music director mentioned.  And also somehow turn my voice into Sutton Foster’s.  Or Lea Michele’s.  Either would be fine.

I need to continue getting into shape, but unfortunately that means attending Phoenix Theatre’s Summer of Dance classes.  I love those dance classes so much and look forward to them every year (last year I danced four weeks after Juice was born), but I’m afraid I’ll feel a bit loserish attending this year, post-rejection.  But I’ll go anyway.  I just can’t resist a good dance class.

And I’ll look ahead to other possible opportunities.  Although it’s almost an hour-long drive, Fountain Hills Community Theatre is doing “A Chorus Line” this winter.  I would give my right foot to be in “A Chorus Line,” although that would make it very difficult to dance.  Desert Stages Theatre is doing “How to Succeed,” and I love that show, too.

But at the moment, there’s nothing on the horizon, and I feel blue.  Sick kids don’t help.  Rising temperatures don’t help, either.

“Bridesmaids” helped.

Moo singing along to “Seussical” songs helps.

Juice grinning like a maniac and hugging my knees helps a lot, too.

So do those flowers from Herbie….

Okay.  I’ll quit whining now.


Let’s talk about failure.

I wish I was the kind of person who, when rejected, says, “I’ll show them!” and feels inspired to work harder, try harder, never give up!

I am not that kind of person.  I am the kind of person, who, when rejected, tends to doubt my right to exist.

I didn’t get a callback from Phoenix Theatre, and no I am NOT going to check my email again because I KNOW it is going to be empty and that wound will open up in my gut again if I look.  Plus they wouldn’t send out callback emails at 9 p.m.  Would they?

No they would not.

I don’t know when being in a Phoenix Theatre show became my ultimate dream.  But judging from my level of emotional crushed-ness, it has indeed become my ultimate dream.  A dream squashed.

I admit, after realizing I didn’t get called back, my first reaction was, “That’s it.  I’m done.  I’m not good enough, and I’m not doing this anymore.”

Now, I’m not so sure I’m giving up (that’s so Mama Rose circa 1998), but I am still wondering if maybe I’m just not good enough.  Honestly, I didn’t think the audition was that bad.  I felt a little rushed, and it wasn’t spectacular – we didn’t have any kind of “moment” that I thought ensured they’d remember me…but they did comment on my dance experience, so I thought at least I’d make it to the general dance call back.

But no.  So I mean…I must have REALLY sucked, right?

I must have…

I just wish they’d given me the chance to dance.  I realize my voice isn’t going to sell out Carnegie Hall, and I am always learning as an actor.  But I think my strengths lie in the total package – a dancer/singer/actor.  I’m able to shine (or maybe not?) when I’m doing all three.

I just wish I could have danced.

I’m getting older.  And I know I can’t get too old for theatre…there will always be wonderful parts no matter my age.  But I can get too old to dance.  And that’s what I feel slipping away.

Why did I waste all those years being so afraid?  …Oh yeah, because of this exact feeling.

Help me feel better by telling me how you have coped with failure in your life.

My Phoenix Theatre audition is in just a few hours and I am definitely entering the nausea/fainting stage.

Luckily, I have the coolest daughter in the world.  After Moo watched me sing my songs a few times, I had an idea.  I had her sit up on the couch, I grabbed my headshot and resume, and walked into the room.

“Hello, Mrs. Director Lady!” I said.

She looked confused a second, and then her eyes flashed.  “Oh hello, yes, you’re the next girl to audition,” she said, carefully studying my headshot as I handed it to her.  “Yes, this is you,” she decided.

And so I went through my whole audition, four times, under the critical but loving eyes of my dear Moo.

I still want to crawl into a hole/faint/throw up….but not quite as much.

Friday the 13th

May 10, 2011

I realized a few days ago that I wisely scheduled my Phoenix Theatre audition for the evening of Friday the 13th.


I’m in the final stretch of preparations – I have my headshot printed (I think I’m going with black-and-white because my hair is darker now), I have a cute outfit to wear courtesy of Rosalind, and today I had a voice lesson, so I feel fairly prepared with my songs.

The monologue is another matter.   I don’t love it, and I have not yet wrestled it to the ground.  I fear I shall have to subject my children to monologue rehearsals, during which Juice will undoubtedly cling to my legs, whining, and Moo will sit and watch me with that look on her face which clearly says, “Um, Mommy?  I’m just not feeling it, Dawg.”

The best part?  After my audition, I’m getting drunk with Rosalind at the Arizona Biltmore, where we are staying FOR FREE all weekend.  Mojito, here I come!

But before the reward, I have to face the fear of walking into that audition room…again.  Is it going to start getting easier at some point?


April 20, 2011

When Phoenix Theatre informed me, via website, that its general auditions would take place at the end of May, I thought that the auditions would occur, you know – at the end of May.  Not three weeks from Friday!  Eeeeeee THUD.

Ever-so-fortuitously, that is also the weekend of my staycation with Rosalind at the Arizona Biltmore,  a grand ol’ resort that I never in my life thought I could afford (Rosalind won a contest…I love Rosalind).  So I am going to get the audition over with early Friday evening, and then get stinking drunk and loll around on my expensive bed all weekend with a bottle of rum.

Audition preparation is deeply, obsessively underway.  I have reached out to my secret connection for some new song material, I am booking an appointment with a voice teacher for some pre-audition coaching, and I am staying up till 2 nightly, reading play after play in hopes of finding a decent monologue.  I constantly sing potential audition songs in the car to Moo and Juice – I love them so, they do not judge me when I don’t quite hit that high note.  And Moo loves to sing along…the only problem arises when I play “Oklahoma” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – I have to sing along VERY LOUDLY during the part where she wants to “blow those little FUZZERS HATS right off.”  Ahem.  Sure, that’s what she’s saying.  No, let’s not listen to it again.

I worry that I am placing too much importance on this audition – setting myself up for a deep depression in the future if I don’t at least get a single call back.  The fact is I still don’t have very much experience, but I KNOW I could prove myself if they gave me a chance, and OH MAN I want to work with them so badly.  Almost as badly as Moo wants a Barbie.

Not until you’re 6, Moo.

…I hope I don’t have to wait two more years before I get my shot with Phoenix Theatre.

Well it’s official – I cannot organize a flash mob, rehearse for a show, wipe runny noses, get up in the middle of the night, and stay up-to-date on my blog.


For the record – the flash mob was an amazing experience.  I felt – lifted.  I think maybe many of us did, while we wiggled and danced and grinned and pointed up at heaven (I shall not apologize for the cheese-factor of that move).  It really felt like Jude was watching and laughing.  We put a lot of love out into the universe, and most importantly, everyone was thinking about Jude.

One of these days I’ll post a video and talk about it more – the whole experience deserves more than a dashed-off, sleepy post.

Also for the record – my wiser, more experienced mother-of-two friend PROMISED me that Juice would start sleeping through the night at nine months.  I mean, I think I even remember it was a blood oath.  But did Juice sleep peacefully through the night last night?  No – he woke up four times.  FOUR TIMES!  Granted, it’s very hard to be annoyed with him for long, he’s so giggly-wiggly lately.  But no – I take that back.  It’s very, very easy to be annoyed at three in the morning.  After my show is over, and after we gently guide Moo through the tragedy of bidding adieu to her night-time pacifier when she visits the dentist next month, this boy is in for some tough love.  I demand more sleep!

Other than those updates, I’ll jump right to the present:

Our show opens in four days. 
Moo turns four in five days. 
Moo’s birthday party occurs in six days.

Party:  “Come as Your Favorite Character” theme.  We’ve been so excited about Moo’s first party with actual friends her age.  And at first the theme seemed such a brilliant idea – perfect for Moo, who’s coming as Star Song (a pony).  But as I wrote each child’s name on the invitations, I began to wonder – would our theme actually drive people away?  Would these parents shudder at the idea of having to come up with some sort of costume?  So far only three kids have replied.  I’m worried that Moo will be heartbroken if so few of her classmates come – she’s been looking forward to this since August.

Birthday:  Moo’s big day coincides with the second night of my show.  Not ideal – but she’s decided she wants to come see the show that night.  And there just happens to be a point in the show where someone is invited up on stage – guess who that’s going to be?  I’m hopeful the extra attention will make her feel extra-special.  Because as Rosalind said, everyone deserves to feel truly special at least one day every year.

Show:  My costume is see-through.  I accidentally spit in T.A.’s face.  Two people cried at rehearsal today.  Michael nearly ruptured a disk in my back when we foolishly tried to tango as if we had any clue what we were doing.  We haven’t had a single run-through, and I’m still not sure of all the lyrics and harmonies.  My silver sparkly shoes haven’t arrived in the mail yet.  Of course, with a transparent costume, I suppose people won’t be looking at my feet anyway.

All that, and I’m still have the freaking time of my life.

Standing O

November 21, 2010

Last show today! 

I’m relieved:  sweet sleep on the horizon!  More time with my family!  A chance to eat dinner with my family!  All those episodes of 30 Rock on Tivo!

I’m depressed:  I’ll miss my cast, and my new friends.  I’ll miss standing in the wings, waiting for my entrance.  I’ll miss being in a damn SHOW, being an actress, shaking my booty during my one dance scene.

Friday’s show was a bit of a fumble.  We were rusty, and as soon as someone uttered, “I have a feeling something’s going to go wrong tonight,” we knew we were doomed.  One girl fell off a styrofoam block (in retrospect, perhaps not the the best design decision) and hurt her foot.  Another girl whammed her shin during curtain call.  And my little pretend daughter got slammed by the stage door. 

But yesterday, after the injured had iced their bruises, we put on a hell of a show.  It actually took me a while to catch up – I felt exhausted, and maybe a little prematurely bummed that the show was over.  But, according to my pretend-husband, I finally perked up, and we pulled off the show – bad review be damned!  At the end, we were rewarded with our first full standing ovation.  Surprising, since the audience seemed more politely amused than excited, but hey – wanna stand up for us?  Stand indeed, good people of Cave Creek/Scottsdale/Carefree!

Then we celebrated at the cast party, where I impressed the kiddos with my Roger Rabbit and we all danced until 1 a.m., when a polite cop who looked straight out of The Andy Griffith Show politely requested we keep it down.  Partying with teenagers – always a good time.  Not that we adults didn’t hold our own – my pretend husband even broke out the worm!  It’s never a real party until somebody does the worm.

Countdown to the last curtain call…