Before I got all mopey, Rosalind and I spent a fabulous weekend at the Arizona Biltmore (it’s so nice to have friends who are good at winning contests).

The Biltmore oozes old-school glamour – although at first, they tried to stick us in the “Biltmore” add-on motel at the back of the resort, with a view of an air conditioner.  No, thank you.  Luckily, Rosalind doesn’t fear making firm phone calls, and soon we were cozied up nicely in a garden room.   Ahhhh.  Everything was divine, and Rosalind and I decided to settle in and have a cocktail.  Time to pull out the bottle of rum and make a quick trip to the ice machine.

Um, where is the ice machine, please?

Ah, wonderful.  Down the hall, then…

And…through the unmarked door?

Into the creepy abandoned room where one might find a dead body…

Through another creepy door??  What is that in the corner? Is it moving?  Ahhh!

Seriously, I think someone should call Detective Beckett. Oh no, she was shot in the season finale.  Dammit, Castle! 

…Wait, what’s that in the back corner there, some sort of  torture device?

Ice machine!!  God, I hope it doesn’t spit out severed fingers…

Run, Rosalind!  Run back to sweet civilization!

Worth it:

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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.

The Pen is Mightier

May 18, 2011

Dorothy is safe!

And she’s writing.

You MUST read her account of her experience in Syria.

Yes, it will reveal my immiment babbling for the immature navel-gazing it truly is, but HOLY GOOD GOD I can’t believe what she went through, and now she’s getting out the story about the suffering of the Syrian people.

Read it!!!

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.

Whoops.

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?

Dorothy

May 5, 2011

When I moved to Seattle to live with Herbie, the first order of business was meeting his large group of friends.  They were all rather intimidating – loud, loyal, and joined at the hip – many of them successful journalists.

One of those writers was Dorothy Parvaz.

You may have heard of her – she’s currently missing in Syria.  Well, not missing, I guess – they’ve admitted they have her in detention.  But nobody has been able to talk to her, nobody knows whether to believe Syria’s definition of “safe,” and nobody knows when she will be released.

Can you imagine that?  Can you imagine your friend, your daughter just – poof! – gone missing in a country rocked by violence on the other side of the world?  I can’t even fathom what her family and her fiancee are feeling right now.

Mostly, they’re working their asses off to get her the hell outta there.  Although I’m sure there’s a part of her that would prefer to just be released, thank you very much, and go about her intended business, reporting on what’s really happening in Syria.

Even after knowing Dorothy a few years, I never did entirely stop feeling intimidated.  She’s crazy-smart (like, Harvard fellowship-smart), wickedly funny (emphasis on the wicked), and so thoughtful and insightful that sometimes, listening to her, my jaw actually dropped.  She was always the one perched on the couch with a glass of wine, silently smirking at our silliness, waiting for just the right moment to drop the perfect zinger.

She’s the kind of woman who comes across as hard-as-nails at first.  But you can’t be so gifted at writing and reporting without vast stores of compassion.  I got a lovely sample of that compassion recently when she sent me a message after Judy died.  Of all the messages of condolence I received, hers has stayed with me the most because it actually made me feel better – and that’s a damn hard thing to do after the death of a friend. 

Dorothy’s the kind of person you want writing and reporting the news.  She’s the kind of person driven to go to Japan to report on the devastation of the tsunami, and then to Syria in the middle of a violent uprising, because her cause is a noble one – tell the story.  Get it out there.

And now her friends are getting her story out there.  I hope by the time I post this, she’s already on a plane home.  But just in case, please help.  What if it was your friend, your sister, your fiancee?  All you have to do it send a (courteous) email to the Syrian embassy, asking for Dorothy Parvaz’s release.  Send an email to as1@syrembassy.net.

Thank you very much.