22 March 2011

I got cast!

I got a role in the play! I'll be playing the role of Mrs. Winemiller in Summer and Smoke! The read-through tonight was really a lot of fun. We have the next few days off and I have to be completely off book - meaning I know all my lines - by Sunday's rehearsal. I've also got an assignment due next Monday, a test on Thursday, internship things to do, and a work call out at our properties storage Saturday. Time to get back into the swing of things.

21 March 2011

School days again

Went back to classes today after spring break. Time to knuckle down on my internship work; I spent most of my day doing exactly that. Had auditions for summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams. Cast list will be posted tomorrow. Not sure how well I did yet.

20 March 2011

Back to school; relaxing

Classes start tomorrow. Rehearsals tomorrow night. Time to finish some homework.

19 March 2011

I love a parade!

Today, I went with all the parental units, grandma, and Princess Emma to see a St. Patrick's Day Parade. We headed out early to eat breakfast beforehand. The meal was good, warm and filling. The parade was very nice to watch. There's nothing like the excitement of a four year old to make everybody else get a little more energy themselves. Emma was asking all through breakfast if it was time to go to the parade and when her food was coming.

When it was time, we went outside to watch the parade. Emma loved it, especially the dresses and the horses. Hearing her voice change in pitch as she smiled and said "those horses are so small!" was adorable. It wasn't her first parade, but as she watched it, it was almost like she was seeing everything for the first time. Of course, I had my job during the parade: candy detail. I got to gather the pieces that Emma didn't see or that just hadn't been thrown far enough. When we got home, we divided the spoils.

A parade is a great way to start the day.

18 March 2011


My Mom has always said that when she gets bored, there are only two things to do: rearrange furniture for a change of scenery or dye her hair for a change of looks. She and I spent today defrosting the freezer and, since we had to move it outside anyway to do that, we moved things around in the kitchen and dining room. Princess Emma was with us today and got to play in the water while Mom washed the frost from the freezer. She loved it.

The downside to all the furniture moving was the time it took. The chore took most of the day and we still have a couple of things to get put up. Better yet, my left calf is killing me. I've done some internet research, but don't know what I did to my leg, just that it hurts. A lot.

Pain aside, I like the new look of the kitchen and dining room. We cleared a lot of space and moved a lot of things; it's made the space a lot more comfortable and created more room both around the table and near the refrigerator and freezer.

Spring break is almost over. All in all, I've enjoyed it. I even managed to get some homework done, thankfully. Yeah, to be honest, I'm ready to go back. I miss the routine of school, the regularity of the schedule. On Monday, after I finish my classes and get my director's notebook turned in for Shakespeare (boy is that assignment going to take a while...) I'll be joining the rest of the department in auditioning for roles in our next production, Summer and Smoke.

For the moment, I think I'll revisit an old past time and test my new (used) memory card for my PlayStation. Seems like a good way to spend what is left of the day.

17 March 2011

A day with Princess Emma

Today was spent with Princess Emma while the other parental units went to a doctors appointment. I'd just like to note how proud I am for my own ability to remain productive while entertaining a little girl. It really was a good day; of course, any day spent with Emma is good. how could it not be when I've got a Princess keeping me company?

Lately, Emma has been telling me all about her little red dragon, Ruby. This is the first imaginary friend she's come up with all by herself. It brought back my memories of my own imaginary friends. I'll admit, I was a little older and borrowed from stories I'd read. Falkor, the luckdragon from Michael Ende's The NeverEnding Story, was one of my favorites. Another was Little Bear from The Indian in the Cupboard. I'm so thrilled to see my sister using her imagination. She really has a knack for it.

16 March 2011

Flying a Pillow

I tried to be productive today; really I did! Turns out jet lag got to me instead. I managed to pound out about half a page worth of a cover letter. Not nearly enough. I got another act read out of Hamlet, but still haven't finished the play. I still need to read The Mousetrap for lighting class and will be trying to get Summer in Smoke  read by Monday - I doubt that'll happen - so I can be ready for rehearsals that evening.

Instead of all that, I spent a large part of my day trying not to fall asleep and a small but most enjoyable part of my day in the park with my little sister. Getting to the park, on the other hand...

It didn't take much for Other Mom and Princess Emma to convince me I needed a break. I'm not sure whether it was because the jet lag had me functioning way below my usual level or because I wanted to spend time with my sister. I'll be sentimental and chalk it up to option two. So, we loaded up and I hunted a snack before we left, thinking falsely that my exhaustion was caused by a drop in my blood sugar. Yes, this jet lag thing is completely new to me; I didn't recognize it for what it was.

On the way to the park, the car died. Something about an oil leak. A rather massive oil leak. Car's not going anywhere. We call Mom, who comes to get us and ended up joining us on our trip. At the park, I got to help my little sister slide and watch her climb and swing. I also got to fly my kite. I remember owning kites of various kinds since I was about thirteen, if not younger. Thirteen is the number sticking right now in my sleep-deprived brain, so I'll go with it. However, no matter how many kites I owned, I could never get any of them to fly. Of course, we lived in apartments, trailer parks, etc. so flying kites probably wouldn't have been the brightest idea where we were.

This kite, my triangle shaped nylon fabric rainbow kite, actually flew. Not only did it fly, but it made a kind of flapping motion on its own between catching the wind currents to ride. It was amazing. I had a blast.

It also woke me up, but the jet lag set in again with a vengeance. Of course, I didn't know what the problem was until Dad told me this evening after dinner. I hope this passes tomorrow. I feel completely off kilter and really don't need to end up snapping at Princess Emma just because my body thinks it's tired. She doesn't deserve that. Maybe tomorrow we can have a good day emotionally, if nothing else. I'm going to go check my eyelids for cracks. Will try to tackle the to-do list again on the morrow.


15 March 2011

Bad Recipie

Hm. Friday night was interesting-and I wasn't even there! I opted to skip the karaoke night event in favor of catching up on this blog and working on homework. I don't regret the decision; I needed some productivity and normalcy. Funny thing is, what happened didn't even during a convention event!

Here's the disclaimer that might keep me from having to delete spam comments. I'm writing about this as someone who was not there. This is here say with my own opinion added. Because this is my blog, I'm allowed to give any opinion I wish. I will not name names, however.

as I heard, a group of Twitter friends got together for dinner and drinks. the met up at a bar in the hotel. at some point, somebody arrived late and got upset because someone else they hadn't had a chance to meet yet had already left the bar. Keep in mind, it's the end of the first day in a jam packed weekend. Most of the people there had had to fly in on Thursday and the entire group was collectively running on little sleep, perhaps as result of decisions to drink. With all these ingredients, I'm not shocked to learn that the person who was upset got a little teary-eyed.

I was surprised to hear that someone else at the table said "If you're going to bring the rest of us down, you can just ******* leave."

They let her go.

Excuse me while I die of embarrassment at how incredibly rude this is to do to someone.

After hearing about that event and watching the others hang out together while drinking, smoking, gossiping, etc. I pretty much decided it was time for me to take care of my own skin. I chose to ignore it and go about my business. I want to enjoy myself while I'm here and I bought the (expensive) convention ticket to attend convention events, not to avoid them.

Because of this decision, I spent a good portion of Saturday fending for myself and loving every minute of it. The people I was sharing a room with chose to sleep in. They missed Leah Gibson's second Q&A as well as Q&As with Patrick Brennan, Gil Birmingham, and Charlie Bewley. So, you know, everything. When I won a $100 gift certificate in a twilight trivia game, they were in the hotel room, as they'd been the entire day, drinking. They showed up in time for the evening's autographs.

That evening, at the formal event organized for some attendees, one of the ladies wanted to go back to the room. I volunteered to accompany since, much like clubs, dances aren't my thing. In truth, I wasn't 100% ready to leave, but not 100% committed to staying put 'til the event ended. Another member of our party insisted that the person who mentioned leaving finish their drink first. I reached over for a taste with no complaints from the drink's owner. As the insisting continued, I took another sip. If the drink has to be finished, fine. It'll be finished. When the drink owner objected, I said hell with it, put the glass back on the table, and grabbed the room key.

I'm sitting in the room with the lights off because there's someone sleeping. The person who wanted to leave the event has yet to show up and I've got the room key, meaning they can't get in unless I open the door. How the hell did I end up getting screwed over in this situation?

14 March 2011

Truer words were never spoken

"Whenever you have a little bit of time for yourself, read a book. Always carry something with characters written on it with you and look at it when no one's looking." -Hojo Soun

 I read this quote and think more deeply of the idea of living for your passion, keeping what you are passionate about close to you all the time, no matter what anyone around you says. I want to live for my passion. I won't get dragged into people's real life soap opera style dramas. I want to focus on me.

12 March 2011

Volturi,and Nomads, and Wolf Dads oh my!

Day two was even better than day one. I was flying solo, baby, doing my own thing! I attended all the Q&A sessions and got autographs from every star appearing there. I was really struck by Breaking Dawn's Patrick Brennan, who played Liam. During his Q&A, he sat down on the front of the stage and, at one point, lay back on one arm, totally at ease and relaxed. I loved it!

Leah Gibson did a second Q&A session. I was a little shocked at how empty the room seemed during this time. I was the only person sitting in my row and I was hanging on her every word.

Though I've been teased by some others in my group for this, I don't care. I admit to having some complete and total fangirl moments today. The first came when I won WON a $100 gift certificate in a Twilight trivia game. I'd participated in the first round on Friday, but got eliminated after about five questions. I was expecting the same this time, but I WON! I was eliminated in the next round, meaning I didn't get to double my winnings, but that's fine. I can use the gift certificate for merchandise the vendors are selling, meaning I can get some of the things I've been looking so hard at all weekend and it won't cost me anything!

Fangirl moments two and three came during the autograph sessions. Charlie Bewley, who plays the Volturi tracker Demetri, smiled at me and called me "sweetheart" after he signed my notebook. I melted! As if that wasn't enough, Gil Birmingam told me about a Native American tribe that has my name and Patrick Brennan called me "love." Again with the melting!

I really don't care about the teasing. Nobody else in my particular group got called sweetheart or love. Besides, I'm allowed to fangirl as much as the next person. Everybody gets a little starstruck sometimes.

11 March 2011


The first day of the Official Twilight Convention in Nashville was so much fun! This is the first event like this I have ever attended. I've already decided I'd love to do so again, maybe as a volunteer.

The convention hosts, Hillary and Hannah Hindi of The Hillywood Show, were gracious and very welcoming. Leah Gibson, who plays Nettie in Eclipse, was graceful and a true lady. Very sweet! She had one question and answer session today and is scheduled for another one tomorrow. I found her to be very down to earth and very real.

Nikki Reed, who plays Rosalie Hale, is just inspiring. She quit smoking two years ago in effort to become a better role model and take better care of herself. She admitted in Q&A that these choices changed her relationships with a few fellow cast members. Boy, do I know how that feels! I never thought something so simple as a Twilight convention could bring me to so many realizations about myself.

I've noticed that everyone eventually finds a group of friends, like minded individuals they spend most of their time with. I can't help but feel that I'm still looking for my group. I know I'll find it someday.

Fan-girl moment: in her Q&A session, Nikki Reed answered a question I had submitted. I asked for advice she might give a student actor. She was honest about it, with the first words out of her mouth. "Run. Run far away very quickly." She then went on to talk about what an inconsistent business it is, with no guarantee of a paying job from day to day unless you luck out and hit it big-and even then it doesn't last forever. Of course, as she continued, she spoke of passion; doing what you love and loving what you do. It was so amazing to get such clear cut advice from someone who is actually working professionally in my field of interest.

Nikki & Leah, you are both beautiful, talented women!

10 March 2011

Truths Taught in Bars

Today, I went to Nashville with my neighbor, Nessa, for the weekend. No, I'm not mad about country music. We took this trip to attend a Twilight convention. It lasts all weekend and everything starts tomorrow. I'm excited, which is a nice change from the plane ride. Well, just airport security, really.

No, I wasn't sneaking anything onto the plane. I simply hadn't set foot on a plane since '98 on a trip to New York City. I was with my parents during that trip and travelling as a minor. Very different experience. For this trip, things did go very smoothly. The flight didn't feel as long as it really was, maybe because there was no real change of scenery from the inside of the plane.

After we landed, I got to meet some people I know from twitter. It was pretty cool-and very interesting. The person who picked us up was hyped up on caffeine and energy drinks. I think she might be more ADD than me. I have learned that she's a partier, while I am not. Our first night in Nashville, we went to Coyote Ugly.

God, I am so not a bar person. Yes, I enjoyed it, but its really not my scene. The experience was interesting, sitting directly under a speaker mounted above the bar. Once my budgeted alcohol money ran out, I spent most of my time looking for a quiet corner where there was none. One of the ladies in the group I was with danced on the bar quite a bit. Again, fun to watch. Highly amusing. Still not my scene.

I know it might sound like I'm doing nothing but complain. I really don't want or mean for it to come across that way, honest. It truly was a uniquely fun experience-just one that lasted a little too long for my tastes. Besides that, quite simply, it sucks having to walk out of a bar after a good four hours, at least, and know you're stone sober. Coaxing people who can't walk straight or prying a couple of strangers apart from where they've attached at the lips isn't my idea of a good time. Despite this, I did find out that cinnamon whiskey tastes pretty damn good, though I can only really handle it a shot at a time.

Convention starts tomorrow. I'm so excited!

07 March 2011

Confidence Sells

"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em "Certainly, I can!" Then get busy and find out how to do it." -Theodore Roosevelt

This is a statement I've heard a lot, though not always in this exact way. In the theater dept, our professors always stress to us that we need to help out around the building all the time. The point of this is to get word out that the theater students will help out anyone. The idea of it is, I would guess, to make us look better around campus.

I also follow this within the department myself. I'll volunteer for a job and then figure out how it needs to be done. As they say, confidence sells.

06 March 2011

Guilty Pleasures

I've spent this evening watching my favorite musical of all time - Les Miserables. Last year, the musical celebrated it's 25th anniversary. What I'm watching is one of three celebratory performances, this one filmed at London's O2 Theater. The three performances all took place in the first days of October 2010, all in London theaters. This was a first in theater history, three performances running simultaneously in the same city. This also took the play back to the city that saw the very first performance.

When it comes to Les Mis, I will proudly admit that I'm a snob. It's the first musical I remember seeing live at a professional venue. I own about five copies of the soundtrack on CD and a VHS recording of a performance. Most of the CDs and the one VHS are all of the 10th anniversary "Dream Cast" edition, which came out when I was eight. This cast consisted of the creme de la creme. For each role, they cast the person who, in the last ten years, had done the best in that part. In the lead role was Colm Wilkinson, a brilliant Irish-born singer best known for playing Jean Val Jean. I'm fairly certain he was the Val Jean I saw when I saw the show live.

Now, with five years of experience in educational theater, I'm noticing a lot more about this 25th anniversary performance- other than the differences in casting from one production to another. I've seen several intelligent fixtures lighting the stage, moving on their own based on the programmed cues. I do see some similarities that prove what I've heard so much in class-some things in theater are maintained over time simply because of tradition. I'm noticing this in costumes more than anything. Enjolras is always in a red vest with gold brocade. Monsieur Thenardier and his wife both wear blue, as does young Cosette. The students are always clad in earth tones.

Of course, at the end of the day, I still love the musical, no matter who's singing it. Below is a video of Colm Wilkinson, THE Jean Val Jean, in another iconic Broadway role, The Phantom of the Opera, followed by a video from Jesus Christ Superstar. Please enjoy "Music of the Night" and "Gethsemane."

05 March 2011

Visiting the Classics

I read a lot. Any chance I get, really. Of course, during the semester, my free time to read diminishes significantly in favor of academia related reading. A lot of that reading is good, of course-Macbeth, Henry V, The Mousetrap, etc.-but there's nothing like reading a good piece of literature and knowing I won't have to analyze and dissect it afterward. This semester, I'm visiting some classics.

The first one I picked up was originally read for school. I simply couldn't keep up with the rest of the class when we read Gone With the Wind. I hadn't really been exposed to it before, so I knew nothing about the story. As a result of the forced march reading style the class demanded-I remember having to read four chapters in one night to catch up-I didn't take to the book or it's characters on my first read-through. Some parts of it were over my head. I found Scarlett O'Hara to be stereotyped heavily, a flat character, always the spoiled child pouting to get her way. Why was she the heroine of this story? Why had the story lasted so long?

A year passed before I could pick the book up again. Visiting it on my own terms, within my own schedule, made all the difference. With the ability to go back and re-read passages as often as I wanted, to linger over some, I finally fell in love with the book. I truly saw, for the first time, every sign of Rhett's care for Scarlett. I saw every small change in the Southern belle as she was forced to face the real world. I watched the characters grow and evolve. It has since become a favorite, though one I only pick up when I have the time to dedicate to reading it.

Another that was more of an instant favorite was Watership Down. Richard Adams was brilliant in his writing, taking simple creatures-rabbits-and inventing them an entire culture, with its own myths and legends. I've made the journey with Hazel, Bigwig, Fiver, and all the rest countless times and have loved it more each time. Anyone who hasn't read this book needs to because it is spectacular.

My most recent acquisition in the area of classic literature has much the same story, for me, as Gone With the Wind did. In all honesty, the whole reason I picked up The Grapes of Wrath was because the book I was reading I had left in the car. I looked to my bookshelf and considered before spotting The Grapes of Wrath and thinking to myself I'd never read it before. I grabbed it, taking a chance. So far, I'm only on chapter six and I've completely fallen in love. The simple wording Steinbeck uses makes the images he paints all the more vivid. He doesn't waste words; I appreciate that immensely.

Still, wordy or not, I love most of the literature I've picked up. I wonder what I'll be reading next.

04 March 2011

The Show Must Go On

Some kind of bug seems to be circling the theater department. It sure has led to some interesting performances. During our tech run, one actress was on a no speaking/singing restriction because she'd lost her voice. The restriction was maintained until her voice returned, which was before opening night-and what a beautiful voice it is. Another actor was in the green room before the show last night, drinking hot tea and sucking cough drops. One of the spot ops was sick last night as well-his call was adjusted so he could show up right before curtain and leave immediately afterwards to go home and rest. If they could've found someone to take his place during the show, he wouldn't have had to come in at all.

Things like this happen a lot in the theater, which can be particularly troublesome at times. My school doesn't employ the practice of casting understudies. Why? No idea, but there are a lot of reasons I can come up with including a limited number of students in the department, costume complications that would stem from having to fit two people for one role, and the fact that an understudy might not have to appear onstage at all for the entire run of any given show. I've heard some interesting stories and witnessed a few as well; all of them just increase the idea that the show must go on.

Once, an actress got her nose accidentally broken onstage during a performance. I wasn't present to witness this one; I believe it happened one year during summer stock. As I recall, she finished her lines and got off stage to stem the bloodflow.

I've seen actors and actresses work through sore throats, sprains, strains, migraines, colds, and every shock, ache and pain you could possibly imagine. Once, an actress had to get her costume and blocking adjusted when she hurt her elbow a few days before a play opened. She played her roles, including two costume changes during the show, wearing a sling with her arm as immobile as possible.

There are times I have to admire the other students I work with. I'm glad I share their determination. No matter the cost, the show must go on.

03 March 2011

Facing Fears

I love my work in the theater department at school. Painting, sewing, acting, lighting, sound-if I'm honest with myself, I really am happy with any and all of it. Complaints mainly stem from exhaustion, my own failings at time-management, and things that don't make sense to my scattered, but logical mind. For our latest show, which has run this week and closes Saturday, I am running a spotlight. This is an easy enough job, to the untrained eye, and a fairly simple job once a person knows what they're doing. I've acted as spot op for two other shows, so I'm confident of my skills. However, for this show, I had another obstacle to face.

The spotlights and, of course, their operators are located on the fourth catwalk, high above the audience. This means...ladders.

Ladders have always made me nervous, as have heights. Of course, it didn't take me long to figure out the height wasn't my big probem. It was, in fact, the ladders to the catwalk. Once I was up there, I was fine. The catwalk is solid enough and doesn't sway like crazy or anything; there are rails on either side at different heights, used as hand holds and light hang locations as need demands for each production. Logically, the catwalk is perfectly safe so long as nobody hangs off it or something equally stupid. No, my hang-up was entirely with the ladders.

I'm very cautious when it comes to ladders. I climb no higher up than absolutely necessary and always keep as many of my limbs connected to the ladder as possible. Both hands, both feet, always in contact with a rung until my feet find solid ground again. Logically, I know the fear and know exactly where it stems from. It's the spaces between the rungs that worry me. All it would take is one mis-step, after all.

Of course, the show must go on. When we were hanging lights before tech weekend, it took me twice as long to get down the ladders as it took getting up them and I took more time than anyone getting to the catwalks. During the tech runs of the show, I had a flashlight with me that I could turn on to make my way back downstairs after the show. Now, with two tech runs, a dress rehearsal, and opening night down, I'm not as nervous as I was.

Am I going to be speed walking along the catwalks any time soon? Sliding down the ladder or skipping rungs? Going down a ladder with a lighting instrument in one hand? I doubt it. Maybe that last one, if I have to. I never thought theater, something I love helping out with and being involved in, could help conquer a fear.

02 March 2011

ADD & Loving it!?

I love this PBS show. Very informative and amusing. Check out the trailer here.

01 March 2011

The Truth of ADD

I found this video and decided to post it. This guy has a pretty good, clear-cut idea of what ADD is like, probably because he has it as well. He made some really good points. Video used without permission.