Monday, September 28, 2009

T minus 3 days

Ahhh, to sleep in. I slept until 11 today. Well, I made myself stay in bed until 11 today. The past two days we've had 10 out of 12's, which means we rehearsed 10 hours out of a 12 hour stretch. Saturday was all cue to cue (lighting cue to lighting cue) so it was a lot of hurry up and wait. It always is with cue to cue. All the actors are required to do is be in the places they're supposed to be while those in charge decide what the lighting should be. It's definitely necessary so I'm not at all complaining. The lights look fantastic. It just made the day seem really long.

Yesterday we had our first full dress rehearsal. That's always a magical day; it's incredible how much lights and costumes and make up can do to help transform the show into something real. Believe me, it's so much easier to get into character wearing the Mimi costumes. I had a few chances when I wasn't on stage to see how everything else looked and it was fantastic. Especially watching the second part of La Vie Boheme - that number is so fun and has so much life. All in all the run through went relatively smoothly. A couple of things weren't pre set and a few things were forgotten, we stopped once in a while to fix the lighting, but we got through it and I'm pretty sure we all felt good about it.

Today we're back to a 5:00 rehearsal, although it could potentially to until midnight. That wouldn't be a huge problem except for the fact that we're called to the theatre at 5:45 tomorrow morning to do some spots for FOX News. We usually leave the hotel about 20 mins to a half an hour before we have to be there, and my hair takes, oh, maybe 50 minutes to do. Kim, the production manager, said we're going to do our best to get out before 12. In any case, it's going to be fun for do Rent (the song) at 6:15 am, especially for Dylan and Casey. Luckily, after we're done at around 9, we won't have to be back again until 5, so there's some serious nap time.

Wednesday night we'll have our first audience, although it will be considered a "preview". It's supposed to be our final dress rehearsal, but the people and businesses that have helped to support the show or theatre or promote RENT are invited. Something like that. Our official opening night will be Thursday, with a party to follow. I'm so excited - it seems like I've been here for so long, but at the same time I feel like we've gotten everything together in a short amount of time. I'm really proud of what we've got, it's going to be quite an experience for the people of Birmingham.

Friday, September 25, 2009

what should i title this one...?

Oof. Casey just put me and Ben through his ab work out routine. I'm happy to say that I completed all but one of the exercises. That's some pretty intense stuff. Standing doesn't feel right... I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow but it'll be worth it.

Yesterday we had a full and nearly non-stop run through of the show. Unfortunately two of the principals are on vocal rest so the energy wasn't at the level it should have been. We definitely all tried to give it the life it deserves, but it was admittedly more difficult when we had to think of the lines that were silent in order to time everything else out right. Hopefully within the next few days everyone will be back up to full steam.

I think this Sunday we're going to get the full band. I know all of us can't wait - it'll add so much of the needed energy into the show. Don't get me wrong, Kevin Finn is a fantastic pianist and musical director. It's just so exciting when we're getting new components of the show together. I worked with a few costume pieces last night... that was interesting. I have full confidence that my first act costumes will me fantastic. Second act... well, I remember Courtney (the choreographer) saying I'm taller than a lot of the Mimi's (or maybe she thought I'm 5'9" too), but that pink dress is pretty darn short. I guess we'll make it work, somehow.

Notes didn't go so well. It seems like although we've made a lot of great choices and done some really good work, some of us are taking a few steps backwards. Ron assured us that we have a great product, but there's also a lot of things we need to focus on. Keith (Cromwell, exec. director of the theatre co.) said it in an interesting way. He said we were all acting like it was the Church of Rent, like we had to tip toe through it and not shake things up. I know there's a few of us that have fallen into doing what we've been so used to over the years, listening to the OBC recording, or trying to replicate what we've seen from the last performance filmed live on B'way. I'm an offender too. But I realize when I am and I'm up to the challenge of making it work in the space we're in, and also personalizing it and making it my own. It's a great learning experience, and I think by the end of this I will have grown a lot as an actor.

After rehearsal last night a group of us went to The J.Clyde. It's a really good restaurant near Five Points with an abundance of college kids and a huge beer list. Some people had the chicken wings and they were very well received. I got their house made hummus and it was fantastic. Pictures were taken, conversations were shared, good times were had by all. Michael Wright (my roommate) even stayed out the whole time!! It was much appreciated, since his favorite pastimes is talking to his fiance for hours and hours. She's actually going to be on tour soon and he's going to drive to South Carolina or something like that to pick her up so she can see the show, and then he's going to drive her to the next city of her tour. We all can't wait to meet her.

After we got back I did have a bit of a tumultuous night. I love travelling and what I'm doing and I don't ever want to stop, but that may be causing big problems. I think that's all I want to say about that.

No rehearsal till 5 today, but thankfully there's been other things to do than just sit around watching Wife Swap. Actually, we watched Wife Swap while doing abs this morning. It was a mildly helpful distraction. Anyway... I've got birthday cookies to eat and groceries to buy. Have a wonderful day. I'll write again when I can.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's m'Birthday!!

I've been anticipating this for weeks now - no not my birthday... getting the costumes for the show!! I've felt like I've been 24 for at least, oh, 8 months now I suppose. Actually being 24 doesn't feel any different than yesterday. What do you bet I start telling everyone I'm 23 now, like I should have been for the past however many months.

Ok! So, costumes!! They're so great - mine are just like the Broadway show. I got to see Ben in some of his Angel costumes too, they're fantastic. We're lucky though, there are some people who's costumes don't work at all. Amy, the costumer, was really frustrated yesterday. They had us send in size charts so they could order the correct stuff, but for some of the pieces it seems like the size chart wasn't considered at all. Like Casey, I think there's only one or two shirts that work for him. Everything else is too big or small or short... etc. I'm sure it'll come together though. I mean, it better - we open in a week!

Rehearsals themselves are going really well I think. We've got the whole show in place, now we're making sure the whole thing flows nicely. It seems like Ron is paying special attention to the transitions right now. Like he said, there's nothing that takes you out of a show like a bad transition. They can be so distracting if not done properly.

Word on the street is we're all going out somewhere tonight but I have no idea where yet. All I really want is to have a fun time with people who want to have a fun time with me. If it's just cupcakes and a few bottles of wine I'm good with that. But I'll let you know what's decided.

Alright, off to the gym once again. Do you have any idea what I'm wearing in the show?? Yes, off to the gym...

Saturday, September 19, 2009


We looked it up yesterday. 1 in 15 people have HIV. Now we know it is true.

Rehearsal last night was like none I've ever experienced before. We finished blocking act II and then Ron had us all sit down and just talk about ourselves. It was truly incredible to hear everyone's stories. And these are just small parts of their lives. To hear about child abuse, dramatic weight loss, coming out to parents and friends, journeys to and through the acting world, blessed lives, tormented lives... and all of this to have brought each one of in this cast to this point in our lives... I'm not even sure what to say. I'm sure all of us definitely have a better understanding of each other now, and a greater love of this show because we all now have personal connections to it.

I'm not sure many of us really knew that we had these connections either. As we told our stories, Ron would interject with comments or questions that would help reveal how parallel our lives were to the show. Who knew our Dylan had so many similarities to Mark, the character he's playing, or that Ben basically got cast right when he walked into the room because of the joy he radiated, just like Angel. What are the odds that someone in our cast just came out to his mother a few weeks ago, or that one of the cast members was recently diagnosed with HIV. Everyone here has something to offer.

It's becoming more and more clear that the joy we find in living is the only thing that matters. Ron, on the first day, said that his vision of the show is that of unconditional love. There are so many people who only know of RENT because of Team America... aids aids aids blah blah blah. Sure it has aids and drugs and homosexuality, but I think Ron has the right idea. When it comes down to it, it really is just about unconditional love. Some of us are kind of weary about how this Birmingham audience will take it, but if we can let that love shine through I think they'll be able to appreciate it.

Tonight we began to clean up act I. I should say today actually, we got there at 10 this morning. It was a long day but a good one. We've begun to work out the kinks and fix transitions, the small but important things. I've got one pair of boots so far for the show so I got to work in them today. We've seen that a good amount of the costumes are in already but haven't been able to try anything on yet. I'm pretty sure it's because the costumer, Amy, is out of town until Wednesday. Hopefully when we do get to test everything out it'll fit. I'm still waiting on those blue pants...

After rehearsal nearly every person in the cast went out to dinner. I was afraid at some point it would turn into La Vie Boheme and we would all embarrass ourselves, but luckily the references to the show were kept to a minimum and we just enjoyed each others company. We went to the Mellow Mushroom, btw, and it was pretty good. From what I hear the pizza was good. I had a soup so I wouldn't know, but I trust it was.

Tomorrow we've got another 8 hour rehearsal day, 11-7. We'll be running the second act much like we did today, and then trying to run the whole show. Things are coming along nicely, I'm sure it helped that almost everyone knew the whole show by the time we walked in on the first day.

I never know what to write anymore. Busy days make a tired Nicci, and Nicci doesn't write much anyway, so tired Nicci feels even sillier writing. And - now I know it's time to stop when I start referring to myself in third person. Goodnight.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"It's magical, what's happening"

This is my third attempt at writing this entry...

Now we're getting into the emotionally driven part of the play. I don't know how he does it, what he says that makes something click inside, but Ron has a way of bringing out exactly what is needed of people. And not by talking about character, but by talking about us, the lives of the people playing these roles. Though the past two days have been emotional roller coasters, they've also provided us as actors (I'm pretty sure I'm not just speaking for myself) opportunities to dig deeper in order to make these people that we're playing real. After today, I am convinced that probably everyone in the show will have their moment of emotional breakdown. I think it may be necessary for the show we're doing and the message it relays.

We've just about gotten through act II now, I think we'll be finishing it up today. Definitely by tomorrow night. The first call time is 4:00 today, and most everyone comes in at 5. I guess it'll be nice to have some more time to relax (I think I'm going to need a nap later), not like there's much else to do. Although, Ron did tell us he's found a Bank of America. I'm half skeptical and half excited - it'll be nice to be able to deposit a check right away instead of cashing it or mailing it home to be deposited. We'll see if this fabled BofA in AL actually exists.

Fun fact I forgot to mention: I can't remember what we were talking about, but the first day we got here Michael (roomie) said something to the effect of "You're, what, 5'9"?". I asked Casey and Ben how tall they thought I was and they said 5'8" or 5'9". Being 5'5", if that, I find it funny... and awesome.

What else to write... I was positive I'd have so much to say. I think it was kind of an overload so I summed up what I really wanted to say in the first paragraph. OH! We had a performance of sorts. It was actually at the theatre we'll be performing at and it was for some sort of party for the members of the threatre company I think. Kind of a preview of the season of shoes this year. We went on first and performed "Rent" (the opening song, not the whole show) and it went pretty well. It was nice to have an audience, though I'm not sure what they made of it. The more the cast thought about it, the more we realized it wouldn't give a totally correct picture of the show by singing something like Seasons of Love. All the old church going people who don't know the show would come thinking it was a sweet beautiful show, and leave during intermission because of the homosexuality and drugs. Though "Rent" doesn't have these things in it either, at least it has more the style of music we'll be singing. Not very nice and sweet.

Ok, off to the gym now. We'll be filming part of the video portion tomorrow, I think that should be fun. This one is just going to be as ourselves, not as characters.

btw, the title is something Ron said last night. it really is magical :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BAO Bingo

Yesterday we had our first day off of rehearsal. The boys and I went on a quest to find a Bank Of America. Now, someone in the cast says there's BofA's everywhere, and when we looked it up online I think it says there's at least two. Our first clue should have been that there were no actual addresses, just approximate locations. The first one we tried to visit was in what looked like an abandoned mall. The pin drop on google directed us to a stand-alone elevator at the back of the parking lot that went up about 2 stories to some grass and dirt road above. Uhh... weird. Obviously not what we were looking for. Our second search took us into a more industrial area. I think we should have just given up when we saw fire spouting out of a tall tower. Google took us to a road that dead ended into nothing. Thanks google, big help.

We dropped Michael off so he could do some laundry and go to the gym, then the three of us decided to a) find the bank that distributed the checks so we could just cash them, and b) go to Sonic so I could experience it for the first time. You'd think it would be easy enough to find a bank that a check comes from IN the actual city you got it in, right? Well our first try was another strike. The directions took us to Virginia College, a nursing school, and said the bank was inside one of the buildings. Highly doubtful. We decided to go to Sonic, something we knew was absolutely there, before giving this bank thing another go. I got the Supersonic Cheeseburger - which... oh my god I just found out it has 898 calories. Whoa. Well... anyway, I got that and an apple limeade which was fantastic.

Side note: sweet tea. Have you had it? I don't know now it's still called tea. It's sugar water. I can't say I don't like it... it fascinates me.

After Sonic we went on our quest to find this elusive Bryant bank. At this point I don't think any of us were certain we'd ever find it. On our way to maybe or maybe not Bryant we saw the entrance to Vulcan Park and decided to go there on our way back from wherever it was we were going. I think the drive was about 15 minutes, it took us to a cute area with nice looking apartments and even a mexican restaurant, then - lo and behold - we found Bryant Bank. It was certainly a relief. Ben and I cashed our checks and we were on our way.

We found Vulcan to be, like many places we've seen in B'ham so far, void of people, save for the ones that work there. This Vulcan thing is a cast iron statue atop a tall pedestal of sorts. It was $6 to get access to the museum and the viewing tower that encircled Vulcan, but since there was thunder and lightening not long before, they weren't allowing people up in the tower.

And now for the title of this entry, BAO bingo. BAO stands for Birmingham AIDS Outreach. It was our first of a few performances we'll be doing for the organization. This was another tricky place to find but thankfully, like Bryant, it was actually there. The bingo night was held in the basement of the BAO building. We were to sing during intermission after an act called Obscenity. Obscenity, it turns out, is a drag queen who lip syncs to ABBA and collects dollars from bingo patrons who wanted to donate to her... cause. I'm not sure if the proceeds were going to her own personal charity or to BAO. We may never know. When out time came to sing we (I believe there were 8 of us) went to the front and huddled around two mics. They started playing our CD track, and just as the intro finished and we began to sing, the track went out. We continued to sing a cappella and made it through, staying on pitch and in rhythm. The 4 out of towners decided to end our strange day with HBO and a couple bottles of wine.

And that is what one does with a day off in Birmingham.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Process

Alright, you can consider this much later in the day than the last post, or early early in the morning the next day.

As I mentioned earlier, we had rehearsal from 10-6 today. We started off by finishing the choreography for La Vie Boheme. It is such a fun number, but man oh man are there a lot of things to day! I think everyo ther 2 counts of 8 I'm on the table, then off the table. And I'm probably on my knees more than anyone else in the show (lets not get dirty now, people). It makes so much sense that knee pads were a part of the original costume for Mimi. I don't even want to look at my lower legs right now... it's not pretty.

We also finished Christmas Bells, another crazy number with people doing so many things throughout the whole thing. There's a lot to clean up, and we all have to find the places to just have fun and make it our own, but all in all everything is looking great and sounding even better. I think I mentioned it on twitter but not here - at some times during the process, I find myself taking a look at what's going on all around me and I can't help but smile. I think the first day I almost got a little emotional. This is one of the roles I've always promised myself I would play, and now I'm doing it with a cast and creative team that I love and respect. I want to travel and perform for the rest of my life. It doesn't matter if it even pays great or not. As long as I can survive and I'm happy, I could do this forever.

On another note.... the clouds here are unlike anything I've ever seen. I almost feel like a crazy person when I say this, but they're AMAZING. More 3D than I've ever seen clouds be. The sunsets in LA have been amazing lately because of the fires and the smoke, but we almost get that same hue here in AL, I can't explain it. I don't know why, but it's hazy and golden and wonderful. It's been a little rainy on and off, but more off.

We've decided how my hair is going to be - it's really exciting. I've never seen my hair like this before. There was a though of getting a wig for me, but I was pretty determined to get my hair to behave so the first thing I did when I woke up yesterday was started teasing my hair. I teased it and then curled it, and it was like nothing I've ever seen before. I'll get some pictures, you'll be shocked I'm sure.

We have another long day tomorrow - 2:00 till 10:00. We normally have Mondays totally off but we'll be performing for some AIDS outreach thing at night. At least we'll have all day to relax, and I can let my knees rest! Lord knows they need it....

No Time!

I'm a busy busy girl as of late. Or at least the past 2 days. Today we have rehearsal from 10-6, full cast, and tomorrow is another 8 hour day. Things are going well, I think we have almost the whole first act done.

I'll update this later on tonight when I have more time to myself.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I woke myself up early against my own will just for free breakfast.

I didn't end up being able to blog last night because rehearsal went till 10, and me and the boys (plus Mikey Sue eventually) came back to the hotel to decompress a little over some wine.

We did a lot of talking about the cast and the rehearsal space. The space - first of all, it's really cold! That will be to our advantage when we're dancing though. At least for those of us who will dance. It is a very intimate environment when you think about the show we're putting on. It's a relatively low stage without wings that comes out into the audience area. All the seating is set up as tables with chairs around them. I have a feeling, and I'm also hoping, that we'll actually be going out into the audience during the show. It's the Perfect setting for that.

The first rehearsal went well. Kevin really wants us to make the show our own, as opposed to emulating what any other cast has done. I think everyone involved is not only pushing for a great showpiece, but also for the themes to come through. Poor Casey's lymph nodes are acting up so his voice isn't at full strength right now, but even so I think our voices are going to sound great together. We took him to the doctor right after rehearsal and picked him up right before we had to be back. He waited 3 hours to be seen. I guess walk in clinics are the same everywhere!

The first full rehearsal with everyone went well too! We've got a pretty strong cast. There are definitely a few characters mixed in, but it's going to be a fun ride I'm sure. On our first break, it seemed like everyone knew eachother already. Oh, the wonders of facebook! Apparently they're going to try and replicate the original costumes totally, which means I'll get those famous bright blue pants and whatever the hell mimi wears around her torso. It's always looked like a lanyard to me, anyone else? Ben, who's playing Angel, says I have to teach him to walk in heels. And if they really are going to get shoes like the original ones, I think he's going to need a lot of practice. I don't even think I could walk in those things!

Think I'll go for a swim now. There's a guy working on the treadmill, and that space is small enough anyway, I guess I'll just let him do his thing. Rehearsal at 2, then at 6, and perhaps some bonding with everyone afterword.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good Morning!

I woke up around 7 this morning. I tried to fall back asleep but it just wasn't happening so I managed to get myself up at 8, the CA equivalent of 6:00 am, and take advantage of the free breakfast. I was pleased to find out it was more than just danishes and coffee - they actually have sausage and eggs and yogurt, and you can even make your own waffles! Mmm, waffles.

After breakfast I went to the "gym", or fitness center, or whatever they call it here. It consists of 2 treadmills, a stationary bike, a stair machine thing, and some free weights. Good enough for me. I did a half an hour of jogging and a little bit of free weights, and all before what would normally be before 7 am for me! I think I'm off to a good start.

I think that will do for now. As I said yesterday, I've got rehersal at 1, and then again at 6. I'll write back later and let you know how it goes!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I did it. I arrived save and sound in Birmingham, Alabama. It's been a long day, I'll try to make as much sense as I can.

I got of the first plane in Phoenix and was on the next within a half an hour. A woman named Susan, a volunteer for Red Mountain Theatre Company, picked up myself, as well as the music director, Kevin. We took the short drive to the hotel and checked in... or tried to. At first the woman at the desk couldn't find me in the system so I called around trying to get someone to help me, but she soon realized that I had already been checked in when my "suite-mate" (i think i'll just call him a roommate from now on, easier that way) arrived.

When I got to the room I was greeted by Michael, my roommate. I could tell right away that we would get along. By the way, this hotel is pretty darn nice. we each have our own rooms and bathrooms. It even has a decent mini kitchen! Michael and I chated a bit, and then he decided to take a nap so I went over to the room of the other two boys from out of town, Casey and Ben. We decided there wasn't enough to do at the hotel so we drove around to find the theater and see what downtown is all about. And what is it all about? Umm.... I'll get back to you. Maybe it's just because it's labor day and everyone is spending time...uh... not outdoors? Like, at all. The streets were nearly empty. We did pass one man, and short man with a ponytail, who gave us a friendly "how ya doin". Casey, who's from Nashville, said that was to be expected from nearly everyone you pass on the sidewalk, and apparently it's kind of rude not to say hi back. This souther hospitalithy thing...I'll have to see if I can step out of LA mode and actually look people in the eye on the street. It's going to take some work, but I'll try.

We made a couple quick stops at the Super Wallmart for minimal groceries and Chik-Fil-A (is that how you spell it? My first experience there) for dinner. When I got back to my room I enjoyed my surprisingly delicious chicken sandwich and talked with Michael some more. Apparently RMTC left gift bags for all of us out-of-towners, containing the following:

-the local city paper (remind me of the LA weekly)
-pamphlets about wineries, attractions, events, etc.
-m&m's, other snacky things
-mini first aid kit and hand sanitizer
-RMTC printed hand towel
-RMTC printed chocolate
-RMTC printed playing cards
-RMTC printed notepad and pencil

A pretty sweet deal I think. So far things are going well. Flown out here and staying in a hotel on the theater's dime, I can more than stand at least a few cast mates so far, and even a goodie bag.

Tomorrow will be out first rehearsal day. I will actually be the first to rehearse, at 1:00. The whole cast doesn't even meet until I believe 6:00 when we have our meet and greet. These are going to be long days, but fun days I'm sure. I'll try to figure out a way to put some pictures up on this computer (the hotel's computer). Until tomorrow....


Sunday, September 6, 2009


I've been packing all day. You'd think packing would be easier... you make a list of what you need, make sure you have that stuff and that it's clean, and you put it in your suitcase. And yet somehow, it always takes waaayyyyyy too long to get finished. Especially when you're packing for a month and a half, like I am. I've never taken a trip this long. I think the longest I've ever had to pack for was 2 weeks or so, and even that was terribly difficult. This is THREE TIMES as long!

At least I'm almost finished now. Or so says my list, I'm sure I'll find more things to put in my bags. I waited until just a few days ago to put my room up on craigslist to sublet. I was hoping a friend of mine would take the room and didn't come up with a back up plan until after he found out he'd not be able to take it. But I got one, he seems like a cool guy, and hopefully the guys I live with won't be too upset that I didn't find a girl. I did what I could! I think he'll fit in here. He and myself even share the same birthday! That's a good sign, right? Another Libra in the house will keep it balanced.

These past 3 or so weeks have gone by really fast. I remember thinking they couldn't go fast enough, and now I'm going to be leaving the smokey skies of Los Angeles behind tomorrow to discover what Birmingham, Alabama is all about. So far, nearly all of the cast are friends on facebook, which is nice because it's daunting enough to meet a cast for the first time anyway, let alone being in a completely new place and not being able to go home to people you know. I even some videos of a couple people on youtube - from what it seems there are going to be a lot of talented people in this show. I can't wait to really get it going!

What else.... I've kept a journal most of my life, but i've never blogged. Not really. I mean, I had a xanga account in high school but that hardly counts. Here, read it. Ok, i guess I kept it up a little after high school, but look at the stuff i was writing. who cares about that?? Come to think of it, who cares about this? Except Evan. I'm sure he'll be checking this every day to see what I'm up to and, like he said, make sure I'm staying at the hotel and writing instead of having fun. We'll see, Evan, we'll see.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I wanted to choose "slaw blog" as the title for this blog, but somebody else already had it! "Slaw Dog's Slaw Blawg" or something like that. Could you imagine a blog entirely written about slaw? "Say, chef, you've got the best slaw in town! Better than the old slaw dog straw stand! I tell ya, I've tasted every slaw from here to Straw [Montana], and this is the best around!" Think about it long and hard. You know you'd be the first to tell your friends about the slaw blog. Way better than a law blog or anything like that, a slaw blog would bring in both fans of humor and fans of food-related websites. It's by no means a niche market; slaw blog has a built-in audience of millions just waiting to be exploited!

Hi kids, I'm Evan. You might remember me from such blogs as Swan Fungus and Return Of Swan Fungus (The AIDS Years). I own a successful blog over on Wordpress Way. Nicci here just signed up for an account on Blogger Blvd. so she can blog all about her upcoming trip to Alabama. She'll be spending the next six weeks in that hotbed of modern culture, Birmingham, Alabama. She's going to be starring in a fancy play about sex, drugs, and sexually transmitted diseases. Surely crowds in Alabama will swarm to the theater to learn more about homosexuality and early '90s bohemian New York City. They love that kind of shit in Alabama. Can't get enough of it!

I'm really proud of Nicci for starting her own blog, even if it's not about slaw. I'm going to be checking in every day to see what she has to say, and encouraging her to stay inside at night and focus on her writing instead of going out and partying and having fun. She's got great blogger potential, and I want to see her realize that potential. In Alabama.

As you can probably tell by my tone, I'm not too excited about her leaving me for six weeks. Somehow I think it would be easier for me to cope if she was driving around the country reviewing slaw than being made up to be the gorgeous lead girl in a fantastic theatrical production. You know how it is. Jealous boyfriend stuff. Oh well, at least it's Alabama and not New York.

Have fun Nicci! Blog early and blog often! You're going to be really good at this.