Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Thursday, Everyone

I ended up getting a callback for the play in Weho. Once I received the sides though, I realized it just wasn't for me. It calls for more sexual situations than I've dealt with thus far on stage, and though I'm fine with a bit of nudity and sex when called for, I just don't think this situation was right for me.

It's so interesting though, walking out of two auditions that I only felt ok about, only to get cast in one and a callback for the other. When I auditioned for RENT I had myself in such a state of mind that I was thinking "if not now, then soon" so I went in, did my thing, and then went on with my day. I'm proud of myself for developing this ability not to cross my fingers over everything I do. I think it actually helps me to give a better performance in my auditions because I can just let it go when I'm done and not stress over it for days and days. Then it's a pleasant surprise if I find out they like me.

The student film I got - they ended up deciding to cast me as neither the part I auditioned for nor the title character. The director said that not all of the other girls they wanted to cast had as much versatility, so they cast me as a character named Genevieve. She's kind of the social leader of this group of girls training to be nuns. I want to read the book, Mariette In Ecstasy, that this scene was adapted from. It was a NY times best seller, and the story sounds really interesting.

Auditions for Putnam are coming up in a little over a week... I need to get ready. I hardly have anything in my book, and usually when I got to a musical audition I only bring one specific song, and possibly a back up. I 've heard stories of people going into an audition with one song in mind, and then the auditioner will take their book and pick a song for them. For one, I don't have enough music in my book to be interesting enough. Two, if I did have all my music from the past in it, I'd be in trouble. I wish I could play the piano better so I could practice all my old stuff. I know there are some good songs in the piles and piles of sheet music I have, I just haven't sung most of them in years.

-Phew, I just got an email back from the casting director of the aforementioned play. I let him know this morning that I was no longer interested, and he said no problem. Cool. I've never had to turn something down like that. Well, I did have to drop out of Big River to do RENT, but that was a different situation.-

Back to work now. Missing my RENT family, as always. Missing Evan too, he gets back from the east coast on Saturday evening. Now we've got to come up with costumes for Halloween...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things I've had On My Mind Today

+how is it possible to have no calories, at all, in diet soda? there's so much flavor and color, and virtually nil on the nutrition facts, save for 1% sodium.

+the junkie woman outside the audition last night. as she was hugging her junkie boyfriend she looked at me and shouted "HEY! you're pretty!" haha, thanks "if i didn't like men i'd be all over that hahaha pretty girl, i like it!!!" etc... good thing i was parked close by.

+i'm pretty darn sure i saw Dave Coulier at the gym yesterday.

+speaking of the gym... the woman who got on the elliptical next to me this morning. i was listening to my ipod and watching the history channel when i see her swat towards me with her hand. then she whacked me on my arm to say "you're skinny!!" oh, thanks "how much do you weigh?" uhm, you're making me uncomfortable "well at least you're not fat hahaha blah blah blah" i turn up the volume and try to ignore her words and her body odor.

+the girl at walgreens tonight - all the smartwaters were stuck in the back of the refrigerated section so i asked someone to help me get one. she gave me a look like i was retarded and said "there's some right there..." i know but they're stuck and i can't reach- "here" as she climbed onto the display and shoved her arm all the way to the back to grab one. right, like it would be appropriate for a customer to do that.

anyway... i booked the student film i auditioned for last night. interesting thing,: i'm definitely in it, probably as the character they brought me in for, but there's a possibility that they might have me be the main role instead. i'll find out tonight, we're having a bit of rehearsal soon.

i'm also going doing another student film thing with a friend of mine. he was the sound guy on the zombie musical student film i did at the beginning of this year. funny, he'll actually be the third person from that project to ask me to do another one. that makes me feel good.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If Only Pennies Were Worth Something

I didn't want to blog today but I don't really have a choice. First weekend off of RENT has proved pretty good so far, up until today. I've been working and hanging out with the roommates. I even had some last minute hang out/glass of wine time with Sari and her roommate Erin last night, and then I came home to my neighbor Maryn walking out of the house in Blanch (a la Golden Girls) attire, only to find out there was a costume party at the coffee shop across the street (Fix). I threw on one of my old getups and enjoyed the free wine and treats.

I thought today would be fine too - work in the morning, audition for a play in the afternoon, audition for a film in the evening, and possibly The Smiths night at the venue down the street with Sari to end the night. I ended up having a few hours in between auditions to change wardrobe and catch up on Gossip Girl, and after the last audition was finished I came home to a nearly empty house. It can be a strange thing, considering I basically live with 7 other people (it's a duplex, we don't fit all those people into one house). I think I've facebooked and checked my email as many times as possible without anything new happening to start feeling pretty lonely. I don't even feel like watching bad TV right now, that's one of my vices, because I'd rather keep busy in some way.

I guess I can talk about the auditions. The first one, the one I wrote about last time, was in WeHo. That's one reservation I would have about doing this show, parking would suck and no one would want to come see it for that reason. Another reservation I had was, looking at the website and taking in the theatre while I was waiting, it seems like they do a lot of shows with naked men. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fine to have some nudity sometimes, not that I've ever personally done a show with nudity in it, but I think I'd be fine with it if it were well done and not just for show. But the amount of nudity that happens at this theatre was a bit shocking. I don't know, we'll see what happens. I felt that, though I stumbled over a few lines, I was content with the way I read.

The second audition was for a student film at USC. I've been to several auditions in this particular building, and sometimes the nerves of auditioning can come from just being in an unfamiliar locale, so it was nice to be somewhere I knew fairly well. This project is about a group of nuns-to-be, one in particular. I was brought in for the role of a kind of shy nun in training, but they had me read for several of the roles. I hadn't specifically prepared for them but i did read through everything they provided so I had an idea of where to go with the lines. I feel pretty ok about that one too.... I really just need things for my reel. At the moment I have 2 things in my possession that I could put onto a reel, but I need some more variety. I am waiting on 2 other projects I've done, but still... I need to do more. Reels are everything to some people in this industry.

What else, what else.... oh! After the first audition I went to Hollywood Blvd. to see if i could find any worthy Halloween costumes. It took me about 10 minutes of driving in circles to find a parking spot, and then I had to empty my wallet and the bottom of my purse just to have enough change for an hour. One quarter gave me 8 minutes, and nickles alternated between 1 and 2 minutes. That's criminal. *see title of this blog post* Unfortunately the costume I wanted (Silk Spectre II from The Watchmen) was all sold out. I looked at a couple other shops but as it goes on Hwood Blvd, everything is the sexy version of something. Sexy flight attendant. Sexy cowgirl. Sexy lumberjack. Whatever. Evan suggested that we go as Rachel Ray and Anthony Bourdain. I don't think anyone would get it, and I feel like going all-out something this year, but it's a novel idea and it just may happen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back On The Band Wagon

It's feeling better and better to be back. I'll still get those small pangs of "what now...?" every once in a while, but they're getting fewer and further in between. It also helps that I got an audition today. I got a voice mail from Raul Staggs, the man who did the casting for Ecstasy, The Musical. They're holding auditions this Sunday in West Hollywood. When I got a chance to call him back we chatted a little bit. It's really nice to feel that I'm building a rapport with some people in town. Hell, it feels great just to be remembered!

This play, as I understand, is not a musical, though the character I'm auditioning must sing well. The plot line is as follows "NAKED IN THE TROPICS is a world premiere comedy with music about a gay teenager who becomes addicted to drugs and the WeHo nightlife, and his divorced, lesbian mother's efforts to rescue him." I'm going in for the role of the gay teenager's pregnant girlfriend. This girl is sassy and sexy, and isn't phased by the fact that she's pregnant at 17 or that her boyfriend is showing gay tendencies. Her attitude sounds Mimi-esque, and though the past few things I've booked have been the overly sexy girl, I feel like it has always been a challenge for me to completely get to that place. Earlier in life I was always the ingenue and I feel like that's an easy role to slip into. I want to be able to play anything, and if I have to do the same kind of parts consecutively for a while, well if it helps me grow as an actor I'll take it.

There are also auditions coming up for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I don't know much of the music but I do know that I would love to be in the show. I know I have the right vocal range for a few of the characters, and some of those characters would help take me in new directions as an actor too. I really need to take some steps to further myself.... first of all new headshots. I've gotten some taken over the years by various people, but haven't actually had any printed since the first ones I got done... back in, what, 2005? Maybe 2006, latest. Luckily I've got a few ideas of who I want to shoot with, I'm sure any of them will turn out some great shots. After that I need to work on getting an agent and/or manager. I suppose I could always contact my previous agent and let him know I'm back on the acting scene. We kind of just lost touch a while ago because I wasn't aggressive or serious about my career. I certainly am now, so I'm sure good things are in store for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Here's A Picture Of My House. Come Visit Me.

Here I am, my first day back at work. I thought I had to work yesterday, but I guess I was looking at next week's schedule. It's good to be back, I really do love my job and all the ladies I work with. Not too mention the free waxing services! Love it.

Early yesterday morning I dropped Evan off at the airport. He's going to be on the East coast working at the WFMU record fair and visiting with family and friends for 10 days. Cruel fate, we could only hang out for like a day and a half before he had to leave. I spent the rest of the day sorting through the 300+ pictures I took in 'bama, color correcting them and making albums on facebook. It was so nice to see all of them full size. Find me on facebook and check them out, there are some pretty fantastic ones.

Last night I met up with one of my best friends, Katrina, at Fiesta Cantina. I don't think we'd been there in over 2 years... we used to frequent the place. We would be there every Wednesday for karaoke and 2 for 1 margaritas. It was decidedly a bit more mellow than we remembered, though we did get there on the early side so we could be sure to put in our songs early. I'm such a nerd... I sang Out Tonight. I couldn't help it!! Where else can you pull off singing musical theatre at karaoke but at a gay bar in weho? They loved it too, and that's what matters. Everything still comes back to rent. Someone in a commercial on the radio today said "now you're talking" and my mind immediately went to "well, I'm thwarted by a metaphysic puzzle". I don't know if this will ever end, but I think I'm ok with that. I hope I get little "thinking of you" texts from my cast mates forever!

A girl just walked into my work with the most amazing mustard yellow pants. I do miss the vibe of the LA people. It's good to be back. I even enjoyed the traffic for a hot minute today. Last night when I dropped Kat off at her apartment, her phone fell out into my car so I dropped it of at her work today. The aggressive drivers just feel like home. As I drove around I had the urge to hang out with Lauren and show her all the fun and fancy things in Beverly Hills, and then I wanted everyone to be there so we could go to the beach or I could take them to my favorite restaurants. LA is wonderful, I really did miss it, and I hope I get to share my city with them someday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Viva La Vie Boheme!!!

Well, I made it. Back in LA, safe and sound. The sunny warm weather is helping to distract from the sadness of RENT being over and me missing everyone like crazy. I really do... nearly every show that I've done, the cast and crew had become a sort of new family, but this one was like nothing else.

When we got to the theatre I handed out personalized notes that I had written for everyone. Ben was practicing "Today For You" on stage so the rest of us ended up in the girls' dressing room dancing and singing. It was wonderful. Definitely bittersweet to have that explosion of joy all together, to put on the costumes and make up for the last time, to take pictures backstage before it was time for places. The show went really really well. I think all of us used the emotions we were feeling appropriately during the show. When the second act started I was all smiles. It was like all of us up on that stage had our own mini season of love..

From that point on though it got more difficult. I felt like the performances were fantastic, though there were definitely more tears than normal. I really started feeling it in "Without You", and was nearly crying by the end of the song. As soon as I started saying Angel's eulogy that's when I could no longer hold it together. And for me, the hardest part was, by far, trying to sing "I can't believe this is... goodbye". I don't think it was easy for any of us. When we were singing the Finale B, I don't think there was a dry eye on stage. Probably in the audience too.

After a lot of hugs and a few more pictures, we all made our way over to the J.Clyde for dinner and drinks. It was really great to have that time together, to wind down after the show and say our final goodbyes. We even sang Finale B for our waiters, though it was a good two or three steps too high. My fault, I take the blame. We sounded great though. After a few hours we all started to disperse... it was so so sad. The amazing Lauren even gave me her favorite scarf, which I had been begging to buy off her earlier in the day. I will cherish it forever and think of you every time I wear it L!

Ben, Dylan and his friends Kurt and Stephen, DaWonye, Stephanie and myself went over to the hotel and hung out at Ben's place for a while. I realized I still had to pack and gas up the car, so I made a fairly early night of it and headed over to the car. While driving to the gas station I realized I totally forgot to pay my bill at the restaurant so I went back. William, one of our waiters for the night, had worked some kind of magic on the computer and took some items off so it apparently ended up being like $5. I stayed there talking to him and Mae, our other waiter, for a while. Such nice people in Birmingham.

When I got back I packed most of the rest of my things and tried to get to sleep. I failed. I didn't get a wink of sleep for hours. I think I finally started dozing around 500 am, but I had to get up in order to shower and finish packing. Earlier on Sunday I had spoken with Susan, the woman who had picked me up from the airport when I arrived, and she said she was dropping me off as well. When the time came to meet her downstairs, I text'd her to let her know I was almost ready and I'd be down in a few minutes. I got a call from her immediately after that saying she had spoken to Kim and was told I was dropping the rental car off so I didn't need a ride. Luckily that was the original plan so it still worked out fine.

Even though I sent a 10 pound package home, I had bough a few other things and I had to put 5 pounds of things into my carry-on so as not to have to pay for the extra weight in my suitcase. I had a basically direct flight from B'ham to LA, but we stopped in St. Louis and Salt Lake City on the way. I arrived at 1:20 and was greeted by Evan. He drove me home so I could take a much needed nap, and then we went to dinner at Aroma Cafe in Studio City, one of my very favorite places ever. My neighbor Shaun had a screening of the first episode of his web series, Project Hollywood, at the Bungalow Club. I've always wanted to go there so it was nice to be able to check it out. My dear friend Sari also showed up which was a pleasant surprise.

I've got all day today to relax before I get back to work tomorrow. I'm already itching to do another show... Hopefully that will happen soon. Maybe I'll even audition for Disneyland so I can work with Ben! I'm going to have to plan something with the LA RENT people soon.

That's it for my RENT journey. I plan on keeping up with this blog and writing mainly about projects I'm doing. In the meantime... check out She always has fun things to say.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Can't Believe This Is... Goodbye

Sunny? Yes.
Warm? Well, maybe later. The weather looks promising. There's not a cloud in the sky for the very first time since I've arrived. Going to the pool still ain't happening though, it's still too cold and I have to start on my hair by 11:30.

Our show last night went really well. A few lines were flubbed, a couple light cues were off, and a few notes were wrong, but nothing that totally messed us up. And the audience was FANTASTIC. Right off the bat they were laughing at everything. There were never any awkward moments when they weren't sure weather or not to applaud, they just did it. By far, the most responsive audience we've had yet.

After the show we headed over to Dylan/Lauren's place(s) to have this previously mentioned "hall party". It was more of a "apartment migration" party, but moving from one apartment to the other did require us to utilize the hall, if even just for a few seconds. I think the majority of it was spent in Lauren's, even though she just moved in and doesn't have much furniture. We started off by spreading out her comforter on the floor and having a fast food picnic. There was also wine, beer, and chips. Pretty classy, I know. The majority of the cast was there, plus Kevin, Chase from the band, Kim and her hubby Josh, and some peoples friends. It was really nice. And we didn't even stay our till four! I think I was back at the hotel and under the covers by 2:30. Make that 2:40 - I had to brush out my hair. Only one more time though....

Ben and I decided it would be a good idea to take advantage of the free breakfast at the hotel one last time. He text'd me at 9:10 to remind me. I was going to just grab it and go back to my room like he did, but I realized I certainly can't not blog today, and as long as I'm down by the lobby... here I am, blogging.

This is it. My dream come true is coming to an end. Talking to kevin last night, we agree that this process has gone by so fast, but at the same time it hasn't. I guess anything you love doing seems like it's gone by fast once it's over, but remembering the process it seems like it's lasted a long time. I believe the plan for after the show is that we're going to the J.Clyde one last time to have dinner all together. I know a lot of people are going to be a total mess. This has really been a journey, and it's really special that we've all gotten the opportunity to take it together. The past couple performances have been more emotional than ever, especially the second act. Everyone is really using their feelings about this show ending and putting that in their performances. I really don't know what I'll be like tongiht, but I'm pretty sure I won't want to leave the stage after the curtain call.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ten Down, Two More To Go

Our show on Thursday ended up going really well. There were times where my voice wasn't working the way I would have liked it too but I feel like my acting made up for it. I felt great about the show. The audience was fantastic too. It's always a good feeling when they sand up before we even finish the last song and start the bows.

RMTC does film each production for archival purposes, though the performers never get to see it. Boo. Anyway, they filmed last night. The girls felt that we were really on, but the boys had an interesting night. A few lines were skipped or forgotten, that's never happened before. I don't think it was nerves from knowing the cameras were out there, it was probably just a brain fart. Hopefully they'll film tonight too.... if not, they were just little slip ups so oh well.

We had a packed house again and they seemed to like it fine, but we hadn't expected what happened when we came out from backstage. People were there waiting, with programs and cameras in hand, for us to give autographs and take pictures. They cheered and gushed about how much they loved the show. It was pretty crazy, I've never had an experience like that. I've gotta admit, it was kinda cool.

When we managed to get out of the theatre, a group of 12 of us went to the haunted house. it was about 20 minutes away, and we made a stop along the way to get snacks because, as we found out, the wait to actually get in was 2 hours. The weird thing was we paid $2 to get in, and then we had to pay $15 for tickets (tokens, actually). They had a movie playing for anyone that wanted to pass the time. I think it was Candy Man. We opted to go back to the cars and hang out where it was warmer.

Some time after 1:00 we finally got to enter. I was anticipating being terrified so I clung to whoever was closest to me throughout the maze of a pathway. Fortunately I was hardly startled and more entertained by my friends in front of me who were close to peeing their pants. I even took a picture with one of the clowns that popped out and tried to scare us. I think it took 15 or 20 minutes to get through and it was actually really fun. They had one of those rooms that spin while you're walking down a pathway... it's making me dizzy now just thinking about it. I don't know why those are always in haunted houses. They aren't scary, just really weird.

When we exited, the warehouse that had earlier been packed with waiting patrons was completely empty. We were the last group to go through. After that experience we weren't tired so we headed over to Dylan's place to hang out some more. His lady friend Brook came over too which was a pleasant surprise. We didn't realize how late it got until Ben got a text from Lauren, who's bedroom apparently shares a wall with Dylan's living room area. At that point it was after 4, later than any of us had planned on staying out. *I didn't call Evan because it was so late but I should have, and I am very very sorry that I didn't.*

It's freezing outside. It was yesterday too. I had hoped that we could get in the pool before we had to leave but I don't foresee that happening. The hall party was rescheduled to tonight so that's what we'll be doing after the show. Hopefully I won't be out until 4 again tonight, especially since the matinee that is tomorrow afternoon is the last show we'll all do together. Probably ever. I turned in my script yesterday... it took me probably 10 minutes to erase all of my notes from it. I also sent myself a package so my suitcase won't be so heavy. Hopefully those 10 lbs of stuff will be enough to keep the suitcase under 50 lbs this time. I don't know what we'll be doing after the show tomorrow but we'll all be together, I'm certain of that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Final Countdown

Happy Thursday everyone! Yesteryday marked our last full day off of this trip. We didn't really do much of anything... we looked for a mongolian bbq place but it was closed so instead I tagged along with Ben and Casey to Chipotle, and we ended the night watching tv. Big day. Michael's back now though so it was nice to chill with him too.

On Tuesday Ben, Casey, Stephanie, DaWonye and myself went to see Dylan in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe at the Childrens Theatre. He was fantastic! That kid is so talented. After that I took a nap, and then we went to Walmart to get supplies for a cook out thing. I made a really good salad, Stephanie make this awesome cornbread thing, we also had baked beans, hot dogs and burgers, chips, cookies, ice cream... mmm, it was good. It was the five of us who went to see the play earlier in the day, plus Cecil and Dylan. Food was eaten, pictures were taken, conversation was made. It was lovely.

Lauren is moving into an apartment across the hall from Dylan, so tonight after the show we're going over to their place to have a "hall party". Tomorrow night we have plans to go to a haunted house called Atrox... I'm pretty frightened already. I've made everyone promise to keep me surrounded so the people that work there won't get too close to me. I'm pretty sure I'll survive as long as there aren't little people grabbing at me with white-gloved hands. Talk about creepy.

I'll write later, hopefully today's show will go better than last Thursday...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Number Two

And just like that, our second weekend is over!

After I picked Sarah up from the airport we went to Sonic for her first experience. Mmm, delicious. I think she's hooked now. As am I... I'm not looking forward to having to drive an hour to go to one. Oh well, at least I'll have In 'n' Out back. How I've missed it. We started our Saturday morning by meeting up with my mom and John. Sarah heard there was a bacon waffle at The Original Pancake House so we went there to find it. The wait was a little long (even beside the fact that they skipped our name on the list at least 3 times) and the service could have been much better, but man oh man was that bacon waffle good. I got that and Sarah got the pecan pancakes, which were nearly as delicious.

After our meal we found our way over to the Botanical Gardens. It sprinkled a bit on and off but nothing too bad. The gardens were beautiful, and so big! I think we were there for at least 40 minutes and probably didn't get to see half of it. At one point along the trail, an orange tabby cat ran up to us, as though he were late and catching up. He liked us so much that he walked along with us through most of the gardens we visited. The plants and flowers were incredible and serene, but that cat was my favorite part. I miss him already. After a while I started feeling a little off, me ear was doing that weird thing again and I was probably in a bacon-waffle-induced-semi-coma, so I went back to the hotel for a quick nap before I had to start doing my hair for the show.

That night we had our best audience yet. Every last seat was filled, and they even brought in extra chairs to accommodate more people. They laughed and cried and cheered as much as we could have ever wanted. The performance itself was also fantastic. I can only say that from a performers point of view of course, but the show felt so good. It helped that I could actually hear myself and hit all my notes with confidence too. It's right that we gave such a good show for such a deserving audience of family, friends, and other enthusiasts. And from the amount of dewy eyes we say when we came from backstage, I'm positive we did a good job. I took the family to The J.Clyde for a couple beers and one of the best blt's I've ever had. I love me a good blt, but with fried green tomatoes? Come on! Wow. I also enjoyed a Good People Coffee Oatmeal Stout (brewed at the Good People Brewery in B'ham) and Sarah had some mild wings. Delish.

After a quick IHOP breakfast this morning, I bid my family farewell and got to my preparation for the show. Today was our first real matinee since last week's was delayed until 5:30 in order to allow us to sing after the AIDS walk. The audience was pretty much what you'd expect from a matinee audience. Not terrible, though definitely a chance from what we've been getting. But hey, what can you expect from a southern audience who just saw RENT on a Sunday afternoon? We played the show for us and we had fun. Afterword the majority of the cast plus Kim and Josh went out to get some dinner at Sabor Latino, a decent Mexican restaurant neat our hotel. Definitely better than the place Evan and I ate at Five Points so I was happy. By the way Birmingham people - or those in the know - is it proper to say AT five points or IN five points? Just Curious.

It seems like everything goes this way, but it feels as though we've been here forever and not long enough at the same time. It's hard to believe that just weeks ago we arrived and met everyone for the first time. Ron's been gone for over a week now and it seems like forever since we've seen him. I can tell it will be a sad sad day next Sunday when we have to say goodbye. We've all been blessed to have done this project together. Ugh. I don't wanna think about it. I'll just enjoy these next few days off, hopefully cramming them with last minute cast hang out time. Ben and I are already making plans to do and see things together when we get back. That makes me feel a bit better. Plus, there's always Rancho Cucamonga... (fingers crossed!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back In The Game

Yesterday, while recovering from my unwise decision to mix alcohol with several prescribed medicines the night before (btw, the cut below my lip came from me falling out of bed and hitting the night stand. Oh, Nicci...), I had my first pang of homesickness. With all the hard work we've put into this show, and even with the days off that have been completely void of any set plans or things to do, I've been keeping myself happily occupied. Not that the fun of this new adventure is wearing off, but I'm remembering what it's like to sleep in my own bed and hang out with my roommates. I even miss work and all the girls there! I'm not aching to get home just yet, but i can tell it'll be nice to be back when I get there.

Tonight was our first show back after Mon-Weds off. And wow, what an interesting show. I'm so thankful that I got to the doctor when I did so I can be as well as I am right now. Still, my personal performance tonight could have been much better. With only 3 days of recovery under my belt, I still have a bit of a lingering cough. I hadn't realized it much until I had to sing, because that takes a greater amount of breath support than every day talking or singing along with the radio. And no matter how much cough syrup I down, I can still feel some crap in my lungs. As for that, I guess there's not much I can do but wait till it's gone. I also had a hard time hearing myself... kind of. Maybe I was subconsciously being extremely careful not to push my limits too far, but at the same time I felt like I didn't have enough control over what was coming out of my mouth. On top of this, my left ear has been doing some weird thing every now and again since I arrived in Alabama and that makes it hard to focus on how I'm hearing my voice.

Blah blah blah, complain complain complain. I don't think my voice cracked, at least not too much, and I didn't fall on my face, so what more can I ask for after feeling like I was deteriorating on Monday. I'm certain tomorrow will be a better show. There are a few other people that are sick now but they pulled through great tonight. The band was also a little in and out at some points but it just seems like we all needed tonight to get our bearings again.

My mom and her boyfriend arrive tomorrow afternoon, and I'll be picking up Sarah from the airport after out show. Michael will be driving to Georgia tomorrow morning to pick up his fiance Desi, who is on tour with Junie B. Jones (a childrens book made into a musical). His family is also arriving on Saturday, and I believe Casey's mom and perhaps some more of his family/friends will be seeing the show Saturday as well. I'm sure none of us will run out of things to do this weekend.

Bed time. I mean it this time...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Maybe I Should Have Gotten A Flu Shot After All...

I woke up yesterday with a tight feeling in the right side of my throat. It only worried me a little - about a week and a half into this trip I felt something weird with my throat but let it work itself out. Luckily it did. I think the majority of the cast participated in the AIDS Walk, which took about two hours. I opted out of it, primarily because I had to do my hair (really! it takes an hour!), but I'm glad I did because it was pouring rain and I'm sure that wouldn't help my voice. Once everyone from the walk arrived we packed all 15 cast members onto a 4x9 section of stage that was protected from the rain and sang Seasons Of Love. Our audience showed probably as much enthusiasm as they could muster while soaking wet in cold weather.

Casey's mom, who drove Casey Michael and myself to the park, also drove us back to the theatre where we had about an hour and a half until show time. Most people used this time to warm up and get into dry clothes, and I used the time to try to convince myself I'd do great. It didn't help that after the first number, someone in the girls' dressing room said "I think I saw Daphne Rubin Vega in the audience". Whoever this was wasn't the only one to notice either. I personally refused to even look at that side of the stage until my song Out Tonight was over. I don't want a surprise visit from the original Mimi on a night where I'm afraid my voice will go out at any second! As a matter of face though, I think I performed that song the best I have yet since opening, at least vocally, probably because I was being so careful not to push anything. Daphne or not, I felt good by the end of the number. When I got a chance to look over there later, I was certain that it was in fact not Daphne at all. Just an old lady with vaguely Daphne-esque features. She and the two other older women she was with did not return for the second act. That's the first I've noticed anyone had left before we were through. Well, good riddance.

To celebrate the completion of out first weekend of shows, we hotel people took ourselves to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Our waiter was fantastic, so friendly and helpful. I suggested we let the manager know how good he was before we left, but the boys shot down that idea. I don't think they wanted to wait around much, we were expected at Dylan's place. He lives in a great place very close to Five Points, a populous and collage-y area. Us and a few other members of the cast and Dylan's friends relaxed with some wine and passed the guitar around. It's difficult not to have at least a little of singing with so many musical theatre people in one room. We only got in trouble with D's neighbors twice, the we were actually pretty mellow.

I had a tough time falling asleep last night because of the dry burning on the right side of my throat and the coughing that came along with it, but managed to catch at least a few hours. When I woke up I was sure that whatever this is wasn't going to pass quickly if I just decided to ride it out. The pain was now in my entire throat, I had a bad headache, mild body aches, and my lungs felt slightly constricted. I waited about an hour to see if any of this lessened as my body woke up, but any dissipation was so minimal that I took myself over to the clinic that's conveniently just down the street from the hotel. When Casey had to go during the first week I'm pretty sure he waited 3 hours before he was seen so I was prepared to wait. It only took me an hour and a half in the waiting room, and another 40 minutes in my own room to get seen my an actual doctor. He said it probably wasn't anything more than a virus, but when I told him I'm a professional actor and I needed to be better asap he prescribed me 3 medicines and I got a steroid shot. In me bum. I haven't gotten a shot in the ass since my family went to Mexico when I was in second grade. Ouch. Those hurt.

For some reason I don't have my health insurance card with me, which worries me because I don't know where else it would be besides my wallet. I took my g-status hobble and my prescriptions over to the super Walmart. I was told it would take a half an hour to get the meds so I got a few things over on the market side of the store. I returned exactly 30 minutes later, only to have to wait another hour and ten minutes. I'm pretty sure they forgot about me. I was lucky (or unlucky?) enough to have a man with two little girls wait for a prescription at the same time. The girls, 3 and 5 years old, kept me company by asking which dog food container I thought was prettiest and asking me what happened to all the other people waiting. Adorable. I just hope I didn't get them sick.

After five hours or trying to get a goal accomplished, I arrived back at the hotel with a z-pack, prescription strength cough syrup, more steroid pills, and a bunch of soup. It's already easier for me to breathe, and the z-pack has never done me wrong so I'm sure I'll be at least 50% better by tomorrow. And only $200 for all this fun! Next step, find out what happened to my insurance card...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We Have Arrived

Sorry it's been a couple days. As I'm sure you can imagine, we'd been pretty busy preparing for opening night. So since Monday... Evan arrived in time to see the second half of our rehearsal on Tuesday night. Before we started we had a mini question and answer session with a select group of people who were there to get a kind of behind the scenes look at what the theatre does. I believe these were potential supporters of the theatre, or volunteers, or something along those lines. Aside from those from that group that chose to stay and watch the "performance", we had a pseudo audience - we were told we could invite a friend or two, and some kids from the RMTC children's program were there. We only had to stop once for a quick fix, and besides that it ran smoothly.

Wednesday Evan and I went to check out the Civil rights institute. It's located directly across the street from one of the churches that was bombed in the 60's. It was pretty incredible learning about what struggles black people went through for equality. I think it was equally inspiring and depressing. I'm so glad I live now instead of then. We are a pretty lucky generation.

That night was Media Night, the preview night I spoke of before. It was a pretty big house and the show went great. That made it feel like opening night, so on Thursday, our actual opening, some of the pre-show nerves were gone. Aside from me forgetting a part of my costume at one point, I had a pretty good show. Even with the abundance of older people in the audience, not a single person walked out or left at intermission (at least as far as I could tell). We've all had our fears about how this show would be received, but so far it's been great. We even have a review of our opening night that gave us 5 out of 5 stars. Read It Here!

Thursday afternoon before our show, we - as in me plus the 3 other boys at the hotel (and Evan) - took Ron out to lunch and Jim N' Nick's. It's a fantastic barbecue place. It was so nice to do something for him and just hang out outside the theatre. He is such an incredible man, and we all agree he's one of the most fantastic directors we've worked with. He's putting up another production in Rancho Cucamonga next year that we would love to do, and he told us he had been meaning to talk to us about that - he definitely wants the producer to see us. I don't know if this particular theatre would fly people out to be in the show, but we have so many gems in this particular cast, I think it would be worth their while.

The cast party was held at Rogue Tavern, a few short blocks away from the theatre. It had a pretty nice atmosphere and reasonably priced food and drinks, so everyone enjoyed themselves. We also presented a gift from the cast to Ron. It was Kas's idea and it was perfect - a big RENT book, all about the show and the lives surrounding it, signed throughout by the entire cast. I still have to find a way to upload pictures, there are some really great ones from that night.

I never know how to end these. I wish I was as good at coming around full circle as Lauren is in her blog. Check it out, it's
Oh, and duh - Evan reviewed the show too