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ten to one, you can’t dance to it.

I grew up doing children’s theatre. Music Man and Annie and Alice In Wonderland. Musicals. Plays with songs that get stuck in your head three months after closing.

Tonight I did my first stage play. And it just so happened to be one I directed. I directed my first play. Me. I did that. I acted in it too. Two scenes, actually. Two different characters. I’m drunk now. It was a lot of fun.


  
  
  
  
  

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The Owls Are Not What They Seem

There are a little over two weeks until opening night for “Almost, Maine”, the John Cariani stage play I’m directing, and I just lost two cast members.

I’m not surprised, honestly. We can’t predict health problems, but then again I’ve often felt like Murphy’s Law operates frequently in my life. Ya know, things going wrong at the worst possible time in the worst ways. It’s not as if this production has been smooth sailing from the get-go. No.

This show was meant to have happened a year and a half ago. I was always meant to direct – just with a little help from my friend. He flaked on me. I floundered for a bit, half-heartedly looked at alternative methods. The non-profit I work for finally got me to push through on my own and we set things in motion. Set a date. Held auditions. Bought the rights. Found the venue.

Things came together. And then they began to fall apart. Again. The friend who let me down before did it once more. Committed to being an actor, took on a few scenes, and then stopped showing up to practices. Wouldn’t answer phone calls. Won’t respond to texts from his scene partner. I reiterate, not surprising.

I’m grateful to be surrounded by a talented and understanding group of actors, who banded together and found four guys to replace the one. And somehow they encouraged me to take on a scene, one of the more lengthy ones in the play.

Only now I’ve got one scene that I’m constantly putting a pin in and, unless I insert myself – mind you, sixteen days prior to opening, will likely lose another scene.

It’s also Twin Peaks Day! Twenty-six years ago, Special Agent Dale Cooper drove into Twin Peaks, Washington and changed my life. Really. I knew the theme song in utero twenty-five years before I ever watched the show. I even have the same tattoo of the marking the Log Lady (Rest In Peace, Catherine E. Coulson) had on the back of her leg and Audrey Horne herself, Sherilyn Fenn, responded to me on twitter this morning at the exact moment I received the bad news.


Naturally, I keep thinking about one of my favorite lines from the show. “The owls are not what they seem.” Things are not as they first appear, they don’t happen the way we expect them to. And maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe things fall apart so better things can fall into place. Who knows? I don’t, but I’m still optimistic.

Odd.

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nice is different than good.

2002: i moved from san antonio, texas to a very small town in south carolina when i was eleven years old. going into the sixth grade is a daunting enough feat without having to cross state lines, but such is the life of an army brat. one day my music teachers took us on a class field trip to see our local children’s theatre put on their production of annie, jr. a girl named jessica in my music class was the lead as annie. looking up at that stage opened my eyes and i said to myself “i could do that. i could be up on that stage.”

2015: fast forward twelve, thirteen years and a handful of plays later to this past weekend. our children’s theatre put on a jr. version of into the woods and i still get giddy over the fact that i participated under the title “director”. as a preteen desperately wanting to move back to san antonio, i can honestly say i never thought my life would turn out like this. that i would find something so dear to my heart and that is would lead me to my purpose. but i wouldn’t have it any other way.

o captains, my captains.

this pretty blonde lady here took a chance on a little and very green selah, and through a series of strange but fortunate events i get to sit next to her on the stage i grew up on. also, it’s kind of cool how her younger brother was the first boy to break my heart but she is the woman who changed my life. 😉

this show was our children’s theatre’s 15th year anniversary and its 20th production, so i got sappy and framed our cast photos for my directors (we’re all directors but i still look up to them and follow wherever they may lead).

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a glimpse of our audience of kids from county school. the turn out was so massive this year, we unfortunately had to turn schools away. not a bad problem to have, if i’m speaking frankly.

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if you follow me on twitter and/or instagram, you’ve probably noticed my mentionings of our cast size. approximately 107 cast members ranging from ages 6 to 19-ish (shhh, 21), and about fifteen or so crew members involved with costumes, sets, stage managing, lights, sound, etc… 

working on this production was partly imputes for my guilt v shame post, yet somehow pictures still cannot capture the immensity of the people involved this year.

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the girl on the right is someone i’ve known since she was seven. now she’s seventeen and on the cusp of graduating high school. the second cast party took place at sonic since this is her last show with us. ;_;

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‘though it’s fearful. though it’s deep, though it’s dark. though you may lose the path.’ until next year…

(images 1, 2, 3, 8, & 9 courtesy of Michelle Grinberg. all others are my own.)