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July 31, 2013

Book Club: The Wednesday Sisters

For July, my book club decided that a lighter read would be preferred after coming out of the massive, and deeply historical Pope Joan.
The Wednesday Sisters has been on our 'to-read' list for a while.

Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton’s beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.

For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they first meet by what their husbands do, the young homemakers and mothers are far removed from the Summer of Love that has enveloped most of the Bay Area in 1967. These “Wednesday Sisters” seem to have little in common: Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago, brutally blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete, Kath is a Kentucky debutante, quiet Ally has a secret, and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett wears little white gloves with her miniskirts. But they are bonded by a shared love of both literature—Fitzgerald, Eliot, Austen, du Maurier, Plath, and Dickens–and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year.

As the years roll on and their children grow, the quintet forms a writers circle to express their hopes and dreams through poems, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, they experience history in the making: Vietnam, the race for the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they have ever thought about themselves, while at the same time supporting one another through changes in their personal lives brought on by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success.

Humorous and moving, The Wednesday Sisters is a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful, mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.

My Opinion:
I found the book to be an easy read.
The best part about The Wednesday Sisters is how 'real' the characters and relationships were.
I felt as if each situation or event was something that could, or has, happened to women I know and love.  

There was nothing that I really disliked about the book. It was a bit slow somewhere in the middle, but other than that I thought it was fine. It was by no means, a monumental life changing read.
I liked it.
It was a feel good kind of book.

July 30, 2013

Theatre Bucket List

Playbill recently did an article that had 80 different Broadway actor's bucket list roles.
It was really interesting.
And since I'm just coming out of the show mentality....

Here are mine.

Joe - Little Women (the musical)
Millie - Thoroughly Modern Millie
Lily or Martha - The Secret Garden
Reno - Anything Goes

There are more that'd I'd love to do...
Eliza Doolittle - My Fair Lady
Meg - Phantom of the Opera
Glinda or Elphaba - Wicked
Magnolia - Show Boat
Mrs. Lovett- Sweeny Todd
Fannie Brice - Funny Girl
Velma or Roxie- Chicago
Adele or Sarah Brown - Guys and Dolls
Leading Player - Pippin
Lady of the Lake - Spamalot
Cinderella - Into the Woods
Cathy - The Last 5 Years
Annie Oakley - Annie Get Your Gun

July 29, 2013

Funny Things Happen After Shows...

So, a lot of people came up to me after the show to congratulate and talk. 
A lot of funny things get said in those moments.

Old Lady: Darling, you were marvelous. What is it that you do?
Me: Thank you so much! I work at OSU.
Old Lady: Well, what are you going to do after this?
Me: Oh, I don't know. Love on my husband and maybe have some babies.
Old Lady: (Giving me 'the look') Come on now. Career first, dear!

Enter my mom, who had been eaves dropping, like any proud mother.

Mom: I'm her mom, and I'm perfectly fine with babies!

Then they started to chuckle.
Then my mom got congratulated on my performance.

It was pretty funny!

I signed 1 autograph and took 3-4 pictures with some kids.
It was really weird.
I think I wrote 'I hope you liked the show!' like a big idiot.


My mom was telling, literally, every person she passed that Eponine was her baby.
Even in the bathroom.
To my fellow cast mates...

It was a really great show!
We performed in an auditorium that could hold 900.
Our 'normal' attendance for our summer show is 380-500 per night.
Friday night we sold 884 tickets.
Saturday we sold 835 tickets.
Sunday we sold around 680 tickets.
It was an amazing rush, seeing nearly every seat filled.

July 25, 2013

Les Miserables Performance Recap

I have never experienced anything like it.

Opening night was a roller coaster of emotions.
Things started off a little shaky.
Our director came in early to tell those of us int he dressing room that her husband, the music director, was not feeling his best due to his chemo and how tiring tech week was for him. We were all on edge, knowing how demanding conducting for over 2 hours, non-stop.
We did our pre-show warm up and curtain went up.

We got to the part where Fantine sells her hair, and things got dicey.

I was back stage, because I was the wig stylist for our Fantine, and all of a sudden we hear a loud crash.
The tech director starts rushing toward the pit saying that our music director had passed out.
The music stopped immediately while people tried to figure out what had happened.
About 30 seconds later we hear someone starting the song again. It was one of the director's former students singing someone else's solo because they didn't want to go on.
After a measure or two of people following suit and getting back into the song we heard the music start back up again.
Once our music director was clear of the chair and on his way upstairs with the paramedics, the keyboardist jumped up and finished conducting the show.

Talk about 'the show must go on!'

While the ambulance checked everything out, we went on with the show.
Jake said that only one person really broke character on stage during the whole incident.
The rest of the show went amazingly well.

The truly awesome part is how much it drew our cast of 100 together.
We all asked each other how we were holding up. There were hugs exchanged in hallways and backstage. People encouraged and complimented people who they've never interacted with before.
It was heartwarming.
It helped that our music director decided to drive himself home and we could all giggle over how crazy he was.
I love that man.

The show finished each night with people standing and cheering before the finale was even over.
The Hilliard Arts Council more than doubled their previous average attendance each night.
Opening night we were 16 seats away from being sold out in a 900 seat auditorium!

To say that the lobby afterward was a crowded would be the understatement of the decade.
I was humbled by the comments and encouragement from so many people, friends and strangers, in that lobby.
Overwhelmed, really.
I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity to perform the role that founded my love of musical theatre. I know that Eponine is many people's favorite character in the show, and to have such a positive response to my portrayal of her is beyond words.

Our production made local history.
I'm so proud to have the ability to say that I have preformed with some of the most talented people I have ever met.

Can you tell I'm still in awe of the experience, even 2 weeks after?

July 24, 2013

Les Miserables Final Dress Rehearsal Pictures

Act 1

{Opening, Look Down.}
{Val Jean being given the candlesticks by the Bishop.}
{Fantine's letter being read by the Factory Girl, At the End of the Day.}
{Fantine after being fired from her job, I Dreamed A Dream}
{Fantine as a prostitute, The Docks aka Lovely Ladies}
{Fantine after selling her hair}
{Little Cossette, Castle on a Cloud}
{Val Jean picking up Little Cossette, The Bargain}
{Master of the House}
{The Beggars}
{Cossette and Marius meeting for the first time.}
{A sweet moment between Cosette and Marius.}
{Eponine remembering Cosette}
{Marius proclaiming his love for Cosette, The Cafe}
{Marius seeing Cossette in the window, Heart Full of Love}
{Heart Full of Love}
{One Day More}

Act 2

{On My Own}
{Little People}
{After Little Fall of Rain}
{I just love this picture}
{First attack on the barricade.}
{Bring Him Home}
{Second Attack}
{Final shot of the barricade. Amazing!}
{Turning, Turning}
{Thenardier stealing things, The Sewers}
{Javert's Suicide}
{The Wedding Chorale}
{Beggars at the Feast}
{Val Jean with the spirits of Fantine and Eponine, Epilogue}
{Finale: Do You Hear the People Sing}

July 23, 2013

Tech Week for Les Miserables

Tech week was the single most exciting and frustrating time of Les Miserables.
I wouldn't trade it for a dang thing!
{Singing with the orchestra when not on stage.}
There were times during the week that I wanted to take a cue from my 2 year old nieces and nephews and plop down limp and scream at the top of my lungs.
I held back, don't worry.
Other times I felt so much at home that going home sometimes seemed like a hassle.
(Those rehearsals happened to be the ones that Jake was working nights.)

I think tech week was pretty much the same for everyone. It was going on the 6th week of being together with the same people.
Some were driving others nuts.
Some were forming great bonds.
Everyone was stressed.
Everyone was tired.

I was obsessively going over my music and trying to complete my character development.
This isn't to say that I hadn't been doing this all along.
You see, I have noticed that I have this point in my process where I hit a road block.
I see it as the same brick wall that runners hit.
I start forgetting my lines or words to my songs.
My brain turns off at odd and inconvenient times.
The only way to push through is to buckle down and 'study'.

Tech week I messed up the words to On My Own.
Evidently, I also decided that Maruis needed a new solo in Little Fall of Rain.
I just, straight up, didn't sing.
It was mortifying.
Remember my feeling that all of the young women that auditioned for Eponine wanted to me choke and fall off the stage? While I know now that this isn't true, and most of the girls are super sweet.... I still felt that I had to prove myself.
Forgetting words and mixing things up really didn't help me feel secure or worthy of having the part...

Let me just say that my script turned into my backstage blankie.
I checked it before every entrance.

Getting costumes was pretty fun.

Nothing is better for character development than getting to try on clothes!
There is something about claiming something for your character. How something is worn is completely organic and uniquely of your character. It's pretty empowering!

As things got closer and sound checks, lighting cues and makeup started happening I came to realize how important the experience of being in this show was.

I was fulfilling a dream with people that I've knows since I was little.
People that understood and felt the same passion that I did.
It was truly amazing.

July 22, 2013

Happy 1000!

This post.

Happy 1000th post!

I hope that you'll excuse my absence from blogging.
I'm really excited about where I am and where things are going!
I can't wait to get back into my groove and share my experience with you all!

July 18, 2013

ESPY Red Carpet

{This is a very sophisticated dress. How old is she again?}
{Maybe I'm a sucker for skinny ties.}
{She had me at 'lace'.}
{While this isn't my favorite of the night, by far, it is really cute.}
{Lovely dress. Very dramatic!}

The Favorites:

{I love Gabrielle's dress... And they're just such a cute couple!}
{This dress is SO pretty. The geometric design is really interesting!}
{I'm a sucker for a grey suit....}