Blue Shirt

 

So many things can happen in one summer. If we could all remember every little detail we experience, maybe we would finally realize how exciting and interesting our lives really are. We all are living an adventure deserved to be written about. This is why I write. This is why I nag my grandmother, whom I call Mana, to write her story. This is why it saddens me that my grandfather, Papa, never wrote his before he passed away. And this is why I write about the people in my life, because they have an adventure deserved to be documented too.

This summer, I made friends. Good friends. The closely-knit kind I’d been wanting badly. Samantha, Pablo, Katie, Helena, Monique, and many more. They will always be apart of my life story.A drawing of me as Marian by Joseph Lusker

This summer, I got to play Marian Paroo in the The Music Man. Of course, I got a horrendous chest cold during the callback. Somehow survived it, but was out from work the following days. Still got the part. Weird how that works. Anyhow, she was one of my dream roles. I grew up with The Music Man. My family grew up with it too. The musical felt more apart of me than usual. It felt like being home. During the run, I met some wonderful people that I’ll never forget. And, of course, I am madly in love with my opposite, Kristopher Kyer, who played Harold Hill. One of my favorite people ever, truly.

This summer, I got to be apart of The Movie Guys, a comedy group that previews and reviews movies every month. I specialize in the sci-fi stuff, of course. Winking smile I love working with Paul Preston, Karen Volpe, Lee Kias, Adam Witt, and many others. I’ve The Movie Guysmet some very wonderfully funny and interesting people throughout the months.

This summer, I got to sing with the Prescott Pops Symphony orchestra once again, conducted by my father. A year ago, he wanted to book me to sing as one of his soloist, and I kept telling him I couldn’t commit because I didn’t know if I’d have a better gig by then. As the months passed, things worsened for my father at the Prescott college. He was disrespectfully, and without warning, fired through an emailDad conducting by the newest head of the music department at the college, reason being simply a difficulty in communication. And then other soloists were dropping out at the last second for the concert my father was putting on in July. I decided to commit to the concert, not only because I couldn’t abandon my dad, but because I wanted him to know he still had the respect and the support of other singers.

This summer, I developed an unexpected but fully embraced sense of love and support from my aunt and uncle who live in California. There was always love within my family members, but now I feel a sudden closeness to them that I only rarely feel for a handful of people. This feeling is hard for Familyme to describe, but to put it simply, it is the feeling one might feel for their own child…they would kill for them, or die. I’ve felt this way about my parents and my Mana and Papa. There are just a few others I’ve had this feeling for, but now my aunt and uncle have joined this circle in my heart. Sometimes I laugh and brush this emotion off as a fault of my “artistic” side. But it’s there, nonetheless. Now my uncle is leaving for Afghanistan…I can only hope it’ll be boring.

This summer, I also met someone. The man with the blonde hair and the blue eyes. I caught a glimpse of him in the audience during my show. The blue shirt is what drew my attention. And I thought, “he’s cute.” Then I saw him again at dinner with a friend. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I thought it was cool. Because I remember details like that. Just like in a movie. And then he asked me out.

But that’s all I’m gonna say. This story deserves a separate blog.

There’s a little story in all of this, but I think the most important thing to understand is that this was a happy time. I want to remember it well. That’s why I’m writing it now. Because I know when there’s an up, there’s always another down. And the dark side of my brain likes to take over during those downs.

So I hope for the happy times like now to last a long time, and I write to keep it real.

There’s an adventure in all of us, so don’t take it for granted, and remember all the details down to the last blue shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep...

A Hawaii Whim

Four months ago, my parents were discussing their Hawaii trip with concert leader Ed Lojeski. The trip would consist of four rehearsals and two large choral and orchestral performances for the Fourth of July. It was a concert tribute for the men who died at Pearl Harbor, and all the men in service to this day, called Salute to Valor. My parents, along with choral groups from all over the country, were to be singing on the battle ship USS Missouri.

And, as usual, I would not be able to join them. My parents have been all over the world. I have never stepped outside of the North American continent. It was only a month before the time of events did I know I was suddenly signed up with a plane ticket and a book full of music with a large solo waiting inside.

So my whim to Hawaii began. I finally was going to step off North America and fly half way down the planet to one of the most popular vacation islands ever.

My parents had arrived on the island a day before, but as soon as I arrived, we dived into Pina Coladas, Lava Flows, and Mai Tais. Once rehearsal started, we wouldn’t be able to “party” too much. But I think I squeezed in as much as I could. Winking smile

The banana pina colada was my favorite.

Being that Pearl Harbor is located in Oahu, I didn’t get to experience the tropical island feeling as much as I would have liked. But I shouldn’t complain. On one of our days off, we did get to go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. Exactly where I wanted to be!

Getting some sun and heavily covered in sunscreen.

It took me sixty seconds to get used to breathing under water before I turned into the water baby I used to be, and started hunting coral sharks. Didn’t find any though. They were sleeping beneath me, hidden by the coral. But I did get to play mermaid with the other fishies, one of them eyeing me oddly before disappearing. I wanted so badly to go deeper into the caves, but knew without gloves and other proper gear that I had better refrain from my adventurous instincts. Probably not a good idea to get hurt before the concerts.

I did find a ring, though, amidst the coral. Smile My treasure

Gave it to Mom.

Later, we explored Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri. Also, we enjoyed being entertained by the luau show, The Creation, while we drank Mai Tais with Ed Lojeski and TV host Wink Martindale. Definitely had a full day of swimming, exploring, eating, drinking, and watching gloriously tanned and ripped Polynesian men in skirts dance barbarically…oh, sigh.

The rest of the week was spent in rehearsals with tropical dinner breaks. I hate rehearsals, but I can’t complain when they’re on a luscious island. The first concert was inside a large theater.First concert. This was where I sang my solo, “O My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”…phew, what a title! I had some big shoes to fill with this song considering it was my dad’s staple. He was the only one who could sing it and blow people out of the water. But because of Sweeney Todd where Dad played Judge Turpin, his voice had gone to the bass land and couldn’t warm back up to tenor heaven in just a week. In order to sing “Red Rose,” you have to be able to float notes. So he said, “You got it, baby. Do it well.” Great…

As intimidating as it was to replace Dad, the audience seemed to really like it, giving a roaring cheer as their response. Dad still won’t let it go… I’m on the hunt for a recording. It’s not very often that I actually feel proud of one of my performances, so when I do, I’d kill for a copy.

The second concert was performed at the stern of the USS Missouri, followed by fireworks over the ocean and accompanied by the Pacific Navy Band, who were incredible! And MORE Mai Tai’s were to be had!

All in all, I sang my very best, Mai Tai’ed myself out, wore skirts and sundresses every day, and remained braless for the entire trip.

And I DID get leid… Winking smile

Auditions, Auditions, Aw come on already!

I have been auditioning…A LOT. Which is great! This is exactly what you’re supposed to do when you wanna be an actor or singer. How many times did our professors in music or theater school drill into us that doing 100 auditions will land us 1 gig? I happened to grow up this way too, following my dad around as a child in Chicago, hearing stories of all the rejection he went through every time he auditioned. But I saw him succeed and so I knew his hard work paid off.

Now I’m on the same path. Instead of moving back to Chicago or New York City where theater is rich and alive, I moved to California…where theater is, well, surviving. Don’t get me wrong, there are great companies here, just not that many. And not many auditions to jump on either. Let me just show you all the things I went after these past few months…

UNIVERSAL STUDIO’S JAPAN WICKED Not me.

CATSDefinitely not me.

THE FANTASTICKSWas me at one point, but not this time.

THE PRODUCERSWish I could be.

HAIRSPRAYAlmost me.

That’s about it. I’m also doing this sans agent. If I had an agent, I’d be getting into a hell of a lot more auditions. And speaking of agent/more auditions, this would also assist me greatly in getting into film and television auditions, a whole nother beast I want to conquer. I once said as a young 13 year old, “I want to do film because Dad already did the theater scene.” I just remembered that right now as I’m writing this… But CAN’T do it without an agent because they’re the ones that can sweet talk the casting director into seeing you when you’re a NOBODY. Like me. Slightly frustrating, let me just tell ya.

Now, of course, I will admit that I have been able to get a few auditions with low-budget short films, but not enough to actually bump me up to 100 auditions. I want 100. GIVE ME 100!!!

—Side-track: just remembered I had a crazy dream last night about being an announcer for the Oscars and my dress was getting caught everywhere and then I couldn’t read the teleprompter so I was all stressed out, but somehow didn’t care too much cause I kept joking around, but then I forgot what I was announcing in the first place. Best Leading Actress? Leading Actor? Crap.

ANYHOW! Moving on.

Nearly every audition I did went really, REALLY well. This is why it gets frustrating because when you know you did your best, and even the panel of auditors genuinely compliment you, but you STILL don’t get cast, it might drive you crazy. But not me. I’m immune, like, vulcanized.

Here is a breakdown:

WICKED I got called back twice. Had the auditors smile and clap after I was done, but didn’t make it to the third round. NEXT!

CATS I sang well, but didn’t stick around for the dance call cause it was freezing outside and I had already been waiting for 5 hours in the cold to sing, so I wasn’t thrilled about waiting for another 2 just to dance when I know I’m already not a very strong dancer…Mr. Georgia already scolded me on that one. NEXT!

THE FANTASTICKS I sang really well, also got asked to sing a part of the show, got called back to read, I did well at that too and the director asked me to stick around, but then when the monitor called out the girls’ names who will stay for another read, my name DIDN’T get called. Rough. FORGET ABOUT IT!

THE PRODUCERS was with a company I already worked with. Again I belted my little heart out, looked hot, and even overheard the artistic director, who knew me, whisper to the director that I was “very talented.” Got asked to sing a little more to show off my range. NO callback. Ugh. But that’s probably because when the director asked if I knew how to tap dance, I hesitated and said, “kinda.” Bad, girl, bad! MOVING ON!

HAIRSPRAY was actually a callback resulting from the season audition I did for PCPA. Season, meaning, you audition for more than one show. I got called back for one of the leading roles, Amber, in HAIRSPRAY. My original audition was very successful. The producer said he really liked me, then asked if I could dance. This time I said yes with no hesitation. Then he asked, “do you consider yourself a dancer or a mover.” I hesitated something like 2 seconds, but then quickly answered “dancer!” He nodded, saying, “Good, that’s what I wanna hear.” So then I got called back, barely survived the dance audition (ha!), but then sang riDICulously which resulted in the director coming up to me and shaking my hand before I left. Probably because he thought I sucked at the dance audition, felt bad for me, and then was surprised I had any talent at all. I haven’t heard anything from this one yet, but rehearsals don’t start until the summer, so it’s hard to forget about it.

That is it for now.

So why did I move to California? Well, cause the weather is freakin awesome! AND because I really DO want to work on film, in film, a writer for film…direct my own film, create music for film, edit my own film, produce my own film, model for my…nah just kidding.

Gotta say though, when you do as many auditions as you’re supposed to, you got to FORGET about them and move on to the next. Cause you will be rejected 99 times. But the 100th time will be a good one. I’m not even close to 99. I’m, like, at 20, so I gotta a long way to go. Thank goodness my boyfriend, or manfriend (cause he’s way up there in manhood, but perhaps boyfriend fits better cuz he’s so…boyish), is good at lighting fires under my…butt……………

Sorry, that sounds SO wrong. Let me rephrase: Mr. Georgia is really good at pep talks! Ha!