Ladies Night, Family-Style

My family made up a group of 11 for my show Saturday night! I was surprised by tears that threatened to roll when the curtain rose. The Overture was well on its way, but that curtain lifted and I was ready to cry! It meant so much to have them there.

I’ve never had such a large crowd rooting for me all at once. Mom really came through for me. I asked her to bring “all the girls.” 2 aunts came with 1 uncle, my GRANDMA, all 4 nieces, my sis, sister-in-law, and mom. ❤

My aunt made fun of me for not acting at all. “I’m uniquely qualified to play a neurotic showgirl,” I agreed. (One reviewer wrote, “The real standout is Adelaide.” She doesn’t need to know it’s not an act.)

Tech week was officially the worst of them all. They kept us after midnight every night before opening! One night I got home after 2am! I was livid. The next day, 2 hot box dancers fainted onstage. I was one of them. When they advised me to take care of myself, I nearly walked off. Let me SLEEP! And when am I supposed to be feeding myself (or shopping for groceries) if you keep me for 7 hours after I work 8?

I’m still annoyed.

I’ve never rehearsed for 7 hours when I wasn’t getting paid. This is community theatre. You have no right to ask more than 3-4 hours after work, and whatever you like on Saturdays. Or you start sooner. I wondered from the beginning how they thought they were putting on such a big show in less than 2 months. I was furious to be proven right, and then completely dismissed and mildly chastised.

“You have to take care of yourself.”

You better take care, right now!

Then we opened, and it all went away. Really! (I was surprised. I was over it.) I felt united, excited, and full of togetherness and nerves.

I was terrified. I’ve never felt less ready to open, but we just needed our audience. There’s nothing like that symbiotic energy. It’s magic!

I love this part. “Guys & Dolls” is just great, classic American musical theatre, and Adelaide is my love song. You know what else? I’m good in this role. I don’t know why. I’m not the best dancer, singer, actor, anything, but I have heart.

I guess that’s it. I feel it. I’m not faking. You can feel me all the way to the rafters. I hold nothing back, and theatre seems to be the only place that’s appreciated.

Also, I’m hilarious. I got props in the review for comedic timing. In any case, I crack myself up. (A friend described me in 1995. “The thing I love about Christie,” he said,  “is she laughs harder at her own jokes than anyone.”) There’s one other guy whose ad libs are funnier than mine, and we’ve been vying all rehearsal long. (He’s cute and divorced. I checked his Facebook. He’s also Mormon. I checked his garment line.)

More than anyone, my Nathan has become a dear friend and confidante. I love him. I love that he’s on the planet. I love that he’s raising children. He’s been so kind to me. He’s a kind, good person who humbles and inspires me.
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Theatre has been so generous since my return at 40. I hoped to be a dancing secretary in the ensemble of “How To Succeed,” and I got Hedy Larue! That was far beyond what I expected. I just wanted to play, to feel that particular expression of creativity again. Meeting Maurie, my director, is forever one of the greatest gifts.
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I did “9 to 5” for Maurie 2 years later, upon request, just because I love her.
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“Avenue Q,” at a community theatre in UTAH? Come on! Bad Idea Bear? Best part!
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And now Adelaide, who’s all I ever wanted. Everything else has been a surprise and a freebie along the way. I’m so fortunate. I’m proud. I enjoy my talent, finally, and I feel honored by the generosity of those who chose me and worked with me.
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I don’t know when I’ll do another show. I’m satisfied.

In 2018, I’m looking forward to centering and simplifying. I want to sing for old folks again. I’m excited for yoga, belly dance, Afro-Brazilian/Samba (easier on the body than full-on African), drumming on Saturdays, online piano lessons, guitar (songwriting will fall out of me if I just commit to getting those callouses and chords), and mastering the didgeridoo after 10 years of knowing Marko. It’s all right there, and I just sat on it.

I’m not sitting anymore.

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9 to 5, The Musical

Remember last year when I wanted to play a dancing secretary, then got cast in a completely non-dancing supporting lead? Well, now I’m a dancing secretary! I just accepted a position in “9 – 5, The Musical.” I’m in the ensemble, which sings every number but 4, and I get to dance to that glorious 80s anthem! What could be more fun and funky? I may not work 9 – 5, but I’ll be in a musical about it!

It was a real honor, because I didn’t even audition. Maurie, who directed me last year in How To Succeed, called and invited me personally. It’s such a compliment to have your work ethic recognized. I feel like I earned it, and that’s not something I could have said in my twenties. I worked hard, but was unable to enjoy it and made myself (and others) miserable. Falling short in my performance made me endlessly unsatisfied. Not anymore! Don’t think for a moment that there aren’t things I wish I’d done with Hedy LaRue – I’m still thinking about her a year later – but I’m happy with my performance. I like the Hedy that I created. I’m proud of myself, and I’m so excited!

Already, I’m thinking of external things I want to do to distinguish my ensemble character from my small speaking role. For one thing, I need a wig. The only redhead in the show won’t blend. And I’m changing bras, haha! For regular stage life I have an industrial, padded costume bra, looks great from stage and I don’t appear… inverted, if not the promised C on the tag. I’m wearing a regular, padding-free brassiere to play Hart’s wife (Dabney Coleman, you know, the worm). What better way to juxtapose his lust for Doralee? (Our Dolly Parton character is equally busty, bam! and gorgeous.) From there, I immediately saw Missy as this fussy mother-type he goes home to every night, while Doralee is the bombshell he spends his days and dreams with. I’m going to spit-clean his face in our scene together!

I love the creative process! Give me any part, and I immediately begin sculpting her, feeling her, envisioning her, becoming her. I haven’t even seen the script! I love theatre. There’s something about the stage that’s different from all of my other creative pursuits.

I’m so excited for this show! It wasn’t on my radar at all, and it feels like a gift.

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Here’s how Missy and Frank ended up:mr and mrs franklin hart jr
In the program, I was described as “the bubble-headed wife of Franklin Hart, Jr.” I’m starting to notice a trend. Do I think I’m smart, but everyone else sees a ding dong?