Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Word for 2010

Keeping with the trend set last year, I have a new word.

But first, a little recap of my 2009 experiences with the word I chose. It was passion. I decided I would live with passion and pursue my passions and have passion for everything I did. Know what? I did! Want to know something else? It was exhausting! But good. Amazing, really.

As a result of my commitment to allowing myself to be the passionate person I truly am, I spent the entire year being extremely involved with local community theatre. This was probably the largest part of my passionate journey, and certainly took the most significant amount of time. But it was amazing. I was able to stage manage, run lights and sound, direct a show, and act in two shows. As a result of all this involvement, I made lasting friendships and solidified other ones.

An unexpected result of living with passion was finding a church I really enjoy and getting involved there, both in small group and in the children's ministry. It has really been great being involved with the wonderful people there.

Another unexpected result has been that I've finally found the perfect person to really be passionate about. And that leads me to my chosen word for 2010.

So the word for 2010... (drumroll please) is LOVE.

I always try to keep love in mind when I am interacting with others. Jesus told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Sometimes our neighbors are not our favorite people in the world, but we must still love them. And there are so many different kinds of love, and so many different ways to show it. I will spend this year showing everyone in my life how much I love them, and also showing love to others who come into my life only to stay for a short time.

So that's the word for the year, and I'm excited about putting this word into practice. This should be an amazing year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ug updates

23 days until opening night! I always get very excited at this point. Costumes are being finished, props are starting to show up. Headshots were taken this evening and bios were due before Christmas. I tried on my costume for the first time tonight and it's really cute. The fabric is so nice - very comfortable and pretty. I'll be the cutest cavegirl ever! Well, probably not the cutest, but certainly one of the best dressed!

We are off book now, which is always fun. Tonight we ran Act 1 twice, which means we left the theatre pretty late, after 10. I'm tired right now but can't manage to get to sleep. I think it's because it just hit me tonight how close we really are to having an audience and I'm starting to get nervous! Off book tomorrow night for Act 2. I think I've got it covered, but it's still making me a little crazy, as usual!

At least I have the week off from work. Plenty of time to study those lines, right?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Journal Topics: A Higher Power

Do you believe in a higher power? Describe what you believe.

Yes, I absolutely believe in a higher power. I believe in the God of the Bible, the creator of everything (although I don't really believe in a literal 7-day creation, not 7 days as we know them, I mean. I think days were not measured in the same way they are now, so a day could have been a thousand years or whatever) I believe in a God who sacrificed His Son for our sins so that we could have a daily close relationship with Him, because that is why we were created. I believe that He loves us and our worship of Him is something that brings Him joy and pleasure.

We talked in small group about how we picture God last week. It was very interesting. People were saying what kind of mental pictures they get of God when they think about Him. I've never really given Him an image in my mind. It's really more like pure light emanating from a core of light rather than a physical form. Although I will admit that when I imagine God speaking, it's with the voice of James Earl Jones. I know, that's a little strange, but I had an audio bible once that was read by James Earl Jones, so it just kind of stuck with me. He has such a majestic, booming voice, that I really think it works, though!

We talked last week about meditating on God, about just spending one minute thinking about God every day. I've tried to do that this week and have found it to be fairly difficult. It's something I need to practice more.

Life, love, and other mysteries

Just when you think you've got it all figured out, something comes along that completely derails everything. Sometimes this derailment is welcome and positive, sometimes it is not. In this case, it is extremely positive.

I have avoided writing much about this because frankly I'm a little superstitious. I sometimes feel like if you give something a name, it goes away. And this was so unexpected and wonderful that I have to share.

I have been really struggling with being single for the past few years. At first, it didn't bother me. I didn't care because I was not in any hurry to get hurt again, and all the relationships I had ever seen always ended badly. For that reason, when a really great guy came into my life, I kept him at arm's length. We dated casually for a few months, not really seeing each other much mainly because of my show schedule. I liked him, enjoyed spending time with him, but refused to allow it to go any further because I was afraid. But then I realized that when you keep people at a distance, you end up alone. So I let him in a little. And can you believe it... he didn't run away! He came to see all the plays I was involved in this year, and even brought me flowers! :) He seemed to like me the way I am, which is so nice.

So almost a month ago, we decided to make our relationship exclusive. Not that either of us actually had other people that we were dating, but it's nice to make things official! Since then, things have been amazing! He is a wonderful guy and I am so happy that we are in this relationship. I have high hopes for this one. :)

Isn't it funny how things happen sometimes? I've been thinking a lot about life and its mysteries. I think God must have a tremendous sense of humor. I'm sure he laughed the entire time that Jonathan and I were getting to know each other and holding each other at arm's length because we didn't want to get hurt. I kept saying I just wanted to find a nice geek guy who I could laugh with and love. The whole time that guy was right there and I was getting to know him but was keeping myself from really feeling what I knew I would feel if I let myself.

Life is crazy sometimes. So right now, I'm just really loving life. Everything seems to be going well and I'm truly happy in all aspects of life for the first time in a long time. It's nice. I almost feel like it's a blessing because of being faithful and trying to live right. Maybe this is the ultimate plan. Who knows? Only God, and I trust Him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ug update

Ug rehearsals are going really well! The play is funny and the cast is even funnier! I absolutely adore these people and really enjoy the time I'm spending with them on this creative journey. Sure, it's a little silly, but it's a musical and my part is awesome, so silly is okay!

One thing I'm thinking very seriously about is that this will be my last play for a little while. It's time to rest up a bit and let other people enjoy the spotlight. I will probably try out for Chicago, to be performed in May of 2010, but I don't think I'll try out for any other Th98 plays this year. The next one has already been cast, and the following one is being directed by a friend who was in the last show I was in, so he probably won't cast me. He has a rule of not casting people he's worked with recently. The last two of the season are going to be good, but I'm more interested in watching them than participating.

I'll be honest - I'm tired. Exhausted, really! And I want my free time back! I love theatre, but I need a break to concentrate on other things. So after this show, I'm taking a break!

Epic Fail

Well, this year's NaNoWriMo is a complete and utter failure, but I'm okay with that. I've been spending my time doing other things I love. The great thing about writing is that you can do it anytime, not just in November. I plan to really concentrate on it in the coming weeks, but I'm not putting the pressure on myself to finish in November. I don't need that right now. The story is good and will get written. I'm giving myself a goal of finishing the first book and the rest of the outlines by the end of 2010. I think that's a reasonable goal - both challenging and attainable.

One really cool thing is that I've been hired to write a grant for a local arts organization. This is great, because it'll help me prepare to write my own grant for my theatre. I'm also going to look into some additional freelance opportunities. I know if I concentrate on it, I can get some work and start moving toward full-time freelancing. Hopefully!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ug, the Caveman Musical

Yes, I did it. I tried out for Ug. Mostly because I wanted to be in another musical and it was the only option right now, but also because I heard the music and it's actually pretty clever. I was having a conversation last night with a friend about how some plays actually play alot better than they read and I think this is the case with Ug. There are some really cute moments, and I'm playing a really fun part. I get to sing a love duet, have a meltdown in the middle of a rehearsal, sing a jilted lover song, and then reunite with my true love - all in the same show! And I get to call my good friend Nicole a slut, which is always fun! So many great cast members will be a part of this production, and the director is one I've stage managed for before and I know he tries to make things fun. And fairly laid back, which is good!

So anyway, I got my script last night and I did all my highlighting. Today, I dropped it off to have the binding cut and have it spiral bound because it's just easier to work with that way. I have a feeling I'll be taking lots of notes on choreography. I hope it's really active and fun choreography because I always lose a lot of weight when I do a musical and this time I'm shooting for 30 pounds!

I think the audience will really enjoy themselves in this show. It's our season's fluff piece.

NaNoWriMo: Day 5

Current wordcount: 6,779
Today's wordcount: 1,667
Time spent writing: 1 hour
Time spent on NaNo Boards: none so far
Time spent knitting a writer's block: none
Today's soundtrack: Coldplay playlist
Today's mood: Crazy

Okay, when did November 5 happen? And where did November 2-4 go? It's been a busy few days and I have lost my head completely, especially with my writing! I did manage to get the minimun wordcount requirement in today, but I still need to catch up. I should be at 8,335 words and I'm only at 6,779 words!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Current wordcount: 5,112
Today's wordcount: 5,112
Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 5 minutes
Time spent knitting a writer's block: none
Today's soundtrack: Fellowship of the Rings soundtrack
Today's mood: Pretty darn happy!

I'm doing things a little differently this year. I'm using NaNo to write large paragraphs for each chapter of the book rather than trying to mess with dialog (which tends to be my weak point and takes longer for me to write) I'm much better with description, so I'm getting all that out of the way and filling in the missing parts later. So in a way it's like a detailed outline, more detailed than the one I was working on before, which was basically just the chapter names and a sentence or two about what might happen during that chapter. This is much more detailed and I can see the book coming together in it. Some really cool details are jumping out, so that's really exciting. Today's writing has made me realize how much I've missed it and I know I need to start making time to write again. The story just kept coming to me as I was writing today. It was awesome. It's been a long time since I've been able to "fall through the hole in the page" and just write. I had forgotten how thrilling it can be!

Overall, a very good first day. There may be more later. Now that I've started, I'm not sure I want to stop!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"I Can't Get No Satisfaction"

I've been thinking a lot about how we, as people, react to each other's lives. There's a saying that everyone knows, "the grass is always greener" and it's so true of most of our mindsets. I find myself looking at someone else's life and thinking about how much I wish I could have that kind of life rather than my own. Envy, you are my worst enemy.

A comment here and there, a status update on facebook, and suddenly I don't like my life and with I could trade it for someone else's - if only for a few days. And then I beat myself up over feeling that way, because I shouldn't envy anything that other people have because I've been blessed with health, happiness, an amazing family and a wonderful group of friends. I have a job that makes me feel good at the end of the day, even when there are frustrating moments. And I have a good sense of self - a level of confidence in myself and my abilities that I haven't always had.

And yet, one little thing and all of that is derailed and I'm envying someone else again.

So I've decided to put a lid on this for good. Whenever I start to feel envy about someone, I'm going to be happy for that person and I'm going to remember that their lives are not perfect and that they have a unique set of struggles and difficulties that they must face just like I do.

I've decided to be satisfied with my life and live it to the fullest. The things I envy in others can be developed or discovered in my own life. I just have to be patient and continue praying for those things - and work hard to achieve things that I can and need to achieve. It's not about what others have or what others do, it's about how I choose to make my own impact on the world.

So I will rejoice with friends when they achieve great things and I will be sad with them when they are rejected or face defeat. And I know that they will do the same for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About Me (Archived)

This "About Me" was written quite some time ago, so I'm archiving it to do a new one.

100 Things About Me

I've seen this on other people's blogs and thought it might be fun. I'm just typing these as they come to me, so they are in no particular order, lol! So here goes...

1. My middle name is Elisabeth.
2. I have an older sister.
3. I'm very close to my parents, especially my mom.
4. When I feel like I'm not in control of my life, I rearrange my furniture.
5. I like the beach during the day, but I love it at night.
6. I'm a writer.
7. I'm an actress.
8. I'm a public relations professional (and the two things above this are useful in that field!)
9. It takes a lot to make me angry.
10. I got married at 19.
11. I got divorced at 22.
12. I don't have children, but I would like to have two one day.
13. I tend to be a little anal about certain things.
14. The beginnings of these sentences are not lining up and it's starting to annoy me!
15. I don't like tomatoes unless they are on a tomato sandwich or a BLT.
16. I'm a closet sci-fi geek.
17. I studied opera in college and sometimes I sing arias in my car when I'm driving alone.
18. I love jazz.
19. I think roses are beautiful, but also a little sad.
20. I tone down my bubbly personality at work so they won't think I'm an airhead.
21. My favorite book is Fahrenheit 451.
22. My favorite poet is Walt Whitman, favorite poem of his is "O Me, O Life"
23. I can't write poetry.
24. I love "fancy" coffee, but not "regular joe."
25. I play computer games to unwind.
26. When I get mad at someone, I make them a Sim in The Sims 2 and drown them in the pool.
27. I'm not crazy, I promise!
28. I love Italian food.
29. I love accents.
30. I love dogs.
31. I love to dance, but I'm not very good at it.
32. My favorite painting is Van Gogh's Starry Night.
33. I love Charlie Brown.
34. I have an awesome nephew named Noah, who is the light of my life.
35. I have a beautiful niece named Hannah who is my little princess.
36. My sweet and incredible nephew named Kohl is my cuddle bug.
37. I have horribly embarassing nicknames for my sister's kids, lol!
38. I want to have a child someday.
39. Stress makes me perform better.
40. Sometimes I need to be alone.
41. My sister and I have very different taste in clothes.
42. My sister and I have very different taste in men.
43. I have a few close friends that I've known most of my life.
44. I want to travel the world.
45. I worked for a nonprofit for five years and I mis it terribly.
46. I am in my thirties.
47. I've written 3 novels, but none of them have been accepted for publication yet.
48. I'm determined to get a novel published before I die.
49. I wish I went on more picnics.
50. I'm a hopeless romantic.
51. Chick flicks are my guilty pleasure.
52. Okay, chick lit is a guilty pleasure too!
53. I sometimes wish the book I'm reading would go on after "the end."
54. I get terribly addicted to TV shows.
55. I love to make lists... obviously!
56. I haven't worn a bathing suit in years.
57. I'm trying a diet and exercise program, but haven't told anyone in case I lapse.
58. I'd rather buy gadgets than clothes.
59. I recently learned to knit, and I love it!
60. I dye my hair.
61. I am not a morning person!
62. I sing in the shower.
63. Show tunes make me happy.
64. I am crazy in love with a wonderful guy and can't wait to marry him in October.
65. I love the Harry Potter books.
66. I wish I could write a series of books that become that successful.
67. I have an idea that has potential, but it's going to take a lot more work.
68. I do not believe in ghosts.
69. I do believe in spirits.
70. I am a Christian, but I'm not religious.
71. I dislike organized religion.
72. I prefer white wine over red.
73. I like some kinds of beer.
74. I sometimes wish I could go back and do things differently.
75. I put people I know into my stories sometimes.
76. I never put myself into my stories.
77. People tell me I look like Drew Barrymore.
78. I wish that was true.
79. I want my life to make a difference in the world.
80. I crave adventure.
81. New experiences are exciting to me, but also a little scary.
82. I Google myself about once a month.
83. When I meet someone new, I Google them when I get home.
84. I love to get comments on my blog!
85. Several years ago, I started taking pictures as a hobby.
86. I carry a camera everywhere I go.
87. My political beliefs are different from most of my family.
88. My IQ is 130
89. I want to go to graduate school.
90. I love hearing other people's stories.
91. I am genuinely interested in people and their lives.
92. I am a Scorpio
93. I was born in the year of the Dragon.
94. My Myers-Briggs personality type is ENFJ.
95. The descriptions for Scorpio and ENFJ are very accurate.
96. I wear contacts
97. I am a member of Equality Now
98. Joss Whedon is my hero.
99. I always try to show compassion to everyone.
100. I believe the world would be a better place if nobody had hatred for anyone else.

Monday, October 19, 2009


It's that time of year again! National Novel Writing Month is rapidly approaching and I have no idea what I'm doing! Well, I've been tossing around the idea of starting Draha during November this year, since I've been planning the thing for about two years now! I'm still not finished with the outline, but I need to go ahead and get started. I figure 50,000 words is just enough to get me through the part I've already outlined! :)

So of course, I will be posting daily updates and probably lamentations about my novel writing experience. It'll be fun to blog about Draha, as it's the first time I've attempted fantasy. And young adult fantasy, at that!

Must make a cool banner for the NaNo website and for this blog. It's always fun to make cool banners. More on that later...


Every once in awhile, I have a dream in which I get back together with an ex. Now, several things are important here. I do not (in any way, shape, or form) want to get back together with this ex. There are no residual feelings there and there is no reason I would want to even consider (and neither would he) a reconciliation. And it has been many, many years since I've even seen this man. But every once in awhile, I have this dream.

I had it again last night.

Whenever I have it - and remember that I did - I always wake up with a very unsettled feeling. It is as if I am guilty of doing something I shouldn't, even though I didn't do anything. I have tried to analyze this dream several times and I can't find any kind of correlation between it and what's going on in my life at the time, nor can I figure out what it might mean.

So anyway, I'm feeling really strange today because of this dream, which was more detailed than it usually is, making it even more disturbing, quite honestly! It makes little sense and it has no real importance, but there it is.

Does anyone else out there have recurring dreams that are sort of strange and unsettling.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fix You by Coldplay

Fix You by Coldplay

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beaux wrap up

Well, here we are again - doing another show wrap up. As I write this, I'm sitting on the floor of my TV room with the laptop on the coffee table, watching Brothers and Sisters. Kitty has cancer and the entire family is arguing about what treatment she should have. And I'm crying. Not really because of Kitty's cancer, although that helped things along a bit. But because of the people I just said goodbye to and how chances are, at least a few of them will drop off the map at some point and I will never see them again. We always say we will stay in touch, but inevitably we lose contact with some and keep in touch with others. I don't want to lose touch with any of these friends I've made, but I know that for some, tonight's goodbye was the last I will ever say to them.

The experience was an amazing one. I hadn't planned to audition for this play, mainly because I assumed I wouldn't be right for any of the parts. And also because Restoration Comedy sounded as dull to me as reading the phone book, mostly because I had never read any. I assumed the language would be stuffy and that the story would be boring. Well, it was anything but boring! And while the story was funny and fun, that's not what I'll remember. I will remember something unique and special about each and every one of my cast and crew mates. The things I am grateful I was able to experience while getting to know them and while creating something with them.

Donna - An amazing actress and a phenomenal person! Donna played my mother (and a few other relatives) in Quilters and I've watched her act in other shows. Sitting backstage with Donna (who played my father in this show) was always fun. And playing her daughter, being on stage with such a talented person, was an amazing experience. There is so much I can learn from someone with such natural talent and charisma on stage.

Casey - A new addition, someone I hadn't met before. Casey was our youngest cast member, just a teen, but is an incredibly talented young man. He played violin during our scene changes, proving that he is quite an accomplished musician, and in the opening scene, played Daniel, a young servant in the inn (who I always assumed was my brother, although I don't think the script ever said that) and showed that he is very good at falling down without getting hurt. At least not hurt too badly!

Scotty - I stage managed the first show this season and met Scotty as a result. We have happily kept in touch and I am so glad we got the chance to be on stage together for this, the last show of the season. A talented filmmaker and actor, Scotty will be someone to watch in the next few years. His movies will eventually be ones you can see in the theatres, if he has anything to do with it! I was in his movie this spring, which is currently in post production and will premier sometime soon. He is also a great person, just a big teddy bear! I'm looking forward to meeting up with him for karaoke now that we don't have rehearsals!

Timothy - I met Timothy at the read through of my very first play at Theatre 98. He freaked me out more than any person ever has! It turns out, that was his goal - so he did a good job! I played his "love interest" in that play and sort of did the same in this one. Things really do come full circle sometimes. Timothy is just an incredible actor who has great on stage presence. It is so easy to act with him because he's so present - always in the scene and always in character. And he's so much fun backstage. He sang to me about cherry chapstick every night before we went on - because my character's name was Cherry. So I put on cherry chapstick before we did our kissing scene, just for him! He's also a director that I would like to work with one day (hint, hint!)

Rick - Another new person to me, but not new to the theatre. His last show was before I got involved. I'm so happy he decided to come back because it was a pleasure to spend time with him! I discovered that he is not just a great actor but a great person as well. He has so much compassion for others. In addition, his poetry and his sense of humor are both sharper than the sword he used in the fight scene! I will never forget the night he did a "take 2" in the fight scene because the stool he normally kicked into the air and then caught sort of fell to the floor. It was seamless and perfect. The audience loved it, and so did we!

Marcus - I served as his stage manager earlier this season - the same play Scotty was in, actually! He had a lot of confidence in me as a director because of my work as stage manager, so he was one of the reasons I was able to direct Enchanted April. I enjoyed being on stage with Marcus a lot, because he throws everything into the role and it was easy to find his character despicable - because he made the character that way. In reality, he's a very nice person who likes to entertain others.

Lesley - What can I say? She's a talented actress and has become a very good friend. I so loved our scene at the end of Act 1. But it was difficult to keep a straight face while she did that to the gun and I wasn't supposed to know what she was doing! Lesley has been there for me through some tough times and I hope I can return that favor one day. I am so happy that we have become friends and that we are going to be seeing even more of each other in KidStuf and small group at church.

Nicole - We met during Quilters and I can honestly say she is the most beautiful woman I've ever met in person. Imagine how happy I was when I discovered that she is also a beautiful person inside! I think in many ways Nicole and I are kindred spirits. We even talked a little about that tonight. She's so funny and happy and bouncy. I used to be like that and am hoping I can get back to it when I lose some weight. She is an inspiration to me with her running and her weight loss. And she's such a REAL person. I love that about her. I'm so glad we got the chance to get closer during this play and I hope we can get even closer now.

Leslie - I admired her so much when she played the lead in The Trip to Bountiful last year and even won the SETC award for Best Actress when they took the play to the competition. She is a great actress and a joy backstage. I loved getting to know her. Leslie also had my favorite line in the entire play. "I am female and I am dangerous!"

Sue - I know a lot of people who know Sue because she's very involved in Mobile theatre. I hadn't met Sue before this and I really enjoyed getting to know her. She was hilarious backstage and did so well playing her part on stage. She played a man, as several of the ladies did, and it was hysterical watching her do it!

Cindy - She's clever and sweet and I really enjoyed working with her! Her emails to the cast were so funny, and I really had fun backstage with her. She made a great cross dressing country woman pirate and I loved watching her in the fight scene. And her country woman speech was hilarious!

Jarred - A rare person indeed, this guy is just amazing. I am so glad I got to know Jarred better during this show, because he was so shy during Enchanted April, and now that we're in small group together (with his wife Katie and some other awesome people!) I'm glad my first impression of him was correct - that he's just an all around great person! He is also an incredible actor who makes the most out of every single role, including a lovely servant woman. It was the best bearded lady I've ever seen!

Tom - He was a new person to our family, but it didn't take long for him to become one of us. He even came to rehearsals he didn't have to attend, just to get the full experience. This helped when they gave him the backstage headset so our stage manager could be up in the booth with our light operator. His Sir Charles Freeman was so regal and dignified - and I was so happy that I got to end up with his character in the end! There is nothing quite like seeing someone discover a hidden talent. With Tom, we all got to see that happening! I hope he tries out for something else, because he's really got talent and passion for it!

Andre - He came to the theatre to help coach my actors in Italian for Enchanted April, which was so helpful! I was so glad he decided to try out for this show. He was perfect as the French parson! Everyone loved his scene, and he was so helpful backstage. I hope he decides to do another show sometime soon.

Jonne - The director. I feel like I learned so much from Jonne, while he advised me on Enchanted April and during the rehearsal process of this show. He's a very creative and very talented director and I really enjoyed working with him. His shows always look so pretty - the movements are like dance steps. It was great to be a part of that. I can't believe this man managed to direct this complicated show while undergoing tests for a brain tumor, not knowing whether or not he would even be able to finish the play. I'm so happy he was able to finish and that things are going okay now with his health.

Jestina - Our wonderful stage manager! She's my new best friend! Well, she's everybody's new best friend, mostly because she says that all the time. She is one of the reasons our cast got so close, I think. She did these great emails with awesome random subject lines that just prompted all kinds of crazy conversations. I loved those emails, they helped break up the day at work! And they helped us all get to know each other better outside rehearsals, which is part of the cast bonding process, I think. Jestina was so great at being in charge when Jonne turned the show over to her. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does as a director herself one day. And wait until we get her on stage!

So you can see why I loved each and every one of these beautiful people and why it was hard to say goodbye. I hope we can continue our friendships and that we will see each other again very soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beaux Opening Week

We open on Friday! That means we will actually have an audience (of family and friends) on Wednesday night and an audience (of seniors and students in the community) on Thursday. That's how we do it at Theatre 98. Two free shows and then opening night. I'm really excited about this show! It has been such a great experience working with this cast and getting to know them. I can't wait for people to see and enjoy the performances.

For now, here's a sneak preview...

Monday, September 21, 2009

the right path

I've discovered something in the last month or so. Even when you are desperately seeking to know God's will about something, it's entirely possible that He doesn't want to let you in on the ultimate plan. I'm finding this particular discovery a bit frustrating at the moment, I won't lie! I have some choices to make.

Whenever I need to make a decision in my life, even one that seems insignificant, my mind goes back to decisions I've made in the past that did not end well. I think of my marriage, I think of my behavior in school the first time around, and I think of financial decisions that were not the best. This usually reminds me that decisions I make have lasting consequences and that I need to choose carefully. Sometimes it cripples me with fear. Sometimes it makes me think that this seemingly insignificant choice is the one that will destroy my life. That's when it gets scary for me.

But the truth is, I've made bad choices in the past - we all have - and I have to learn from those mistakes and move on. I know that the future God has for me is a million times better than any that I could dream up for myself. I know that if I just let Him drive, we will reach the proper destination. But I can't stop myself from backseat driving. I can't stop myself from reaching for the phone and sending a text message I know I shouldn't send, or doing things I know I shouldn't do. I totally understand Paul when he says:

Romans 7:13-20 (New Century Version)
13 Does this mean that something that is good brought death to me? No! Sin used something that is good to bring death to me. This happened so that I could see what sin is really like; the command was used to show that sin is very evil.

The War Within Us
14 We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave.15 I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate.16 And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good.17 But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them.18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them.19 I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do.20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.

And so that is what I'm dealing with right now. Especially the part that talks about not understanding the things I'm doing and doing the things I hate. It's so hard sometimes. I often find myself just crying out to God for some peace in this storm of my life and hoping for a little wisdom and a little happiness to block out the rain. I get this happiness sometimes. When I'm onstage, for instance. When I can live a life that is not my own, I am happy with it. When I can throw myself into another person (whether that is a character or a relationship or whatever) I can block out the storm a little. What I really need to do is just keep throwing myself into my relationship with God. I know this, and yet I fall on my face so often because I can't seem to wait for His guidance on what path to take. It's like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff and can barely see the cliff on the other side of the massive abyss. There's a rope bridge but I can't see it. God is guiding me toward the bridge, but I'm trying to go my own way and step right off the edge. Even though I know my way will lead to dispair and possibly death, I still try to do it my way. Just because I have trouble trusting that the bridge is there and that it is the best way across.

I wish my life wasn't always at a crossroads. I wish I could find the right path and take it. I'm ready for the path to be straight for awhile, and I'm ready for it to be very clear which direction to take. I'm not sure what the point of this post was, but I'm going to submit it. Maybe by sending it out there into cyberspace, something good will come of it.

Beaux Countdown!

I just looked at my countdown and realized we have only 11 days until Beaux Stratagem opens! Wow! That's one thing about doing two show - I feel like there's almost no time between the two openings! I am so looking forward to seeing everyone in costume. Mine is done and it's adorable! I think it's my favorite of all the costumes I've worn so far! I have more lines in this play and a lot more blocking, so it's a more challenging experience for me. I'm happy to have it.

But I'm taking a break after this one. I swear I am!

After all, November is just around the corner and you know what that means!

wrapping up The Odd Couple

Yesterday was the last show for The Odd Couple. First, let's talk photos. You can see them here.

Since my first community theatre audition, I've been in this kind strange competition with myself, to see if I can do more and more and more. I've done shows back to back, I've done musicals, and I've done everything there is to do backstage except making costumes (which I'm really bad at and they really don't want me to be a part of it!) But this was the first time I've ever done two shows at once. Devon said I would learn a lot about myself during this process, and (no surprise here) she was right.

I've become very familiar with my Theatre 98 home and family. Auditions are no longer scary and walking into that theatre is as comfortable as walking into my living room at home. I'm greeted by old friends and am excited to meet new ones. I'm generally aware of the inner workings of the theatre because of my board participation. It is my theatre.

Walking into the Chickasaw Civic Theatre was a totally different experience. Although I walked in with my roommate and I knew that the director of this show was a friend from college, it still felt very foreign. I didn't know anyone else in the room. The stage was massive, much larger and more imposing than my intimate little stage at T98. Needless to say, vocal projection is much more of an issue in a larger space with a larger stage. Something I had to learn during this process!

After auditions, I assumed I didn't get a part. I didn't feel great about my reading and I thought some of the other ladies did a much better job. I always feel this way, even at T98, but this was a much more intense feeling - mainly because I had just seen one of the ladies in a previous production and knew she performed at this theatre a lot.

The call came in very quickly, possibly the next day, although I don't really remember. My roommate and I both got parts - we would be playing the Pigeon sisters. We were both really excited.

Throughout the rehearsal period, I am happy to say I got to spend time with Leo, the director (who I haven't seen since college) and Shannon, the roommate, and the rest of the cast. The poker playing guys were a riot and the two men playing Oscar and Felix were simply amazing. Both on and off stage. Seriously, these guys are funny all the time.

Bonding with Shannon and Leo were my favorite parts, and of course the cast party during which we all played Rock Band! That's a fun activity for a bunch of theatre people!

So what did I learn about me? I learned that I need some free time! Doing two shows at once was very difficult for me because of the lack of free time. When I got home from one rehearsal or the other, I would just want to crash. Laundry suffered. Eating suffered. I never want to see another frozen pizza as long as I live!

But what else did I learn? That I can be very organized if I need to be. I was certain I would forget or screw up and go to the wrong theatre on the wrong days - or say the wrong lines at the wrong rehearsal. That never happened, thank God!

I also learned that people are very understanding and amazing when they know you are sincerely giving your best to something. And that when I push myself, I can accomplish great things. And that when others are relying on you to bring your best performance, you have to do that, even when you don't feel like it.

And yesterday, I learned that when you do a final performance and then drive straight to a rehearsal for another show, it eases the pangs of sadness you feel about the show being over. Oh, I'm still feeling sad about not seeing my Odd Couple friends every day. In fact, I will miss them very much. But every show brings another circle of friends, and I have a feeling that I will remain in touch with some of them for a good long while. Particularly the awesome Leo, who was one of the most humble, gentle, and professional directors I've ever worked with. She didn't get in the way of the show, and that's a rare quality in a director, I think. It's a quality I would like to have one day.

So goodbye, Odd Couple! It was a lot of fun playing on stage and off stage with all of you. I hope to see you again someday soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Some of you already know this, but I wanted to announce it here for those who do not talk to me in person or are not friends on facebook. I've made it past the first step for a publishing company! They ask for a query letter and synopsis first, so I sent that. About a week later, I got an email back asking for the first 3 chapters or the first 50 pages, whichever was more. So that's the second step! I sent the pages and am now waiting to see what will happen. I'm hopeful but am prepared to hear bad news too, just because if I get my hopes up too high and it doesn't happen, I'll be crushed. But that's the way the business works, right? At least I got past the first step. They liked the concept, which is a good thing.

This is for Summer's Blossom, by the way. It was my NaNoWriMo book for 2005. I've been editing, polishing, and sending it off to publishers since then, and finally I have some interest! Stay tuned for more on this exciting development!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Habitat's First Interfaith Build

I tried to embed this, but I couldn't make it work, so I'm doing a link instead. Check out the great segment on Habitat here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

singleness is a gift

Last week in small group, we were talking about gifts from God that we are celebrating right now. It suddenly hit me that my singleness is a gift. Without it, I would not have had a lot of the experiences I've had in the last few years. If I were still married, for instance, I would probably never have finished school, would be in a totally different career, would never have found the theatre again, and probably wouldn't have had time to write as much as I have been able to.

Obviously, married women with and without children do all these things, but when I was married, all my energy went to making him happy. Now I know that relationships should be more balanced and that I need to keep my interests and pursue them while also paying attention to my partner, who will hopefully have his own interests that he wants to pursue.

Changing my perspective, thinking of this time in my life as a gift rather than a curse, has really changed my mind about a lot of things. I'm feeling so much better about this stage in my life. I can consider it a good time to do a lot of things I may not be able to do later - instead of a sort of waiting room.

the countdown begins...

The Odd Couple opens in 11 days! I feel pretty good about it, actually. I need to find some jewelry to go with my costumes, but other than that and making sure the lines are completly solidified, I feel really good. I love my character and am really having fun with it, so that's always a plus!

This adventure of doing two shows at once has really been great. I have learned so much about directing styles, about other actors and their styles, and about myself and my own approach to roles and lines.

I probably won't do it again because I can't imagine the odds of getting two directors who are this understanding again, but it really has been a great experience.

I'll post some pics if they take any. If they don't, I'll get my dad to take some during a show (without his flash, of course!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Night Off!

I just found out the rehearsal I thought I was going to tonight is only fight choreography, and since I'm not in the fight scene, I have the night off! As much as I hate to say it, I'm glad. I need a little time for me. I have been putting off grocery shopping and laundry, so that will be the bulk of this evening's activities. Also, I've become obsessed with Heroes and am watching the first season on Netflix instant view - it's a really interesting story! Maybe I can watch a couple of episodes while I fold laundry and then get a little writing done.

Sounds like an exciting evening, right? To me it does!

Mobile Bay Area Performing Arts Calendar

I did this calendar for my own benefit, but thought others might get some use out of it too. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Odd Couple and Beaux Strategem updates

Odd Couple - Rehearsals have been so much fun! I'm close to knowing all my lines, but am having a hard time getting rid of the book! We have until next week to get rid of it altogether, though, so I have some time. It's always difficult for me to just put it down once and for all. The cast is hysterical and the director is awesome. We've been having so much fun! Saturday is a workday and I can't wait to help with the set. That's always a fun time. I should dig out my painting clothes, just in case!

Beaux' Strategem - Also going really well! So many friends in the cast make it a blast, and the new people are amazing as well! I'm almost off book on Act 1 but haven't really done any work on Act 2 yet. We haven't blocked it yet either, but we don't open until October, so we have time. My character is so much fun, and it's a great challenge to get into her head. She's a servant girl, so there's a submissive attitude, but she's also rather sarcastic at the same time. It's been tough to strike that balance, but I'm getting there. I'll get there before October, for sure! By the way, I'm going to be a blonde in this show, and my costume is going to be amazing! I'm so looking forward to seeing it.

Doing two shows at once is challenging and fun. People keep asking me if I'm crazy - I keep telling them that I probably am, but that I don't really do anything else besides work and church, so I've got the time right now. I should really do all I can now, before other obligations keep me from being able to devote all my free time to theatre.

Oh, and an update on my children's theatre - I did some more research today at lunch and have found some resources for a nonprofit business plan and some grant funding. I'm going to keep working toward that because it's a dream I've had for a long time. I can just see the kids working hard on a show and then performing it for all their families and friends. It'll be amazing!

Spiritual Guidance

So I've been going through kind of a rough time lately. Lots of decisions to make, lots of things to figure out. I know the only way I can get through everything is to get back to my spiritual walk. So I've been praying a lot lately, and reading the Bible more. Every night, in fact. I've started keeping a journal to really keep me accountable and to keep a record of the insights I receive. It's been pretty amazing. I started reading the Bible from the beginning but am using the Max Lucado Inspirational Study Bible. It's an incredible resource, with Life Lessons that go with each chapter and a Life Application at the end that challenges readers to take some kind of action based on the lesson in the verses they just read. The applications are so amazing. They have really helped me think about what's important they have really grounded me as a person.

Researching publishers

Okay, so after two rejections, I had almost given up on Summer's Blossom. It's the first novel I've ever written and I kept thinking that maybe it really just isn't that good. But I can't give up on it. So tonight I did some research on other possible publishers and found a few that sounded pretty good. I'm going to polish my query and get it ready to send out again. It's time to move forward.

On another front, I'm still working on the crazy outline for Draha. I got stuck on some plot points and have to figure my way out of some corners. It's actually kind of fun. The outline is really more of a summary of each chapter so that when I get the outline finished, I'll have a nice skeleton with some muscle, and then I really just have to flesh it all out with detailed descriptions and dialogue.

So yeah - some positive stuff happening on the writing front.

First Day to 5k

Just started this program again. I did Week 1 tonight. It's 25 minutes of interval training. Since I gave the treadmill to my mother, I'm doing this on the elliptical. I'm about to do a little weight lifting too, just little weights, nothing serious, but something to help strengthen my arms a bit.

This time I'm going to stick with it. This time, I have real motivation. I have to lose 100 pounds. I can't stand looking like this and will do anything to change it. I want more endurance, I want to be in shape, and I want to look better. It's time to do something for myself for a change. It's time to get control over my body and my life. It's past time, really.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Draha continues

Just because I'm doing so much theatre doesn't mean I'm not working on my books. On the contrary, I've taken lots of notes in the past few days and am going to spend some time this week transferring them onto the outline for Book 1. I'm getting close to the end of this outline, which is very exciting. I want to finish outlining book 1 before November so it can be my NaNo project. I'm determined to finish the first book by the end of this year. I think I can do it!

On another note, I've really been wanting to do some shorter projects lately. I want to do some short stories and/or flash fiction. I'll work on that a bit this week, I think - just to see what happens.

two shows!

I am so excited about this! The auditions went well. Or at least, I assume they went well because I got calls from both directors on the same day last week offering me parts in both shows! So in September, I will be playing the part of Cecily in The Odd Couple and in October I will be playing the part of Cherry in The Beaux' Strategem. Both directors are being so great about working around each other's schedules. I am so looking forward to working with these directors. I've been wanting to work with both of them since I got back into the local theatre community, so this is a great opportunity for me!

I have my Beaux script already and will be getting my Odd Couple script tomorrow night at the readthrough. I'll take both of them to Staples on Wednesday to get them spiral bound because it's just easier to work with them that way, and then I'll start learning lines! My goal is to be off book on The Odd Couple first - as soon as I possibly can so that the rehearsals can be as productive as possible, and then start working on Beaux. I can't wait to start rehearsing for both! They are so different and I love both stories so much that I'm sure it's going to be a BLAST!

Needless to say, I'm going to be very busy in the coming months! But it's the very best kind of busy. I'm getting back on stage!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lots of fun theatre stuff!

"A Nice Family Gathering" continues its run this week. Our next show will be Wednesday. I'm running lights and sound, a very simple task for this show, so I am enjoying watching the audience reactions from the booth. Theatre 98 audiences are always so appreciative of the hard work that goes into a show and they always give great reactions to the actors! This is particularly true in a comedy, and ANFG is a very funny story with great characters. We run Wed - Sun of this week.

Tonight, I'm auditioning for The Odd Couple at Chickasaw Civic Theatre. I'm looking forward to the auditions and really hope I get a part. The director is an old friend who I have recently reconnected with through being a part of the local theatre community and is just the nicest person! I want to work with her at some point, so even if I don't get a part in this one (there are only two female roles, after all!) I will try out for another of her shows in the future.

Tomorrow night I will be auditioning for a part in The Beaux' Strategem at Theatre 98. There are 18 roles, so there's a better chance for me there, although most of those roles are for men. There are two parts that I could really see myself doing - the inkeeper's daughter Cherry or Mrs. Sullen. But I'm fairly certain he will cast someone older as Mrs. Sullen. Actually, Lady Bountiful would be the most fun, but I think he already has someone in mind for that.

I wouldn't normally try out for two shows at once, but because I've been working backstage so much this year and haven't been on stage at all, I wanted to double my chances to get on stage! I miss it so much! Upcoming shows at local theatres also include:

The Philadelphia Story
Promises, Promises
Funny Girl
A Midsummer Night's Dream

All before the end of the year! It's amazing to be a part of such a vibrant community theatre in a place like Alabama, which is not typically known for its performing arts opportunities. We recently saw productions of:

Uncle Vanya
Romeo and Juliet
The Secret Garden
The Foreigner
Enchanted April

We have several very active community theatres here and we all work together to make sure we are not doing the same shows in the same season, which I think is pretty cool.

Anyway, enough about my love for local theatre - back to work - lunch break is over!

so fast!

This month is flying by! How did it get to be July 13 already? That's one thing about doing shows, when your time is filled with rehearsals and performances, the time goes by very quickly!

So here's a quick update on everything. It'll be under the "life" category, but I'm going to try to cover it all. I usually don't do this, but since there's not that much going on, I figured I'd kill lots of birds with one stone.

Writing - I've been working on Draha! Yay! I've got a few more pages of the outline finished and the plot is starting to really come together. I'm going to stop for a moment next week and write a short story or two, just to get out of outlining and get into actual writing. My goal is to finish the outlines for the first two books before November so I can write the first (or at least get a good start on it) during NaNoWriMo. I think I can do it!

Personal - It's been fun lately. I've been meeting lots of new people and have been on a few dates with a very nice guy. There are some other things going on in that arena as well, but that's about as specific as I want to get at this time. Suffice it to say that I'm pretty happy about my personal life at the moment.

Reading - I'm working through a wonderful book called "Captivating," which is a guided study into the heart's desires of women and how those can correlate with the heart's desires of God. About how a woman's desire for a relationship is just like the desire God has to be in a relationship with us. I love it! It has really opened my eyes about a lot of things that I hadn't thought about before and made me realize my own desires for love and a family are not dysfunctional at all, but are, in fact, quite normal.

Family - My sister's family is moving to a new house - one that sounds awesome! I think it means that the kids will each have their own rooms for the first time, which is great for them. I hope they are really happy in this new house and can stay there for awhile.

Knitting - I'm working on a baby blanket for a coworker who is due August 1. Wish me luck, because I'll need it! I will post pictures when it is finished.

That's all for now. I'm doing theatre in a separate post because there's so much to say!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

write now

I've got to get back to writing. It's been way too long and I miss it! I haven't opened the file that contains my Draha notes in quite some time and while it's still being worked on in my head, I really need to get some of that out onto the screen. Just get it done, you know? I need to set aside some time to work on that. I will do that this week - set aside at least an hour a day for writing. Maybe I'll work on a couple of things. I have a short story in my head that may be a fun short film once it is written and adapted for that purpose. I'd like to do a few flash fiction pieces to put on my website. I have to write a poem for work, but I can do that during work hours!

So this is it, a renewed commitment to finishing the outlines for Draha - the entire series, not just the first book - and to working on some other writing projects when I get home from work every day. Not as an afterthought, but as something that I really want and need to work on. And that is what I am going to do! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

home sweet home

I think I've really settled into the house now and I do love living there. I've even had friends over for movies and dinner and stuff. Tonight I'm having a date over, which will be a first! I'm cooking dinner - another first - I've never actually cooked for someone before. Scary, huh?

Shannon and I are really getting along well. We've been watching Dexter on DVD. Well, first we watched Carnivale and then we went on to Dexter. She's a fan of great writing and acting like I am, so she's totally getting me into her favorite shows.

Oddly enough, she's getting hooked on Gilmore Girls from my DVD sets. She's watching them alone, though. I think she's just watching them now to get to Lorelai's dog, Paul Anka, because I told her how funny all that is and she has a very strange dog so she wants to see it.

The budget thing is getting easier. The first few times I went shopping, I was so careful about everything and now I can relax a little because I know how much I can spend each time and about how much things cost. I even bought sodas the other day! It's been so hot that it's pretty much required to have cold drinks ready, and while I've been really good about drinking water most of the time, I like having a coke or dr pepper every now and then for the sugar and caffeine.

Church is still going great. I'm really happy with the friends I'm making and last night I tried out to be a part of their drama team and was told I'm in! We perform every Sunday morning - the characters rotate so that no one person has to perform every single Sunday. I think it's going to be awesome! Small group is still great too. A bunch of us are going to a Bay Bears game tomorrow night. I always want to go to games but never have anyone to go with - now we are all going! I'm excited!

be nice to me or you'll take your bow in the dark

I find tech to be a very fun thing, especially since the last show was completely on me - whether it soared or failed was on my shoulders. Now the only thing I have to worry about is whether or not the right dimmer is up at the right time. And the lights are simple for this show, so I have plenty of time to knit and just enjoy watching the acting.

The show is "A Nice Family Gathering" and is at Theatre 98. I'll be the first person to use the newly renovated light/sound booth, which is much larger and more comfortable. I love it so far. We open July 10, but have had several tech rehearsals because one of the leads is out of town this week, so the director wanted everything to be ready ahead of time.

It's a great show and a wonderful cast. I'm going to really enjoy doing lights and sound for them.

Upcoming theatre opportunities include auditions for The Beaux' Strategem at Theatre 98 and The Odd Couple at Chickasaw Civic Theatre. There are some others, but I'm just trying out for those for now. Beaux has about 18 characters and is being directed by my favorite person at Th98, so I'm hoping I'll get a role in it. There's a character named Cherry. I think I would enjoy that one. But then, The Odd Couple is also a great show and the director is a friend from way back who I have recently reconnected with, so either experience would be great! I'm reading both plays to prepare for the auditions a little, something I've never actually done before, so I'm excited to see what happens.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lots going on, but nothing much really

That's kind of how I feel right now.  There's a lot going on, but nothing I can really talk about.  Or if I can talk about it, it's not very interesting.  I've been neglecting this blog terribly and I really need to get back to it.  There are some thing I can report on, I suppose.

The move went well and I'm settled in my new place.  The roommate situation is turning out to be even better than I thought it would.  We've been having a nice time lately watching episodes of TV shows on DVD.  One in particular is very interesting and mysterious - I'm still trying to figure it out.  

With the move came new opportunities for social interaction, which I think is a very good thing.  I'm making new friends and doing more out of the house.  Like this past Tuesday, a friend of my roommate who I hope is becoming my friend dropped by to pick me up for karaoke.  We had a great time.  

I'm also making new friends at church since I decided to start going to a new church and a new small group.  My friend Lesley, who is just completely amazing in every possible way, is the hostess of this small group and is friends with all the members.  She has brought me into their circle and has introduced me to a lot of people in the church and in the group.  It's great to be surrounded by people who care whether you live or die (who are not related to you, I mean!)  

So all these are positive things.  Even having to live within a budget is a positive thing for me, as it's not something I've had to do for a long time, so it's really making me think about all the stuff I want to buy and whether or not I really need it.  

All in all, I think things are going pretty well.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

back into the swing of things

Next week, I'm setting aside some quality time for writing.  I've been thinking about Draha a lot and I've also been thinking about trying seriously to get some freelance work.  With the move and new bills to pay, not to mention the fun salary cut I just had to endure, I could use the extra income.  I'm going back to the job boards to see if I can get some work.  I'm also going to start thinking of ways to market my services to local businesses and organizations.

Maybe now is the time to get something started.  Maybe now is the time to start building.  I know it will take a long time, but I know that if I work hard at it and do a good job, it will pay off someday.  That's all that matters, right?

I've had so much on my mind to distract me from my goals and dreams.  Now, I need to come back down to earth and get to work on them again.  Those books won't write themselves!w