I've always enjoyed music and theater of all kinds. I remember the one family vacation we went on when I was a little girl was to Branson, MO and my favorite thing we did was go to a show. I've enjoyed every show I've ever seen whether it be on Broadway, in a high school, church, an amusement park, or a make shift stage. Every show I have ever seen in my entire life, I sat in the audience wondering what it would be like to actually be the one on stage.
The last several years, working with FRC, my love for theater has grown immensely - especially after experiencing JTF for the first time last year. Admittedly, when it comes to my own musical abilities, I often lack confidence. Thankfully, God has put some amazing people in my life that have encouraged me and taught me some great things! I also realized after working with some phenomenal kids who also struggle with believing in themselves, that I must practice what I preach. If I can help them see the God-given talents that they have and encourage them to use them, why can't I do the same?
I've sat in on numerous auditions over the years. I know how difficult it is to cast people. I know how exciting it is from a production standpoint to envision something and have it come to life before your eyes. I love the creative process. I just really wanted the chance to experience it from the performer's perspective - to be the one responsible for bringing joy and laughter to the audience. (I did dance some in our church's Christmas production I choreographed a few years ago, just to clarify.)
I'm my own worst enemy. I've never felt good enough and have struggled with self image as an overweight adult. But, I decided I was being a hypocrite to those kids (and my own) telling them to work hard for their dreams while I cowered behind my own. You've got to be in it to win it, right? I finally decided it was my time to take the leap and give it a shot. Seriously, what did I have to lose? I was going to walk into a theater where I did not know a single person. I was going to give it my all and they were either going to love me or hate me. I truly had no idea if I could act or not. I've sang my whole life - but never a Broadway tune. I really had no expectation going in.
|Heading into my first audition!|
The next day I received an email from director, Linda, for a callback for the parts of Violet, Roz, & Doralee (I tried out for Judy fully hoping for an ensemble part). I was ecstatic!! Callbacks were a blast!! When I realized I could make people laugh, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. Going into callbacks, I was still thinking, "maybe this means I'm at least going to be a part of the show." I left there thinking, "I like these people. A lot. If I'm not in this show at all, I'm going to be very disappointed." Wednesday morning I was sitting in Chosen practice watching my phone every time it lit up with an email. We were in the middle of singing a song when I saw I had an email from Linda. Mid song, I couldn't help myself (sorry, Kelly) I opened it up and the tears started. It was so surreal to me. I had no idea how my life was about to change!
We immediately started rehearsals and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single one of them. I felt like each one of them pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I was dancing and physically being pushed like I had not in a long time. I had given up on taking care of myself and this was showing me just how much and forcing me to get active again. Going from teacher to student was mentally difficult, but I believe it's going to make me a better teacher and choreographer. I had to throw my stage fright out the window. I had to learn and sing my part every time. No playing around. No time to get nervous - just do it (that would be a great slogan for something). I was incredibly fearful of memorizing so many lines. Could I even do it? I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday. But, when you have 202 lines in a show (not including the songs) - you just have to work that much harder to get it done. Character development? What's that? Oh, I need to become Violet. What is she feeling? What are her mannerisms? How does she interact with other characters? I'm pretty sure she was still developing this past weekend! There were a few nights that I went into rehearsals after crying most of the day from just having a crappy day. Within minutes, those feelings were gone and I found myself doubled over in laughter. Was everything always sunshine and roses? Nope! We are working with human beings. There's going to be occasional conflicts. Putting a show together is difficult. Learning can be frustrating. Was it worth it? You bet it was!
|First Read Through|
First Read Through
|Music Rehearsal at the Annex|
|Getting some stage time practice|
|"You said it, sister!" Jen, made the best Margaret!|
|Change It! My girls love Taylor (black dress). Mollie was awesome!|
|Roz and I had a special relationship!|
|"We're not taking orders from you anymore!"|
|One of the Boys|
|I believe the Hospital was the most fun scene for me.|
|My BFF's from Knoxville - Jenny & Nikki.|
|Let's not forget the broken hand.|
|Some of my precious cheer & drama girls.|
And, now I walk away with the greatest gifts of all - and one I wasn't even thinking about. People. New friends. I didn't go into this thinking about relationships with people, but I'm sure walking away with some of the best. I could not imagine doing this show without any one of the amazing people in that cast and crew. No future show will ever compare to this one.
|The Diva script lady!|
|Jesse's in charge.|
|Katie rocked the black wig!|
|Violet and her man.|
|No, I wasn't drinking. Just high hair!|
Roz finally got some love from Hart!
|Dakota did my hair every single night!|
|My people! Maurice was a fantastic|
Bob & Stage Manager.
|I adore this guy! So much talent it's ridiculous!|
|Judy, Violet, & Doralee|
So, what's next? No idea! I had another audition on Saturday for an event. You win some, you lose some. We'll just have to see how that one pans out. For now I'm going to get a little rest, go to our drama leadership planning this weekend for FRC, reflect more on 9 to 5 with smiles and tears and try not to get too depressed it's over but rejoice that it happened. Wherever the Lord leads, I will go.