Sunday, July 17, 2011

Goodbye Love: A Final Farewell to RENT at the CTC

Less than 24 hours ago, we put on our final of 10 sold out performances of RENT. I have a show-hangover already. You know the symptoms; you've seen the signs: pouty lips, incessant desire to wear a large shoulder-padded purple jacket and bright green Doc Martens to the grocery store, crying when someone mentions the time, eating ice cream at 10am. It's a problem, and I'm here to make the problem worse, by being overly sentimental and telling you all how much I've loved this show. I don't care if it gives you a show-hangover as well. If I'm going down, you're all going with me. Get used to it.
I am so blessed to have been cast in this show. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am that I chose to audition for this show and to spend my summer working, singing, playing with and loving this fabulous group of people that I can now safely call a huge part of my Theatre Centre family. I have been doing shows at the CTC for a while now and I have a great family there, but it is greatly enriched by the presence of these people. If you saw the show, you know how exceptionally talented this group of singers and actors are, but unless you know them personally, or got to be a part of this experience, you cannot know what stellar people I got to spend the last 3 months of my life with, night after night. I always consider myself fortunate for the people in my life, but these people have made my sense of gratitude skyrocket. They are the most beautiful, talented, kind-hearted, loving and dedicated people you will ever meet. Anyone would be lucky to know and love them, and Lord knows, I definitely am that.
Now, Iesha wrote a sweet note and did a bunch of shout-outs, which my fingers may not hold out to do, but I'm compelled to at least mention a couple of people specifically.
But, in the interest of it getting said:

Scott Dunlap: You are incredible. And by incredible, I mean that absolutely nobody does what you do. I don't know how they could. This show was a gift, and it was a gift that you, singularly, gave all of us. I know that I speak for everyone when I say that I could not be more grateful. Everything you touch has a special beauty. You make even the most stereotypically ugly things shine and have such a grace and purpose behind them: from the graffiti on the walls to the "people on the street." And, as always, thank you for being in my corner. Your faith in me means so much more than you could ever know. I love. Love. LOVE. you.

Joanna and Laura: You girls blow me away. I mean that, sincerely. I can't imagine the stress of going through all those cues night after night and you two pulled it off beautifully. I don't think many people realize how much work must take place behind the scenes for a show to be what it is and that is due to the seamless effort you made every single night. You are both incredible and beautiful and this show was 100 times better simply because of your involvement in it.

To the rest of the cast: Know that, as an overarching point of telling you I love you; I love you guys. This has been the best show experience I've ever had and I can't begin to thank you for making it so much fun! You all shine so brightly and I can't wait to do another show with all of you. You are light and love, and I cherish you with all my heart. I am going to miss dancing on tables with you. I'm going to miss laughing in the wings with you. I'm going to miss Iesha spitting at people in the audience. I'm going to miss hearing people gasp when Morgan moons everybody. I'm going to miss the collective cheer when Angel comes out in that caution tape dress. I'm going to miss watching Mimi die (she just does it so well!). I'm going to miss Cody grabbing my butt on the way offstage in Act 1 (yep, just called you out. It's ok, though, I'd give it all for you. But, I won't give you that catfish thing. I HATE THAT.). I'm going to miss Seasons of Love and the platform Trifecta. I'm going to miss dancing backstage with Terrance. I'm going to miss Maureen's crazy dead animal hat. I'm going to miss Sonia's mom voice. I'm going to miss "SPEAK! beep!" I'm going to miss hearing the strange things that sometimes get said during "Contact" (Y'all know what I'm talking about.) I'm going to miss Thaddeus' acrobatics. I'm going to miss fighting at Halloween. I'm going to miss the awkwardness of the MoJo exit from Halloween. I'm going to miss Collins in his Samuel L. Jackson costume. I'm going to miss beaming at you all during the finale and that glow I feel knowing that we pulled off another amazing night. I'm going to miss it all. And, it's all because of all of you. Thank you for making this experience so magical. You all mean the world to me.

A thousand sweet kisses,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spotlight on: Amazing Friends

Hey folks! Welcome back from blog-hiatus to me!

So, I'm going to tell y'all an embarrassing story so that I can explain why I felt compelled to write this blog. Today, I got a severe blow to my ego and just totally fell apart. And, to be honest, I'm sort of prone to this. It's not one of my personality traits that I'm particularly proud of, but I can at least recognize and admit that it happens, which, I think, is the first step to overcoming it. Anyway, as I was walking into a yoga class, a lady yells across the room (in front of several other people) and asks how many months along I am. My mind raced, my heart sped up and I could feel my heart sink down to my toes. I was totally humiliated. And, in an effort to save face, I simply said, "Um, zero." She began sort of uncomfortably laughing and apologizing and I just kept saying "It's fine. Don't worry about it," when, in fact, I felt far from "fine." I felt like crawling under a rock and never coming out.

So, as is also in my nature, I cried and went home and posted a cryptic message about the incident on Facebook. I got a ton of replies from people who were ready to come to my defense: with baseball bats, fists of fury and quick-witted slights. It was both, hilarious and touching. And, it was what I really needed in that moment.

What I was fortunate to see in that long list of offers to knock people in the kneecaps was that I am so loved and that is all that truly matters in my life. It's very easy for me to get caught up in the bullshit of what I look like and how I compare to the women around me, and it makes no sense because what I am ultimately wanting is love and respect and I have that in spades.

There is no end to the gratitude I feel for the people in my life. They are beautiful inside and out and I am incredibly lucky to know them. They'd go to the mat for me and I hope they know that if the tables were turned, I'd do the same for them.

I love you all so much and am so blessed by your presence in my life. Thank you for making a day that could've wrecked me instead lift me up.