>why’d I pick these shoes? why’d I pick this song?

>…I think I just accidentally published this post as a blank. Oops.

So, last night’s callback didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. I didn’t get called back for the part I really wanted, so I sort of mentally checked out about halfway through the callback process. I’d already decided that if I didn’t get the part I really, really wanted that I wouldn’t do the show – it’s just too inconvenient to get to and from the place for a part I would be less than happy with. I did get asked to join the ensemble, which is great because it was a surprisingly competitive audition process, but I know I won’t be able to commit to it.

Thankfully, I’m looking at it as more audition experience, which is always welcome! Auditioning is probably the scariest part of acting for me, and acting can sometimes go some scary places!

I do have a couple more hopeful auditions in the next few weeks, so I’m looking forward to those!

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>I’m climbing uphill, daddy. climbing uphill.

>As I started this blog with the intention of chronicling my pursuit of an acting career (however small the steps I’m taking at the moment) (hey, at least I’m taking some steps?), I knew at some point I would have to talk about auditioning. I had my first audition since I started this blog tonight, so I figure now is a good time to talk about it as any!

I started off this paragraph with “I hate auditioning,” but frankly, that’s not true. I actually like auditioning – for straight plays. Auditioning for musicals is tougher for me, considering my singing anxiety. My intention at this point in life is to go on as many auditions as I can – for things that I might not even really want to do – just to get the experience of standing up in front of people I’ve never seen before and acting and singing for them. It’s all very well and good to get established within a group of people, but I’ve done that before and I always end up staying there longer than I ought to, safe and comfortable, knowing that they know what I can do and not having to really prove it anymore. But that’s no way to improve.

For me, predictably, singing is the hardest part. Tonight’s audition was for a musical, and they had us come in and learn some of the music and sing it for them. I love – love! – cold readings (which we also did). But cold singing? Is more difficult for me. Way more difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an audition where I had to cold-sing before.

Tonight’s audition was interesting. I was a little nervous, as I believe it’s a college group, and I definitely felt…old? Older than everyone else, anyway. They taught the girls a couple of songs, one in the higher range and another in the lower range, from the show. They gave us an aside to read and paired us up with one other girl and a guy to practice reading. And then they had us sing whichever song we wanted to sing and read the aside.

The two people I was paired up with were funny and laid-back, which was nice. My singing wasn’t terrible – I sang the higher song – and my reading went well, considering it wasn’t an aside for a character I wanted to audition for. (We all got the same aside.) The director was very considerate and chatted with me how to get to the space from the T and about the fact that I wouldn’t be the oldest person in the show (haha) if I got in.

And tonight when I got home I had an email from them saying they wanted me to come to callbacks! :D So that’s exciting. I have to decide if I really want to go into Boston for an unpaid show, if I do get in – though I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. :D

>"get out of your own head. get out of your own way."

>Sometimes it amazes me how things can come up over and over and over and over (and over) again when the Universe wants to teach you a lesson. I really do believe that this sort of thing happens when you are not paying attention to whatever lesson you’re supposed to be learning; eventually the words get so deafening that you can’t ignore it (or be ignorant of it) anymore.

In the past few weeks, the phrase “get out of your own head/get out of your own way” has come up repeatedly. I’ve had my singing teacher and director for ItW flat out say it to me. I saw The King’s Speech (which I loved, by the way – Colin Firth deserved that GG he won for it!), which had a similar lesson. Not to mention the conversation I had with PC about it not that long ago.

It’s not exactly a secret that I have this issue.

It’s interesting, I’ve found this post to be the hardest one to write so far. I started writing it before tech week started, and now it’s the Wednesday after the show and I’m still sort of stumped as to how to continue. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to get enough space between me and this subject, it’s obviously something that I struggle with and am having trouble distancing myself from.

I guess yesterday and the day before would be perfect examples of how I can’t get out of my own head or my own way. Monday, I had something as simple and commonplace as getting lost deter me from doing something I actually wanted to do. Yesterday, I woke up feeling oversensitive in general, had a couple of things hurt my already raw feelings, couldn’t keep it together at work long enough to do any extra hours (I really do need the money), and then got in a car accident on the way home and decided against going to an audition I really wanted to go to.

Now, the accident wasn’t serious, but I still ended up in my second snowbank in less than a week. My car is going to need to be fixed. I could have made it to the audition, but instead I curled up in my bed and slept from 5:30 to 11:30. Because instead of sucking it up and going, I just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep for days.

My singing is never up to the standards I want it to be because I can’t get out of my own head. As soon as I start feeling the tiniest bit shaky or underconfident, I can hear it in my voice – and I’m sure anyone listening can, too. And then that starts the cycle: everyone can hear that I’m not any good, therefore they all know that I’m just pretending and what business do I have singing in front of people anyway? And so on and so forth until I’m a shaky little wreck who can barely squeak out her notes. It’s terrible.

MP put it best, I think, when she said, “you have to not care so much.” I’m too much inside my head at all times, and I don’t let the love of it come through, just the anxiety that someone is listening to me. I hope that with practice that will get better, will instill somewhat more confidence in me.

I kept insisting during the last week of the show, when people were talking about the shows they’ve done and parts they’ve played and auditions coming up, that “I’m not a singer!” Because I don’t think of myself that way. Maybe I need to own that too, as PC would say, and then I’ll have to live up to my own promises?

That’s the issue: I’m not really sure what to do about that. How do I get out of my own head (or way) when that’s where I live? If that’s the only way I know how to think? I understand the lesson, at least intellectually. I just don’t know how to enact it, how to start doing what the universe is telling me. Do I have to fake it until I believe it? Am I some Trilby that needs her Svengali to hypnotize her uncouth tone-deaf self into a confident diva? (If so, where do I even find one of those…?) I just don’t know.

>the girl’s in circles and circles

>Today I was supposed to have a singing lesson with MP, but our new arrangement is that I’m supposed to go to her house. She lives in a particularly difficult to navigate town, and I have to drive through yet another particularly inaccessible town to even get there. Today, it’s about 5 degrees outside (and it was even colder last night), so my GPS wasn’t working. My phone has a GPS on it, but it’s not a great GPS and my phone was starting to die.

I started to panic as I drove into the first town, knowing as well as I know anything that I would get lost. I always get lost. I hate driving. I literally have no sense of direction, and can get lost trying to go places I’ve been many times before, never mind trying to navigate somewhere difficult. I started crying; I could barely see well enough to pull over into a parking lot. Once I’d calmed down enough, I sent MP an email – on my dying phone – telling her that I wouldn’t be able to make it today due to my brother’s birthday. (Which is true, but I could have made it home in plenty of time.) It was only an hour away from the time I should have been there, but I apologized for that.

She seemed very upset when she wrote back to me, and now I’m even more upset than I was. I know I put her out, and I think I will offer to pay for that lesson. Do I explain to her that I panicked on the way to her house and let her think I’m a basket case? Or do I not say anything except apologizing again, and let her think I’m a jerk? I would rather she not think I’m either of those things, if it’s all the same.

Maybe I need to find someone more accessible. I only agreed to going to her house because it was more convenient for her, and I tried to tell her before that it was inconvenient for me to get to and from her house (it took me two hours to get home! it usually takes me about forty-five minutes to and from the other place), but she convinced me that I should do it anyway. Because I am a doormat.

And there’s the other fact that I want to start taking this as seriously as possible, and I don’t know that MP cares to take me beyond where I am. Perhaps I haven’t expressed how seriously I want to take it, perhaps she doesn’t think I really have the potential…but she doesn’t. So I don’t know what I’m going to do.

>…and happy ever after!

>daily tarot for January 23 2010:

“The Ten of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in completion. I celebrate and am grateful for captured moments of simple perfection. Satisfying my hearts desire connects me by example to love, beauty, pleasure, and happiness in those around me and gives me confidence to take it to the next level. “”We made it.”” Unconditional love makes a family and home is where the heart is, so at last, I am never alone. I am empowered by gratitude and my gift is emotional fulfillment.”

As sad as it is that we only had one weekend of shows, it made for some very apt Facebook status updates: “One midnight gone!” “Two midnights gone!” “The third midnight is near!”

I meant to write after one of the first two shows, but between getting in after one in the morning both nights, having to put my hair in rollers and then take it out and pin it up to fit under my wig cap, and having to bake three dozen cookies for the concession stand, I really only had a few minutes to spare. I ended up starting an entry but it doesn’t make any sense now that the show is over.

In general, the show went really, really well. I am so incredibly lucky to have been able to play a part I always wanted to play with a cast full of talented, welcoming, kind people. I’d done one show with this group before, but it was so lovely to be welcomed back with open arms. Especially since I hadn’t done a show with them in over a year, the reason being my then-upcoming nuptials.

I still felt like that weird girl in the corner, but…less so than usual.

(And really, I guess that’s okay for getting into this particular character.)

For a while, it seemed like the show was cursed. In the space of a few months, we lost a Jack, a music director, a Snow White and a Cinderella. What we gained in spite of those losses was that much better for having been hard-won.

The shows were full of magnificent energy. Saturday night was our best night (and predictably, they filmed today and Friday), full of enthusiasm and confidence from a well-played show the night before. Friday was a bit nervous, all things considered, and today was a very emotional performance for a number of reasons – not the least that it was closing night!

I wish I could say I did the best job that I know how to do, but I don’t know that I did. I let my nerves and my fear get hold of me and keep me from singing the way I wanted to. I wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t great, either. My low notes were very shaky and any confidence I had in the higher register faltered as soon as I started hearing my notes being played…I’m not a musician, I’m not a singer, and I don’t pretend to be. I’m not saying that I let anyone down, other than myself. But then, I am always my own worst critic.

On reflection, I am incredibly glad that I didn’t take over for Cinderella. Our Cinderella – she’s a singer. She is someone with excellent musical intuition, a good sense of pitch, and a nice “clear” voice. (I don’t know that there’s another way to put that – it’s light, and steady, and not overly ornamented, which are all things I aspire to.) I can’t imagine doing a better job than she did, and I would have been killing myself trying to get up to par. (And I probably never would have.) Our entire cast was just…well-cast, really, and immensely inspiring to watch working.

All in all, it was a good show to get back in the swing of things. There are a couple of auditions coming up fairly soon that I am looking into…hopefully I’ll be able to post about those soon. That, and preparing for school auditions!

>to fix, to hide, to move, to battle… to see what the trouble is.

>I am almost hesitant to write right now because I didn’t do very well at rehearsal tonight and I am very down on myself for it. So fair warning, this might be a very gloomy entry.

(I know, I know: bad dress rehearsal, good show. But all I can think right now is that I wish we had a rehearsal tomorrow night!)

I am messing up so badly with my ah-ah-ah~!s on almost every turn, and I don’t know why! I honestly never really had a problem during rehearsal unless no-one ever corrected me before and I’m way more tone-deaf than I thought I was. (I suppose that’s possible, though I’m fairly certain I’m tone deaf anyway and oh lord why did I ever think that singing in front of people was a good idea?) I’m honestly kicking myself for messing up so badly and am considering having one of our ensemble sprites (we have a five-person ensemble that are dressed as woodsprites; they are uniformly amazing) to sing my part for me instead.

I was originally fairly pleased to get this role simply because I don’t think I’d ever done a part that was mainly singing or mainly depended upon my singing voice. I’ve always been a better actress than I was a singer, and I’m not even saying I’m all that great of an actress. (Why do I want to do this with my life again?)

In any case, I was always “the girl that can act, oh and if she needs to sing she can do that too” and not “the girl with the great voice.” I’ve had multiple friends with legitimately fantastic voices and I’ve always felt I’ve had to work a lot harder to even sound pleasant at all. (Which has always been upsetting to me; if I could have any one innate talent it would be to have a lovely singing voice.) Recently, with MP’s help, I’ve been gaining more confidence when it comes to singing, but obviously it’s possibly false and not actually earned confidence.

I need to stop that now. I can go on thinking that but writing it down is probably a bad idea.

On the brighter side, our Baker’s Wife told me about an audition that’s coming up that sounds interesting. (The next show the company I’m doing Into the Woods with is doing is Guys and Dolls, which – frankly, I would love to play Sarah Brown but it’s not going to happen.) I’ve had my eye on a couple of others, so hopefully I won’t have too much downtime after this show is over.

>curtain up, light the lights!

>So, I’m late in updating on this since technically (unintentional pun) tech week started on Sunday with our cue-to-cue (which was intensely boring, as always). Monday we had a run with only essential costume pieces (aka my ten-foot-long three-piece wig) and full tech. We didn’t get all the way through the show, which was slightly worrying, but we did keep stopping and starting throughout to make sure everything was set correctly in terms of set pieces and props and lights and sound cues.

And last night was our first full dress rehearsal, which went fairly well, all things considered! There are quite a few quick changes, and they were all pulled off masterfully, in particular considering how elaborate some of the costumes are.

My wig, as previously mentioned, is about ten feet long all-told, and curly. It catches on literally everything and anything, including but not limited to: the tower/tree I sit in for most of the first half of the show, the Witch’s robes, my dress, every single piece of the set that hasn’t been sanded down (all of it), the ladder I walk up and down to get to the tower, etc. I wear it wrapped about my shoulders like a curly blonde scarf when walking about the backstage area and still manage to get myself snagged on everything. I’m going to talk to KD tonight about possibly staying up in the tower until “Stay With Me,” which is the first time I appear outside of the tower, simply because getting up and down the ladder with a long flowy dress and my wig is impossible to do quickly or gracefully.

I love tech week. I always have. Everyone refers to tech week as “hell week,” which it can be, but I unabashedly love having rehearsal every night until the show and basically running on caffeine, sugar, and adrenaline for a solid week. I love costumes – I used to joke that getting to play dress-up was the primary reason that I liked doing theatre. (It’s not true, but I do love playing dress-up!) I love bonding with castmates in a way that you don’t really do until tech week. I love hanging out in the green room (our green room is purple and mustard yellow, by the way). I just love the final surge of energy and dedication going into the opening night of a show. I wish we had more than one weekend to perform. That’s one of the few things I’ll miss about the Place That Will Not Be Named; at least they had a whole three weeks or so of performances.

But most of all, I just love doing what I love to do. I’m grateful to have the chance to do it. And now I must be off to go to our final dress rehearsal before the show starts on Friday, since tomorrow we’re going dark!

>nobody out-crazies ophelia!

>Rehearsal went well today! P, our original music director, came back to help us with music since M had a concert. We ran through both finales (Ever After for Act I and the Into the Woods reprise one million or so for Act II), and we tightened up the scene where the Narrator and I die. And…that was pretty much it, not much to write home about. I marked the screaming again, since my throat isn’t really feeling any better yet.

A lot of today’s rehearsal was spent finalizing costumes and making last-minute adjustments. The costumes in this show are seriously, seriously amazing. Easily some of the best I’ve ever worked with. KD fixed my wig, it has a big flower and lots of ribbons on it now and it looks less like I just stepped out of the 70s. I’m going to be using my own hair after it gets chopped off, so that reminds me that I have to get my roots done.

That reminds me, I never mentioned my inspirations for Rapunzel! They are as follows.

Act I:

Act II:

…there’s actually not a whole lot of acting involved in this role, to be honest. ;)

And now we’re on to tech week! Sunday is our cue-to-cue and then after that we have full-dress runs! And Friday is showtime! Whee!

>well, not simply.

>today I worked on
Love Makes Such Fools Of Us All
Take Care of This House (this is the only solo version I could find)
I Feel Pretty
Somewhere (no-one really needs links for these, do they?)
I Couldn’t Be Happier/Thank Goodness (this isn’t the whole thing; it’s a weird arrangement in my book)
Glitter and Be Gay

So I worked on LOTS of new stuff today with MP! I’m sort of shopping around for an awesome audition song-slash-something that I might be able to sing at the concert this year. I didn’t realize that the character in Barnum that sings “Love Makes Such Fools Of Us All” is Jenny Lind, ha!

She kept mentioning that songs would make “great encore songs” for me, which, what? Also she said that she can really imagine me singing “Glitter and Be Gay” which makes me :D because I’ve always wanted to sing that song. I…can hit the high E-flat(s) on a good day?

Other than that, had yet another lesson where I couldn’t get out of my own way or out of my own head. Or out of my own way. In my defense (am I really defending myself to myself?) I am not feeling well and my throat is scratchy and I’m afraid of straining my voice when we go into production next week. If I’m going to be honest, and really, what’s the point of this if I’m not, these are all excuses for me babbling and making stupid faces when I hit wrong notes or things feel wonky to me.

MP was very strict about my unconscious naysaying and judging myself today; I really have no excuse for it at this point. It’s not cute and it’s not funny and it’s not endearing, it’s not even proving that “I don’t really sound like that,” it’s just distracting me from doing what I need to do. Because every time I do it, my mentality goes further and further downhill, and eventually I just have absolutely no confidence left and I waffle about. Note to self: STOP THAT.

Rehearsal went really well today! I finished painting my second rosebush and started in on some vines and ferns on the bigger set pieces. (What? That’s important!) I marked all of my screaming (we only did the second act today) because I’m worried about straining my voice too much. I finally hit the right tone with the hysterical laughter before “oh nothing!” and everyone cracked up, including M. :D Now I need to solidify what I’m doing with the final “ah-ah-ah~” at the end.