29 November 2008

Auditions and Thanksgiving

"Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy." - Clive Swift

What a week its been! Monday and Tuesday, I was heavily occupied with auditions for my school's production for West Side Story. As a techie who has never 'gone into the light' as an actress while in college, this was a very big step for me. As a person who rarely speaks up in front of people, can't dance, and never ever ever sings in front of people, my mere presence at auditions was downright monumental. I was one of sixty-six people there to audition, all of us feeding off one another's energy and nervousness. The open auditions meant there were a lot of non-theater people there; twenty-something people from the theater department showed up that I saw.

Once everyone filled out contact information sheets and signed a contract, we split in half with one group learning a small amount of coraeography ten people at a time and the rest giving cold reading in groups of two or three. I started with the cold reading where I was teamed with two other girls and read as Rosalia. After that, I waited nervously for my turn to dance and eventually went into the workshop theater with nine other people.

The coreographer showed us some "simple" coreography for the song 'Cool.' Of the ten people in that room, I was the only one who didn't get it. I just stood there at times, trying to figure out what I needed to do to get to the next position. The fact that the coreography was stylized a lot like the movie didn't help. After that lovely little failure, I drove home with my tail between my legs, constantly reminding myself that at least I had tried and telling myself that no matter how badly I'd screwed up, I would go to the next evening's auditions. If nothing else, this would prove to the director and to me that I could do what was required for the audition.

The next night, Tuesday, was much easier since it was the singing audition. I may not be able to dance, but I can sing and I like to think I can act. My song was from Avenue Q. If I say so myself, I nailed that portion of the audition. Everyone has had to wait through Thanksgiving break since results won't be posted until Monday. Now I'm not sure which way I want things to go: whether I want a role on-stage or not.

Over Thanksgiving break, I went to my Dad's family reunion with my dad, step-mom, and two year old half-sister. It was a lot of fun. I've also received a new car: an '86 Mustang Capri. It's not the prettiest with its cancer gray color, but I'm slowly getting used to it and really enjoying it. Wednesday, I have an exam in Spanish and a final in Tech. All in all, it'll be a fun week.

26 November 2008

Verbalism on the letter V

So apparently there's this new fad of blogs based around a letter of the alphabet. My mom's done it, as have several other people, so I asked Mom to give me a letter. We picked randomly with a very sophisticated piece of equipment - Mom held up my laptop and I shut my eyes and pointed at the keyboard. The result (after hitting two number keys) was the letter V. So, here we go.

Valentines candies

I love munching on these little candy hearts every February. So many sweet little messages and so much variety: I've had chewy conversation hearts, tart ones, sweet tarts, and jumbo sized ones. People don't generally give me chocolate around Valentines Day; they give me conversation hearts.


With all the traveling I do this semester, I actually had a bag of extra clothes in the car just in case I ever had to stay the night. During the run of Godspell, I was stranded on campus because my car went belly up - on tech weekend, prefect timing. :P Next semester, I'll be living in the dorms, so there'll be no more packing for a night of couch-dwelling.


Ah, these creatures of the night have triggered such a craze recently! I haven't had a chance to read the Twilight series yet, but have always loved Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles...until she tried to turn Lestat into a Christian...


I think I know what this word means... Right now, I'm on Thanksgiving break, which is only two and a half days - Wednesday at noon through Friday. Christmas break will be much nicer since I've got about a month off.


Jeff Dunham is a hilarious ventriloquist. Anyone unfamiliar with this name needs to set aside a few hours with youtube at least. My favorite puppet is Peanut, though Achmed the Dead Terrorist runs a very close second.


Arguably the best 'v' word out there. Who doesn't love the feeling of victory, the rush of winning, being the best? Yeah, I thought so. ;)


A delicious flavoring...or - if you travel the "right" circles - a hilarious joke about "the normals."


Excellent musical that can be complicated if you try and describe it to someone else. It's a show about a female who's masquerading as a man who's pretending to be a woman.


As this image shows, most women will do anything for a good sale. I look for bargains and have noticed a lot of strange things: like how a $10 pair of shoes from WalMart will last easily five times as long as a $50 or $200 pair of name-brand shoes. Why a person would spend $200 on a pair of shoes is beyond me...


This is also known as seaweed or kelp. So delicious when wrapped around sticky rice and raw fish or added into a good egg drop soup with some tofu. Seaweed salad is another excellent dish.


Pictured above is illusionist, escape artist, and mindfreak Criss Angel. Anyone unfamiliar with this man's modern day mysticism needs to spend some time on youtube or catch a showing of his reality show, Mindfreak. He's doing a show with Cirque du Solei this year; I'd just about do anything to get to see a live show or just see him in Las Vegas.


As soon as I got the letter 'v' this word came to mind. Nessa lives across the street and she's such a wonderful neighbor and an amazing friend. She's got a big heart, a wonderful sense of humor, and a bad habit of putting other people first. ;) It's said to save the best for last and I figure that's just what I've done. Love you, Nessa! *hugs*

15 November 2008

Tags and giveaways

Another great giveaway is being offered at Sunshine and Lemonade, this one geared especially towards Twilight fans. I haven't been sucked into this fandom...yet...but it's growing harder and harder to resist as I grow more and more curious. Right now, I'm trying to decide which of my friends I can hit up to borrow the series and read it since certain other friends have hinted at bodily harm if I don't give it a chance. ;)

Next on the docket is taking care of this tagging issue. Apparently, my Mom tagged me, so I must pass on the favor.

The rules are simple. I link back to the person who tagged me (done above), share 7 random facts about myself, tag seven random people, and let them know they've been tagged by commenting on their blogs.

First up: seven random facts about me.

1. After high school, I tried going into the Navy - stress on the word 'tried.' Only making it through three weeks of an eight week boot camp, I was sent back to the civilian world with an OTH (Other Than Honorable) discharge. After a year in the work force, I headed off to college and haven't heard from Uncle Sam since.

2. I love role-playing. Dungeons & Dragons, White Wolf games, or play-by-post websites. One site I've been on for three years now, the only role-playing site I really visit anymore, has a weekly 'tradition' of sorts that started when I lived on campus in fall of '06. Every Friday is YouTube night: we go to YouTube and browse different vids, normally Firefly based, and share the URLs in the shout box. What started between myself and an equally bored administrator has since become almost site-wide.

3. I have automatonophobia, a fear of dummies, animatronic figures, wax figures, etc. When did I learn this? Standing in a mental health hospital turned museum surrounded by 20+ wax figures. Yeah. That was entertaining.

4. I love trying new foods. Sushi, dolma (stuffed grapevine leaves), manacotti, naan (East Indian flatbread), matzo... The list goes on and on; I'm a true 'foodie.'

5. I played clarinet for seven years and am one of a handful in my family with musical talent. Those who have heard me claim I can sing, but I don't do it all that often. With rehearsals for West Side Story coming up next week, this may change. ;)

6. I love live theater and I got to go see Stomp last night! The show was absolutely amazing and well worth the $5 I paid for my ticket. I went with my school's theater department and we had a bake sale during our last show. That money, combined with a group discount, and some help from the department's financial backers let to a spectacular show for a wonderfully college-friendly price.

7. I was diagnosed with adult ADD last year. Very interesting since the Navy diagnosed me as having OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies before they sent me home. When these two work against each other it can be...fun. Since I enjoy learning the 'why' behind things, this helped explain an awful lot for me.

Alright, facts done! (It's only take me three days to write this. How's that for ADD?) Now, to tag.

First up is Redneck Mommy. I don't recall just what took me to this blog, but I've loved reading it. Some of these posts have had me cracking up!

Next up is Rhea. This woman has an interesting take on life and a good eye for pictures. Her blog is well worth a look and has become part of my morning routine.

Pink Ink is another must tag in my book. This is one of the newest on my list of blogs to read and I'm so glad it's on my list. Keep working at that novel; you've already surpassed me and Mom!

We're now on day four of working on this blog and I need four more tags.

12 November 2008

Waking Spirits

As promised, this blog will focus on the Cemetery Walk. It was held on Nov. 2 and was absolutely wonderful to see. A good majority of the actors and actresses involved were from my school and the theater department helped with all the costuming. Although we showed up later and ended up missing one performance, all the monologues and duologues we saw were wonderfully delivered and most were very well written. The first performance we saw was of Josh and Harriet Lucas, played by my friends Van and Courtney.

Don't these costumes look great? Josh and Harriet were some of the first black residents of this cemetery until they were moved to an all Negro cemetery at the suggestion of Ms. Pearl Wylie Cage, a woman who lived with all kinds of powerful connections, working for the "greater good" as she saw it. (Pictured on the right)

According to Ms. Cage - whose actress moved around too quickly for me to get many clear shots - the cemetery's colored residents had to move so that the cemetery could expand. This part was very well cast, the actress well coached. She played the part very well.

Of course, my favorite monologue of the day (also the best of the nine we saw) was delivered by Mr. Bernie Connally and written by yours truly. Bernie Connally lived in the small town of Selden with his mother, grandmother, and stepfather Francis Marion "F.M." Snow. The two men butted heads constantly, F.M. unable to understand exactly why his stepson always had his nose in some book. While Bernie was always seen with his books, F.M. was just as meticulous: he was never without his hunting dogs, his rifle, or his double-bladed axe. One November evening when Bernie was about 20 years old, F.M. met him coming home from a trip into Stephenville to sell lumber to local farmers. Joining his stepson in the wagon, the two remained quiet, each still fuming over a fight that had taken place earlier that day.

As Bernie turned, perhaps to speak to his stepfather, he was shot in the back, a second bullet going through his chest. His body fell to the ground, loaded into the back of the wagon by Snow, who continued towards home, stopping near an old abandoned farmhouse long enough to decapitate his stepson and leave the head in a tow sack in the cellar. It was found by two local hunters and, soon enough, was put on display in the local funeral home. The hope was that someone could identify the head. In the space of a few hours, Bernie became the missing child of some 200 couples, many coming from Houston and Ft. Worth in search of their sons.

Finally, Bernie was correctly identified. The farm was searched from top to bottom and Snow was eventually convicted of three counts of first degree murder; not only had he decapitated Bernie, but he'd shot his wife and mother in law. Using the axe, he chopped their bodies like kindling and burned them in the stove. He agreed to go with the Sheriff on the grounds he wouldn't be hanged. "Little did F.M. know, hanging had been outlawed [in the county] two days before." He went to the electric chair.

Any ghost stories in your area? In your family? What's your favorite urban legend?

07 November 2008

Sophomore slump and chaotic calendars

This week has been so strange; for some reason, I've been losing track of days. This Tuesday, I didn't realize until almost lunch-time that it was Tuesday and Stop Kiss would open that night. Wednesday, I thought it was Monday, and yesterday I'm not sure I knew what day it was. I've also had music from Godspell in my head all week long, which is really unusual since we've finished that play and it would normally be out of my head by now. Doing follow-spot and being on headset for the production didn't help since the songs are layered with cue calls from the stage manager. Oh, well. Maybe I'll get my head screwed on straight by Monday...

School's going pretty well, I think. Thanks to the beauty of a professor who believes in and uses the curve grading system, my Spanish test got bumped from a C to a B. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my decision to do a dual major and whether or not I want to continue with it, whether or not I can continue with it. On my drive home yesterday, realization hit me over the head like a bolt of lightening. I'm a sophomore in college. I've hit the dreaded sophomore slump! That thought explained everything: my doubts about the future, doubts about my decisions, boredom in class, and all the rest of it. I'm so glad I figured out a cause of sorts. This means that next time I start doubting and second guessing myself, I can take a mental step back and say "wait. You know why you're doing this; things are getting stressful. Just let it go and keep doing what you have to do."

I'll blog more later, including the promised pictures of the cemetery walk. Tomorrow I've got Stop Kiss at 7:30 with strike immediately following the performance and next Sunday, I get to go see Stomp!

03 November 2008

Back and forth

With a word count of over 3000 on my novel and Stop Kiss opening tomorrow night, I'm sure I should be thrilled. However, I'm too much of a realist for that. ;) Rather than being thrilled about my word count, still 2000 short of where it should be today, or tickled about the upcoming play that so many of my friends are involved in, I'm just taking things one day at a time, doing what I need to do and collapsing afterward.

The time change on Sunday has everybody out of whack, I'm sure. I've been tired most of the afternoon/evening, felt like I was slogging through Jello, and almost fell asleep on the drive home - thank God for the power of Green Day on full blast. I'm a little nervous about this fatigue since some kind of bug has been circulating the theater department. Today, in the green room, we discussed the high probability that some sickness or other will strike right around West Side Story, the first production of next semester. With such a large cast spending so much time together in rehearsals, it's practically guaranteed. We managed to avoid any cast-wide cold/flu epidemics during Godspell, though a lot of the crew took sick. Then again, Godspell only had a nine person cast. West Side's cast will surely contain half the department!

After discussing the upcoming possibility of illness, we got onto another of our odd subjects of conversation. Fairly often, whomever is in the green room will start up some deep conversation that will often turn into a debate. Abortion, same sex marriage, spousal/child abuse, I'm pretty sure we've covered a lot of the biggies. Why? No idea. Maybe we're proving to ourselves that we can be intellectual and artistic at the same time? Lol. Today's topic shifted between theater majors - how we decided to do this, what we said to convince our parents we weren't selling our futures, etc. and homosexuals. I didn't have a huge argument or anything of the sort with my parents about my theater major. Then again, it is only a part of my degree. Still, it makes me very grateful to have understanding parents who are willing to let me spread my wings without them and discover what I want in life. Some of my friends aren't so lucky.

The homosexuality subject was one I joined in on readily, sitting and siding with two of the four gay students in our department. We, of course, made simple anti-homophobic comments based on our own experiences. It was pointed out that acts, not people, are homosexual and nobody would chose to be homosexual. As a resident of a very small town in Central Texas, I've never been able to stand up and say "this is who I am and proud to be." To do such a thing in high school would've earned me nothing but daily beatings from my peers. Now, in college, most in this two mile by two mile town know I'm gay, though I don't often admit to it if asked. It's not a lack of pride; it's self-preservation. Now that I'm in college, my view has changed to the truth as I see it: my sexuality is nobody's business but mine. Today's green room discussion, like so many, ended in a sort of stale-mate as people had to depart for class. I myself had a Spanish test which I feel I passed.

To completely jump subjects, I had an excellent weekend, despite the dragging day that was Tech. On Sunday, I went with my Mom, Stepdad, Dad, and adorable two year old half-sister (whose world revolves around me, quite appropriately) to the cemetery walk. I knew two of the performers, pictures of whom will come later, and felt that my monologue was the best of the bunch. Of course, before everything started, I got a little shaken as I realized a terrifying truth: I didn't remember writing the monologue. I knew, knew, knew I had turned it in, but for the life of me couldn't remember writing a word! Checking my laptop's files put me in a further state of worry and panic. I couldn't find a complete copy of said monologue. Did I finish it? Of course I did. After all, if I hadn't finished it, they would've handed it back and let me know I had left out the murder of my character. Kind of an important detail since it's what he's known for.

As it turned out, though I never did recognize any of the delivered monologue as belonging or not belonging to me, the actor who delivered it had taken the time to do research on the part and had edited the manuscript to add in the things he'd learned. He seemed so worried, apologizing for changing my writing. I just smiled and reassured him that it was beyond fine and he'd done a wonderful job.

Enough yammering for now. I'll post pics of the cemetery walk this week. time to work on my novel and finish studying for an English test.

01 November 2008

Paint spattered and still typing...

Today, I was off to a roaring start for NaNoWriMo, writing over 1300 words in just under an hour. If only tech weekend hadn't gotten in my way... Oh, well. I spent my day painting set pieces, moving curtains to mask the backstage, and hanging scenery for Stop Kiss. The ten hour tech was longer than I'm used to and I'm pretty sure we still had things to do; it was more a question of space and a lack of multi-person jobs that prompted Mark to start sending people home. Not asking any questions, I headed out the door once dismissed, letting the other ladies stay put for "girl's night." I'd like to go, but they're heading off to see The Promise, which I've seen before. Besides that, to drive all the way out there, see the show, get back to school, and then drive home, I'd be gone until far too late for my own tastes. The show opens on Tuesday and I must say, though I'll love seeing it on Saturday night, it's rather pleasant to not be involved for a change. I'm not in the play, or on the prop crew, light crew, run crew, board op, or anything of the like. Might make some cookies for the bake sale we're having during the run of the show, but I'm still metaphorically dragging my feet about it all...

I've been broadening my reading list...my online reading list, I mean, thanks to some blogs my mom pointed me towards. One in particular had quite a wicked kickoff to a ten week long series of giveaways. I just had to join in on the fun over at Sunshine and Lemonade!

More good news: on Facebook, I've recently gotten back in touch with my best friend from high school, a girl I haven't seen or spoken with since '95. It's so great to be talking to her again; she's one of the few readers I know that are as ravenous as I am; we used to spend our time together not talking. Instead, each of us would be curled on an end of the couch, noses buried in books. Sometimes, I truly do love the miracle of technology... It brought my best friend back to me!

Well, I'd continue this, but still have about 600 words to get into my novel before the day is out. Til tomorrow, then, I wish all my readers a shiny day!