Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On My Own, but not quite anymore.

Second time I've used a song title as a post title...might need to nip that in the bud soon. But for now we shall carry on!
Ready to hear a not-so-secret secret? You sure? All right, well, I'll tell you.

I house sat for a month in February!
Seriously, that's the secret. I actually didn't advertise this particular experience for several reasons.

1) It was safer to not advertise that I was a young woman living by myself in a friend's house for a month.
2) It was kind of nice to have a place where I could just hide away and I wanted to see if I could live on my own without making a big fuss about the whole thing.
3) I did not plan on having any parties or mass amounts of friends over. Actually, BestieBomba came over twice, and some friends picked me up for a handful of events, but other than that no one came over.
4) I just didn't want a bunch of people asking about how I was doing.

At first I was a little bit concerned about how I was going to do being away from my family and not sleeping at home for a whole month. I knew I'd be fine taking care of the cute little dog I was taking care of (he was a small little white sweetheart).
It did take me a few days to figure out a few things, like the dog would let me sleep more than 4 hours if I gave him the blue blanket. That was marvelous to get more than 4 hours of sleep after a week.

The thing was, as the month went on. I found myself adjusting to being by myself very well. I mean, it's not like I was actually living on my own. I didn't have to pay bills at all, I bought my own food but that was about it for the expenses I had to take care of. I missed my folks, but at the same time, I think I've proved to myself that I've reached a point where I could actually live on my own if I had the means or need.
Sometimes the house did feel a little bit large for just me. A few times I did get a bit lonely, but I had friends that I could call or chat online with that made things a lot easier. Plus, I had Parade rehearsals, work, school, and not one but TWO college auditions that I went on during my time at the house.
I did go home to visit from time to time, and my puppy was adamant about sniffing me and snuffling in protest that I was around another dog so much. He also gave me the dreaded puppy eyes every time I left to go back to the other dog.

Needless to say, my puppy has been very happy to have me home. 

So overall, what did I learn about myself and how did I grow in a month? Well, let's go over a short list.

1) I can live on my own and I feel okay about moving into a dorm for college (two TOTALLY different things linked by the idea of living outside of my house).
2) My introverted self likes having a space to myself (but I knew that ((mostly)) already).
3) I dyed my hair all by myself! Usually I have my mom help because she's really good at the whole "home dye" process, but I proved to myself that I can dye my hair and not make a huge mess out of everything.
4) I can cook! I can't really bake that well (yet) so I decided that I would try cooking, and I'm actually a decent cook, thank goodness.
5) After auditioning for Bristol, no audition has come to even been half as scary. Even auditioning for Roosevelt wasn't half as scary. :-P
6) When I had more room to put my stuff, I was a much better housekeeper. I also do not need as much stuff as I have and am working on downsizing my possessions to the things that really matter to me (like books, never giving up my library).
7) I grew a lot in my spiritual life. I can't really put it any more simply or elaborate any more (because even a step of growth in spiritual life could take a book to explain).
8) Made new friends, and grew in my current friendships.
9) Missed a lot of people a lot. I am really looking forward to the coming Bristol season and seeing everyone SOONER THAN JUNE...Now that Parade is over and I am not house sitting any more I'm going to try and remedy some of that problem of not seeing people in general.

That month was like a whole season in my life. That nine item list doesn't cover half of the stuff that I figured out for myself or just grew into over a month. I am very grateful that I was able to have that experience of living on my own (tehee, Les Mis!). I think that it was during the time I was house sitting that I have somewhat owned up to the fact that I am a young woman, not a girl anymore. I'm still less than 6 months into being twenty and I often play younger characters, but by living on my own I've noticed the differences in my character and how I handle things. Even last year I wouldn't have been able to say that I am a young woman. Yeah, I am still *little* compared to a lot of my friends. I'm not going to negate that fact. I'm also not saying that I've got everything figured out and I'm going to be totally prepared for when I actually live on my own, because I know that would not be true. Last month was simply a time where I was able to prove to myself that I can do that one day and I will be fine.

So now, I'm back on my blog (sorry about the hiatus for anyone who really cares, it was needed). I'm thinking about what I want to do next for some of my posts and I'm sure there shall be another post soon about any changes or expansions for what I write about.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Old Red Hills of Home

For a while I'd write half of a post, then circumstances would pop up and say "haha- you're not going to finish this right now" and then I'd save a half finished post, and forget about my blog for another week and a half.

However, this time I know that I want to finish this post before I do anything else.

When I auditioned for Parade, I had little idea of what the show was about. I listened to the soundtrack once or twice before auditions, but with the stress of auditioning, I listened only for the parts that I could possibly be called back for.
I didn't get a call back, and I got ensemble, and that was okay. Right from the start I was okay with being ensemble. After all, this was my first stage show outside of the theater group I performed in while growing up. I was just happy that I made the cut into a cast of 36 people.

I only knew a handful of people in the cast, and the first few rehearsals felt awkward because many of the cast member knew each other already and I was sure I was intruding on already developed social circles and inside jokes. As time went on though, I found myself developing inside jokes and being included. Everyone in the cast is so kind and wonderful. I've been blessed to spend time among such talented people.

I think a show like Parade, which deals with heavy material and a lot hatred on the part of the characters, needs a cast who really care about each other offstage as much as on. I had a very hard time coming to terms with the character I was playing. I was playing an anti-Semitic southern teenager who wanted an innocent man to die. Except, as time went on through the show, I realized that although that was one look at the character I was playing, Bettie-Jean had more to her than that.

Bettie-Jean is a sixteen year old girl from Gerogia, proud of her state and her heritage. She loves her family and loves her friends as if they were her family. She likes teasing and flirting with the boy she has a crush on who works at the police station. When her best friend, Mary, dies, the only information Bettie Jean has to make sense of the situation are the newspapers that paint a picture of a northern Jewish man who came into Atlanta with the intent of killing Mary. So, in Bettie-Jean's mind, it's almost like another Civil War. The north is trying to take over and abuse the south again, and this time, she swears that they won't get away with it. In the end, Bettie-Jean just wants the nightmare of all of the events surrounding Mary's death to be over so that her family and friends can have some peace. The only way for it to be over is for Leo Frank to hang.

I think it's safe to say that I learned a lot about motive and objectives and perspectives this show. It took me more than half the show to figure Bettie Jean out and understand where she was coming from. There's a lot of pain for each character in this show. There are a lot of flaws in each character. That's part of what makes the show so amazing. Even with all of the struggles I had in the beginning with the show, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I've had the best re-introduction to stage performance and I don't think I could have chosen a better show or cast. I've made some amazing, hysterical, mind-blowingly talented friends who I hope to stay in touch with.   

So this is my "thank you" note to the whole cast. Thank you all for making me apart of the Parade cast and family. Thank you all for this experience. I love you all and will miss seeing your faces every week. Thank you- Kevin, for casting me in this show. It's been an honor to work under your direction.

I will miss all of you. I will miss the pre-show hilarity in the make-up room while curling my hair (and other people's hair). I will miss the heart to heart conversations I've had with a few of you, and the general conversations I always seemed to stumble in on (at the WRONG times). I will miss the laughter and the quips and the blunders backstage. I will miss the warm ups and looking like an Easter egg.  I will miss my wig for the Governor's Ball. I'll just simply miss everything.

I know I'll be singing "Old Red Hills of Home" for weeks to come. I'll probably have a few tears this week too when it hits me that I won't be coming back to perform this show again. However, I think it's time to find the next adventure. We closed on a fantastic note, and it's better to leave this particular production that way.

Trying to figure out a way to end this post isn't working, so I'm just going to have to stop writing before I start crying.