A Day With Judy

So many negative things have been going on this week that I needed to get outside of the social media bubble and go back to a simpler style of entertainment.  Before the world of the internet if you were not reading something or going to the theater you could find enjoyment in film.  I love movies.  Nothing compares to live theater but a close second to me is a nice old musical.

I’m not really sure where I came from in my family.  None of my other families members enjoyed the same things that I did. When I started college Netflix became a thing.  This was the absolute best thing for me because I could get my hands on the wonderful films I was so interested in.  There were so many I had heard of but never seen and I loved them all.  The more I watched the more I fell in love with Judy Garland.  She may be the most amazing entertainer ever….at least in my book.  For my birthday Terry bought me a TCM Judy Garland collection.  I decided today was the kind of day that needed to be spent with Judy.

Annex - Kelly, Gene (For Me and My Gal)_01The first one I started with was called For Me and My Gal.  I was absolutely delighted when I realized that Gene Kelly was in this movie.  In fact this was the first movie he was ever in.  This may very well end up being my favorite one from the group.  Its the kind of movie that makes you want to fall in love.  Its the kind of movie that makes you want to get kissed like those that only happen in movies of the Golden Era.  I just want to dance with Gene Kelly.  I just adored the line “why didn’t you tell me I was in love you?”

3155eef1950c8a334f0b25b4103f9a41The next one I got to was called the Harvey Girls.  It was based on the real story of women that worked at Fred Harvey restaurants along the railway.  These ladies brought about charm and civility to towns that were just forming.  Judy started off this movie as a mail order bride going to meet her beau.  When it turns out neither one of them like each other enough to get married she becomes a Harvey Girl.  They had some very catchy tunes in this one.  My favorite part though was surprisingly not Judy in this one.  A young and amazingly beautiful Angela Lansbury was a saloon girl and she was stunning.  This one also had those great kisses that leave the women weak at the knees.

garland-kelly_optThe next on my list was wonderfully another one with Gene Kelly.  This one had some really great dancing and a fun story.  I especially loved one of the scenes with Gene on the stage by himself where he uses a creaky floor board and a newspaper to do a lovely tap dance.  This one did make me a little sad though.  Judy didn’t seem herself as much in this one.  I went on to read that this was her last film with MGM because they fired her.  She was at the height of her addiction and stopped showing up to work.  This just breaks my heart.  Just think if things had been different what a great talent we would have had for so much longer.

In_the_Good_Old_Summertime_6820192My last one for the day and one that I’ve seen several times is called the Good Old Summertime.  This is one of my favorite stories.  It started out as the Shop Around the Corner.  Then it was turned into this movie musical.  Its also a Broadway show called She Loves Me and most recently another movie called You’ve Got Mail.  I’ve loved this story since the first time I saw The Shop Around the Corner.  I’ll have to write another post someday about how it influenced one of my favorite gifts I ever gave to my husband.  This time the shop is a music store so it gives you lots of chances to hear Judy sing.  And oddly enough just like the first movie it contains the line “We didn’t you tell me I was in love with you?”

A morning with Randi bowling and a day with Judy made for a good day for me.  I pray that things will change for the better for everyone soon.  Until then all I can do is pray for all those hurting right now.

Idiot Report

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Next week I will start a new theater journey.  I will be moving from my comfort zone in the U High auditorium to the big leagues of Theater Baton Rouge.  I know this may sound silly but I’m slightly terrified.  I have plenty of experience running a rehearsal.  I’ve done as much as one can do in the theater without having any formal training so it really won’t be that bad but I’m still scared.  Is it the fear of the unknown?  Is it the fact that I have to learn to sink or swim?  Is it the fact that when I’m on book I’ll have to be reading lots of expletives and somehow I know my Mawmaw will find out?  Who knows really.

I am excited about this show though.  With the exception of the Little Mermaid I’ve only ever done things backstage.  Its been over 2 years since I’ve been able to be a part of a production staff or tech crew.  Its hard work.  Most people don’t realize how much has to happen behind the curtain for the magic on stage to work.  But this is work that I enjoy doing.  Just to say you helped with the creative process and worked with people to get an amazing end product is so rewarding.

So next week will officially start my new blog series titled the Idiot Report.  I’m excited to share what working on the other side will be like, the different relationships I will form this time around and how things work in a different theater space.  Thank goodness I don’t hate em cause its about to be Green Day all day everyday!

 

Pack up + Go

Today one of my co-workers was telling us about an article she read about a start up company called Pack Up + Go.  It sounded so awesome I had to look it up myself.

This company provides something similar to what a travel agent could do but so much better.  Its all a SURPRISE!  That’s right you book with them and you don’t get to find out where you are going until the day it happens.  The company plans 3 day/2 night trips all across the US.  You can choose a budget and whether you want to travel by air or road trip.  Then you fill out an extensive survey to help them plan for you.

You can book packages as inexpensive at $350 per person for a road trip and $450 for flying.  Transportation and lodging are the only things included in the price so you do need to save up for food and activities but they give you a map with awesome suggestions of places to eat, things to see, and things to do.
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I just think this sounds so great.  The worst part of a trip to me is the planning….unless its Disney World.  I always want to  try new things but I get nervous not knowing about new places.  The cool thing about this site is that they have people in all of the places they send you to that can vouch for the places they suggest.  They also like to send you to interesting places off the beaten path which sounds much better than a Holiday Inn on the main highway somewhere.  Plus I would love someone to send me to a place where you would never think to go.  Another cool thing about it is that you only need 3 weeks advance notice to plan.  So if you decided at the beginning of the month you want to do something you can be on a plane by the end.  Check out this article which is much better at detailing the experience than me.  Also go check out their website, Pack Up + Go and their Facebook page, Pack Up Go Facebook, to read testimonials from travels and see pictures from their adventures.
This may just be the ticket for our next wedding anniversary.

Mermaid Chronicles: Last Edition

Now that I’ve had time to process that this amazing adventure is officially over its time to close out this chapter of blogging.  I’ve learned so many things from this experience.  Some of the things I will carry with me are:

  1. Get a good dresser!  If you have multiple quick changes in a show a good dresser is the key to your success.  Ms Marie was AMAZING!  Especially when the two of us teamed up with Sydnee to get things accomplished I was not stressing about if I could get to places on time.
  2. Wearing jazz shoes for 3 months will kill your feet, your back, and your ankles.  They are basically walking barefoot with a small piece of leather between you and the ground and a heel that digs into your foot.  So make sure to ice those ankles and wear supportive shoes when you can.
  3. Being silly can make even the worst day better.  A good game of heads up in the green room, a funny costume or wig swap or even just a good snapchat photo session can pick up the mood among the cast.
  4. There is gonna be a little bit of drama but that’s ok.  Sometime a diva moment will happen.  Sometimes cast mates will butt heads.  Sometimes you wanna throw something when you can’t find your eyelash glue.  But it will all be ok.  We would not be in theater business if we didn’t like a little drama.
  5. Be prepared!  Think of every single possible thing you would need and add it to your bag.  I was thankful for the many articles and pin boards I read before setting up my dressing room.  I had scissors, meds, clear nail polish, extra bobby pins, q-tips and so many other things that were helpful to not just me but my friends around me.

Most importantly take the time to get to know people you are working with.  These are your people.  You all are there for the same reason…you love theater!  Why else would you subject yourself to months of rehearsal and no social life.  Its for the joy you get to see on a tiny child’s face when they meet a mermaid.  Its for the 6 part harmony that can bring an audience to its feet.  Its for the high fives after nailing a really hard dance.  These people are there for you.  They share your struggle and there is so much to learn from them.  Nothing is more fun than a room full of girls ranging in ages from middle schoolers to seasoned pros all singing Whitney Houston in harmony.  I love those people!

I will be starting a new theater adventure in a few weeks therefore I will be starting a new series of blogs but I do have to say how very special this has been.

Show Choir Lock Ins

With a new crop of show choir kids coming up I’ve been trying to outdo my yearly tradition…Show Choir Lock In.  Every year since the group started we spend the night in the school auditorium and madness ensues.  Because I love a good theme we have had some crazy themed lock ins.  My favorite was the Hunger Games.  I spent hours upon hours making crazy slideshows, games, and gathering props to have a wild night of fun.  The choir was broken into districts but they were not the normal Hunger Games ones…we were Broadway district.  I know I know….so cheesy.  We had the Lion King District, the Les Miserables district, the Hairspray district and in each one there were 3 to 4 characters from each show.  Hey I had a lot of time on my hands that summer no judgement.

The group leaders dressed up as capital members.

We played district games.  For example we had a Phantom of the Opera district where the team members had to light candles and follow and obstacle course without the light going out.  We had a Les Miserables district where team members had to build a barricade with whatever items you could find.  There was the Annie district where you had to find hidden toys.  We also had the Lion King district where members were blindfolded and guided through the jungle by their team.  You could also get bonus points for singing the circle of life at the end.  We also played tracker jacker tag to find out who the kids buddies were.

The kids enjoyed themselves so much while bonding with each other through out the night.  They learned what their set list would be for the year.  They learned choreography that would be used during the year.  They even got to have a little fun and learn a beyonce dance.  One of my favorite parts of the lock ins is a game we play with little buddies.  Each couple takes a word out of a cup.  Together they must figure out a song that has that word in it.  We have heard all kinds of songs and seen many silly dances while playing this game.  I am looking forward to this years lock in but I will always treasure the times we spent with these awesome kids.

 

Words of Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

Some days you just need some words of encouragement.  I’m not sure if its a desire to be young again or if I’m young at heart but I tend to relate to things geared towards children more so than the seriousness of adult things.  For example I love children’s literature.  It doesn’t matter if its a classic book like the Wizard of Oz or if its young adult novels like the Hunger Games.  A character and story I have always loved is Winnie the Pooh.  No matter what he can always make me feel better.  It doesn’t matter if its reading the books, watching the movies or finding his words of advice.  Today I could use some of that positive Pooh thinking so I thought I’d share some of his wisdom with you.

OMG Joey Fatone!!!

Everyone falls in love with a celebrity at some point in their lives.  For me personally my first love was Leonardo Dicaprio.  But my love for Leo is nothing in comparison for my love of Joey Fatone.  Yes the guy from NSYNC. I love cherish and adore that man.  I would leave my husband without question if he asked me to.  I just can’t even describe my love.

My love for NSYNC dates back to circa 1997.  I was a hater of the backstreet boys at the time and jumped on the bandwagon as soon as I Want You Back came on the radio.  I remember sitting at home waiting for TRL to come on so that I could get a glimpse of the latest video or interview. I could, actually still can, sing all of the lyrics to every single song on every single cd.  My room was covered in posters and cut outs from Teen Beat magazine of the band but most of all Joey.

When I got to high school my love for him did not wane.  I remember adding his song Ready to Fall to my iPod when the movie On the Line came out.  To this day that song remains on there no matter what other music changes.  I remember absolutely having to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding because he was in it.  I watched the Singing Bee and got the board game when he was the host.  I watched Dancing with the Stars religiously when he was a contestant.  Seriously I love this man.  I almost cried when he got married.

They always say you carry your first love with you forever and this is true.  I LOVE YOU JOEY FATONE!  Call me😉

Game of Thrones Party

With everyone’s favorite show Game of Thrones ending soon my friends and I were talking about having a viewing party for the season finale.  Well you can’t have a party like that without some good themed items!  So what do we do? Immediately just on Pinterest and look for ideas.

Google is awesome but when it comes to crafty things Pinterest is the way to go.  I found so many fun things on there for a Game of Thrones Party.

There theme cocktails.  My favorites are the ones I found here:  http://aheapingspoonful.com/blog/2014/05/10-game-of-thrones-cocktails

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There are lots of different fun foods.

And you can’t have a party without a little humor.

 

Mermaid Chronicles: Meet the Sisters

One of the best parts of being in this show is getting to know my cast mates and making new friends.  Although I absolutely love and adore everyone, the people I spend the most time with and are the closest to are my sisters.  They are all super special to me.  We range in ages from 19 to 32.  This doesn’t seem to matter at all.  I’ve spent time with each of them individually and they are some of the finest ladies I know.  Sydnee is the most caring person, even if she wouldn’t admit it, who gives me the best suggestions on musicals to listen to.  Anna is so incredibly sweet and I can’t wait to work with her on another show when this one is done.  Emily is such a hardworking individual, I really admire her.  Sarah has the most amazing voice and I feel like I am better at everything I do on stage just because I’m standing next to her.  My two old lady buddies Holly and Jamie have made this experience worth every second.  I love sitting around gossiping with them or getting crazy looks while we are out at whole foods.  I love sharing peanut butter pretzels and starting the cool spot in the back of the theater.  All of these girls will forever hold a special place in my heart.  I will miss them terribly after this last week of shows is done.

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Sorting Hat

When working in a school office sometimes the summer can bring along a lot of downtime.  This is especially true when you work with sports, which are all out of season, and accounting, which is nearing the end of the fiscal year.  Downtime pretty much equals boredom at this point.  We have 3 to 5 girls in the office during the summer and we’ve spent our days discussing different topics.  One thing we have found that most of us have in common is Harry Potter.  We range from those that are just reading the series now to those of us that have a full on obsession.  In our discussion we talked about what house we think we belong in.  We decided to all get on the Pottermore website and check it out.  https://www.pottermore.com/

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I have always associated myself with Ravenclaw.  However in my old age it seems as though my character and personality has changed to Gryffindor.  I was not very happy about this.  Especially since every other person in the room took the same quiz and all made it into Ravenclaw.  I even went so far as to take several other online quizzes to find out my house and low and behold it seems as though I am for sure a Gryffindor.

The main characteristics of a Gryffindor are as follows:  Brave, Courageous, Chivalrous, Daring and Bold.  To me at least, these characteristics could not be any farther than the truth.  I am afraid of everything.  I’m scared to basically do anything and I very seldom take risk.  I don’t know what Pottermore is thinking.

This did get me thinking though.  I get along incredibly well with my coworkers but our personality are so different.  I guess it takes a good mixture of personalities to work together.

So rather than reject my house I will celebrate Gryffindor.  After all it is the house of Harry Potter himself.  What will the hat choose for you?