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.

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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?

A Tribute to Emiley

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Early this year a beautiful soul was lost.  Emiley Gassie Thibodeaux was tragically lost in an accidental shooting.  She was so young.  She was loved by so many.  I knew her for many years as an amazing dancer.  She stood out among the others as someone who was passionate about what she was doing.  I also loved watching her interact with the little girls when she was a dance teacher.  This spilled over into her career as she became a 3rd grade teacher with students who adored her.

 

I had the pleasure of photographing Emiley dance for many years.

After her passing Emiley’s nieces asked the studio owner if she could do a dance in honor of her.  Of course she said yes.  However the owner felt a calling that she needed to do more.  She needed to call back studio alumni to dance for this beautiful angel.  As I sat on the steps taking photographs I felt a surge of emotion.  I’m not a believer in ghost or spirits but when the music started the whole theater fell silent and it got very cold.  Every step was perfect and had meaning.  When the alumni dancers entered the stage it was nothing short of breath taking.  There are no words for how that dance made me feel so instead I will let you see it through my eyes.  These photographs are not perfect but they show real emotion.  RIP sweet Emiley you are truly missed.

Myers Briggs and Disney

When I finished high school I won a leadership trip to Washington DC for two weeks.  While we were there we took the Myers Briggs personality test.  When I was 18 years old I was an INFJ.  11 years later and after taking the quiz again I am still and INFJ.  Take the test here.

You can be a combination of the following when taking the test.

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Its a little weird but my personality seems to fit my letters to a T.

INFJ

While sitting in the green room during shows we some how stumbled upon the topic of the test.  It was interesting to see how others test results compared to my own.  I was not surprised to find that I was one of the only introverts in the room.  I would imagine that most introverts aren’t very interested in being on the stage.

Because we are in a Disney themed show we are all of course Disney obsessed.  Somehow the test came up in conversation mixed with Disney characters.  We have spent several shows googling and pinteresting Disney characters that match our personality. It is great fun.  You can look up more than just Disney characters.  While having discussions in my office we’ve found matching characters for Grey’s Anatomy, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games.  Disney is my favorite though.  According to most things I seem to have the personality of Pocahontas and I’m cool with that.

If you are looking for something to do with co-workers to learn who to work best as a team this test is definitely the way to go.  Its interesting for sure.

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Mermaid Chronicles: TECH week

We have finally made it to the home stretch of rehearsals.  All that is left is dress rehearsals and a preview and then its opening night!  Before all this can happen though there is the crazy of tech.

Saturday was a very long day of basically doing nothing…well at least for me.  The tech crew however was working like crazy people to get through hugely technical show.  There are tons of scene changes from a giant ship in the water to scuttle and his birds on their perch.  Then there is the underwater kingdom and the one on land.  There are giant chairs and shells and beds moving around in the wings and backstage.  Its craziness!

Sunday though definitely took up for the sitting and waiting on Saturday.  We saw a lot of our costumes for the first times.  We had costume malfunctions and re fittings.  We tried out makeup for the first time.  We tried on wigs for the first time.  We had so many things thrown at us and the dressing room is only so big.  I’ve also got some crazy quick changes going on.  Did I mention that my dressing room is upstairs?  Yea so running off stage in big poofy dresses and heels made for an interesting night.  If I don’t lose 20 pounds doing this show I would be surprised.

We were supposed to end the evening at 10pm.  Then it was 11pm.  Then it was lets just power through until we are done.  We stopped a little after midnight.  We weren’t able to get through the whole show.And I learned nothing is more defeating than running up stairs to do a quick change and finding out that we are stopping for the night after killing yourself to get said quick change done.  All that said though I’m having the time of my life.  It was my birthday and everyone sang for me and sweet Lauren brought me a birthday gift and balloons.  This experience is more than just putting on a show.  This is making bonds with so many amazing people that I’m so incredibly grateful for.  Hopefully the rest of the week runs smoothly.  And hopefully I can find some time to sleep before opening night.