Monday, June 29, 2009

Why I Love My New Apartment

The Top Ten Reasons I LOVE The New Apartment (in no particular order):
(Photos to follow)
10. No "La Cucaracha" horn music at 8 am on Sunday mornings
8. No one asks if I'm lost when I walk through the neighborhood
6. A shower that is able to provide both water pressure and hot water in less than 20 minutes
5. A landlord that answers his phone
4. Friends no longer feel the need to carry pepper spray when coming to visit
3. All the minivans/suv's in the neighborhood remind me of Utah
2. Cable TV!
1. The only gangs here are "gangs of Jews" walking to synagogue on Saturdays

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Beginning of Year 26

As usual it's been so long since I've blogged I almost can't remember. So I turned 26 almost two weeks ago and have been contemplating where I am in my life and amazingly enough, I'm content. I like who I am and I'm confident in myself and my abilities. Stressing out is pointless and so I find myself doing less of that than ever before. I feel like I can handle whatever the world chooses to throw in my direction. I'm currently dating someone, but I feel like that if I were to be single, that would be okay too.

When it comes to work, I'm currently in audition mode. I've had what I've felt to be 3 very strong auditions and not made callbacks for 2. However, I auditioned for my first non-musical show since high school and was called back for that...woo hoo! I'm so glad that I can trust in the Lord and know that he'll provide me with the opportunities that will benefit me and help me grow. It really takes the sting out of rejection.

I am still in a children's production of Sleeping Beauty that performs on Saturday mornings and occasionally during the week for school field trips. No, it's not the Disney story, but it's fun nonetheless. I play Sunbeam, one of the 4 good fairies. Basically, I'm the ditsy cheerleader from the Valley type (big stretch I know). I love performing for kids and it appears the feeling is mutual. Not to toot my own horn, but I keep hearing that I am the favorite fairy. My director has a 3 year old son who likes "yellow" the best and is wondering when his mom gets to be the yellow fairy. So basically I get to go run around the stage acting like a fool wearing false eyelashes that any drag queen would approve of , and come home covered with glitter that sticks around for several days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Pain of Prop 8

With less than an hour until the polls close, I feel the need to blog about my vote in favor of Proposition 8. Please let me begin by saying that as a performer, I have many dear friends who are homosexual; some who have been married here in California or in other parts of the U.S. I love each and every one of them dearly and only hope that this blog does not cost me my friendship with any of them. I am also an active, faithful (or at least trying to be) member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My parents and all church leaders have taught me to not hate anyone for their race, religious or political beliefs, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. I have never been one to follow blindly. Even if the First Presidency of my church had not come out and asked California residents to vote in favor of this proposition, my vote would still have been "yes". Would anyone familiar with the church have expected anything less? We have always held that marriage is between men and women (even when polygamy was practiced it was the man being married to multiple women, not women to women, men to men, etc). Should members expect that they would disavow the Proclamation on the Family that was given within the last decade? For those who believe that President Monson and other general authorities are wrong, perhaps this is not the church for them. One of the major tenets of our faith is that we believe in a modern-day prophet who receives revelation for the church and will not be allowed to lead its members astray. The church has always been marriage and family oriented as any member of a Young Single Adult ward can attest. The Church has made great strides in the way local leadership deals with the painful issue of homosexuality.
Let me say that I have nothing but sympathy for those church members who find themselves struggling with this. I do not understand the origins or reasons behind homosexuality. If one is truly born with it, but it is not a "defect", how could a loving God allow a beloved child to struggle with desires that are counter to his eternal plan? This is a question I cannot answer, but a close friend struggling with this dichotomy once  said to me, "I don't know why the Lord has given me this challenge, but we have been told that we will not be tempted above that which we are able to bear." I would hope that any members struggling with SGA (same gender attraction) would know that the vast majority if not all of their ward members would greet and treat them with love and acceptance. I believe that the days are past when bishops would try to "change" these members by encouraging them to be married.
Now I write about the hurtfulness that I have seen this proposition cause. Those of us in support of traditional marriage have faced a fierce backlash. My dear roommate has lost close friends over her decision to follow the guidance of her church leaders and her own beliefs. She has been called a bigot and has come home devastated because she can't understand why this changes friendship. She is braver than I. I have kept my mouth shut around most of my more liberal, performing arts friends, because I want their friendship and I fear being blacklisted due to my religious/political beliefs. I do not shun friends for voting against Prop 8 even if they are fellow church members. Your vote and lifestyle do not matter to me. I offer my respect to all beliefs and religions even when it is popular to mock them (Scientology in particular) because I know members and respect them even if we disagree on fundamental values. Why can't this same tolerance and respect come from those in support of gay marriage? Many harsh criticisms have been directed towards our church. When these are directed at me personally I find it hard to not become upset. I make a concerted effort to be kind and loving to those around me, knowing that they could judge my church based on my actions alone and yet it seems that means nothing. If you are to demean my church please do not do so to my face. If you want to discuss doctrinal questions or disagreements in a respectful manner, I welcome such interactions. 
I don't want to take away any one's civil rights. In California domestic partnerships have the same rights as traditional marriages, just without the title. I have to run to a religion class, but regardless of the outcome of today's election, my testimony does not waver. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and was restored in this dispensation by the prophet Joseph Smith and that Thomas Monson guides and directs it today. I know that the family is essential to eternal progression and is meant to be between men and women. I have nothing but love and respect for all my fellow men and women. I only hope and pray that this love and respect will be reciprocated.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jekyll and Hyde

So it's been nearly two weeks since Jekyll and Hyde closed at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA and I miss the cast, crew, and show itself. I was blessed to play the part of Lucy, a character I've always wanted to portray, but never thought I'd get the chance. The production went through some scary spells. Three weeks into rehearsals, the actor playing Jekyll pitched a temper tantrum (in front of me, my double, two directors, and the stage manager) and quit after sending a highly uprofessional email. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Geoffrey Going stepped up (he was actually the first choice but had conflicts with the first few weeks of rehearsal) and blew me away. He's a very giving actor, has a fabulous voice and really took over the part, not to mention, he isn't bad to look at either.

This part was daunting. Lucy has some very recognizable ballads and I was definitely afraid that I'd be compared to powerhouse Linda Eder, who originated the role and for whom these songs were especially written. I was also afraid that I would not be able to make Lucy a character the audience would relate to. I worried about having chemistry with Geoff and was worried about being compared with Lauren's portrayal of Lucy. Luckily, Kabrina, the assistant director, was kind enough to volunteer to work with both of us one on one. I took full advantage, coming to rehearsal an hour early, or even driving up on days when I didn't have rehearsal. We worked on who Lucy was, what drives her, her attitudes about/towards, Jekyll, Hyde, and her future. She helped me block and set movements for "Bring on the Men" the big dance number in the show. She helped me with all my dialogue so that the lines had meaning and gave my fellow actors more to work with. The work I was most proud of was the scene and dialogue when Lucy comes to Jekyll for help after being beaten up by Hyde.

The preview performance was an experience. I have never been so nervous for a performance before. I actually broke down and cried (not just nerves but fellow castmates dissing my religion) but Kabrina was there with a hug and a pep talk. My mom and sister Sarah had flown into town that day and were in the audience, as well as my friends, Allana, Julia, Teace, and boyfriend, Jon. During "Bring on the Men" My boot went through one of the holes in my skirt and I actually fell on my butt! I continued singing, got to my feet, and finished the number. The next "incident" happened when I meet Hyde on the street and take him to the pub where we are to sit and have a drink, just like when Lucy met Jekyll. As the lights came up, we realized there was no table, chairs, or drinks. We continued with the scene singing about toasting which Geoff dealt with as Hyde, which entailed sucking on my fingers and licking my arm. Needless to say, both of us were ready to smack whomever backstage had forgotten to bring out the table. The worst moment was after intermission. Somehow, the orchestra had not heard the "places" call and were still outside when the actors started Act II. The two actors finished their opening monologues, but there was no musical cue and they just had to stand there. In the awkward silence the audience could hear members of the orchestra asking if we'd started already, cursing, and then the pounding of feet as they ran downstairs and into the pit. In spite of all the issues, my cheering section gave me quite the reception when I came out for my bow.

All in all, my mom and Sarah saw the show 4 times, Jon saw it 3, my dad saw it 3 (only 1 with me as Lucy)my friends, Mike and Kirstina Collins, Robb and Deb Meath, Sam (jon's roomie), Jonas Sills and his adorable daughter, Emily, and even Jerry and Eileen Powell (parents of an ex) came to see me play the "red-headed" ho. I was not ready to leave this role or this cast, and I can only pray I have the opportunity to perform this role again.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Swimming With Dolphins

So one week ago I went to Santa Monica Beach with my friend Jon Shelton for some much needed beach time. We laid out in the sun -me with 60+ SPF sunblock on, and even still my right thigh got a little sunburned although thanks to my suit there was a little white star left on my hip-and when it got too hot, we went for a swim in the water. It was not as cold as suspected, thanks in part to the heat wave the state had that week. After a final session of sand relaxing (wow, that stuff gets everywhere and sticks!) we decided that we should leave so we could head up to a YSA conference in Valencia. I stood up and looked at the ocean and saw several dolphins jumping not too far from shore. When I pointed this out to Jon, we both took off running down the beach, jumped in the water, and started swimming out past the waves and other beach goers. Jon being a former lifeguard and stronger swimmer, soon overtook me, and was probably not more than 8 feet away from two of the dolphins. When I looked around I found that I was not more than 10 feet away from another group. It was an amazing experience being that close to them. I wish I could have touched one, but they are wild animals, so it's probably better off. When we finally swam back in, people were asking Jon if they were dolphins and what it was like. Time had definitely gotten away from us and with shower and drive time, we missed the speaker for the conference, but got to go bowling which was fun. My first game I bowled a 60, but with some good coaching from the other guys playing in our lane, I improved and actually broke 100 my second game. As active as I am and as much as I enjoy sports, I think I need to stick with dance.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Succumb

It started with Facebook and now I join the rest of young America by starting my own blog. Doubtful anyone will read it, but maybe I can count it as journaling??? Thanks to my big sis, Cheryl and her blog for providing the inspiration. Photos will be lacking at first, but hopefully I will eventually find the means so that everyone besides those on Facebook can see the hilarity that tends ot ensue when I'm around a camera. For those that don't know, I live in Los Angeles (have for the last 2.5 years) where I am trying to work full time as a musical theater performer. I have actually had some success and have even been paid several times. When that doesn't pay the bills, I work part-time as a receptionist at Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica where I also take class 5 days a week. I'm also a certified personal trainer but don't do that as often as I'd like.