Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Driving up to the Security Check-Point this morning, the reader board flashed, “September 1, 2009.” Wow. It really is astounding how fast this summer has come to an end.

Someone asked me the other night at hockey what I’d been up to all summer. Of course, the only thing I really did do most of the summer was “Godspell.” As I told everyone at the cast party, that show and the friends I made were a Godsend.

Thinking back on the whole experience, I can’t imagine anything going more perfectly.

Number one, how in the WORLD did I forget that I am a Theatre Person? Being surrounded by people who are like-minded in political beliefs, taste in the arts and with SO much talent, it’s hard to believe I’ve lived the past few years without people walking into my apartment, sitting down and starting to play random things on the piano – things that they’ve written, Beatles songs or Showtunes we all sing along with, or just random sounds. People singing Happy Birthday in 3-part-harmony (in tune!), suggesting new Indie artists I may like and accepting people no matter what their differences may be has awakened a part of my heart that I had forgotten about.

Number two, with the events taking place right before (and during) the show, I could have gone into a tailspin, but knowing I had a cast and crew depending on me kept me going.

Number 3, the amount of talent in our cast was astonishing. Every night people were asking if we were touring from New York or LA. There was one little lady from Yonkers who found it VERY hard to believe I hadn’t grown up around there as well. (I guess my “Abraham” was convincing.)

Number four, the whole cast was perfectly selected for their individual roles and brought something special and unique to the experience for cast, crew and audience. There were a few people, however, who I felt a special connection with.

Let’s start with Ellicia, our director-extraordinaire, one of my best friends and someone who has ALWAYS been there for me, no matter what, for all of the 11 years I’ve known her. Whenever I get down on myself, my life, my love-life, I can look at her and see that she has overcome these same obstacles in her life and ended up with a wonderful partner, a job she is passionate about, a beautiful home and two wonderful kittehs. While she’s really not that much older than I am, I do want to be her when I grow up.

Sue Schick… What a magnificent woman! Our Producer and my confidant, always exactly where I needed her with the exact words I needed to hear… Or even just a hug. SUCH a blessing. And Miss Emily… such a sweet, sweet soul.

I made fast friends with Anna at auditions, commenting on how Melissa was so adorable that I wanted to shrink her and carry her around in my pocket everywhere. Melissa and I still laugh about that being the first thing I ever said to her and how she wasn’t sure if I was talking to her or not. Anna’s dry wit and level head kept me sane during some tense rehearsals. Miss Banana Blueberry and I didn’t need many words to tell each other how we were feeling about certain situations – somehow we just understand each other. Thank you for accepting the roll that we are both usually type-cast in so I could try something different. ;)

Speaking of Melissa, I do believe she is my long-lost very-much younger, taller, skinnier and Jewish twin. Her style and heart are equally spectacular to me. She genuinely cares about people, their feelings and well-being. Like most, if not all, of the cast, wise and mature beyond her years. My favorite thing about her is when she is excited about something, her face lights up like a menorah on the eighth night of Hanukkah. (“YAY HANUKKAH!”)

Then there’s Scott. What can be said about him other than he is the “Jack” to my “Grace”? My court jester when I’m about to crack. I can’t count how many times he listened to me vent, told me to do something with my hair and knew exactly what my facial expression meant from across the stage. When I need a little pick-me-up, I watch this on my phone. There’s no one I would’ve rather looked at for the “frozen” monologues of “By My Side.”

Lauren (aka Lolo). How I wish we would’ve bonded earlier in the rehearsal process! Sitting at Shari’s Restaurant trying to help silence the 8 other (LOUD) people at the table, she turned to me and said, “We are the only adults here.” It was true, and it began. I thank the “Super Chill” (Albertson’s generic brand of soda - 10 for $10) and “puppy chow” for cementing the friendship in silliness and practicality. Her free spirit and love of all things… well, that I love, makes me feel as though I’m not so alone in the world in my desires. I’m so much looking forward to October 26, when we will be seeing MIKA in Seattle! (MIKA!!!! SQUEEE!!!!) Whenever we hang out, no matter how mellow the situation or how sick one of us might be, there are always good times had. No one in Tri has been more supportive of my new choices in life and direction I want it to go into. I am so jealous she is moving to Seattle. My tweet from last week, “Alas, the economy keeps me stationary,” rings in my head when I think of how wonderful it would be to pick up and move at the same time so we could share in the adventure of being the new girls in the City.

Yes, I’ve saved my IndyAndy Jones for last. When we started the rehearsal process, we joked around a few times, but I was still stuck in the mind-set that all young, good-looking guys were inevitably jerks and wouldn’t want to hang out with me or be my friend. Wrong. WAY wrong. After he laughed at me for almost blowing a gasket during a particularly aggravating rehearsal and hanging out at DQ, he has been one of the people I talk to the most about the widest range of topics. Without going into much sappy detail, I have never been complimented so highly with such a frequency as I have from Andy. Without any kind of expectation of anything but friendship - after being with him, I leave with the affirmation that someone (besides family members) believes I am a beautiful, intelligent, humorous woman with much to offer the world. The first thing he said to me after walking into Starbucks last night was, “You have a halo of beauty and grace!” What woman in their right mind wouldn’t love to hear that from someone you know isn’t trying to get into your pants?

Being in this show about love, life and community and surrounding myself with these wonderful individuals, my passion for life has been renewed. Peace, Love, Joy, Happiness, Live and Let live. Those are things all people should have in their lives. It’s my new goal in life to help whoever I can have those things by what ever means I can. When people look at me, I hope they see compassion, tolerance, grace and friendship. The only person I can control is me and I am the one who decides whether or not to have a good out-look on life.

So, there it is; the new me. I don’t know where this will lead me. And where that normally would scare the living snot out of me, I am now incredibly excited to see where my life goes.

I’m leaving you with a quote from one of my characters in ‘Godspell’,
“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” - Marianne Williamson