“With Every Job When It’s Complete There Is A Sense of Bittersweet”

‘Tis done.  Except for one more evening tomorrow starring as the cleanup/set-striking crew, Mary Poppins is in the past tense.  I’m feeling conflicted.  On the one hand, I’m grateful to not have to feel so hectic trying to fit everything into a day, and on the other hand, though I kicked and screamed and thought I wouldn’t do it over and over and over, it turned out to be a great experience for me.  I don’t step out of my comfort zone enough… I just don’t.  And the fact that I conquered my weird social anxieties (with plenty of awkwarding up the joint), my non-dancing skillz (let’s face it, Whitney loves to dance, but dancing has an aversion to Whitney and often makes her look like a seizing walrus cub), my extreme fear of ruining a production, and being fitted for and wearing a costume is like a monumental thing in my book of Whacky and Out Of This World Weird Issues and Aversions (Hitting shelves the 9th of Neverember).

I cannot say enough about the kindness and patience shown me by the lot of the cast and crew.  The directors, choreographers, and musical directors who took me under their wings and taught me about owning my actions, the wardrobe mistress who was so kind and non-judgmental, the cast who put up with my corny nervous frittery jokes and still accepted me anyway.  The leads, Sarah Huff and Tyler Whitesides who don’t own a mean bone in their entire bodies, extremely talented, gracious with their time and compliments, and absolutely ZERO egoes… which can also be said about every last one of the folks in charge of this beautiful musical… behind and in front of the scenes.  It is an experience I will never forget… and one that I will look back on with fondness.  My part in this production was so very miniscule, but I was always made to feel like we were all a part of this fabulous thing that had record-breaking audiences during all 8 shows.

I had a friend say to me who has seen nearly every broadway show known to man (we call her the “ticket lady” Hi Karen)… “The difference between this production and a professional broadway one is a feeling of love.”  She said there was so much love and warmth and feeling behind each of the characters on the stage, and she never gets that from the Broadway productions because they are in it for the money.  I’ve thought a lot about that since… and it’s true… everyone who worked on this production did it because they loved the work.  They loved acting and singing and dancing.  They loved creating sets and costumes and marketing advertisements.  They loved the behind the scenes stage crewing and making things run like an oiled machine.  It was a production full of a lot of heart and warmth and LOVE. Four Seasons Theatre Company is a gift, Cache Valley people.  I hope you all support future productions from these wonderful people.  They deserve all the accolades they get!

****

I had so many wonderful family and friends who showed up.  I love and appreciate you all… every last one of you whacky wonderful wildabeasts.  I’d name you all individually, but I know I’d forget some and then the list wouldn’t be complete.  I also could have kicked myself that I didn’t think to take more pictures.  It’s always the after thought!  Here are a few of the ones people did take and send me…

My darling cuzzin’s kids, Baylee and Owen (Hi Mark and Jenalee)!

My other darling cuzzin’s, Makayla and Corbin (whatup, Angie and Ryan)!

My momma!

My sweet best bud since we were 10 and she whacked a soccer ball at my nose and broke my glasses (no hard feelings, obviously), who just so happened to win the award for furthest traveler to attend… Alena and her oldest daughter Kayla came from Wisconsin!!  They came for other things too, but the sweetness of this girl cannot be matched y’all!

I also met some fabulous new friends in this production, which I also didn’t get many pictures of!

The delightful Stephanie (aka Mrs. Lark) and her bag of peanut M&Ms.

The delightful Leann who was patient enough to teach me the ropes!  (sorry… I had to cut my face out of this one… I looked like the dude from The Goonies squinting into the camera… note to self… wear glasses).

The delightful Cece who put up with my sarcastic jabs and then jabbed right on back (she also never washes her face… obviously).

Some of the beautiful ladies (inside and out) from the “band room dressing room”, Tara, Leann, Amy, Rory, Rachel, some bird woman, and Stephanie.

Thank you all for making my experience that much better.  I am blessed to know some top notch, cream of the crop, non-whackadoodle people!  Keep on keeping on, friends!

PS – For remembering purposes, I meant to post about the snafu I had on closing night.  During 7 of the 8 productions and all 4 of the technical and dress rehearsals, I had absolutely no issues with my microphone.  NONE.  It just so happened that on the final night, my mic did not work when I started to sing.  I felt something was off when I started singing but couldn’t put a finger on it until I realized that there was no vocal projection.  Heck if I knew what to do, but the pro that is Sarah Huff (Mary Poppins) sprung into action, walked over to me and knelt a few inches from my face so that I could be picked up on her microphone.  Did I tell you, no ego on that girl?  We weren’t able to do any of our normal acting or blocking of the scene as we had to be so close together to share her mic, so I’m sure it looked a bit weird and awkward, but that she had the presence of mind to come over there and knew what to do was a neat experience.  Afterwards I heard talk that she said no one had to tell her to walk over… she felt she was prompted by the spirit to walk over and help me out, and she heeded that feeling.  Thank you for sacrificing your performance for mine, Sarah!  You are a gem of a person!

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14 Comments

Filed under Life, Mary Poppins

14 responses to ““With Every Job When It’s Complete There Is A Sense of Bittersweet”

  1. Karen Smith

    Whitney, So many people in the valley were talking about how wonderful Mary Poppins was. So true. Glad I went and enjoyed every minute. You were wonderful and it is amazing the top notch talent in this valley. GOOD JOB! Proud of you.

  2. Hey, where’s that photo with you and me after the play? Didn’t you see me? 😉

    Wish I could have made it!

  3. cl2

    What a wonderful experience! I can relate to the dancing description!

  4. That sounds like you had a great memorable experience. You’ll probably remember it for many years. Must have been an awesome show.

  5. Great post! It was a awesome show!

  6. Louisa

    Sounds like it was an awesome experience all around.
    Very proud of you, Whitney!

  7. jaelynne francis

    Whitney,i was blown away by your performance. What a beautiful person you are it was so good to see you again it has been years since high school. ..thank you for sharing your talent! !! Jaelynne garner francis

    • You are so sweet Jaelynne! Thank you! I’m glad you came. It was such a fun production to be in and so I can imagine it was fun to watch too! I can’t believe we’re coming up on 20 years out of high school! Not possible!!

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