Category Archives: Mary Poppins

“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!

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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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The Magpie Massacre… aka My Life Has Gone To the Birds…

Birds… birds, birds, birds, birds… and more dagnabbed birds.  BIRDS!  My car out in the driveway always looks like several Magpies painted it with turd hoppers… the other half looks like a cross between a deer hunting camo and the last prize winner at the Demolition Derby.  Before I wax even more poetical about things no one cares about, allow me to get to the point.  It just so happens to be the time of the year where the young flocklings nest in Whitney’s window well, cause a ruckus and keep me awake for 12 years, and then eventually end up dead somewhere due to some predatory animal or George of the Feral Jungle Cat.  I refuse to think Lucy-Fur could ever be so cruel… Lucy-Fur!  Stop it!  The other night (aka really early morning), whilst I was trying to do some homework, I heard a thud against my window and then very near-by chirping noises.  I didn’t even have to turn the light on… I knew what it was.  This happens on a yearly basis just as the robin eggs hatch and the newly-winged robinettes (or owlettes or magpie-lettes, etc., etc.) learn to fly.  Kentucky and Fried showed up as if on cue…

Oh, Kentucky and Fried… I barely knew ye.  I learned from friend Audrey that friend Karen was a fan of the bird friends, so we texted Karen to see if she had any ideas on how to keep these precious suckers alive for more than 12 seconds.   You ought to know that Karen would pull off her right arm if you needed one, so of course she shows up on the doorstep at around 6:00 with the North Logan animal control officer.  They were like the magical team of bird refuge savers… except with less bird doo on their persons.  Nice Mr. Animal Control dude gently removed the little fellers from the window with a long net and set them near the tree that their parent birds were dive-bombing.

The National Society of Bird Refugeers From Random Window Wells of People Named Knit-Whit.  They certainly saved my future night’s of sleep and gave me a bit of peace of mind that the little fellers would still go on living.  Magpie DooDoo Central be durned!   Peace of mind, that is, until that very night/early morning when I once again heard that ever-familiar thud followed by incessant chirping noises…

This time only Fried returned… and what do you know, he still couldn’t manage to fly himself out of my window well.  Night 2 of sleeplessness.  This time I made my dad fish him out with a fishing net (who do I look like… someone who would risk getting the bird flu by getting them out myself!?!?!?  As if!)  And wouldn’t you know, he’d returned to the same danged window well the next evening.  I’m thinking Fried is some sort of Urkel of the bird population… except without suspenders and a snorting chirp.  THE HUMANITY!?!?!?  The charade went on until it was discovered on Saturday that there was a non-alive version of Fried sitting out on the lawn.  Let us all take a moment of silence to mourn for dear Kentucky and Fried.  When they say “Feed the Birds, tuppence a bag,” I really think they were talking about lunch for The Society of the Magpie Massacre-ists. Until next year, robinettes… in the meantime… I’m getting out of the bird business.  Anyone have a BB Gun I could borrow?  I have a Magpie Society Meeting to attend manana.

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Because friends, Karen and Audrey are basically the sweetest, they also dropped off a gift for me…

I was verklempt… but in the best way possible.  What a thoughtful gift that I will look at with fondness for years to come.  Thank you, sweet ladies!  I sure am lucky to have such great people in my life!

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El Zone-o de Comforto…

Spanglish is the best language said the gringo in the back of the class.

I’ve mentioned how much I adore my comfort zone.  It’s a beautiful place… in my imagination… all decked out in pillows made of pizza (except… no thanks… how uncomfortably gross would that be… wiping off marinara sauce every time you lay down)!  But it’s a pretty zone… somewhere in nature with waterfalls and sunny days chasing the clouds away (five points for whomever can name that song) and trees… gotta have some trees… except they’re birdless in my imagination… either that or the birds do not have a digestive system… because seriously!  There are a few people in my imaginative zone of comfort, but not a ton of people… gotta have some hyperventilating room up in that there joint.

On the edge of my comfort zone lives a mean ogre named Anxiet-eetodd.  He’s ogre-ish because if I happen to cross that line between the comfort and the not-so-comfort, he is waiting with a keg of sugar and an all-you-can-eat Italian smorgasbord.  Stupid ogre.  That’s what happens when you are an emotional eater… rather than deal with the emotion, you eat it away, which is only good for Anxiet-eetodd because he works on commission from the Pillsbury Doughboy… and all I get is a wagon full of lard sauce.

I’ve had a number of comfort zone-crushing moments the last several years.  It’s a good thing to get out of one’s comfort zone, and I need to think of it that way.  Not only will it get me to try new things, but it will also make me face what I hate to face… how to get through feeling an emotion without stuffing it down.

My latest challenge… dancing… in public… with people around!  Close your eyes and picture me dancing.  When you finish laughing your aspercreme off, I’ll let you know it’s exactly as you imagined it.  Somehow, I… Whitney of the Zumba In the Dark With The Blinds Closed… am dancing for the curtain call in the aforementioned Mary Poppins shindig.  I knew they’d rue the day they decided to invite me into their web of talent!  😛  It’s still not too late to back out, FSTC!  I hope there’s a particularly darkened corner somewhere on the stage with my name on it.  We learned part of the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious dance this week, where-in Whitney nearly took out the whole back row with her skills.  I’ve been practicing it a little bit every single day since.  The steps aren’t that hard once you get them down, it’s the speed at which we have to do them.  If one of the cute smaller dancers twirls around, it’s like they’re walking around a pole.  If I twirl around, I’m at least walking around a block with change.  I’m leaving the dance moves below in the video for your perusal.  Someone who knows how to do the Mexican tequila bean dance on caffeine, jump inside my skin until July would ya’?  😛

Any tips, fellow dancers? (sorry, I couldn’t say that with a straight face… the “fellow dancers” part!)

T

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