Tag Archives: Comfort zone

“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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Filed under Life, Mary Poppins

Move Over Comfort… Bring On The Awkwardness and Anxiety!

Some of you may remember how I once waxed poetic about my ability to graciously navigate social waters.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA… that never happened.  Instead, I may have mentioned about 8 katrillion times of my penchant for awkwarding up a social situation with two hands tied behind my back.  It’s totes a gift and one that I wear with humiliation and cheese curds!

It turns out a new opportunity has presented itself for me to display my gift of awkward anxiety… cheese curds anyone?  The sweet people of Four Seasons Theatre Company (they who let me become the old olive tree in a production of “The Garden” two years ago) have once again thought of me for a role in their upcoming musical, Mary Poppins.  I wrestled with the decision of whether or not I’d want to audition for an actual role in a play that included scary things like costumes and makeup… and a solo about 3 keys higher than my vocal range of comfort… low and slow… bring it on!  High and die… wear your earplugs!  I had learned of the role about a month before the actual auditions and had made my mind up approximately 18 times that I was and then I wasn’t going to attempt it.  Three days before the audition, I made my mind up that I wasn’t going to do it and I was at peace with the decision.  But then my madre ran into a lady at church connected with the theatre company who told her they hoped I’d audition.  I somehow made it to the audition.  I really don’t think it was on my own two legs or right mind… it was like I was floating along in a trance of “spoon full of sugar” juice.  The audition didn’t go like I wanted it to… I was extra nervous and my high notes were strained and then I somehow messed up the words and stopped my own audition in the middle of it letting them know that they’d heard a plenty.  GREAT DIRECTION, WHITMEISTER!

They put the cast list up tonight:

I’d like to note that I’m coming full circle on my hatred of all things bird… being attacked by an angry turkey when I was 4, accosted by an angry owl, pooped on by a friendly magpie, and countless baby birds falling into my window well is about to go down.  Also, the resemblance is UNCANNY!

The song I sing, Feed the Birds is a lovely song about not judging a book by its cover… and probably a whole lotta other stuff that I haven’t discovered yet.  In other news, apparently I’m typecast at the age of 36 as “old”.  Old Olive Trees and Old Bird Women… I could probably sign up to join the AARP, considering!  Take some deep breaths in and out, Whit-Knee… time to step outta your comfort zone again.  Do it for the love of all things bird!  Thank you for the opportunity, ye’ sweet people of Four Seasons Theatre Company!

This view will never be the same.  This is a picture of the former Golden Toaster church.  Sayanora, historic church and view.  I once broke a pew by sitting on it in this church approximately 15 years ago when I weighed 530 pounds.  That’s probably why they tore it down.  😛

This is how Lucy-Fur sleeps.  It’s pretty freaky.  One eye wide open and snoring.  No one sleeps with their eyes open unless it’s a zombie.  Lucy… you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

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Filed under Life

Stop It, Chris…

It’s nearly 4:00 in the morning and I just spent my blog-writing time watching 80000 DVRed episodes of Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition and bawling like a two-bit hooker at a church service.  It probably didn’t help that the 2-bit hooker was experiencing friendly hormone hoarding with a major case of craunchitis on the side.  I’m also determined to hunt down the trainer on the above-mentioned show, Chris Powell and award him most inspirational phrase spitter outer.  Dude was spitting them out faster than a salad shooter on turbo speed.  Y’all MUST remember the salad shooter?  Laws almighty, hallelujah… put a carrot and a cucumber into that sucker and afore you know it it’s a right proper salad dish.

Anyway… he was shooting out inspirational phrases in all 3 episodes I watched… and I was bawling and the music was soaring and I swear I almost levitated off my couch indentation and soared with the eagle’s nest.   Boy must have a book of them suckers he memorizes or something because ain’t no way he just pops them out like it’s a regular sentence in his world.  Of course I don’t remember any of the phrases now… memory fades after 3 seconds up in this here joint… but there was one that stuck with me… hit me right in the bane of the existence and made me say ah ha aloud and it also kind of freaked me out a little because it’s a true statement and if it’s a true statement that would require a lot more bravery on my part than I’ve been giving the last little while… because I’m in this stallitis mode right now and I feel like I’m not moving forward and I don’t think I’m moving backward (though, there are instances where I feel like I am), I’m just standing in the same place… still as a stick in the desert… and I’m once again going through the motions of living day to day, but not really accomplishing anything… and that makes me sad… and frustrated… and hopeless.

What was the salad-shooting inspirational phrase?  Get ready… soak it in… and get over the sense of fear that’s gonna envelope after you’ve read it.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  

Scary, right?  I like my comfort zone… it has a couch and a blankie with tickles on it and I’ve fixed it up nice to suit my comfort needs… and last year I got out of it a lot… I had a LOT of firsts last year.  But now I feel like those “firsts” have tapered into old hat now and I’m making a new comfort zone with a huge brick wall around it and a moat and a dude guarding it named Marvin… I’m stalled… and that’s making me feel all kinds of familiar yucky feelings of yore.  Like the one where I made myself accept that my life would be lived weighing 530 pounds… forever and ever more… and I’d just have to get used to being that nasty chic who lived in the basement for the rest of her lifetime.   Nope… time to step it up.  That girl is not an option… ever.

Thanks, Chris… thanks a lot, you salad-shooting, 2-bit hooker, you!  😛

Question of the Day:  Have you ever seen Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition?  Thoughts?  

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Filed under Getting A Life, Inspirational TV