Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Normal? I don't do normal.

I think that I have lived pretty much every moment of my adult life at one of two speeds: full throttle or going in reverse. In other words, I always feel like I have way too much going on in my life, or I'm so bored that I could scream (or cry). It always shocks people who know me when I tell them that I consider myself to be shy. And I totally get why. If I know you, I'm outgoing and vivacious and I will talk to you for DAYS about pretty much anything. But if I don't? I'm a complete wallflower. This usually manifests itself as a tendency, when thrown into a group of people with whom I'm unfamiliar, to say as little as possible and kind of sink into the floor or my chair if possible. Part of this, especially since moving to New Jersey, has to do with me being self-conscious about my accent. Now in all fairness, I DO have an accent that is not the norm for these parts. Of course, for Sweet Home Alabama, my accent is pretty low key. Anyway, the point of that is to say that when I first moved to NJ seven years ago, I didn't know anybody. I didn't have friends who were already here. I didn't have acquaintances who were already here. Nothing, zip, nada. I think I spent the first three years (I DID have a good friend who moved to NYC my third summer here) staring at the wall. In other words...doing nothing.

So for quite a while, I was kind of on my own. I did get here right as football season was starting and I went into NYC to watch the games with the alumni association. The second year I was here, my sister was nearby and I did pretty much everything with her. It wasn't until the summer of 2009, when I had lived here for almost four years, that I dipped my toes back into the water of community theater. Theater has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember--first as a tiny audience member and then as a small performer and later an adult director/actor/costumer/crew/stage manager. In retrospect, it seems so odd to me. I didn't have any friends, y'all. For ALMOST FOUR YEARS.

I mean, obviously, I had friends. I had friends who came here to visit me and I talked on the phone to people all the time. But as far as a right here with me buddy? None. Which is why I am so, so grateful for discovering the theater community in this area. Y'all...I just want to take a minute to tell you that I have made some of the greatest friends a lady could hope to find. I'm talking about the kinds of friends who will talk you through a crisis, drive you to the airport, let you crash at their place when your power's out from a hurricane for six days and go get you medicine when you're too sick to drive to the pharmacy. I'm talking really awesome friends. And they're not just for crisis mode! There also good for lunch dates, shopping trips, movie nights...you name it, they do it.

That's the first thing I want to say. I have kick-ass friends.

The second thing that's buzzing about the noggin is that whole light-speed life vs. traveling backwards through time life. And it's related to the theater thing, because I think that the theater thing is causing me to experience the former, rather than the latter. I AM SO BUSY. And it's my own fault and I'm glad about everything I'm doing, but...geez.

First of all, I take an adult tap class. It's only the best adult tap class ever. I mean, I've taken an adult tap class before and it was fun, but it wasn't what I'd consider challenging. But this is awesome. It's SUPER fun and it's challenging my little feet right to the limit. Not only is it fun and I get good exercise and all that stuff...we are in the recital! Yep, that's right....come June, you can find me dancing to "It's Your Wedding Day" from The Wedding Singer while wearing an 80s formal dress and tap shoes. Please take a moment to enjoy the mental picture that brings.

THEN, back in December, I auditioned for Avenue Q which I didn't get cast in (we shall never, ever speak of my ineptitude at puppetry), but since I LOVE the company and everyone working on the show, I signed on to be their Assistant Stage Manager. Oh, and I'm also going to be in the ensemble of Legally Blonde (I'm going to have to do a ton of research to play...sorority girl and law student.). And then last week, because I'm a crappy auditioner who has approximately ZERO confidence, I auditioned for Cabaret to get some experience doing an audition for a role that is COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, but doing it with a director with whom I'm completely comfortable. And then got cast as a part, well, completely out of my comfort zone and unlike ANY I've ever played (you'd be surprised at how rarely people look at me and say, "Yes. Nazi prostitute.").

Anyway, between dancing and ASMing and acting and acting...I am crazy busy. And it's kind of cool. Like a little test of myself to see how well I can handle a completely full plate. I will try to keep you updated. But like I said...freakishly busy. (I'm only here tonight because I skipped dance class 'cause I was feeling not sick, but icky...probably from exhaustion.)

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