I’ve been working full-time at the law firm for just over two years and for the last year and a half I have been working two to three additional jobs. This was no easy task, but I refuse to be a starving artist and I refuse to throw my dreams away for the sake of security. Plus, I’m not going to throw away the college education that cost nearly a fortune. It was manageable (by no means comfortable) up until January. Not including the hours of commuting or hours of preparation outside of rehearsals/classes, I was working roughly 70 hours a week. There were days where if I didn’t eat while I was walking my pup or driving to my next job, I went without dinner. Other than trying to fight the hanger (it really only happened a couple times) and watching everyone around me get knocked out from the stomach and flu viruses that were going around, most of January and February is a blur to look back on. It went by so fast – thank goodness.
A lot of people ask me how I feel now that I have significantly less hours with my day-job, and I always respond, “I feel like a human being.” I now have the time, energy, and motivation to do yoga, cook meals, clean my apartment, get a decent night’s rest, squeeze in an ounce of fun, and cross things off of my To-Do List that have been there for over a year. Oh, and write a blog post more than once every three months. It’s the simple joys. I feel healthier, stronger, more organized, more creative, more relaxed, and more balanced.
I’m also able to dive into new projects with all my extra time. I’ve got some exciting things in the works! Stay tuned!
Show choir is officially over, and, as with most of my projects, it leaves me feeling bittersweet. Bitter because I grow to love the people I’m working with, I become comfortable with the routine of the project, and I am happy to see the fruits of my labor, and now it’s all over. Sweet because after all of my hard work, I am happy and ready for a break. I am also excited and ready to begin my next project.
I wasn’t really sure what to anticipate when I agreed to direct Attraction. All I had to go off of was my high school’s show choir (which was not competitive, nor did I participate in it) and the media. The show choir world is almost as crazy and ridiculous as the movies and TV shows make it out to be. It’s very competitive, very entertaining, and very time consuming. The girls worked hard and had a successful season. I’m proud to say that they improved with each competition and I helped them bring home their second trophy.
On to my next project: High School Musical with CYT. This is my third round with HSM. I just can’t seem to shake it. Today is my first rehearsal and of course this baby popped up on my timehop. I’m excited to begin working with this show’s team.
A note for the future: All productions meetings should involve sushi.
Seussical is over, My Time To Shine is over, and summer is over.
I’m done music directing shows until the new year, so my next animal is show choir. The process started off a little rocky – I don’t have too much experience with high school ages (and let’s face it, high school girls are intimidating), I was in a new environment, and I needed to learn a new teaching style.
Open gyms were fantastic. We only had a third of the group attend throughout this past month but I’m hopeful that the rest of the girls are working on their own. I realize that’s probably being a little too optimistic, but it’s easier to teach and clean material when part of the group already has it learned and cleaned.
Thinking about how quickly February is approaching makes me incredibly nervous. We finally have all six pieces picked out, but we only have two songs learned and three songs choreographed. We also have not solidified any spots. I am directing about 50 girls all by myself and there are very few sections that are vocally or choreographically unison. When the science behind temporarily cloning human beings becomes safe, I will quickly invest. How wonderfully efficient would be if I could split myself in half or in thirds so I can lead different groups in a rehearsal and then morph back together!
I’m finding myself being presented with so many opportunities around the area! My life is currently on constant “Go!” I am very excited about all of these opportunities and the workaholic in me enjoys the busyness. Don’t worry, I do find some time for rest. Here’s some news for the approaching Autumn!
I am incredibly excited to being doing Seussical! I love that I get to work with Miss. Rachel (Director) and Miss. Susie (Choreographer) once again! Last year’s experience was wonderful! Also, Seussical is my favorite musical. It is such a fun show that is very close to my heart. As I sat in on the dance portion of auditions and heard the music once again, it made me want to be in the show – check out my “audition” on Instagram!
Unfortunately, I am much too old. Us directors have so much energy prepared for this show. Our cast is cast and rehearsals begin next week!
Fun fact: You are reading the blog of the girl who is going to be taking on the responsibility of Avon High School’s all female show choir group: Attraction! For the friends and family who are not in the area, show choir is a HUGE deal out here. This school has more than five times as many students as my rinky-dink high school did, and the show choirs compete and place! Shout out to my Biz Family for being incredibly supportive! I’m very nervous but I am also excited about this opportunity! Yay Orioles!
My Time To Shine is back! I am very excited to be working with the wonderful Miss. Julie and Miss. Deidre once again! We’re doing Willy Wonka KIDS! Our cast is cast, we’re a few weeks into rehearsals, and we made the news! Check it out here!
This is my favorite group to work with. They are hardworking, super sweet, and absolutely hilarious. I love these dudes to pieces!
Tonight was opening night for Bridge to Terabithia! Over the last four months, I have poured so much into this show and I can’t believe it’s finally being presented to the world. With the help of cooperative and flexible cast members and musicians, I was able to bring a bunch of scribbles (I mean that figuratively and literally, as the score was handwritten) to life. This is also the first show I’ve been involved in where I actually get to sit back and watch my creation. In the past I’ve either been helping backstage or in the booth running sound. It was a weird but oddly relaxing experience knowing that my work is basically done; I took advantage of not having to wear all black. Sunday everything will be torn down and I’ll start on my next project. It has been a fun experience working with Ryan (Director) and Carol (Assistant Director/Choreographer), along with everyone else who helped make this show possible.
I saw three Broadway shows and one Off-Broadway show. Tickets were actually decently priced and the shows were as amazing as one could expect! I was a VIP for Something Rotten! One of the girls I was with knew one of the leads and we were able to go backstage and see the wig room, the costume room, and the pit, and we were able to hang out on the stage. It was a pretty cool (and cramped) experience. I learned that backstage is so small in most of the Broadway theatres that the dressing rooms are actually
upstairs for a couple floors. Once the show starts, the performers just stay backstage during the show because there’s no point for them to go all the way upstairs. Many of the shows are ensemble heavy anyway – there’s a lot of chorus dancing.
I was able to talk with a couple different people about their journey; I was surprised that they were so down to earth and normal. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect them to have so much in common with me. Hobbies include binge watching Netflix, eating junk food, and being silly. Stereotypes.
On another note, New York City is an amazing city! There is so much to do on the cheap if you just go out
exploring. I walked roughly 10 miles every day, and, not including the shows I saw, I spent less than $100 on food, transportation, and other experiences during the five day trip and I had a fantastic time! After many discussions, I’ve come to the conclusion that a career in NYC would be a lot of hard work, obviously, but totally doable. Who knows, perhaps I’ll find myself there in the near future.
Surprise! I’m in New York City and I couldn’t be more excited!
Last night’s rehearsal for Bridge to Terabithia was one of the most productive and fun rehearsals I have ever had. I had my two leads for a three hour vocal rehearsal. Now, that’s a lot of singing for a kid, so we took breaks every 45 minutes. During our breaks we played games, so it was a fun time to get to know them. I personally think rehearsals are more fun with smaller groups than larger. But, like I said, we were very productive. They learned all but three songs during this rehearsal. I’m very proud of these two. I think I made it on their Instagram too.
Present (Technically, also past, but who cares for such technicalities?)
Today was the Showcase for The Biz. After this morning’s rehearsal for Bridge to Terabithia, I had to run over to the church for the Showcase. I ran sound and I had four different groups to be there for. I lumped my two Acting classes into one group. The activities I picked were ones that the kids had begged me to do, and yet they groaned when I introduced each activity. I’ve noticed with the Acting classes that they tend to be very silly and rowdy with each activity in class, but once they hit the stage, they are so reserved and self-conscious. It’s kind of funny, actually. I suppose they lose their safe place once they take the activities to the stage. But, hey! It’s something they have to become comfortable with, so it was a good experience, even if they pretended to hate it. Stage School performed their song and dance to an Aladdin medley. They did a thing. The My Time To Shine Stage School also had their time on the stage. The audience love this group, for good reason! They sang and danced two a couple songs from Seussical, Jr. and performed a skit. My Time To Shine, which is our special needs program, never fails to amaze me. We had three mentors to help Miss. Julie and I out during class, but many of them were able to perform with little to no help from the mentors. Hats off to one of the most inspirational groups I have ever worked with.
Fun fact: One month from tomorrow I will be going to The Big Apple for Voices on Broadway with The Biz! This will be my first trip to New York AND we’ll be working with Broadway professionals! It’s a super win! I hope to learn a thing or two and make some connections while I’m out there. I’m also in the process of setting up interviews with a couple different places while I’m out there. Fingers crossed! Who knows what kind of doors this trip could open! Excited and Nervous.
My Son Pinocchio, Jr. has come to a close. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of kids. They worked so hard and ended up exceeding my expectations.
We’ve also had our first two rehearsals for Bridge to Terabithia. This process is unlike any of the other shows I have done. It’s bizarre to not have everything (at least on my end) prepared before rehearsals begin. For example: today I taught a group of kids a song with full knowledge that it would be set in a very different key. I, of course, warned them that it would be lower by our next rehearsal, but it’s just odd.