Tuesday, October 28, 2008

a blended family

          Tonight while I was walking home from the subway, it started to snow.  As in winter time, as in winter wonderland, as in the earth starts over with a nice clean white slate.  Or something like that.  

          I was walking home with two South Texans who do not appreciate snow or frigid temperatures to say the least, but not me; I was loving it.  

           Canada is cold, but I really enjoy it.  It means I get to bundle up in my new coat Drew got me for Christmas last year; that I get to wear this really cute white knit headband with a big rosette on the side; that I layer everything, of all different colors; that I can wear my thickest, tallest socks underneath my 80's boots, or cowboy boots, or knee-high get the point; I like boots.

            I met the replacements today.  That's right, we have the remainder of this week--just 7 more shows--with our dear, original cast--and then the new class steps in.  When they were introducing themselves to us, it kind of felt like we were becoming a blended family.  Like our step brothers and sisters were just there, moving in, whether we wanted them to or not.  

           Don't get me wrong, they seem so nice, and the best part is that they are so excited to be here--their energy alone will be like a shot in the arm for our show, I am sure.  But still. I have to say good-bye to some really dear friends on Sunday and I hate to say good-bye and have never been what one would call a huge fan of change, either, now that I think about it.  

         The nice thing about this business is that the theater community is very small; you always end up seeing people again.  At least, I keep telling myself this.

           Another reminder of the inevitable: I walk into the theater today for orientation, and I see that I am assigned to share a dressing room with my dear friend, Emily, which is awesome--it being her last week, and all--but that's not it.  Since the cast replacements step in after just the first week of Toronto, and we are here for five, the assignment says:

                             Dressing Room #2: Jessica Latshaw/Emily Fletcher/Shannon Lewis

            So again, it made it all real.  Emily is leaving, and I will be sharing a dressing room with someone who is very cool, I am sure, but not the person that I have become friends with in the space of a very special six month period.  

          It'll be okay, it's just sad.

          My phone is now a very expensive paper weight that I carry around with me. Sometimes it tells me the time, but since it is roaming most of the time on some foreign Rogers Network, I mostly keep it turned off.  I had grown so used to getting my email on my phone, sending and receiving texts, and of course, ah, calling people.  

         Oh well, this is probably good for me.  It's kind of like camping, right?

       This is a really busy week for me.  We previewed tonight, have two shows tomorrow, rehearse with the replacements on thursday afternoon then have a show (followed by a Halloween party with the casts of Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys), have a dress rehearsal with the replacements on Friday then a show, two shows on Saturday, one matinee on Sunday...And then we say good-bye to those leaving...

       And on Tuesday, the blended family is complete.  The replacements open with us and the show goes on...And I make new friends. 


       But thankfully, there are some very special people staying on with the show...


jason said...

Who is leaving the cast and what are they doing next?

Jessica Latshaw said...

10 different people are leaving--if you want more details, I will tell you on a less public forum;-)

jason said...

email me please!

Mom said...

Email me too! I know you've told me already but I'd like to hear it again!

When I've been places where I can't use my phone--like when I went to California with Jonathan but I had left my cell phone home by accident--I felt so isolated.

BTW, I've tried and tried to get on my blog, emailed blog people for my password etc and they dont get back to me. I actually do have some things to write about.

Jamie said...

Why are some people being replaced and others get to stay? Does each cast member have a choice?

Anonymous said...

Cool - an article about Jessica in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer. She was called a "twit" on the #1 radio station in town during morning drive time (reaches "38 states and half of Canada" they always say - so perhaps you heard it up there!)

Now, truth be told, most of us here think downtown is totally safe... and incidents like ACL's were isolated... But...

'Chorus Line' actors who were robbed sing no praises about Cleveland

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Mark Puente
Plain Dealer Reporter

A group of actors are elated to be away from Cleveland after they were robbed at gunpoint and had to hire private-security guards to escort them from the theater to their hotels.

The actors were walking on East 13th Street near Euclid Avenue on Oct. 22 when a man ran up behind them and put a gun to one of their heads. The man demanded that a woman hand over her cell phone, according to a police report.

The trio were in town performing in "A Chorus Line" at Playhouse Square Oct. 14-26. The group is now performing in Canada.

An actor blasted Cleveland in her personal blog after the group's last performance. The city, she wrote, had been the most difficult stop on the group's North American tour.

"There are just so many abandoned buildings and so few people downtown that you really have to watch your back," wrote Jessica Latshaw, 26. "It's a sad town, and I hope it gets better soon."

Cleveland was the first city where the group hired security guards for protection, she added.

"The other night we had a sassy lady security guard, who, before leaving the safety of the theater and braving the streets, said, 'If anything goes down, you guys drop. I am much better with a clear shot.' "

Latshaw also praised the city in a follow-up post, saying she met many kind people. She did not return a call.

Theater officials met with the head of the Police Department's Downtown Services Unit to explore additional security measures, said spokeswoman Autumn Kiser.

Joe Marinucci, head of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said the group plans to provide more protection for theater groups.

"I believe downtown is very safe," he said.

Plain Dealer reporter Tony Brown contributed to this story.

Anonymous said...

Oh - daily readership of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is 783,000.

Jessica Latshaw said...

anonymous--how rude of you to think that it is cool to call someone a "twit."


Jessica Latshaw said...

Jamie--we were all offered contract renewals, but 10 people opted to not re-sign and leave the tour. I am staying though, definitely until May;-)

jason said...

Jessica – anonymous didn't call you a twit, he was reporting that a radio station in Cleveland did.

I cracked up at the fact that you "didn't return a call" since your phone is off because you're in Canada!

You started a media firestorm.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry - anonymous (me) didn't call you that - as noted... However, the kind folks at WMJI 105.7 FM did... Chip Kulik the newsguy probably was the offender, if I recall... Your name was not mentioned... You shared your thoughts with the world, I was just sharing theirs.
Again - I thought your blog was a SERVICE to Cleveland... opened people's eyes perhaps.

kathiek said...

I guess it's easier for one to take offense at someone's justifiable lament than it is to admit that one's fair city might possibly need to make a few changes.

"I'm just sayin'"

Mom said...

twit definition: an insignificant or bothersome person.

You are certainly NOT an insignificant or bothersome person, Jessica. Somebody misspoke about you......

Jessica Latshaw said...

Gotcha, anon--I really thought you were saying that it was "cool" that I was called a "twit" on the radio--not that you called me that.

But thanks for clearing that up!