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Sunday, May 31, 2009

homeward bound

My last flight leaving home was a sad one.


I arrived in an overcast Chicago, a glimpse of the next three rainy weeks spent there.

I was wearing Drew's oversized sweatshirt,
but even that couldn't make me smile.

But time, my friends, is a two-sided coin. Sometimes its passing slips too quickly through our desperate grasp, revealing to us once again how little control we have over most things.

But sometimes it's a blessing. Sometimes is runs through May in the blink of an eye and before you know you it you are finally face to face with what you've been waiting for.

I can hardly believe it's been six months since I put in for this vacation while I was playing a snowy and depressed Detroit. At the time I wasn't even sure I'd still be on this tour, but just in case, I wanted to make sure I could get myself home for this first week of June.

You know, get myself home to this guy.
And this little Persephone girl.
And Taliesin, to whom we affectionately refer to as our Grumpy Old Man.
And of course, I can't wait to see some of these crazy cats, either.
And my friends, too...This homecoming is going to be a good one; I can feel it in my bones.

I am a woman blessed with so many dear family and friends.

I am positively rich with them.

Yippee for June!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

take your vitamins, but...

I actually never did think it would happen again.


Not since it had been...I don't know, at least twelve years since the last time.

But I guess it's like riding a bike in the sense that as soon as I started feeling it, I knew right what to do.

The unfortunate thing was that my first choice, the toilet, was occupied at the time. But luckily, there was a perfectly acceptable trash can in the corner.

Which is exactly where I headed.

I had been in mid conversation with Brandon, just talking about a friend of his, keeping it casual like we try to do upon first getting up on a two show day. My responses started getting less involved, however, as I started getting really really hot.

I took off the shirt whose only crime was to have sleeves, but at that moment, those sleeves were not an option. Seriously, when I get really hot, I can barely even stand myself. Maybe it's because I just don't sweat, but whatever the reason, undue heat becomes a desperate cause to which I must resort to desperate measures.

Case in point: Once I was taking a modern dance class and made the mistake of wearing a long sleeved leotard. Twenty minutes into the warm-up, I ran out to the front office, grabbed some scissors and proceeded to cut off the sleeves. I went back to class much happier with my new and improved tank leotard.

And I've done the same thing with a pair of jeans, too. I was walking in Philly, it was too hot for pants, and bam! I reemerged from the bathroom with shorts.

Anyway, just so you don't think I was now topless, I had a tank top underneath that long sleeved shirt as I hovered over the trash can. At this point, all vital signs were pointing to throwing up at any second.

What?!?!?!

Ever since I was a young girl and decided that I absolutely hated to throw up and forced my body to keep all things down, I hadn't done it.

But now those old feelings were returning. My mouth was watering. I was incredibly hot. My stomach felt sick sick sick.

Brandon was still just talking when finally I said, Um, I am gonna have to stop you there because I think I am going to throw up...And with that, the gagging started.

Gross, I know.

I hadn't eaten anything yet so there was no food to eject, but well, something came up.

Aren't you glad you know this?

Brandon ran and got me a glass of water, sweet guy, and if I had long hair I would have asked him to hold my hair just like my mom would do when I was little.

Anyway, moral of the story: don't take a vitamin on an empty stomach.

Who knew that all of my years of training to keep food down no matter what as well as the inner vow I made with myself to never vomit again would be undone by one small multi-vitamin?

And how does everybody else in not only my company, but seemingly civilized society know this handy information? Where was I when that memo was passed out?

Friday, May 29, 2009

hello summer

Okay.


So even though I have to do this--
eight times a week during my monologue, it's not all bad really.

I mean, there are total perks to my job.

Take this week, for instance. The Alliance really picked the right place to start off this shebang. While almost the whole rest of the cast opted to stay at the Garfield Suites, drawn in by its two bedroom and kitchen equipped apartments, we chose to stuff ourselves and all our junk into one hotel room (which is on the smaller side of hotel rooms, to boot) in order to be able to enjoy this all week.
Uh-huh. The rooftop pool. Which is basically where I have been every day.

I even swam around in it today. Though my version of swimming is limited to the doggie paddle, the under water basic eyes-closed swim, and the "don't even think about getting this hair wet because I only get it set once a week" grandma frog swim (except I totally get my hair wet). And this afternoon Ian was kind enough to teach me the side stroke and together, we picked our respective apples and put them in the basket while I expanded my swimming repertoire.

But I have a feeling that he ended up collecting many more fictitious apples than me.

There's nothing like soaking in the sun next to a body of water while reading a good book.

And don't you worry about how close I've been to that thinning ozone layer laying on the roof of the hotel like that all week, either. I haven't burnt myself once. I have been nothing if not diligent about applying my sun screen.

Mom, you'd be proud.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

yoga

Today a group of us took yoga.


This is something that I've been saying I would do on this tour for well, the whole darned time.

And finally, over a year into it, I did.

*hold for applause*

I actually really enjoy it. And not because it makes me feel awesome, either. At least not while it lasts. With the exception of the corpse position (which is not nearly as morbid as it sounds; it's basically a dead man's float without the getting all wet and wondering if you are going to drown part), it hurts me.

But I really enjoy it for the challenge.

See, something that a lot of people don't know about me is that I am not naturally flexible. Just because I can split every which way, touch my foot to the back of my head, and kick my face does not mean that I didn't work for every inch of it.

I did.

I remember sitting with the soles of my feet pressed together with weights on my knees, forcing my hips to rotate; I would also stand against the wall and tell my pop to push my leg behind my head as far is it would go and just hold it there, trying to ignore the apologetic and horrified face he was giving me over the pain I was in.

While laying in bed, I would take one foot, hook it under the footboard and hook my other foot under the headboard.

And then attempt to sleep like that.

Um, let's just say that counting sheep didn't really aid in the sleep process that night. Pretty much the only thing that did was unhooking my feet and getting out of that inverted split position.

But I worked and worked on being flexible. Ever since a ballet teacher told my class that flexibility was just a matter of deciding how much pain one can take, I made a decision that the exchange of pain for flexibility and therefore the ability to dance well was a deal.

A steal, actually.

Oh, and it didn't help that I come from quite possibly the least flexible family known to the human race. Really. I am not at all positive that all of us were even born with hamstrings. My brothers cannot even sit up straight with their legs in front of them and straighten their knees. I try to make them do it and they cry out like they are being eaten by wild dogs.

Boys.

Anyway, yoga introduces a whole new challenge to me in terms of flexibility. See, I have stretched in certain ways as a dancer and have by now gotten the hang of it.

But yoga is a whole different animal.

The downward facing dog is purportedly the "resting position" but leaves you feeling as rested as Atlas must feel at the end of every day, holding up the earth like that.

It really hurts.

And everything in yoga returns to it. It's your haven, your place of rest. It's like base in tag. Only base never made my shoulders ache, my hamstrings scream, and all the while wonder why the heck my right achilles is so much shorter than my left.

No really, why is that?

Yeah, I don't know either.

But as crazy as this sounds, I really like yoga. I like how hard it is and the feeling of accomplishment I carry with me afterward. I like how it's so good for my body--basically no impact on my joints and perfectly complementary to dancing since it both stretches and strengthens you.

But I would suggest one thing.

Make sure you eat something--anything--that actually keeps you from feeling like your stomach is going to eat a lung if you don't throw something down the hatch in the next twenty minutes. Because a nutri-grain bar just doesn't cut it.

And maybe if you eat something substantial, then when you are told to do some meditative work and focus your thoughts, you might actually be able to mentally envision something other than a cheeseburger. Or pancakes. Or one of those delicious breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks that your friends ate before the class and that you are now deeply regretting the decision you made to pass.

So other than the temporary bout of extreme hunger and the pesky and habitual downward facing dog, I really like yoga.

And I'd like to be good at it some day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

seriously.

Dear Drunk Waitress--


I understand that you were just trying to help.

I get that, I really do.

But when we first walked into the restaurant and you were standing there looking like a soccer mom with a purse slung over your shoulder, a blue t-shirt, jean shorts that managed to survive the eighties, a pair of sensible crocs, and not an apron in sight, we didn't know how to take you. And then when you opened your mouth and gave us some slurred instructions to just "sit oer there," my friend looked at me and asked me if maybe you were our friend Amos' mom.

Not that we think his mom is habitually drunk. Or looks like a soccer mom. Actually, we have heard she is a dancer and is quite lovely, but still--Amos was closest to you when we stepped into the restaurant and then you bossed us around with such a strange familiarity that we figured you must be somebody's relative.

We were confused.

We thought we had seen the last of you once we were seated, but no. You never did feel the need to don an apron or anything official like that, but at least you were honest with us. I mean, you pretended to take down our orders for a while but finally you just gave it to us straight and said, I am wasted. I mean really wasted. Can you tell?

And we appreciated your honesty.

We were trying to be gentle and so as kindly as I could, I asked you, Are you supposed to be working tonight?

When you told us that you weren't officially on the clock, and that you were just trying to help, things became a little clearer.

But not much.

Because the simple fact of the matter was that you weren't helping. Not when you awkwardly sidled up to three different men in our party in an effort to make them dance with you; not when you took away my soy sauce before I was done with it; and certainly not when you confessed to Brandon that you are in love with a man but it's hard because you get hit on all the time.

So maybe the next time you want to help, get good and sober before attempting to give that intended help. And I don't know, maybe put on an apron or something; sometimes looking the part really helps you to get the feel for the job.

And maybe even if you do suspect someone might be gay, you could repress the urge to out and out ask them since you know, it's not exactly an appropriate setting for questions about sexuality.

And it isn't exactly any of your business.

Sincerely,
A Concerned Patron

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

pray

It's interesting how certain situations cause people to pray.


They might not even know exactly to whom they are praying, but still, it's instinctual.

One of my friends who is not religious takes a moment to himself every night before the show. We enter the stage from the same wing, so I've noticed. I finally asked him what he was doing. This is not unusual for me; I ask a lot of questions. But anyway, he told me that he prays before every show, no matter what. He's been doing this since he started performing and it is now just as much a part of his show as wearing a costume.

And I like this.

I, too, pray before every show. Specifically, I pray right as I am walking onto stage in the dark. I try to release any fear that I'm holding onto, and instead ask to be filled with peace, grace, strength and the ability to tell my story and tell it well.

How about you guys?

Do you find that certain situations just cause you to pray?

And if you do, how does it make you feel?


Monday, May 25, 2009

And so it begins.

Timeline--


  • Ian approaches Jessica about living together on tour.
  • Jessica breaks the news that she has already agreed to live with Brandon in the next city.
  • Ian and Jessica begin their crazy talk, a plan has begun to take root.
  • They realize they could save lots of $$$
  • Together, they approach Brandon with their revolutionary, albeit unconventional idea.
  • Brandon sees the potential for fun as well as the $$$ and seals the deal.
So here is a recap.

We have Ian.
Brandon.
Jessica.
And together they make up The Alliance.
Tonight is the first of many in which the three of us live in one hotel room. We split the cost three ways and so doing, have rumpled the feathers of others in the cast by forming this Alliance.

But really, they could form one too. Nobody is stopping them.

Not being a great bedmate (as you can see from this), I opted to sleep on the floor. Ian fashioned me a little bed of cocooned pillows and it is quite comfortable, actually.

Wish The Alliance luck; I get the feeling this is the start of something beautiful.

And just for fun, I thought I'd share this.
This was the art for our show that Bethany Moore (who plays Judy) painted at the Fox in St. Louis. She did an amazing job and it's an honor to sign the same walls that are already filled with signatures from the likes of Tori Amos, Jason Mraz, Bill Cosby, and Chita Rivera.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

mosaic

Kevin, our current Zach, told me that I absolutely had to see the Cathedral Basilica before leaving St. Louis. He has been all over Europe and Rome and says that this church rivals anything he has seen anywhere.


It stands as the largest mosaic church in the world, housing 41.5 million glass pieces of over 700 different colors. And this project did not come in a kit you can buy at Michael's. Artists started laboring over it in 1912 and did not fit the last piece of glass into place until 1988.
Walking in, I was instantly dwarfed by the grandeur of the building, awed by the artistry.
I couldn't get over the master plan. Somebody knew how to put all these tiny pieces together to depict a story.

A beautiful story.

Somebody took the time, had the clairvoyance and patience to understand that with time, the separate pieces of glass could come together--no, would come together--to make a picture greater and more brilliant than if the glass had just been left alone.
I know there's a lesson there.
And that it goes beyond me.

It involves us.
It involves remembrance, sure, in the same way that the Catholics light a candle as a simplistic symbol of the way in which we make room in our hearts for each other. It's a bright burning flame, a prayer; a light, that no matter how flickering, still has the final say in the darkness.

But beyond remembrance, I think we are essential to each other.

I've always loved the idea of a mosaic. This sense of collage, of everything coming together to finally say something.

Of completion.

Somebody once told me that out of all the people in all the world--both past and present and those who are still to come--God hand picked my parents, my siblings, because he knew that somehow the mix of those particular people surrounding me would be exactly what I needed.

You know, to make the best me, so to speak.

And I agree.

Add to this mix Drew, my friends, my colleagues, my teachers--the people who have spoken into my life--they've all been an indispensable part of my mosaic.
But then there is even a bigger plan that that. Someone started a project with the first breath of life and the spark of creation and that picture is still getting put into place.

It involves all of us. And we are way more than 700 colors. And this is a greater labor of love even than the 62 years it took to finish the Basilica. So it will naturally take a bit longer than that.

But still, our mosaic is becoming clearer every day.

It's becoming beautiful.

And there is peace in knowing that we are the pieces that are getting fitted. Perfectly.

There is a faith that is needed to understand that this Artist does not make mistakes.

May we all see the mosaic, may we see it as beautiful and eternal.

But when we cannot see it in each moment, let us hold fast to a belief that it is still being hewn, and though the strikes to make it fit are painful, they are transient.

Leaving behind a picture of grace, of love, of a story that moves us.

A story in which each of us are nothing if not invaluable.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

city museum

Last night was rocking.


We went to this place called the City Museum that is sort of like a Please Touch Museum for adults.

Not to be confused with the Please Touch Me Museum, which is how my mom frequently refers to it, subsequently causing all of us to laugh and my brothers and sister's in-law to beg her to please not take their children to that establishment.

Like ever.

The City Museum was once a shoe factory, but somebody had the bright idea to take all those floors and shoots and stairs and turn it into this amazing zone of exploration and discovery. Seriously, the whole place is filled with passages and cylindrical tubes and slides in which it is terribly easy to get lost.

They even supply you with a little flashlight at the entrance.

And as if that weren't enough, there is a small bar section and an outdoor fire pit and bar-b-que that sold me the most delicious hot dawg I've ever had (for the low price of $2.00) along with the tastiest ear of corn on the cobb I've ever had the pleasure of devouring (at just $1.50, making my $3.50 meal a bargain. And a scrumptious one at that). And all of these sitting around the fire while eating bar-b-que activities are made even more pleasant with the sounds of a bluegrass band.

What more can you ask for than two guitars, a mandolin, a fiddle, and an upright bass to serenade you?

Well, I guess you can ask for unlimited climbing and exploration...Here's the outside view of the City Museum. The whole building is outfitted with tunnels and rocks and even animals!
On our way up to the top so that we could go down the seven level slide, we came across a magic crystal that mysteriously kept changing colors.
As you can see, it was shocking to behold.

And here we are outside. I am on the far left, in the dip of the wire tunnel. We had just come from this precariously placed airplane in which we pretended we were on Lost for a hot second.
And here I am about to go down the seven level slide (I keep wanting to type seven layer bar instead. Um, can you tell I am hungry?). I LOVE slides. They are one of the best rides that you can find on this earth, I believe. Especially water slides. This one had no water, but it was still really fun cause it lasted longer than the usual three second slide ride that I'm used to.
And here all of us are, up close and personal in that tunnel.
One thing you can say about a group of dancers is they know how to pose.

We ended the night with finding our way to another section in which there were barrels of candy, much-needed water, and vintage clothes for purchase.

Yeah, this place was nothing if not eclectic.

I selected some sour skittles and a bottle of water and had to be out the door at 1 am, bounty in hand.

St. Louis is truly one of my favorite cities so far; what a great surprise this place is.

Friday, May 22, 2009

alligator wrestling

You'd think that I have a side business of wrestling alligators at night.


In bed.

You know, to make some extra cash to support my edamame habit.

How else would you explain the way I transform a pristine bed like this:
To a rumpled up, disorderly heap of bed linens and exposed mattress like this?

Really, does anybody else sleep like a whirling dervish?

Oh, and if you need an alligator wrestled, you know where to go.

like dislike

Things I Liked About Today (in no particular order):


  • having a 4 hour break between my earlier than normal matinee ending and the time I had to be back at the theater for the half hour call before the second show.
  • eating soul food--fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn, and corn bread--at Sweetie Pies. Oh, and getting another piece of corn bread thrown in for free. Holla.
  • going to Ted Drewes custard shop (which basically tastes just like ice cream) and buying a sundae complete with Reese's peanut butter cup toppings for one dollar and thirty cents. I am not sure that sundaes have been that price since 1805.
  • sorting through my winter clothes to send them home tomorrow. It feels good to lighten your load, especially on the road.
  • trading out the usual two show Sunday for a two show Thursday. This means I get Sunday night off. Boom (don't know if you can tell, but that's a very joyous boom).
  • listening to some live blues at an outdoor bar with friends.
  • watching a shooting star light up the sky right past Brandon's shoulder as we discussed childbirth and what a crazy trip that must be. Both of us can only imagine.
  • getting into the cab to go back to our hotel and immediately asking the St. Louis cab driver if this was a cash cab, while knowing full well that they are only in NYC. The best part? He was such a sport and right away starting flipping the interior lights on and off so that we could all pretend that this was Brandon's and my lucky night (as if the shooting star wasn't an indicator already). Turns out there was no cash involved (well, other than you know, paying the fair), but he told us many interesting facts about the city, which was fun. But not as fun as a cash cab.
  • Lokie the dog escaping out of the dressing room, running down stairs and making a beeline for the stage before finally getting scooped up in the wings and putting a stop to his little operation. That dog almost had his debut in a Broadway tour. I really really wish he had.
Things I Disliked About Today (in no particular order):

  • getting to the theater at 12 noon for a 1 o'clock matinee. Ugh. Way to close to the morning for comfort, if you ask me.
  • the woman in the front row who kept standing up and switching to another chair. Or just hovering. But all around being distracting and awkward.
  • the people in the front row who were sound asleep. SOUND ASLEEP. They make beds for things like that, folks!
  • the guy in the 2ND row with the binoculars. Do you really need to see every pore on our faces?
  • being really full for the second show due to the delicious soul food.
  • eating a cookie that was just okay. Totally NOT worth the calories.
  • the guy at the blues bar who spit right next to me, landing his loogey pretty darn close to my foot. Not cute.
  • Doing two shows. A two show day is really hard. No way around that fact. You do everything the first time with the irrepressible knowledge that you will have to be doing it all over again in just a few hours. Then, when you finally get to enjoy the fact that you are actually doing the show for the last time that day, you are too doggone tired to enjoy it. And your main concentration during the show? How best to maneuver your stance so that your feet hurt the least amount possible. And you spend approximately two hours and five minutes doing just that.
  • realizing anew how many pesky papers infiltrate my life and overwhelm me as I organized my trunk and two suitcases. Why do we have to track all of life with so many little papers?!?!
All in all, not a bad day. I earned my check, ate some delicious food while not breaking the bank to do so, and enjoyed my friends.

But I am so ready to not go back to work till tomorrow night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

legless lizards and lokie

This little dude, Lokie, has been sharing my dressing room this week.And I'd way prefer Lokie over this little dude sharing my dressing room, I must say.
Lokie belongs to one of the cast members and has been busy all week eating my socks, kissing me as much as humanly dogly possible, and altogether being really excited about life in general.


His excitement may be due to the fact that he doesn't have to wear a leotard and stand on the line for a very long time, but that's just a guess.

And that other little dude you saw?

Well he belongs to the St. Louis Zoo which has no admission.

I mean, they don't even ask for a donation.

Even the Museum of Natural History in NYC claims free admission yet, as soon as you walk through those grand doors there is a clearly stated "suggested donation." And if you don't follow through with their suggestion you might as well wait for the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to pay you a visit right after dealing with Scrooge come December.

Yes, you pay the donation more out of sheer embarrassment of not paying it and how that will make you look rather than any sort of philanthropic inclinations; but in the end, money is handed over and the museum is happy and you are looking at very large stuffed animals and sort of wishing they were actually alive.

Same goes for the pygmy village too.

And oh yeah--all your vast plans for Free Things To Do In The City are once again trumped and you figure you might as well completely throw in the towel and take a cab rather than walk back from the museum.

I mean, the day on a budget is already shot anyway, right?

But entrance to the St. Louis Zoo is gotten by nothing so much as a turn of the turnstile and a smile.

And actually, the smile is even optional.

I saw these two guys there and thought they were funny and cute.
They look plenty comfortable and I am not even totally sure the big guy knows about the freeloader on his back.

The strangest thing I saw today was the legless lizard. It looked just like a snake except...off. Before I read the caption (which literally said, Think this is a snake? It's not--I mean, I felt like it was reading my mind!), I was staring at it, wondering if maybe it was a degenerate snake of some kind.

Poor thing. It totally got the short end of the stick. Both sticks, actually. It's a lizard but has no legs so does not have that darting mobility or those sticky fingers which allows them to crawl upside down effortlessly. It's a snake but doesn't bite like one (I think) and lacks the smooth finesse when it comes to crawling or gliding. Plus it's body is a little thicker than a snake's and so is kind of cumbersome.

Actually, the legless lizard reminded me of the song from Miss Saigon, Bui-Doi. There were so many half Vietnamese, half American children born during the Vietnam War and the poor things were not claimed by either country.

It's a moving and beautiful song, and I think these lyrics apply to the plight of the Legless Lizard quite poignantly. Forgive me, but I took some poetic license and changed them just a tad.

These guys hit walls on every side
They don't belong in any place
Their secret they can't hide
Its printed on their face

I never thought I'd plead
For half-breeds from a land that's torn
But then I saw a camp for lizards
Whose crime was being born

They're called Legless Lizards
The dust of life
Concieved in hell
And born in strife
We owe them venom, and the ability to slither -
Or at least the legs they never knew
Because we know
Deep in our hearts
That they are all
Our lizards too

Um, hopefully Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the genius composers/lyricists of Miss Saigon will not kill me.

Fingers crossed.

maybe i should have posted this on mother's day

I am not sure how well I remember childhood memories in comparison to others, but there are certain things that stand out.


I have one friend who swears she remembers looking around in her mother's womb, but I have a hard time believing that. She backs it up by saying she remembers a lot of red, to which I say that there are an endless amount of red things in this world that, believe it or not, aren't the inside of a womb.

Good thing, too.

Anyway, one vivid memory is a certain back to school shopping trip to Kids R Us with my mom. I looked forward to this every year. Seriously, it was like Christmas in August. When talking to my friend about these trips, he asked why in the world I had to go shopping to go "back to school" when school was quite literally in the adjoining rooms of both our living room and dining room.

And pajamas would do for both.

But my mom knew how much I loved shopping and also didn't want to make me feel any more different from the kids who actually went to school than I already did. So every end of summer she would tell me how much I had to spend and we would go to Kids R Us.

And that's when I saw it.

It was lavender and baby blue with a pattern of sheep all over it. Frills covered the neck and the ends of the sleeves. It was everything girl. And the best part about this nightgown?

There was only a stuffed sheep that came with it--identical to the sheep that made up the pattern of the nightgown!!!!

I was sold.

But my mom wasn't.

For some reason she thought that simply because I had resisted every nightgown I had ever encountered up until then, leaving them in the back of my underwear drawer forgotten and neglected, that this would end up there too. She thought that because I was a little tomboy with snaggly bangs that were too short for my forehead, a head full of hair that I barely ever brushed, and except maybe on Sundays, was almost always ripping around in cut-off sweat shorts with an unfortunate strawberry stain in the rear, I wouldn't put on that dainty nightgown every night.

She also seemed to think that I only wanted the nightgown for the stuffed sheep that came with it.

And I was offended.

Of course that wasn't the reason.

I was all of the sudden totally into nightgowns. Purply blue nightgowns. With sheep.

She bought it for me. I happily held onto that sheep all the way home. I introduced it to the bazillion other stuffed animals that covered my bedroom floor were stacked neatly on my shelves, and I loved that sheep.

I don't really remember wearing that nightgown past the first night.

You know, I did wear it. Like once. Just to prove my mom wrong.

And now looking back, she was actually totally right.

Any mom knows best stories you want to share?

Monday, May 18, 2009

they should really teach manners in med school

Yesterday I got our physical therapist fired.


Maybe fired is too harsh, but well, he was definitely told not to come back. And this was directly after I told my stage manager of my experience with him.

It's not hard to see the connection.

See, since I've been having this hip issue (which is feeling wonderfully better today, thank you), I've been going to physical therapy much more than normal. Normal being never, and much more being twice this week.

The first time I went, the woman told me that both my hamstring and hip flexor were firing (don't ask me what, exactly, that means), but that the hamstring seems to be firing the most. Her expert opinion was that I had pulled it and all the other surrounding muscles were reacting to that.

Sounded right.

She got all up in there and massaged me and it was great.

Then I went back the next day, and to my dismay the woman was not there. She was replaced by an older gentleman and his sidekick. The older gentleman was a full-blown doctor, and had the art of pontificating down pat. He had never worked with dancers before which is exactly what every dancer wants to hear from a doctor right before he closes the door behind you.

So, if you want to make a dancer feel uncomfortable and on the brink of death due to her body being unable to function at all, here are some tips I learned from my session yesterday that will help you accomplish just that:

  • State the obvious right away. Tell her she is quite small and act like this is an anomaly. Apparently most dancers are huge, and her slim body is quite suspicious.
  • Jump to the next possible conclusion and ask her if she eats.
  • When she assures you that she does in fact eat, proceed to ask her, Are you...and then make a gagging gesture while sticking your tongue out.
  • When she finally gathers that you are not actually choking and rather, are asking her if she is bulimic and she replies no, ask her if she gets her period.
  • When she says yes, assume that she might mean she has only gotten it once in her entire life and ask her if she gets it every month.
  • Make her lay down on the table and proceed to tsk, tsk, tsk over every little thing that she is asked to do, implying that her body is about to fall apart at the seams and is no better than a rotting piece of meat.
  • Throw around the words stress fracture as often as you possibly can. Scare her real good. They're so much more docile when scared.
  • When she asks you if there is even a slight possibility that it might indeed be a pulled hamstring, answer in such a way that you use many words but make no clear sense. And go back to stress fracture; when in doubt, always go back to that. Make sure it comes through loud and clear.
  • When she informs you that she is a right dominate dancer, meaning that she prefers to turn and kick on the right side, tell her that this is due to her poor training. When she further explains that it is standard for dancers to have a stronger side, much like most people are right-handed or left-handed, quickly shake your head and say, Nooooooo--it's because of your poor training. And that's that.
  • And finally, instead of rubbing out her tight and sore muscles, which is really what she was hoping for anyway, proceed to try and "revolutionize her life" by demonstrating three stretches that she has been doing since she was taking kinderdance. And don't rub one muscle, it's beneath you anyway.
And that's physical therapy at it's finest, folks!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

flying naked

I am in the process of growing my hair out.


I think.

It's still in the very early stages, by which I mean it's still quite short.

The thing that I am going to really miss about short hair, though, is waking up to seeing this
in the mirror.

See, Sonic the Hedgehog is my very favorite video game. Ever. In fact, I thrill to the sound of my nephew, Ollie, asking me to play it with him. I also try not to hog the controller too much, but it physically hurts me inside to see him just skip over a whole cache of coins--or worse a man up! He will sometimes put those little super fast boots on and just fly through the whole stage, ending in record time, sure, but not even giving himself a fighting chance at the bonus level.

I have heard more than once, Jessic, can I play now?

I will say, however, that a term he coined for the game is genius and hilarious. He's my nephew, so what did you expect? When Sonic has not one coin left to his name, having lost them all by some brush with death, and now making it so that the next brush with death will end in actual death unless he can add some coins to his life supply, Ollie calls this flying naked.

His exact words were, Uh-oh Jessic, you're flying naked!

And Lyric (his sister, my niece) and I cracked up.

In fact, that isn't the only time Ollie has mentioned naked and Jessic in the same sentence, sad to say. When he was about three, I was doing the National Tour of the Will Rogers Follies. We were in Naples, and my brother Jason, his wife Darby, and Lyric and Ollie had come down.

Now, we wear some costumes that show some skin in this show, let's be honest. There was one particular number called Jewels for Mrs. Rogers in which all 12 of us ladies paraded around stage dressed in these elaborate gowns covered in Swarovski crystals and looking like a million bucks. In fact, when Will Rogers Follies first opened on Broadway, that scene was the most expensive to date. Anyway, I was the Sapphire, and my gown hung off me in a toga-like drape. The truth of the matter was that I did have a nude unitard on underneath, but to the audience, the skin to dress ratio might have looked a little unbalanced with skin coming out on top.

After the show, we were driving to get some food, me sitting between the kids in the backseat. Darby was asking Ollie what his very favorite part was, and he took some time to ponder his response. Since he was all of three, I wondered if he remembered any of the scenes at all.

Um, turns out he did.

Finally, Ollie blurted out, I liked it when you were naked, Jessic.

Just like that. My little innocent nephew not only thought he saw me naked, but also liked it.

Oh man.

I told Ollie to look at me and explained to him in no uncertain terms that he did not see his Aunt Jessica naked, dancing around on stage. You understand, buddy? I asked, envisioning years and years of therapy for him down the road, unless we got this little misunderstanding cleared up right now.

He nodded, but I couldn't help but notice the faintest little smile playing around his lips.

Of course Jason and Darby thought this was hilarious. And I really can't blame the little guy, like I said a lot of the costumes were designed to make us look pretty close to naked.

But. I. Wasn't. Naked.

Oh, but all that to say that I love Sonic the Hedgehog and don't mind paying homage to him with my hair every once in a while.

And I am really glad that I don't have to ever be flying naked in real life.

Um, or on stage.

holding hands in the dark

I am pretty sure Colt thought I was crying tonight.


The thing is, I wasn't. Not this time, at least.

See, Colt plays Al, my husband in A Chorus Line. And there is a part of the show when three ladies are singing a ballad, At the Ballet. Instead of doing something crazy like give the rest of the cast a break and allow us to go offstage during this trio, we all must stand frozen as statues upstage, in the dark.

Well, that's the goal, anyway.

I don't always stand as still as I should, being a bit of a fidgeter by nature as well as constantly searching for that illusive standing position in which my feet don't hurt in those heels. That has become my own personal holy grail, and I will probably die still searching for it. Either that, or join a tribe of pygmies and go barefoot. Actually at 5'8" the pygmies would not know what to do with me, so that's probably not the way to go.

Anyway, back to At the Ballet.

So I am standing there in the dark, trying not to move too much, but still burrowing my fingers into my fishnet tights because really, the audience just can't see that and honestly, I am the soul of discretion when it comes to the art of sticking one's fingers into one's tights. Mid burrow, I suddenly get something caught in my throat. Maybe it's phlegm. Probably it is. I start sniffing profusely, and maybe my eye itches on top of that because I vaguely remember swiping at it.

Colt notices.

He reaches over, grabs my hand, and whispers, You're gonna be okay. I smile and nod, hoping that he gets it even in the dark, but the point is I don't stop him. I don't tell him that I am not crying because it's a cardinal rule that you don't talk during At the Ballet and to be perfectly frank, I enjoy the comfort.

Because, every once in a while, who doesn't need their hand held and to be told that they are going to be okay? Crying or not, it's a really nice thing. And I am not about to turn it down.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

my area

As it turns out, the muscles around the very top of my right leg have all suddenly gone on strike. Maybe they are unionizing. They might want less shows and more pay, and I'd have to say that isn't the worst idea in the world. But whatever it is, they need to just come out and say what they want so we can get on with our negotiations, because how it stands right now does not work for me.


Not one bit.

I don't find it cool that a tendon in my hip flexor is pulled. As is my adductor, which is basically my inner thigh (why is just typing inner thigh mildly embarrassing?). And not to be outdone by all it's cohort muscles, my hamstring is feeling pulled as well, which is just great. And the dear hardworking, faithful right leg gets all of it, while the left leg is free to move without any pain at all, lucky duck.

Ugh.

So, I went to the physical therapist on Saturday for him to take a look and he was the one who discovered the pulled adductor. You know...sheesh, are you really going to make me say it again? Fine. The inner thigh, if you will. But I hope you won't. Anyway, he did. And by that, I mean that he had to get all up in there and massage it which resulted in more embarrassment for me, since it is very very close to my area.

I call it that because once I was driving in the car with my brother and his friend, Joe, who was behind the wheel. A fly flew right in through the window, promptly smacked it's little body into the windshield and ricochetted right into Joe's crotch, spending it's last few moments there. Joe took in the situation and said with some alarm, A fly just flew into the car and died in my...(at this he scrambled for a suitable word)...area!

And we all lost it.

Not because the unfortunate loss of a fly's life is funny, but because of how Joe referred to his crotch.

Right, so this middle-aged stuffy physical therapist was now massaging my area and it was very weird. Whatever, it was medicinal and I know they do that kind of thing everyday. The difference is that I don't get it massaged by strangers every day--really just Tuesdays and Thursdays--and so telling myself that it is normal for them helps a little but not enough to keep me from remembering that it is absolutely out of the norm for me.

My hip was still hurting today, to the point that walking was painful, so I went to a sports medicine doctor who also happens to be a chiropractor. I was wearing my really tight skinny jeans and so threw a pair of shorts into my purse in order to be able to wear something more appropriate for all of the poking, prodding, and stretching I anticipated.

As soon as I walked into his office, I mentioned that I could change into my shorts and out of my ridiculously skinny jeans and he told me not to bother.

Well, I wish I had bothered, because all of the prodding and stretching and adjusting I endured while still in my tight difficult-to-really-move-in jeans was much more bothersome to me than if I had taken the few seconds to just change into my shorts in the first place.

Okay, maybe it would have taken more than a few seconds to change, considering the skinny jean factor and how you more peel them off than anything else, but still.

The kicker, though, was when he showed me this "revolutionary yoga stretch" that was supposed to work wonders for my hip.

Um, it was a simple lunge. A lunge. You know, the kind I have been doing in jazz class since I was 9 years old. He demonstrated in all of his khaki and loafers glory, complete with his pants riding up and revealing some white scrunched socks and hairy ankles. Then it was my turn. Unbelievably, the revolutionary yoga lunge was really hard to do in my skinny jeans. And even though he kept cajoling me to get down lower in the stretch (which ordinarily would have been absolutely no problem at all), I finally had to just explain to him that I couldn't do it in the jeans.

That it wasn't going to happen.

All this to say, my body hurts.

I am still doing the show, but walking with my butt sticking out a little because that seems to keep my hip from hurting so much. You can only imagine how attractive this looks and feels.

If you don't mind, a prayer thrown in my direction would be great.

Meanwhile, I will be the one with the bag of ice on my area.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

best gateway. ever.

So yeah, we've all heard about it.


You know the Gateway to the West and all that.

But honestly, in person, it's really pretty amazing.
Rising 630 feet above the ground, the Arch overlooks the Mississippi river. And from the top of it, I was very sure that I saw a snake in the water. David told me that I did not, that it looked too much like a branch for his taste. Whatever. I preferred to call it serpentine and the fact that it wasn't moving could have been due to a number of things. Sure, one could have been that it was in fact a branch, but let's not jump to conclusions, people. It could have just been a very lazy snake. Just because I am at times inanimate, and could look like a branch if it is dark and you squint, people don't start doubting my existence. Which is the same courtesy I was trying to afford the snake.

Um, or the branch.
The guard at the entrance to the underbelly of the Arch was quite friendly. I told him I liked his arch and he replied with a thank you, since I did build it and it was hard to miss the twinkle in his eye. He then informed us that the actual designer, Eero Saarinen, came up with the idea by holding each end of a chain and letting the links dangle in between. I guess the inverted arch struck him and voila! you've got the tallest man-made monument in the country.

Once I got over the shocking news that the security guard did not in fact make the Arch, I actually found that whole chain process a little disappointingly simple. I mean, really? Just dangle a chain? Come on, famous Finnish designer whose name I don't even know how to pronounce--I could do that!
No-brainer idea or not, the inside of the Arch is quite fun. Simply put, there are these little pods that travel up to the top. You get inside and start climbing and just for a second it feels like you could be in Star Trek (now that the new movie is so great, Star Trek references are pretty cool. So spread the word.).

And at the top, you see the whole city sprawled out before you and the Mississippi winding it's way around the border. The Arch even shifts with the wind a bit, which is disconcerting until you realize that most likely your time to go will not be in the Gateway to the West.

Because what are the chances?

Afterward we sprawled out in the grass underneath, talking about who wants kids and who doesn't, my wedding (simply because they asked), religion, and being generally stupid when we weren't being serious. The sky was a great blue comfort, the warmth from the sun a kiss. Tonight I did the show with little itchy red marks on my back from the grass, but I didn't mind.
They were worth it after today.

this is why all bathroom doors should have good strong locks

Oh man.


Tonight I was instantly brought back to a certain time and place I'd really rather not remember.
It was summer. Hot and humid all around and I, along with thousands of other people--both national and international--were gathered for a mission's trip. I remember eating en masse every day, the whole lot of us milling about outside and wading through tables and tables of food, with the only option for a beverage being iced tea. I don't know, maybe they had a special at Cosco or something.

The thing about iced tea is that I hate it.

I've always hated it and I always will.

I would toss the stuff into my mouth, trying desperately to bypass my taste buds, but it was not much good. The thing about liquid is that it spreads really quick. That weak and flowery taste would always come back to me, no matter how much I rushed the swallowing process.

But there was one afternoon that is forever branded into my memory.

First you need to know that among all of the young men at this mission's trip, one stood out. He was hot, and not simply because we were in Atlanta. And if that weren't enough, he played the guitar, sang like an angel, and seemed to be a kind and gentle soul. I couldn't say so from first hand experience, necessarily, but I was hoping to be able to at some point.

Because remember? He was hot. Oh yeah, and his name was Christian.

Okay, onto this particular afternoon.

See, I really have to go. Like, badly. And the only option for that kind of relief is a slew of port-a-potties, painted bright blue as if that could help mask what it was, exactly, that they stand for. As if the initial disgust you'd experience at smelling the crap would then turn to delight as you see that the source of the crap smell is painted a lovely shade of blue.

I take a nice big gulp of air as I make my way into the port-a-potty, hoping to avoid breathing altogether once I am actually inside. I am going about my business when to my abject horror and shock I see the door latch slowly start to turn.

I cannot believe it; it honestly feels like the worst thing in the world.

I can't find my voice in time, and I am too busy hovering over the port-a-potty hole and using my hands to keep my pants from pooling down at my ankles to physically stop the door from opening. Once the door reaches midway, I start to scream. Words are too intelligent for the moment, apparently, so instead I choose inarticulate grating screams and end up sounding like a badly done voice over for an American movie playing in Tokyo.

The door, already in the act of opening, finally finishes it's trajectory and swings fully ajar. I am still hovering, holding my pants in place, but am now looking the guitar-playing-sweetly-singing-hottest-guy-there, Christian, right in the face.

And I was wrong before. Earlier when I thought that this was the worst thing in the world, I hadn't yet seen who was on the other side of the door. There was still hope for it to be an elderly lady, an international missionary who didn't even speak my language, or the best scenario, my close friend Christine.

But it was Christian. And now this was the worst thing in the world.

He quickly closes the door. I finish and creep out of the port-a-potty while leaving much of my dignity somewhere inside it's blue walls.

And Christian? We never talk. Not once. We avoid each other for the rest of the summer at all costs. When he happens to come into a room and we meet eyes by chance, I am in the port-a-potty all over again, pants down, hot with shame.

Fast-forward to tonight. I am at a party, held by a friend who is staying at this swanky loft apartment that overlooks St. Louis. I have to go to the bathroom, walk into the room and see that the door doesn't lock, and so walk right back out.

An hour later I still have to go.

I tell two of my friends my dilemma. Explain to them that I really want to go, but unlocked bathroom doors make me feel really uncomfortable. They look at me like I am crazy cakes and tell me to just go. It's just us, they say, referring to the cast, who do you think is going to barge in on you?

Persuaded, I go. I close the door as tightly as it will go, but it is one of those sliding doors that doesn't quite hold fast. I resolve to go as fast as humanly possible and start the process. I am mid-stream, literally, when I hear three knocks and the door slides open.

Slides. Open.

I jump up, start to scream that I am in here! and probably pee on the floor in the process. Thankfully, nobody shows up on the other side of the door and I know exactly who has pulled this little prank.

Once I check the floor for pee, I go back out to the living room. Sure enough, my friend--the same one who had asked me who would ever barge in on me--is cracking up. Ha, ha, ha, just like that. So I tell them. I tell them about the blue port-a-potties; I tell them about Christian, the hot boy that I never did get to know.

Somebody says, Well at least this time it was just Dave. And now we are laughing. I throw in, Yeah, just Dave. Not hot, just a troll. And we laugh even more.

Moral of the story: if somebody opens the door on you while you are going to the bathroom, you can totally call them a troll. Unless he happens to be the hottest guy in Atlanta; then you should probably just avoid him altogether and maybe when a very long time has passed you can send him a post card of a picture of a port-a-potty and write, Wish you were here.

(p.s. I don't think David is a troll)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the 5th amendment

I got home after our opening night show here in St. Louis and opened up my computer to this.
Um.


Yeah, weird, right?

I tentatively asked my roommate Emily if she happened to type a new sticky note on my desktop. When she said no, though, I was not at all surprised.

That isn't really her style.

Honestly, the note had my own dear Drew written all over it.

The fact that it was addressed to Human Owner pretty much sealed the deal.

I called him and he acted like he had no idea what I was referring to.

Well played, Drew Copeland, well played.

When pressed, he finally started laughing and admitted his involvement in the sticky note. However, he will not divulge the details. I told him that if he was in St. Louis and did not stop by to say hi, he was in big trouble.

He pleaded the 5th amendment.
And about that 5th amendment--I remember using it when I was little all the time. I don't think I even knew what the constitution was, let alone how revolutionary it is for a set of ideals written on paper to be powerful and binding enough for us to fight wars and pay taxes together.

Albeit, begrudgingly at times, but still.

I mean, my brothers and I would always keep the 5th amendment card handy in case of a bind.

One of us asks the other if they ate the last cookie?
You plead the fifth.

One brother asks me if I have finally started wearing a bra?

Simple. I plead the fifth.

Honestly, I don't even think we were aware that it was called the fifth amendment, we simply knew that if we ever didn't want to answer a question or wanted to get someone off our back, so to speak, you plead the fifth.

Just like that, plead the fifth, as if we were on trial or something, pleading like that.

And when one of us pulled it out, it was tantamount to pleading parley in Pirates of the Caribbean.

It trumped all.

Did anyone else ever do that? Did any of you guys plead the fifth on a regular basis?

But on to other things.

Something that makes tour chock full of perfect moments is the friendships I have here. Ian is one of those people with whom I am completely comfortable all the time. We have talked about everything--from how much I love Jesus to how he thinks that we will all just exist no more when our time is done on earth to how much we share a love for Jimmy Johns sandwiches and just about everything in between.
We talk about our love for our respective significant others. We talk about being faithful to them. We talk about how much our work gets in the way of our lives sometimes.
We talk about how neither of us have ever gotten high; about how much we love our parents and are grateful to have actual friendships with them. We talk about being dancers, about being skinny; he never thinks he is skinny enough, I wonder if I am too skinny.
I am really glad he's staying till November also.

And John, if you are reading this, don't be jealous; you know I wish you were here, too...;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

flights and nights

I used to thrill to the idea of going to the airport.


Heck, I'd get excited just driving by the Philadelphia airport on I-95, watching those planes take off, imagining all the fun and exciting places I was sure they'd land.

See, airports could mean Florida to see my Mimi. Or picking her up at Christmas time and first of all finding her tiny 4 foot 10 inch self that, more often than not, had gotten lost on the way to baggage claim, and then carrying her floor-length mink coat while trying not to think too much about all of the little animals that might still be alive today if not for the thing in my arms that was heavy and hairy enough to feel like I was being hugged by a gorilla.

Providing, of course, that we actually did find her.

Going through security could mean eventually arriving in England and Whales and getting laughed at for asking for American cheese at a restaurant because apparently that kind of cheese has no market outside of you guessed it, America. So we'd eat British cheese and learn a thing or two about how much more of this world there is to experience than just our own country, as lovely as it can be at times.

Boarding a plane could mean traveling to sunny California, buying a brightly tie-dyed blue and white bathing suit that, to my 8 year old self, was what I had been waiting for my entire life. It was perfection in spandex, meeting both my mom's standards for modesty and my standards for style.

We'd sit on the plane in anticipation, whiling away the hours with games and talking, reading and laughing. It was my brothers and I, my parents, and eventually a little sister and I was happy to go, always, because I was going with my favorite people on earth.

But this has all changed now.

I no longer love airports.

They often make me sad, they often mean good-bye for now, and I often go alone.

They are at worst a lonely trip and at best business as normal with a window seat and a pack of peanuts to make it a little bit better.

Not good, but better.

This is the same with hotels. I used to love their novelty, enjoyed being in a new place, crawling into my as of yet un-slept in bed.

But again, that has changed.

A few weeks ago I was home for one night and Drew, in an effort towards romance, suggested that we stay at a hotel in Philly. I balked. I wanted my red front door, my cats peering at us through the window because they heard the car door slam and knew we were coming home. I wanted a bed that I'd slept in many times before, our bed, with it's familiar smell and blankets that kn0w the shape of our bodies.

I wanted home.

Drew, having not been on tour for the past year of his life, has had a lot of home. I get that, I do. But more than anything else, I wanted home.

And he got that, too.

When I have the luxury of time at home again, I am thinking that airports and hotels might become pretty cool again to me.

But not yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

dance like a fool and when you see something really cute, bite your own teeth.

I am of the opinion that everybody should dance.


I don't mean that everybody should take formal dance lessons, necessarily; and certainly not that, when pressed, everybody should be able to correctly identify the five positions of the feet in ballet or anything like that.

Though, let's face it, that wouldn't hurt. How many times would it have come in handy so far? Come on, be honest--I know in the state of Pennsylvania that it's a prerequisite to driving. It must be. How else did my genius older brother Jason fail to pass the test three times?

It must have come down to ballet positions.

And he just doesn't know his ballet positions.

And I don't mean to brag or anything, but I did pass it on my first try. And yeah, I know ballet.

Anyway.

There is something transcendent about losing yourself to the music. I totally get why so many religions make it a part of their ritual. Dancing is spiritual. It's basic in the sense that it's communion. With each other. With ourselves. It surpasses a need for words, for analyzation and criticism. You just let it happen and suddenly you've forgotten about yourself and it's always really nice to forget that for a moment.

None of us need that kind of awareness all of the time.

Of course, while dancing in a club and your friend suddenly asks you to do some African dance and you pull out what you remember from the one class you took maybe a hundred years ago and show it off, complete with arms flailing wildly, torso hunched over and knees in the air, and suddenly knock your friend's drink out of her hand and into her hair, you become instantly self-aware. Just as she became instantly wet.

At least, uh, that's what I've heard.

And if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose wet. Every time.

Unfortunately, we don't really get that choice, so most of the time I end up self-aware.

Tonight a group of us went to a club and we danced. I loved it. To be real, it does take some time to get past the painfully self-aware stage where at every turn you are wondering if you look stupid. But forging ahead past that is good, because then you just lose yourself to the music and there is nothing like it.

It's stupid. Stupid good, that is.

Shoot, but that is not what I meant to say tonight. So I am going to keep going until I do exactly what John Mayer has told us to do at least a thousand times on the radio (and that's just after listening to the song once) and say what I mean to say, say what I mean to say-a-a...

I got this overwhelming sense of well-being when I read an email from Drew this morning. He wrote me five random things that he loves about me, and once again I just knew.

He gets me.

To be understood, to be loved for who you are--is there anything better?

I am not going to go into exactly what he wrote, but I will mention number 3--

3. The way you stick out your jaw and bite down when you see something cute.

And it's true, I do that. I don't know why, exactly (just like I have no idea why this font on blogger suddenly changed...), but it's something I have to do. I usually get the impulse when it involves animals, my nieces and nephews, or Drew. But when I am overwhelmed by whatever form of cuteness that has presented itself, I set my jaw, tuck my upper teeth behind my lower teeth (effectively giving myself an underbite), and bite down.

I. Just. Have. To.

And funny enough, my mom captured it on film. Well on digital, I guess, since it was with a digital camera, but the point is it's documented.

See, here I am just doing a normal smile, enjoying this adorable puppy, Strider.

But, here I am with the grimacing, bite-down-on-your-own-teeth thing because he is just too cute. I guess the little rope he was tugging on set me over the edge, so to speak.
As you can see, it makes my chin look kind of weird, but I could stop doing it about as easily as I could stop my eyes from being brown. So why even bother trying?

But my question is, am I alone in this? Is there anything you guys do when you are overwhelmed by cuteness? Or overwhelmed by anything for that matter?

If I'm the only weirdo, it's okay.

I just wonder if I am going to have to get some kind of mouth guard for when I actually have babies of my own.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

problem solved

The other night the audience gave us a standing ovation and, jumping up to his feet in the third or fourth row among them, one man drew my attention.


He was wearing one of those surgical masks that has the soothing effect of immediately causing me to wonder who has SARS nearby and well, considering the recent outbreak of Swine Flu, rightly so.

This got me thinking.

You can never be too safe.

And what with my own father's recent illness that landed him in the hospital for a spell, my whole family is practicing vigilance in this fight against sickness.

Though I'd love to work in a completely germ-free environment, the truth is that what I do involves people. Lots of them. Both on stage with me and watching me out front. Yep, thousands of germ-infested people are cooped up in a confined space for hours and I get to partake of it all.

Until now.

The germ party can send out another invitation because I will no longer be attending.

Not anymore, folks. Not when I've got this...
Enough said.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I am not my hair

So I was recently at an Aveda salon and I had a question.


Um, let's say I want to grow out my hair--how exactly do I go about doing that?

The stylist told me that I should wait for a time when I am not in the public eye and am able to wear scarves and hats often.

Does playing Kristine on the National Tour of ACL 8 times a week count as being in the public eye?

It does?

And could Kristine start wearing a hat?

No?

Well then how about a scarf?

No?

What if I gave the scarf a cool seventies vibe, in keeping with the cool seventies vibe of the show?

Still no?

Shoot.

But here's the thing, I kind of want to grow my hair out.

Don't get me wrong, having this short hair and my amazing penchant for bedheadedness has been really fun. I also like the distinction it gives me. And I love not really having to do anything with it for the show--except maybe pat it down if I look too much like a baby chickadee when I walk through the stage door.

But I also miss brushing my hair. Braiding it. I miss the versatility of long hair.

Which is why I actually got my stage manager to agree to let me grow my hair out.

This is pretty big, actually.

When I broached the subject with him, he kept asking me how long I would grow it. I kept saying that I didn't know, but he kept persisting. Finally I had to explain to him that just because I have been given permission to have long hair I wasn't going to come back in the morning with three feet of hair trailing behind me. That it's a bit of a process and does take time.

He said I could stop cutting it this short and we would take it a day at a time.

I am not quite sure what that means, but I take it to mean that I can have long hair again if I want it.

Unless of course it ends up mulleting (yes I just used mullet as a verb) and he ends up telling me to cut it. Which could happen.

And I am well aware of the fact that on a list of Things That Really Matter my hair and it's length is very very nearly the last thing.

Or probably doesn't even make the list at all.

But, what do you guys think? Should I attempt to buck the advice of a hair stylist in the know and grow out my hair while I am super duper in the public eye and could get fired for wearing hats or scarves while in that public eye?

Or should I keep cutting it?...at least for another six months...

I already know what I want to do, but so many people on tour have told me to keep it short that it does give me a few doubts as to whether growing my hair would have some sort of reverse Samson effect on my life.

I mean, seeing that my amazing strength and ability to slay entire armies with nothing so much as a donkey's jawbone is basically my claim to fame, I'd totally be bummed if I lost it.