What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Summer of Love and Muskets October 1, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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When I was in third grade, I had a crush on a boy. A beautiful boy with dark, shining hair.  It was like living an elementary school version of The Last of the Mohicans, only I don’t think he liked me back, and I’m not sure if he had any Native American blood at all. But it didn’t matter, he was perfect to my third grade self. His family always went to the Revolutionary War reenactments that are oh so popular in upstate New York.

He would run through the field in his homespun knickers, looking like perfection in gun powder chic. And when my mother decided we were going to be reenactors, too, I was thrilled. Now I could see my black-haired love outside of the florescent lights of school. I could spend every weekend running barefoot through the battle fields. It was love like I hadn’t felt since I found out Worf’s son Alexander was just a little boy in makeup. (more…)


The Time Transvestite September 29, 2014

Growing up in my mother’s inn was quite the experience. Having a hundred people coming in and out of your home every weekend to participate in costumed Victorian tea programs is not a part of the usual childhood.

My mother has been referred to before as a time transvestite — a person from one time dressing up in clothes from another era. I mean, unless you are the Doctor, and if you are, please come and take me on a nice quiet trip someplace lovely and have me back before tomorrow’s performance, you have to pretend to be in another time if you want to try and experience it. (more…)


An O’Russell Always Pays Her Debts September 27, 2014

I always hear about all my friends having problems with their student loan companies. Some of the problems are their own fault. If you don’t pay, they comin’ after you. And some are problems with the companies themselves. Not being able to get a hold of customer service, unachievable payment plans, and complicated billing systems that make it nigh on impossible to figure out what you owe.

I could go on a rant about the ridiculous price of a college education and the offensive nature of student loan interest rates versus corporate interest rates. But I was a dance major, not a finance major (if that’s even a thing), and this blog isn’t for that sort of thing anyway. (more…)


A Note from the Beyond (Or I’ve Lost my Mind in Tech Week) September 24, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Dear Readers,

I am lost in such a haze of sequins and feathers, I can only assume I am in heaven. I didn’t think my feet would throb like this in heaven, but I also hadn’t counted on tap dancing in fishnets, either. There are stage lights here, and someone tells me when I have a half-hour left before I need to be on stage. But time travels strangely here. A half-hour seems to be no time at all.

I think I may be being punished for my sins in life while I wear the heavenly wig. I keep getting things thrown at me. Like giant silver pans. And I keep being asked to dance on golden chairs. I wonder if the golden chair is a test to see if I am worthy to sit at the round table with King Arthur. Or perhaps I am being prepared for a new version of the last supper, this time with tap shoes and better costumes.

I have been granted wings of great feathers for my head, but none for my arms. Perhaps heaven has had budget cuts and angels are now only permitted one wing. I hope I can learn to fly with my giant sparkly headdress. But for now, I will hope to not be kicked in the face or fall into the music pit, which is hell.

Wish me well, dear readers, as I continue to struggle toward the heaven that is a clean and beautiful show.

Kisses from tech week,


Peep Show (Or Fake Boobies, Coincidence, and Chocolate) – PG 13 September 23, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was on the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof, we had a stopover in Las Vegas. I know what you’re thinking. They let a bunch of actors just run around Vegas? And the answer is, yes. It was one short day in the neon city.

Naturally, I wanted to do the Bellagio Fountain Show and the Aquarium. We went to see Cirque du Soleil Zoomanity and ate Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate more times than I am proud to be capable of in a twenty-four hour period. What can I say? There was a walkup, outdoor counter, and I am weak.

We were having a grand old time and headed over to meet with some cast members for a friend’s birthday dinner. After people had started to disperse, one of the girls got a call. Her boyfriend was Ice T’s makeup artist on Law and Order, and he had asked Ice T to ask his wife Coco if she could get our friend tickets to see her in Peep Show. Our friend now had four tickets! It was one of those situations of being in the right place at the right time. She had four tickets. There were four of us left. We were going to see Coco’s boobies! (more…)


Tipping and Tap Shoes September 20, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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For the past year, I’ve been saying I wanted to do a show with sequins and tap shoes, and by George have I found one. After seven days of rehearsal, we are about to leap into tech week for Crazy for You, a wonderful show with mistaken identities, Gershwin music, and above all, showgirls.

I’ve done a few shows before where I’ve been a “showgirl.” The Producers is a great example. But I’ve never done a show like this. I have head dresses and a backpack. And no, I don’t mean a school bag. I mean a giant costume piece so large it has to be attached to me by shoulder straps. It’s all very… Vegas.

I’ve always been moderately tempted to go to Vegas and try to be a showgirl. It is, after all, on my bucket list to do a show with pasties. (more…)


Lessons Learned September 17, 2014

Today is the last day to preorder The Tethering! Dear Lord, I can’t believe I made it.

This has been one of the most stressful months of my life! And here are a few important lessons I learned.

When you tell people you wrote a book  that is going to be published, you’ll get, in my experience, some strange reactions.

Disinterest — “Oh. Well, did you hear that so-and-so had a baby.”

The listener wanting to join — “Oh really? I wrote a short story when I was four. It was about a mouse. I think I might rework it and have it published.” (more…)



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