What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Fall from Grace March 28, 2015

Once upon a time, there was a production of Jesus Christ Super Star that was having a very hard tech week. The biggest problem they had was the cross. Somehow, in all the time they spent building the set, they never really figured out how to balance the cross. So during dress rehearsal when Jesus climbed up onto the cross, it fell over sideways.

Unfortunately, Jesus was strapped to the cross, so he went down with it.

The Tech Director was called in and “fixed” the cross. So at preview when Jesus climbed up on the cross, it fell backwards (’cause that’s a lot better than sideways). It took the entire first week of the run for them to successfully crucify Jesus.

So whenever you think you’re having a bad day, just picture the poor dude who played Jesus falling sideways with the cross and being stuck like a crucified turtle while the audience laughed awkwardly at his death.

And in other news, I just found out that you can preorder The Siren’s Realm eBook on Amazon! Look, Ma, I’m all grown up!


The Paddle Predicament (Rated PG-13) March 25, 2015

Tech is not only not fun. It is also very dangerous. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please click here and read part one in the my “tech will never be fun” series.

I have a friend whom I love dearly. He is a lovely human being who just so happens to be very accident prone. It got to the point where if you heard something fall back stage at the theatre you would call his name and ask him if he was all right. Only once was it not him who had fallen, and he was moderately insulted that we had all believed him to have been the one to have fallen down the stairs.

One tech in particular he was in a hurry. He was up a ladder working on a set piece with a paddle bit. He needed to reach up and do something not paddle bit related, so he put the screw gun down the front of his pants, paddle bit end first. (more…)


Tech Is Fun (Or Lies My Director Told Me) March 23, 2015

Today begins the first day of tech rehearsal for my current production, and of course the mantra “Tech is fun” went flying through the cast. For those of you not in theatre, Tech rehearsal is when, after days of hard work, the actors forget everything they have ever been told as set pieces come flying at them, headdresses cover their eyes, choreography changes, and their playing space is reduced by half. None of those things are fun.

I understand that the purpose of saying “tech is fun” is to try and make it seem less like a twelve-hour death slog with stage lights. But until they let me carry a glass of wine and a box of cookies on stage, I will never think tech is fun. It’s a necessary evil. It’s a part of my job, but it’s never ever fun.

The worst tech I have ever experienced was when I was an intern at a theatre company. We had giant sliders to hang, and when we went to put them up, we found out they were almost two hundred pounds heavier than they were supposed to be! (more…)


The Underground Era March 21, 2015

My house was built in 1811. It’s a lovely old home that was built by the family that owned the General Store directly next door to the house. In the back of the house, there is an addition that was built in 1879, complete with a trapdoor that leads to a root cellar. The root cellar is a very dark and scary tunnel that winds underneath the new part of the house as a nightmare inducing reminder that the boogey man could be living under your feet.

My mother ran tours of the house as fundraisers for our Girl Scout troop when I was little. It was actually a really great project for the girls. They had to research the Victorian Era, learn lots of facts, and then find a way to translate that information into a fun activity.

One year for some reason my mother didn’t get around to checking all the girls’ facts, and she walked in on one of her senior Girl Scouts giving the following speech: (more…)


The Smell of the Grease Paint. The Roar of the Crowd. March 18, 2015

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 11:02 am
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The smell of the grease paint. The roar of the crowd. It’s the lure that drives actors around the world. Well, maybe not the grease paint. We’ve evolved to BenNye and Clarisonics to clean our faces now. But the principle still remains.

That drive to be under those stage lights and to hear the audience applaud is what keeps us going. When your housing is questionable, your bank account is low, and you don’t know where your next gig is, wanting to get back out onto that stage keeps you going.

I’m one of the strange actors. After a big production number, I don’t really hear the clapping. I hear laughter and applause in the curtain call, sure, but I don’t base everything I feel off of how loud the audience is being. I see people standing for an ovation or picking their nose, but I hardly ever notice how loud the applause actually is.

But there was one exception. (more…)


Book Deals and Thanks March 16, 2015

Tomorrow, preorder for The Siren’s Realm will end! And I cannot possibly express how grateful I am for all of the amazing support my book and I have received! Becoming more a part of the author community has been amazing, and reading the kind words of the reviewers has been a truly humbling experience.

I’m not very good at getting good reviews. I feel like I’m being set on a pedestal that I cannot possibly survive on. I almost fell off a folding chair in rehearsal the other day. Pedestals are really not my thing.

But I am proud of The Siren’s Realm. I am proud of the story I wrote and thrilled that the world will have another chance to get to know Jacob Evans and Emilia Gray. There are even some new characters that are intriguing.

So, if you’d like to read The Siren’s Realm, please preorder here! It’s the best deal you’ll find on the book, and you’ll get my short story The Forgotten Gray for free!

Oh, and great news! The other two books of The Tethering Series just got signed by Silence in the Library. I’m so excited! The Dragon Unbound, book three in the four-book series, will be up for preorder in early 2016.

Thank you all again for listening to me ramble, for indulging my insecurities, and most of all for supporting my books!


The Voices From My Head March 11, 2015

I hate the sound of my speaking voice. I suppose that’s not too uncommon, and it’s not as though there is really anything wrong with the way I speak. I just hate listening to it, which is a problem if you’re an actor and have to submit video auditions. Lucky for me, I have a husband who is willing to edit my videos for me. But still, if I can hear my voice in onstage monitors, it freaks me out. I don’t sound like Fran Drescher or anything, it’s more like a childlike fascinated revulsion of is that really me? (more…)



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