lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Varied Penguin October 16, 2018

Life is full of variation. A life in the theatre is no different.

For those of you who don’t know, performing is my day job. Super weird, I know, but being on stage is how I make money to eat and pay for health insurance. I love performing, and I would never give it up.

Right now, I’m performing in an awesome production of 42nd Street, which is a total dream show for me. Aside from the tap shoes and sparkles, I get to tell a story about theatre eight times a week, which is really amazing.

42nd Street Musical Costumes

Also, because money is a good thing, I’m in a children’s production of Madagascar. Where I play a penguin, and a lemur, and sing about steak.

Penguins of Madagascar Live on Stage

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In Re the Rut October 12, 2018

I’m not good at being in between projects. I lose track of productivity and get less done than when I’m horribly overworked.

I sent two manuscripts to my agent, sent a proof to my publisher, rehearsed and opened a massive show, and am about to open a second show, and I have no idea what writing project to work on next.

I have things I could do but nothing that anyone is asking me to do. There is no deadline. I have no tether to my time. I don’t know when the last time was that I didn’t have some author thing I had to be working on with every spare moment.

I’ve been on a book binge. If you haven’t read Throne of Glass, I highly recommend the series. It’s been keeping me up reading way too late at night and helping fill the void where work should be.

I’m working on the script for another Children’s show, and the first is being rehearsed for its very first production, which is super exciting!

So I guess that’s what I’ll do, dive into the script and lyrics and see where that goes. Maybe edit a new short story to give away to my mailing list subscribers from my author site. Maybe… I have no idea.

I’ll find a project to hold my focus soon.

Or binge read every book in Barnes and Noble. One or the other.

 

I Don’t Have Any Jello October 5, 2018

When I was in second grade, my elementary school decided to try an “Adopt a Grandparent” program. Basically, once every few weeks we’d go to the retirement home and hang out with our assigned resident.

It wasn’t so bad. I had a nice old lady, we’ll call her Mabel, who liked to play board games and fed me Jello. I missed a lot of school that year because I had chronic strep, and I ended up skipping one of the grandparent days. The time came for our next trip to the old folks’ home, and I was pretty psyched to see Mabel after so long. Mostly, I wanted to not be in school and eat Jello, but whatever.

My class arrived at the nursing home, and the adopted grandparents all came to collect the kids, and no one came for me. (more…)

 

A Musical Problem October 2, 2018

I try not to get political on this blog. There are different, more productive platforms for that type of thing.

But with the mess currently happening in D.C. and the show I’m currently performing in, I had a thought.

I’m all about women’s rights, clearly. Me Too has done a huge service for our nation and for the world. Women are becoming stronger and more defiant all the time. The age of women being used as physical toys is coming to an end. But I’m performing in 42nd St, a show in which a director kisses an actor to teach her how to… act, and women are literally placed on a pedestal.

Funny Girl the Musical

Pardon me while I stand on my pedestal.

That is by far not the most problematic scene in musical theatre. South Pacific is just…whoa dude, not really okay at all. Let’s take this young girl who doesn’t speak the same language as the man and have sex with her on the floor—not great choices there, buddy. And that relationship is romanticized. (more…)

 

Nine Billion! September 28, 2018

Sometimes, people suck. And–I’m sorry if this offends anyone–I find that rich people usually suck the worst.

A spent a while this summer being in charge of music for a cute little venue. We’d have live acts come through, and on the breaks between sets, I’d turn on the approved Pandora station. Patrons would drift in and out during the evening, and I rarely had more interaction than answering what time the live music would begin again.

Except this one group of really awesome people.

It was a chilly-ish evening with a hint of a drizzle. Since I was using my phone to run sound, I was hidden beneath my umbrella, and this group came up and told me I should give them my umbrella.

I swallowed my first reaction of “What?! No!” and very calmly said, “I’m sorry, but I need the umbrella to protect the electronic that runs the sound.”

They glared at me, moved to a fire pit, and proceeded to pull booze out of every pocket they had. From their behavior, I think they had already had plenty to drink, but I was in charge of sound not sobriety, so I just kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t light themselves on fire and went about my business. (more…)

 

Achievement Unlocked September 25, 2018

We all have dreams. Publishing a book, going to Paris… getting to see a bear up close in the wild. And sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we get to live out those dreams.

I won the bucket list lottery in Homer, Alaska.

View of Homer from Kachemak Bay State Park
I’ve seen bears in Denali National Park before. I’ve seen them pretty close from inside the bus and have stumbled upon a few in closer quarters while hiking. But I’ve always been a few hundred yards away.

Sidebar: A few hundred yards is as close as you should ever be to a bear. Even that distance can spook the bear, and then there’s bluff charges and the potential for pain and (very rarely) death. Bears are, in fact, wild animals that could eat your face and should be respected and treated as such.

But I’ve heard so many stories about hikers rounding a bend and there being a giant bear up ahead, and I’ve always felt a little left out. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours hiking in bear country and I’ve never had an “Oops, sorry Mr. Bear, I didn’t mean to scare you” experience. Probably because I follow the rules and do everything the park rangers say you should, but still, if everyone else gets to be sleeping in their hammock and wake up to a bear strolling by, why can’t I?

When the husband and I went to Homer, I said I wanted to see a black bear. My husband said, “No.” But after much debating, we ended up taking a boat out to Kachemak Bay State Park. (more…)

 

A Touch of Panic September 14, 2018

I spent October of last year through April of this year living on a tour bus. My whole life revolved around when I was supposed to get on the bus to drive to the next city, venue, or airport. And I made it. Every time.

I went straight from traveling with tour to adventuring in Europe. First week of international travel went totally well, and then it was time for Crete.

A tiny backstory: When I had planned the trip, I wanted to spend two days on Crete to give the husband and myself maximum possibility of fair weather to hike the Samaria Gorge. About a month before we flew to Greece, I got an email saying our flight from Crete to Venice had been canceled. What they really meant was there would be no more flights out of Crete to anywhere ever again. I don’t know if the airport was being condemned or there was a strike planned, but we had to fly out a day early on the last flight that would be leaving the island.

Back to how on time and responsible the husband and I are.

We managed to hike the Samaria Gorge and have a wonderful dinner and then went to sleep. The husband (I swear, I really do love him) set the alarm for like 4:45 in the morning.

We went to bed and woke up at 5:05. (more…)