What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Weighing the Scale April 8, 2015

After being accepted into the dance program of my dreams, I was thrilled! I had won the university lottery! I mean sure, I was a little concerned about the fact that they had put my weight on my acceptance letter (for part one of this blog series where that is explained please click here), but it was a great school.

When it finally came time to move into the freshman girls’ dorm, I was so excited! Yay college! I mean sure, the place had strict rules about male visitors. Only during business hours. Must be accompanied by the person who signed them in at all times. Had to leave ID at the desk and so on. Our dorm mother Mary was a scary trucker-esque lady with the ability to broadcast her voice into your room at two in the morning. And the windows couldn’t open. But hey, it was great!

Then classes started, and the first thing they did was line up the entire dance department and weigh each of us. (more…)


The Weight Problem April 6, 2015

When I went to audition for the college I attended, it was quite the ordeal. And not just because I had to fly cross-country all by myself or because I was auditioning for one of the best schools in the country. The school had arranged for me to stay with two dance majors while I auditioned. My mother and I baked cookies for the girls as a thank you. The looks on their faces should have been enough to warn me away. They looked at my cookies like I had brought demon spawn into their room. Then there was a little bit of moaning before they each took a bite of a cookie and shoved the rest on a high shelf out of sight and easy reach.

The next day was the audition. (more…)


The Leadership in the Leads February 9, 2015

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:32 pm
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All right, folks. It’s time to air my bitter, old chorus girl. I’ve been in a lot of shows. I’ve been on stage a lot of times. I am overwhelmingly grateful for all the shows I have been privileged enough to perform in and all the wonderful actors I have been able to work with. Even the shows that I never, ever want to do again put me where I am today.

But there are some actors I could live without. Surprisingly, it has very little to do with dancers who are bad at partnering or singers who insist on belting every note in a show. It’s the divas. The leads who ruin a production. (more…)


Leaping Leotards! October 18, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I am shaped funny. It’s not that I have bad body image or anything else like that. I just have a funnily shaped body. When I sit down I am extraordinarily tall. Taller than most men who are over six foot. I’m only 5’8”. I have a ridiculously long torso. This causes many problems. Like getting yelled at while watching a ballet because some catty woman in fur thought I was sitting on my heels. “Do you have any idea how much I paid for these tickets!” Probably not as much as you did for the tacky dead animal you’re wearing. And, P.S. I can’t shrink! (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,


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…)


The Sticky Situation June 14, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I don’t want to offend anyone, but most of the patrons for the theatres that I usually work for are old. And I don’t mean planning their retirement party old. I mean Jesus’ waiting room old. If you spend your life working in the theatre, chances are at some point there will be an elderly patron who gets sick or hurt, and the ambulance will come and whisk them away while you tap dance on. (more…)