What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Santa Did It May 31, 2019

The condo I’m currently living in as a part of my cast housing is for sale. A few days ago, we had some potential buyers come through. They looked at the banisters, checked the layout, and then on the way out, they decided to ask the husband and I about our jobs at the theatre.

Since the husband and I are both actors, we get people asking about what shows we’re doing and what our lives are like very frequently. We always offer a little tidbit about our current show and how great it is that we get to travel together so often. Usually, we get responses along the lines of you must really love your job or wow, that’s so exciting! This time what we got was a little weird.

The woman told us that she liked theater, murder mysteries in particular, because she had at one point gone to a murder mystery and knew who the killer was. She was very proud of herself because no one else had come close to guessing the killer was, in fact, Santa Claus.

Now, I’m not sure what sort of murder mystery casts Santa Claus as the killer. I hope it was seasonal. If not, I have some serious questions about the sanity of the author. She said everyone in her party was mad at her for accusing Santa Claus of murder. (more…)


The Pregnant Nun January 5, 2017

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 3:30 pm
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I’m weird. If you’ve been to this blog before, I’m sure you’ve realized that. But there’s nothing like spending time with family to remind you just how terribly weird you are.

I got to spend Christmas with my mom and sister this year, which is a rare treat for a performer. My husband was there; my sister’s husband and his parents were there. We were all chatting, and at one point my mom said something like, “Well, I knew you were going to be weird when I made the nun your mother.”

Outside of my family, you would think that was the ravings of a mad woman, but no no, it’s true.

I grew up in an inn, and some of the many things that happened between those brown brick walls were murder mysteries. You’d arrange the group, my mother would mail everyone a character, you’d come to the house, and we’d slowly kill you all off. It was usually a good, family-friendly time.

When I was about four (so my sister was around six), a group was coming in, and the woman who should have turned out to be the killer according to my mother’s grand plan for the evening didn’t show. (more…)


A Brave Move January 21, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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When I was about thirteen, I was bored. As bored as any homeschooled kid from the country could be. I hated sports with a fiery passion, and there were only so many dance classes my mother could fit me in. So she went searching for things to keep me busy and found an audition notice for a murder mystery dinner theatre company.

It said to bring a monologue, but, being thirteen, I didn’t have one prepared. And since the audition was the next day, my mother didn’t have time to haul me to the library to sort through plays to try and find one as we were forced to do in the days before you could Google anything.

I did have a book of Shell Silverstein poetry in my room, so I chose a poem and memorized it. Yep. It’s the truth. I did. I went into the Guild Room, which was draped in crimson tapestries, and did a dramatic enactment of a Shell Silverstein poem. And by George, I booked the gig.

When the director called my mother to offer me the role, he didn’t say how talented I was or how pretty. He said he had never seen someone so brave in an audition.

So maybe in the end it’s not about being the best. Maybe it’s about wanting the job enough to do whatever it takes, even if that means a little humiliation and a lot of moxie.