lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

My Bio October 23, 2018

As an actor and author, I have to write a lot of bios.

Some, like for kid’s shows, are super easy.

Megan is thrilled to be on stage again. Her favorite animal is the narwhal, and her favorite food is ice cream.

Then there’s normal show bios where you have like two-hundred words to sound impressive so you go for:

Megan is thrilled to be a part of shmanky schmoo production. Previous credits include: Blah, blah, blah, blah. Am I impressive yet? Blah, blah. Love to my husband.

But the real kicker is the author bio. Sometimes you have about one-hundred words, so all you can do is list your books and say who your agent is and you’re done.

But sometimes they want you to fill a whole page so the reader can really get to know you. This, my friends, is dangerous. It’s all about balancing honesty with interest.

I’m going to list my books, that’s a given. I’ll put in a tagline about my work as a playwright and lyricist. I’ll probably toss in a bit about being a professional performer because, for some reason, people think that’s super cool and glamorous. (I agree with the cool, but the glamorous is a lie performers like to keep up. Really we’re just sweaty messes wondering when our costumes can be washed and where the nearest ice pack is, but whatever. It’s nice to believe that fake eyelashes and sequins really do make us fancy.) (more…)

 

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

(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…)

 

Post Bus Life June 26, 2018

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I’ve been off the road and back from my adventure for almost three weeks.

That’s a really long time to be sleeping in the same bed, which is a really weird thing to say. I’m getting back into the swing of life with Oz 5000 open and life moving forward on the literary front. But I have noticed a few things that are super weird since getting off the bus.

Food. Fridges are a miraculous thing! You can put so much food in them, and when you come back the next day, you still have food! It’s amazing.

Also fantastic: having a washer and dryer in your house. I can have clean underwear whenever I want! What a thrill! (more…)

 

Of Bus and Mud April 6, 2018

I was lucky enough to go on a walk on a sunny morning in London, Ontario. The walk was muddy, winding, and there was a moment about an hour in when we weren’t really sure if we knew where we were or if we would make it back to the tour bus in time.

That’s the thing about being on a national tour of a show. Your time is never your own. Everything you do is dictated by the next bus call. Getting up in the morning to get to the bus, using your two precious hours at the hotel before you have to get back on the bus, hurrying after the show to make it back to the bus to get back to the hotel to start the process all over again. You start considering time as only the length between you and your next bus call. There’s not room for much else.

There was a moment when the husband and I were sinking in the mud where I sincerely asked if we were going to make it back in time for pending bus call. His response, “I think so?” (more…)

 

Attack of the Pretty People March 27, 2017

I have a fear of makeup stores. Yes, I’ve worked in makeup before. Yes, I wear a pound-and-a-half of makeup for shows eight (or more) times a week. Yes, it’s just a store and I shouldn’t fear human interaction. But I can’t help it; I’m terrified of makeup stores.

There’s something about walking into the bright lights that show every flaw in your pores, and then the heads of the pretty people in black swivel toward you like they can scent easy prey. They descend like hyenas, telling you how they can fix the bags under your eyes, or the wrinkles you’ve never even noticed on your forehead, and you just want to scream, “All I need is eyeliner!”

I needed white shimmer eyeshadow for a show a few months ago, and I put off finding any for weeks. The concept of facing the black-clad pretty people was too much for me. Lucky for me I have a friend who is an awesome professional makeup artist. Really, she’s amazing, and you need to see her work. So I asked her to tell me what to ask the pretty people for. She laughed and said she could do me one better; all I had to do was go into the tiny Bare Minerals specialty store and ask for snowflake. So I did.

I walked right into that tiny store, and when a lady who looked like an elf asked me what I wanted, I said, “Snowflake!” a little too loudly to be considered socially acceptable. She asked if I wanted anything else and I said, “Just snowflake!”

And she put it in a bag, and I gave her money and got to leave. It was like a freakin’ miracle!

But then I broke my blush and my dark eyeshadow last week! (more…)

 

The Trouble with Trampolines March 22, 2017

Once upon a time when I was a bright-eyed youth, I worked for a summer stock theatre that performed all their shows in the round. For non-theatre folks, that means that the audience is on all four sides of the stage. We did somewhere around seven shows in twelve weeks or something crazy like that, and one of the shows was the musical Swing!

I love Swing! It’s a great show. Just a bunch of happy, dancing frivolity. I will say it’s an ambitious endeavor for a summer stock. That many dance numbers to put together in a two-week rehearsal process with the entire cast currently performing another show? Not really the ideal situation.

But it was fine. Nobody died. (A few close calls, but we all survived.) And in all this super intense work, they even decided to do a trampoline number.

It was a normal swing number, except we were bouncing off our trampolines and throwing ourselves at our dance partners. It was pretty terrifying. (more…)