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…)


Childhood Change April 16, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Growing up, I had godparents. I mean, we weren’t really close to them, and I didn’t really know them. They were who my parents chose before I was even born. I don’t know if my parents ever sat me down to tell us or if my sister and I just sort of absorbed the information the way kids do, but we always knew that if something happened to our parents, we would be sent to live with our godparents.

Duh duh duh!

It was terrifying. Not because they were mean or because we were afraid they would starve us. No. We were scared because they didn’t believe in Santa. That and their youngest child was psychotic. Like truly. I think there was something wrong with her. She stayed at our house for a sleepover once, and only once. Why? Because halfway through the night, she started calling the doorknobs mommy and daddy and was having full conversations for them. We had to go get her mom, who was also staying at the house, to make her stop. It was a bad night for everyone.

But back to the Santa business. (more…)


The Magic of Christmas December 22, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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My family doesn’t have many traditions for Christmas. We haven’t spent the holidays with extended family since I was a very little girl. But each year, we would watch the The Muppet Christmas Carol, and we would listen to The Muppets and John Denver, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers Christmas albums. When the tree was decorated and we shut off the lights to see it for the first time, we would all sing O Christmas Tree and sway like Whos in Whoville. Of course, the only words we knew were “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,” so we would just sing those over and over again.

We ate blueberry muffins my mother made fresh in the morning and took turns passing out presents while wearing the Santa hat.

But I think my very favorite tradition was sneaking down the stairs to see if Santa had come. (more…)


The Actor’s Budget Christmas December 10, 2014

I love Christmas! I love the lists and the carols. I love Santa and the Muppets doing Charles Dickens. I love it all.

This year, my husband took me to Disney to celebrate Christmas. Since we are going to be working all day on the 25th, we kicked off the season early. We saw fireworks, met Father Christmas, (more…)


And Then the Track Broke December 18, 2013

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I once performed in a Christmas show. Well, really I’ve done lots of Christmas shows, but this was the campiest by far. The show was written specifically for one time use by this theatre. It was a story about how home is the most important place on Christmas. It was filled with all the standard Christmas songs, lots of happiness, and love. It snowed at the end, and Santa saved the day. Everything you need in a home grown Christmas show. Unfortunately, the set was cursed. (more…)


The Bus to Bentleyville November 30, 2013

As an actor, you miss a lot of holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover, whatever you celebrate, you don’t always get to be with family. You miss birthdays, weddings, and funerals. It’s hard on you and on your muggle(non-actor) family. But sometimes the stars align and wonderful things find you on the road. The world gives you your own special Christmas miracle to prove that Christmas can happen anywhere. Even on a bus.

Last year, my husband and I spent a long time living on a bus working with the Fiddler on the Roof National Tour. (more…)