What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Knees VS The Heart March 6, 2018

It’s official. I’m old.

Not that old, but too old to do things like this:


Recently, touring with The Wizard of Oz delivered the husband and me to Saint Louis, and, of course, we had to take a trip to the City Museum.


The place is amazing. It’s like an adult got day drunk, stumbled by a kids’ park, and was like, “Damn. Kids have all the fun. I’m going to build something better where adults can climb stuff. And there’s going to be a bar inside the jungle gyms. No! Multiple bars. Yeah.” (more…)


The Twiggy Tornado August 16, 2016

I’ve slept some very strange places in my day. I slept on the floor of a tour bus for a few months, airports the world over, lean-tos, and even a VW van at a youth hostel. But the worst, or maybe best if you’re searching the annals of your life for new blog material, is the time I built my own shelter out of sticks.

It was an overnight camping trip from my summer camp in Maine that I signed up for specially. In camp we stayed in nice cabins with toilets and showers and all the fancy things in life. But this overnight trip was going to be roughing it. Real hiking, building your own shelter to sleep in, and cooking over a campfire. Out of the whole camp only two girls signed up, but I was super stoked to prove that I was just as outdoorsy as any of those boys.

We left camp in a rickety, fifteen-passenger van that was probably not safe for children to be in and drove out to the wilderness. We found a place to pull off the road and hiked around a bit. I don’t think we were really supposed to be where we were. There we no markers for trails or a sign saying we could camp there. I think we were illegally squatting on someone’s land and the camp hadn’t cared enough to ask the counselors where they were taking us before we left camp.

Once we found our less-than-legal home for the night, the head counselor started teaching us how to build our emergency shelters. You had to use a big stick to make the top, lay smaller sticks against it to make the sides, and finally pack it in with leaves for insulation. A decent concept in an area where there are no deadly bugs or snakes that might have wanted those snuggly warm leaves for their own evening shelter.

We all built shelters and went to make our dinner over the fire. The counselors told us wonderful stories of survival before setting up the tents they were going to sleep in for the night. That’s right. They were going to sleep in tents. And they had graciously brought one extra in case any of us couldn’t hack it for the night.

Of course, all the boys immediately started going on and on about how that would be the girls’ tent ‘cause the two of us wouldn’t be able to make it through the night in our shelters.

That’s when it started to rain. (more…)


On Terrifying Small Children July 25, 2016

I’m not a mean or evil person. At least I like to think I’m a somewhat decent human. But I was asked in a talk back recently if I felt accomplished when I made small children cry.

I’m playing the Wicked Witch right now, and I know more than one tiny human has had to be rushed out of the theatre by a parental unit because my being onstage caused spontaneous freak outs. I’m supposed to be mean and scary, but I don’t want to make small children cry. (more…)


The Burning Witch of Oz June 28, 2016

I think we all know that I’m highly flammable by now. Highly flammable and uncoordinated, which is a terrible combination seeing as I’m rehearsing to play the Wicked Witch of the West this summer.

But I have come before you to argue that my flammability is not entirely my fault! In my defense, I present the story of my most recent kitchen fire.

The story begins with my love of bacon. I didn’t eat pork of any kind for years after seeing the movie Babe, but then one day the husband convince me to try a nibble of fried pig fat. Good lord, my life changed. Bacon is a magical gift from the cosmos, and I will not reject such an amazing treasure. (more…)


The Power of OZ May 23, 2016

The Wizard of Oz has been a strangely important part of my theatrical career. I know, there’s a yellow brick road; it’s not exactly Shakespeare, but still. The Wizard of Oz was the very first show that I was ever in. I was the tiniest munchkin in OZ. At the ripe old age of four-and-a-half, I was still mature enough to be the head munchkin behind my plywood bush. It was my job to make sure the other munchkins popped their little heads up when Glinda sang. That show affirmed that I really did want to be a professional performer. A career goal that never once wavered.

The second time I did the show, I was the tallest munchkin in OZ. Yep, I was twenty-five, and I spent my time skipping in a circle. I was grateful for the job, believe me! But it wasn’t enough to hold my full attention. So, I began writing in earnest, working on a story of a boy waiting in a window that would eventually become The Tethering.

This summer I am returning to OZ, this time as the Wicked Witch of the West! I am super excited to scare small children into peeing their pants. But there are a few things I’m worried about. (more…)