lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

 

Flying With Footwear February 27, 2017

I went to college halfway across the country, so I was always flying back and forth to school. As a dance major, I would always pack a carryon with all my dance shoes and leave less important things like clean underwear to fend for themselves in checked baggage.

It was always fine, and since my checked bags usually arrived three days late, a pretty great system. Until it wasn’t.

I was flying back to school after a summer of theatre and had my tap shoes in my little rolly bag. I popped it up on the conveyor belt and sent it through the X-ray. For the first time in my life, the guy at the end pulled my bag aside, saying there was something suspicious they needed to examine. Fine, whatever. I don’t mind being searched if it keeps people safe.

The man grabbed out my tap shoes and sent them back through the X-ray. They were super fancy tap shoes, so under the tap was a thin layer of metal to create better resonance. But this man didn’t know anything about tap tone quality; he just thought my beloved and expensive shoes were a threat.

He reached under his counter and pulled out a screwdriver to unscrew my taps and check beneath them! (more…)

 

A Working Blog (From Chris) February 21, 2017

Filed under: Marriage Mayhem — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I, Christopher Russell, work too hard. At least, that’s what my mom tells me whenever we talk. And the truth is, I do work a lot. If you really count the number of projects I have going on in any given week, you’ll most likely come up with four or five. I have my acting job, my online job, my serving job, my editing job, and my composing job. Three of these make me happy, and three of these make me money.

Megan and I could live only on our acting salary. We don’t pay rent at all; we paid off our student loans years ago; and we have no dependents. So, why work so much, you ask? Well, for a multitude of reasons.

First of all, Megan and I are both from families that began with very modest incomes. We saw the struggles facing our parents and wanted to work as hard as possible to not be in similar situations. I should explain that our families also worked very hard, but, as I mentioned previously, we’re different in that we have no home or dependents to take care of.

Second, Megan had instilled from her at a very early age that you take the money while you can. This is very similar to our current situation. The serving and online jobs are very temporary, so once they’re gone, we’ll be out a combined total of four sources of income. So we’re working hard now in order to save for when we won’t be able to. Makes sense, right?

Third, and this is probably the biggest reason… we’re addicts. Not drugs or alcohol or anything like that. (more…)

 

An Awkward Kiss February 13, 2017

When I was in college as a dance major, I had to take two semesters of acting. It didn’t bother me. I was totally comfortable with it. I had done plays and Shakespeare before, unlike a lot of the dance majors, so it was a fun class for me. Trying new techniques, doing great scene work, kissing random guys.

Okay, so the kissing bit was weird. And not because I was already dating my now husband at the time. We’re both performers, it sort of comes with the territory. Like taking your clothes off in front of other people, and running around in your underpants for money. The class kissing was weird because not all the kissers were good.

There was this one guy, who was very sweet, and I would feel bad writing about him except, well, who knows they’re a bad kisser? How would he ever figure out I was blogging about his inability to press his lips to another humans in an appealing fashion?

Anyway, he wasn’t like a no-lip, where you can feel the teeth through the skin. He wasn’t even a squelchy pecker who made awkward sounds while attacking chicken-style. He was a face swallower. (more…)

 

A Slithery Situation January 18, 2017

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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Once upon a time we found a rat outside our theatre. It was a harrowing and tragic tale, and we thought that our wildlife encounters were over. But alas, they were not.

The next day, we were on a break. I was sitting in the theatre, hanging out when one of the girls came in to tell the stage manager that there was a little snake that may have gotten into the lobby. Naturally, we all ran to see it.

Sure enough, there was a little black and yellow snake curled up right inside the door. The little bugger had crept through the crack and wanted to make himself at home. The Stage Manager sighed and got ready to get the snake. Unfortunately, none of us were knew if Mr. Snakey Pants was venomous or not.

Note from the Blogger’s husband: This is one of my biggest pet peeves. So many people use so many words interchangeably that are not synonymous. Further and farther, for instance (which have been used incorrectly so many times that they are now accepted as being synonyms). To be clear, something is venomous if it is capable of injecting the poison/venom into you. Something that is poisonous must be either ingested or touched. In short, venomous fangs vs. poisonous skin. That is all.

Since we were between shows, there were some boxes piled right up by the door. Of course that was where the snake darted toward. And not knowing if he was a murdery dude, we couldn’t reach in to get him. The Stage Manager found a broom handle while I grabbed some sheets of Styrofoam and made a snake wall. (more…)

 

A Rocky Rat January 11, 2017

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 6:00 pm
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For the past week, I’ve been working out on an island in southwest Florida. It’s gorgeous, it’s amazing, it has a ton of animals. The island is filled with swampy-type critters and sanctuaries for said critters. And we’ve met a few new… friends.

Our lovely director has a kind heart, and when she was coming into the theatre, she found a tiny critter in destress. Naturally, we had to help this rat. Yep: rat. It was a cute rat, mind you. Walking shakily in circles, not really noticing all of us creeping closer to it. The poor little dude was eating a rock. A rat eating a rock. Naturally, we named him Rocky.

Our young, but incredibly apt, Stage Manager called the island’s animal rescue folks, and they said to load poor Rocky into a box and drive him over.

I wish I could say I was one of the ones putting the disoriented rat into the box, but really I just ran and found a box. (more…)