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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

An Icy Oz December 18, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 2:30 pm
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The first leg of the Wizard of Oz tour is winding down.

It’s been a blast, and we’ve played a ton of great houses like the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

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And the Lexington Opera House in Lexington, KY.

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We had one crazy snow storm day.

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(Please knock on wood right now that we don’t have another…at least not before Christmas Break.)

We’ve also played a few venues that have been a little more interesting… like ice rinks.

I’m not afraid of winter, but I’m not a person who particularly likes being cold. Being a super peppy Ozian while freezing my tatas off is particularly challenging. We’re literally performing on the ice! They lay down panels to cover the ice and build up a platform as our stage. But that temperature that you bundle up to go ice skating in, I’m dancing in that with peep-toe shoes and green fishnets.

Just picture me in a purple wig, snot dripping from my frozen nose, as Dorothy clicks her heels and heads back to Kansas.

My life is nothing if not glamorous.

Icy Megan

At least my monkey costume is really warm.

 

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Decorated Detroit December 4, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 1:30 pm
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In traveling for the Wizard of Oz tour, we get to go to some really great places and some places that…aren’t on the radar for must-visit destinations.

Recently, we visited Detroit. The only things I knew about Detroit were that cars got made there and that the economic slumps hit it very hard. While both those things are true, nobody ever mentioned how awesome Detroit is!

The husband and I wandered out of our hotel, just looking to stretch our legs, and we found a huge amount of outdoor art that led us to a Christmas wonderland!

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They had blow-up igloos with table tennis and hot chocolate, a tent decked out to be a ski lodge, and an ice skating under a giant Christmas tree!

So what did these wise actors do on their precious day off? We went ice skating! (more…)

 

Wireless Worries August 24, 2017

A few years ago, I was working on a show that was a particularly…trying process. Everyone was great. It was just a whole bunch of weird things piled up to the point that we didn’t have the entire cast on stage until the first dress rehearsal.

At the end of the night, the owner of the theatre walked into notes and gave the most rousing and honest speech I have ever heard. “Well kids, we got through the f**ker.”

It may not seem like much, but when you’re fighting to make things work, survival is the most important thing. And if you make it to the other side and no one has quit, died, or spontaneously combusted, it’s a win.

Through a twist of fate, I ended up spending the How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days release day sans wi-fi with barely a 4G connection to spare on my phone.

Did I panic? Only for a minute. (more…)

 

Vanquishing the Judgment Monster July 10, 2017

I would like to take a break from our regularly scheduled tales of wonderment in Ireland to tell you how damned proud of myself I am. No I didn’t land a huge role; no I’m not on the NYT bestseller list; but I did just brush aside unnecessary judgment like it was nothing, and that is a landmark decision.

It wasn’t criticism of anything important even. It was that terrible Mean Girls’ judgment that haunted us all through our teen years. I was just talking about something I liked and was really excited about and JM (judgment monster) decided to make horrible tishing noises like I had just declared eating puppies and throwing babies off buildings were my favorite pastimes. I tried to turn the conversation, which really didn’t involve JM, to another thing I was excited about. Once again, nasty noises like I was a serial killer.

Then I got this horrible twist in my gut. (more…)

 

A Rave Review June 9, 2017

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I wrote the lyrics for a musical! The show is called Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, and it’s currently playing at a really great professional theatre. My husband wrote the music for the show, one of our mentors created the concept and wrote the script, so the whole thing has been an amazing experience. It’s been about two years with the project now, and the coolest thing happened! We got an amazing Broadway World review!

The goal is to shop the show out to other theatres, and that awesome review is a huge stepping stone!

(Pardon me whilst I give the show folk a big ole’ pat on the back.)

The husband and I never really set out to write the music for a show. (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…)