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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

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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…)

 

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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…)