Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Remarkable Family, In Anyone's Book

Cast & Crew. Yes, we were all in the same show.

Way, way back, one week ago, our sold out run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat came to an end.  I am having trouble accepting this, as I feel like I should be getting ready for a matinee performance right now - eating quickly, dancing around my kitchen, pinning my bangs back so they'll hide under the wigs, & applying pale foundation, obscene amounts of black eyeshadow & dark lipstick to transform myself into my goth character.

 Instead, I'm sitting at my computer, looking through photographs from our 3 months together, in disbelief that there won't be even 1 more show.  No more wrestling with quick costume changes, no more hoping I can get my scarf off, no more constant hugs from children who aren't mine, no more laughing in the green room.

Whether they are photos from the call-back auditions, way back in June,

At the time, they were strangers, every one of them.

time spent rehearsing,

Learning music
Rehearsing Song of the King with our Pharaoh, Andrew
First rehearsal with the fantastic band
Me & my adorable shadow, Mikayla

The handcuffs were a big hit with Kai

 our mall flash mob,

Coming to you in technicolor!

the gorgeous professional shots from our dress rehearsal,

Poor, Poor Joseph

One More Angel in Heaven

That's me!

Close Every Door
Mega-Mix, we conquered you

candid backstage photos,

Melanie's vintage Joseph jean jacket

Luke, Martin & Derrick - our Biker, Movie Director & Rastafarian

Too much colour for this goth.
Todd & Katie, our Joseph & Narrator

 or dimly lit, fuzzy moments from our cast party,

Derrick, Shira, Dan & Matthew

Lara, Madison & Thalia

Me & The Camel.  YES.

they all seem to provoke an odd, strangled laugh that I'm sure is scaring my son in the next room.  It's hard to believe I didn't know any of these people in those first photos.

2 weeks ago I was having mixed feelings about Joseph coming to an end.  Of course I would miss all the people, & being part of such a great show, but I was looking forward to my life getting back to normal.  While this experience has been tons of fun & a fantastic challenge, it has been hard for me to be away from my family more than I ever have before.

I was 21 the last time I was in a musical - after that, the timing never seemed right.  Engagement came soon after my last role - Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
I didn't know it here in rehearsal, but a blond wig + stilettos + a push-up bra = husband!

Next came the house, wedding, a new house, pregnancy, baby, another new was a never-ending stream of commitments that made "doing a musical" seem selfish.  Time flew by, & suddenly I had a 7 year old who had never seen me on a stage.  Something that was such a huge part of my life had been absent for so long, my son had no idea that his Mom had ever been in plays.  I realized that much like waiting for the perfect time to have a baby, there would never be a perfect time to do a show. 

I had to work up a lot of nerve to audition for this...12 years had passed, & I felt more than a little rusty, out of shape, & also, auditions terrify me.  My husband fully supported me, & I am so, so glad that I went out for this.  When I got a part, I was excited...& then my younger brother was cast as well, & aside from everyone telling me how amazing he is all the time, having him there calmed my nerves & made super-shy me way more comfortable & able to be myself.  

My brother, Matthew & his show wife, Melanie - the Geeks
This experience has been special for so many reasons, & one of them was sharing it with my brother, with whom I have always sang, but never on a level like this.  If I wasn't trying to embarrass him, I was bursting with pride.  But everyone else can shut up about how awesome his voice is, despite never being trained, ok?

3 months ago, at our first rehearsal, most of us were strangers, learning names along with our notes & steps.  Now I can't think of a single person involved in Joseph without a fond memory or inside joke springing to mind.  I spent more time with these people than I did with my family - I'm a little annoyed that my son is doing so well in school this year, because I feel like I've been severely slacking on the homework front.  Turns out everything was just fine while I was gone.  Huh.

Paul & I - the Goths
I didn't know if I would be able to pull off the "goth" character.  I am no triple threat - I've always thought of myself as a singer, & I'll try to act, & stumble my way through the dancing.  The idea of being cast as a character so far removed from myself was daunting.  I thought I would be a nondescript wife, singing in the background, doing exactly what the other wives were doing.  Not in this production.  Yet, in this working environment, I was never afraid to try something new.  Despite all my previous musicals, this was honestly the first time I ever felt like an actor.  It was also the first time I felt like I could dance without tripping over my own feet.  The confidence I have gained from sulking around on stage & glaring at audience members has been enormous.  Who knew?

In building this show, we built our own family.  We all made mistakes & helped others fix theirs.  We used our breaks to go over never-ending choreography & difficult harmonies.  We shared our coffee.  We reminded each other about staging, props, costumes...& we bonded over drinks, like any decent family.  We were, in all accounts, a remarkable family, in anyone's book.

1 comment:

Linds said...

This was such a wonderful show, Darryl's sad he missed it. I hope you audition again soon!