February 14, 2012

Ok! Here I am! Things have finally calmed down enough to write up a blog to share with you all the craziness that has occurred! ;-)

So I was doing On a Clear Day and we were preparing to close. A show that closed too soon. I really did have a great time over there and I enjoyed the show so much. Everyone was terrific and I'm still sad at the fact that I never got to perform as "Melinda."  I would have loved to have had my shot at that great role. But I had fun rehearsing and a great time with all my pals on the 7th floor. I made some great friends and am grateful for the experience.

On our last Saturday at OACD I get a call from my agent asking if I'd be interested in replacing Jessica Phillips over at Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It came as a bit of a surprise because I had been in to audition for Priscilla numerous times before it came to Broadway, but it was for a Diva. I never read for Marion which is what Jessica played, so I was surprised by the call but excited at the prospect...especially since I was about to be unemployed by Monday.  I mean, who doesn't want to get a gig without having to audition again. ;-)  So I say yes, definitely interested and he says ok...I'll get back to you.

Then Sunday, our last day at OACD I get a call that they are wanting me to go over to the Palace Theatre and try on Jessica's costumes. And that it sounded like if they fit I got the gig. Oh...and that the gig starts tomorrow! (Whaaaa?! ;-) )

So I get a call right before the final show is starting saying they wanted me to come over to the Palace during intermission. I head over and they took my measurements and that was that because  I wasn't able to try on her costumes because she was in the show. Then I head back to my theatre thinking I won't hear anything till tomorrow and sure enough, as I sit down in my seat for the second act, I get a call saying that the costumes fit!! In my agents words "The costumes fit! Just like Cinderella and the glass slipper!"  They want you to start tomorrow at 1:30. Official offer will come in the morning. Oh...and they want you to learn it in a week. (Errrr! Sound of tires screeching in my head and panic sets in. Whhaa!!?? Oh goodness.)  Well...ok, I say. I know myself and I knew that if it was possible I could pull it off. So I enjoyed the last night with my OACD folks and took in all the love and congrats from everyone. Felt pretty great to book another gig on the closing night. An actor always needs a job...so I was a lucky girl!

Monday comes and we settle the offer and I head to work. No rest for the weary! ;-) The whole thing was such a surreal whirlwind. I rehearsed all day then watched the show for the first time that night. It's such a blast! I had never seen it before so I really didn't know what I was getting into except that it was a lot of Aussie accent, disco music and drag queens. But I was pleasantly surprised by the great time I had. And such fun to watch some of my friends up there peforming, as I knew Will Swenson from my BKLYN days and I knew Jessica Phillips who I was replacing as well. So it was good fun to see them perform.

The week continued and I'm not gonna lie, come Wednesday/Thursday I was having some serious breakdowns. I just wasn't sure I could pull it off. Although I'm cast as Marion, which is a small role,  the track also does A LOT of other things. Among them dancing in many ensemble numbers and appearing as Elvis, a cowgirl, a sleezy bar girl, a paintbrush, a gumby dancer and a hillbilly. So there was a lot more to learn than just my four Marion scenes. Had that been the gig it would have been cake!.....but it was all the ensemble stuff that was freaking me out. My head was exploding and on top of the dance numbers, I also double all the singing of the Diva's on stage....so total we are talking like 25 songs to learn in a week along with all the dancing. Panic!!!

So I crammed and crammed. Bless my husband Rob who put up with me that week. Tending to me and getting me anything I needed. It was all about me and my work and I really realized what a zone I get into. When I'm working and need to learn something it is ALL about that. No time for much else...let alone food or drink. ;-)  So thanks to Rob I didn't starve cause I would have totally forgotten to eat I'm sure.

The week flew by and Monday was approaching fast. They weren't sure they would have costumes for me by then. The costume and hair dept was working overtime trying to get all my stuff ready. And my brain just wasn't retaining everything I wanted either...especially those damn paintbrushes! (come see the show and you will know what I'm talking about ;-) )  But I was lucky to have the support of the great team over at Priscilla. The cast was so supportive and welcoming and the stage management team was awesome! They made it clear that there was no pressure to do everything Monday. I would do Marion for sure then what ever else I was comfortable with.

Then Monday came (so much sooner than I ever could have imagined! And I was still living in surreal land too by the way. This whole whirlwind tour of learning this thing was baffling that it was happening so fast!  Wasn't I just in OACD??!!  ;-) )  So my put-in was scheduled for Monday (a put-in is where the entire cast is called in so that you can do your show in costume with all your changes and timing and with bodies) and magically Sunday I realized I might be able to actually do everything. I had met with a dialect coach which eased my nerves about learning the Aussie accent so fast. So I felt solid with that. And the paintbrushes...which were the bain of my existence there for a while....seemed to finally be sticking. Now I just needed to do it with the costume and make sure I didn't knock anyone over. (once again...come see the show and you will def know what I'm referring to ;-) )

So I did the put-in and made it thru the entire show without any major snags so that meant.... game on! In just a couple hours I would be making my debut as Marion, etc having learned it in one week. I was terrified and excited all at once. So grateful for it all and just didn't want to screw anything up! ;-)

The show went great. I'm a perfectionist...and it wasn't perfect, but I also knew I couldn't expect that. I was in my head for sure, very focused to just get thru it and not knock anyone over, forget any lines or miss an entrance. And all went well with that thank god! ;-)  Now I am a week in and I am finally starting to settle a bit. When you cram something that hard down your throat it takes some time to settle in you because it's still just short term memory learning, so it doesn't really stick with you until you get it in your body. So I am happy to say that now I'm a bit more relaxed and enjoying myself more.

So that's the whirlwind tale of me joining Priscilla. ;-)  Hope you can come see the show! I'm so happy and grateful to be performing on Broadway every night. This is my first time on Broadway where I get to work every night and have my own role all to myself. So I'm a very happy girl!!! Cheers to blessings and hard work and I hope to see you all at Priscilla soon at The Palace Theatre!!

LoVe!! ;-)