Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We've been here for a month? What?

This is my favorite picture of this last week. Possibly of the whole summer.

Is it just me or are the weeks getting shorter? I feel like I JUST posted about Week 4, and now it's the end of Week 5. What? What?

Here are the Highlights of Week 5:

Playing volleyball as a cast on Monday night. I was only there for a short while, but during that time, Kenzie took down the net with her feet because she was doing a celebratory can-can.

Dress rehearsal for "Beauty and the Beast" when David ripped his pants from front to back during the fight with Gaston. The dialogue and song with Belle right before he "died" was more about his pants and the beast's "manhood" than anything in the script.

How Dave Walker's presence is always announced by the entrance of Nantucket, Dave's adorable little teacup Maltese poodle. Nan has become the cast buddy, and is cuddled and handed around throughout rehearsal most days. (Her and baby Charlie both.) One day while rehearsing "Tradition," Jerry was holding her. He's supposed to give Jacob S a "kopek" (a coin), but since he was holding Nan, she just became the "kopek." Jerry handed her to Jacob S, and Jacob just held her up in the air with one hand while doing the rest of the choreography.

OPENING WEEKEND!!! It was so awesome. There were several short moments of panic, but it was a strong opening. There were also several moments of AWESOME.

1. When Joe was dressed as a wolf (which is terrifying...red glowing eyes and glow-in-the-dark painted teeth and claws), and remembered that it was the birthday of a 5-year-old girl in the audience. So at the end of the wolf chase scene, he went right up to her and whispered in a low, growly voice, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" (Her psychologist will call us in a few years, I'm sure...)

2. When Jacob S almost dropped Jacob C as he was carrying him out of the theatre during an exit. They barely made it out to the lobby before collapsing into a heap. Jacob C said later, "It was in that moment that I knew it was going to be a good show."

3. When Mason's accidentally turned into a Chip N Dale dancer during a musical number. During "Be Our Guest," a lot of the guys just wear these shirt fronts that tie around their waists and velcro around their necks, with jackets over them--it's faster for their costume changes, cheaper, cooler, etc. During the song, the velcro around Mason's neck came apart, and his shirt front fell open to reveal his bare chest beneath his jacket. He did his best to put it back, but it's hard to do while dancing, and wearing gloves.

In other news, we're rehearsing "Fiddler" this week! In less than one month, all three shows will be open. WHAT? Awesome. Here's to another week!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Playmill week 4

So it occurred to me, dear readers, that these posts might not really be interesting to anyone but those at the Playmill. Someone pointed out recently that these posts are essentially just a list of inside jokes. For which I apologize. I want to be inclusive in my blogging.

HOWEVER, my fellow Playmill folks have enjoyed these posts, and I enjoy writing them and having a record, so I was kinda stumped for awhile about whether or not to continue with them.

So here's my conclusion: I will continue these posts, but...I guess, just don't feel obligated to read them if you're not interested? I know that sounds kind of obvious, but sometimes there's this strange sense of obligation in the blog-world...like, "I HAVE to read and comment on this person's blog or they'll think I don't like them." So I'll just clear things up for you and tell you that my feelings won't be hurt if you don't read/comment on these Playmill posts. Or really anything, for that matter. I'll continue to do other blogs as well about other things that might be interesting. (But no guarantees...I don't wanna put that kind of pressure on myself.)

So with that caveat, here are the Highlights of Week Four!

The first rehearsal with Beauty and the Beast costumes. Nobody knew how to move, and there was one memorable moment when we noticed Justin, who plays Cogsworth, with an expression of grim helplessness on his face. His sweatpants had fallen down around his ankles, and because of the nature of his costume, he couldn't do anything about it.

Staying after rehearsal most nights to help with flats. We've got a lot of them to cover before we open next week, so we've developed a system (kind of). The system seems to involve singing and dancing, as well as using glue and staple guns. And there was also a short dance party afterwards most of the time.

Jacob S doing the bottle-dance in "Fiddler"! It's gonna be so awesome. There will actually be a total of three guys bottle-dancing, but Jacob's been practicing with the greatest determination, and he's getting pretty darn good.

Re-arranging our rehearsal schedule so that we could go see "Iron Man 3" at the movie theatre in town. They only show 1 movie at a time, once per day. I enjoyed the movie more than I though I would.

Sunday afternoon at Luke's cabin! Our sound guy, Luke, invited us all over for a BBQ, so we all headed over to eat, talk, cuddle, play, and nap. Luke gave an awesome devotional about music's power to change lives, and the Merrills told us some of the stories about the Playmill changing lives. Afterwards, we headed down to a river where we fed fish some leftover hamburger buns, then we went to a place where we caught (or attempted to catch) fish with our bare hands. Also, Hannah fell on her butt while trying to jump onto a dock.

Mason tearing a hole in the crotch of his pants, and Heidi fixing it. She accidentally left the needle in, which he discovered an hour or so later. While we were out "fishing" (with our bare hands; see above), Mason walked past Stacey and Jacob S and me with his pants COMPLETELY undone, yelling, "Heidi! She left the freaking needle in the crotch! And it's been poking me in the junk! HEIDI!"

Me mishearing what Jacob said he had to go to the store to buy. He sort of mumbled "condiments," but I definitely heard "condoms." Tanner was present for the miscommunication, and the three of us have been joking about it ever since.

How Tanner is our son. He's been sick this last week, so Jacob and I have been extra parental lately. One of these days we're going to wake up to find him in between us in the bed.

This conversation:
Jacob S - "I can't sleep unless I'm on my stomach."
Jerry - "That's funny, because I can't sleep unless I'm your stomach."

Joe G found a giant teddy bear at Luke's cabin, wearing a moose-themed shirt. A few minutes later, we noticed the teddy bear was wearing a different shirt...Joe had switched his own shirt for the moose-themed one.

Mason's prayer at the BBQ. It was a heartfelt and sincere prayer, and he ended it with, "But most of all, Lord, we just want to thank you for Texas. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." And we all had no choice but to say "amen," which he reminded us of for the next half hour or so.

Also, "Beauty and the Beast" opens on Friday. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Last night, I happened to glance over at our bookshelf, and it occurred to me that our current selection of books is a fairly good glimpse into our lives right now. We couldn't bring ALL of our books to West Yellowstone, so Jacob grabbed a handful. Here's what we've got on the shelf:

A Yellowstone National Park guidebook
Audition by Micheal Shurtleff
True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor by David Mamet
No Acting Please by Eric Morris and Joan Hotchkis
Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out by Mick Napier
Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess
Beginning Chess Play
The Green Book
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
A book on Hume
18th Century Philosophy
a copy of The Koran
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
The Oedipus Cycle
Lamp at Midnight by Barrie Stavis
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
1984 by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Dubliners by James Joyce
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Christopher Hitchins' autobiography, Hitch-22
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman

We're liberal theatre and English majors who like philosophy, religion, and feminism. And chess.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Haves and Have Nots

Things You Are Not Allowed to Have During a Summerstock Theatre Season
Illness of any kind, especially if it gives you a lingering cough/headache
A husband with an illness of any kind (Remember how I can't handle it when my husband is sick because it breaks my heart so much?)

Things You Are Allowed to Have During a Summerstock Theatre Season
A sense of humor
Sore muscles
Breakdown(s), if necessary (You gotta get the bad outta your system to let the good back in)
Lots of drinking water
Rainstorms that smell like Oregon
Friends and family
Good Chinese food around the corner
A lot of fun

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Playmill highlights o' week 3

Okay, so some of these things are retro...active? I'm not sure what the right term is, but some of the things on this list haven't necessarily happened during week 3. I just remembered them this week.

Also, I think this is going to become a regular feature on the blog this summer. Maybe not a weekly feature (things can get busy), but definitely a regular feature.


Dinner with Jerry, Jacob Squire, and Jacob husband at Wild West Pizza, after wandering around West Yellowstone for 10 minutes looking for someplace warm and open. The meal involved playing table soccer with my bottle of lactose pills, drawing all over our to-go box, and one long moment of transcendent bliss when we each took our first bite of pizza. (My lactose pills were reduced to crumbs and powder, but I smile every time I open the bottle.)

Mason's reaction to Squire performing "Me" in Beauty and The Beast. The first time he saw it, he threw a water bottle around and kicked a few things while shouting, "You're a freaking MAN! A freaking MAN! Seriously! If I was a girl..."

How Kenzie, our choreographer, uses her legs to express emotion. Or wave.

Jerry saying this: "Forget about the shirt off your back, how about the poop off your floor?!"

Joe Galati accidentally "drinking" 2 pounds of applesauce.

Misha arriving and adding the high soprano parts to all the songs, so that all of us go, "Oh! That's what this song is supposed to sound like!"

Driving to Rigby for baby Charlie's blessing with Mason and Tanner. And that moment when we were passing a semi, and Mason saw another semi in the distance, coming towards us in the opposite lane, and yelled "Ooooohhh shiz!" at the top of his lungs, freaking Tanner out and making Jacob and I laugh.

How Tanner makes car noises when he's speeding up to pass someone.

Taylor snapping a towel onto Justin D's leg so hard that it left a welt, and the noise of the "crack" of towel against leg left our ears ringing for a moment. This was especially impressive because Taylor just learned to snap towels a few minutes previously.

Justin D's insane Korean "chicken fight" game, which involved holding one ankle and hopping around trying to knock each other over. Like this:

And here's another story about Mason not being self-conscious. Jacob and I were at the boys' apartment, and Mason walked out in a towel, saying, "Time to shower." When we reacted with surprise and laughter, he said, "Don't worry, I'm wearing underwear underneath." I laughingly said, "Prove it!" And he did.

Joe Galati saying, "I've always wanted to learn how to juggle, but I've just never had the balls to do it."

The unofficial tradition we've started of Thursday night girl's night. The boys usually go play basketball at the church with the Elder's Quorum, so we girls get together at one of our apartments and talk about everything from what marriage means to addiction recovery.

The night that a moth attacked Taylor, and instead of freaking out like a normal human being, she reacted like a Disney princess. She just smiled at the moth and said, "Well, hello!"

How I saw a fox wandering through town on two separate occasions.

The night that a handful of cast members stayed after rehearsal to help Boyd with flats. It involved successfully aligning two sides of a picture on two separate flats, and also "finger dueling" for the last chicken wrap. Jacob Squire beat everyone, but gave the prize to Jacob Chapman, who ate it "while praising Jacob's name with every bite."

And finally, I sprained my thumb this week. Not too badly, but I've been wearing a splint off and on while it heals. The inconvenience of it was made up for by the fact that I did it because I was laughing and fell off the dressing room counter. I'm still not exactly sure how it all happened...all I know is that I landed on my thumb.

But sprained thumb or no sprained thumb, I'm so glad to be here. I get to do what I love, surrounded by people that I love, in a place that I love. What more could anyone ask for?

Friday, May 10, 2013

In defense of Mean Girls

The movie, not actual girls who are mean.

My friend Carrie calls Mean Girls a “laundry movie”—a movie that her husband’s not crazy about, but that she can watch over and over again. A lot of husbands aren’t crazy about the movie, but there’s a lot of substance underneath those quotable one-liners. I recently watched it with a group of friends, and it got mixed reviews, which is a common reaction, it seems.

And I’m going to defend this movie.

If it’s just not your sense of humor, or you just don’t connect with it, that’s fine. But if you think it’s one of those fluffy teen movies that lacks substance, I will have to disagree with you.

First of all, it’s based on a non-fiction book called Queen Bees and Wannabes, written about female teenage relationships. And guys may not realize this, but everything in Mean Girls is incredibly accurate. Every one of us girls knew a Regina George. She went to our high schools and she personally victimized us. So Mean Girls gets points for accuracy.

Second of all, seeing these complex and insane relationships in film allows us to see them for what they really are—totally messed up. It gives us a guide for what our friendships and relationships should and shouldn’t look like. Sometimes when we’re in them, we’re not sure. But when see them on screen, it gives us a little objectivity.

Third of all, it teaches valuable lessons about identity, friendship, honesty, and kindness. We get to witness Kady’s identity go through several twists and turns. As Kady learns the importance of thinking before she speaks, we do too. As Kady learns that making fun of others won’t stop them from winning, we do too. As Kady learns to speak in kindness and honesty, instead of manipulating them, we do too. As Kady learns that being herself is simpler and more powerful than trying to be popular, we do too.

Disguised beneath Tina Fey’s wit in the script of Mean Girls are the same lessons we learned from Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, and Lambchop’s Sing-Along. But sometimes we forget those lessons in the chaos of teenage-hood. So it’s nice to get a reminder that accounts for the complexity of growing up.

Fourth of all, Mean Girls is funny. But I guess that’s subjective.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Salad Days

Have I mentioned that for this summer, singing, dancing, and acting is my JOB? This is only scratching the surface, but here are some of the highlights from the first two weeks of Jacob and I's summer as Playmill Players. 

When we had a "girl's night" while the boys played basketball, and instead of watching movies and painting our nails, we talked about feral children and serial killers. 

When we were playing a game, and someone got out, and Hannah said, "Out like a LIGHT!" and then the lightbulb almost above her head fell out of the socket and crashed onto the ground. 

How almost everyone in the cast is learning to juggle (for no particular reason). 

How Mason left rehearsal last night with a slightly rolled ankle, a bruised shoulder, a cold sore, and a bloody nose. And kept smiling and doing enthusiastic hitch kicks. 

Watching Jacob learn awesome dances. And watching him be awesome at them. 

Getting to know everyone--strengthening old friendships and building new ones. 

Making baby Charlie smile his 2-month-old gummy little smile. 

Going to Old Faithful at 11 pm, which included almost freezing to death, watching the geyser go off, star gazing, watching an enormous full moon rise, talking about conversion, and in Jacob's case, peeing off the boardwalk surrounding the geyser. 

Half of the cast scraping the paint off the girl's bathroom stalls for hours and hours and hours while the other half of the cast learned music. This process also involved talking, singing, and finally mastering that rhyming game that Brooklyn tried to teach us that we sucked at. 

How Mason TOTALLY peed in front of me and Jacob Squire without a second thought. (Or, as he said at the time, "Squeezed the lemon.")

How I fell onto the ground twice in one day...once on the gravel outside the theatre in an attempt to run after and attack Jerry's car, and once in the theatre in an attempt to run up the stairs. 

The way that at least once a day, I can't stop smiling at the fact that I get to be here with these incredible, talented, hilarious, wonderful people (including my husband), doing what I love.