Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Universe is Mad at Me

I'm 26 years old and my face looks like I have chicken pox.

Seriously, I'm 26.

I should be past chicken pox AND the zits that are covering my face. I'm embarrassed to be out in public

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Star Struck

I have met Hanson twice in my life, and I utterly become a complete embarrassment to human kind.

Once, I drove to Reno from Santa Rosa with a girl I had just met to go to this special concert where you could attend a press release and then get their autograph. This was an event that I thoroughly spent a month preparing. I made them each scarves, and the bag had to be perfect in which I presented the scarves. I also had to have the perfect outfit – an outfit that I was only going to wear once. Turns out I only did wear it once because it got taken when my laundry was stolen. Anyway, I spent weeks preparing for what I was going to say when I shook their hands, and I wanted to make sure that I was not going to act all star stuck and I was going to be NORMAL d –it.

Well, no, that didn’t happen. I shook their hands and I stared at them. I would start to curse myself for blinking, and then I tried to say something funny. Ok, let me rephrase, I tried to say SOMETHING. ANYHTING. I mean I could have said… Hey I love your music. I could have said anything. Nope, I just stared and answered the question, “Hi, what’s your name?” Did I say anything remotely close to I-have-loved-you-since-the-beginning-of-time-and – I-can’t-live-without-you? Nope. Not even close. I’m glad I got my name out, but now I wonder if perhaps I should have used a pseudo name because now I will forever be the girl that stare drooled.

This was a few years ago, so, I figured when the chance came again I would be a little less “star struck”

Yeah, no.

November 2007 they did this “walk” where they walked a mile before the show with people who wanted to join them. So, I decided to go thinking that I would never see them, but at least I would be apart of the event. Oh I was wrong. I didn’t even get time to PREPARE. I got to walk right next to them as if I we were walking together just us. RIGHT NEXT TO THEM.

Did I say anything?
Not even hello.

I even got pushed into Issac, the eldest, and did I say ANYTHING?
Not even hello.

He asked me if I was ok, I nodded. I nodded? Nodded?!?!?!??! I couldn’t say, “hey, yeah sure I’m cool.” No, I become a basket case.

I was SURE that this only applied to Hanson, but alas, I am mistaking! There is another person in the world that makes me act like a complete embarrassment to human kind. Why? I’m not sure, but help me get passed it because this ducking behind corners to avoid you is not working for me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodnight. Sleep well and when you dream, dream of me

Only once have I laid in a pile of my dirty laundry on the bathroom floor and cried for two days straight. That is, until West Side Story closed, and now it has been twice. Ok, ok ok, I didn’t cry into a pile of cloths when the show closed, but I did cry in my closet.

I had two of my worst shows in the history of the run this weekend. I got stuck in the window during the Quintet, and I was a whole beat behind the orchestra. This would normally be “coverable,” if I was singing by myself. Alas, I had all the jet boys, all the shark boys and Anita depending on my to be on the beat. I couldn’t get back on because I was lost and I couldn’t see the musical director. I started to drown in the dark dark waters of “where the hell am I?” Then Tony came in at the right spot instead of following me and rescued me from the dark suffocating waters. WHEW! The 60 seconds that the flub up lasted caused me to be on guard for the entire 2nd Act! Nothing could help me.

Then on Saturday, the acting seemed to just be there without effort. Act 1 felt solid, and Act 2 was falling into all the right places. Until, “A Boy Like That” turned into “A Note Like What?”

I’m serious.

When I got to the part where Anita and I sang together, I made up my own notes and sang whatever. I thought… oh Bernstein, you missed this one, - it should sound like THIS. Ok, that’s not what I thought, but I could not find the right notes. It was horrible. I totally messed u p, and I couldn’t get back. However, Tony was so solid that night I remained in the show. Plus, it was the last thing I sang… so, it didn’t matter.

Sunday’s show was utterly fantastic!! I think that I cried throughout the whole show, and it was just so amazing to be part of just an amazing production that I know will be with me forever. I got to play my dream role. I got to learn a lot about myself, my dreams, my hopes and my aspirations.

I will miss you dearly WSS.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just One More Weekend.

I can feel my heart drop as I type this.

I can't believe I only have three more performances left. I'm trying something new this weekend. I'll tel you all about it on Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tough Times

It’s been a very tough week over here in my neck of the woods. I discovered that my address was listed incorrectly so, I still haven’t received my renewed drivers license. Very upsetting, but I started wondering if the DMV has my parking address wrong then maybe… does… DPT, and sure enough $420 worth of tickets are on my account marked as unpaid, but GOOD THING I CHECKED. I also got into a car accident on Sunday, and my insurance company has to be all involved, even though, it’s a little fender bender. I, also, still have to pay for the crown that I just finished. So, I’m 26 years old and I am in financial ruin.

Yet it could be worse, and in this hellish week for me, I was reminded that real tragedy exists. My financial problems can happily sit for years, but all will still be well. I will be able to pick up the phone and hear the voices of my beloved family. I will still get to walk onto the stage and sing my heart out tomorrow night. The time I have to live this life is so short, and it always seems to take so much energy to REMEMBER. People always say it. People always say it. People always say it, but I still find myself rediscovering the validity of these potent words.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ode to San Francisco

Dear San Francisco,

Why do you hate me? Why do you get my address wrong and send my drivers license to Antarctica? I guess what really gets me is the fact that you never told me that you sent my license to Antarctica; you just kinda did it. You had NO problem finding the right address when you asked me to pay you $28 to get it renewed, but somehow within those 10 days you managed to find a new address to send my license too.

Not only have you made me drive illegally, you've also stolen my keys and then driven my car to places I can't park and then you ticket me. Why did you do that to me? What have I ever done to you San Francisco?


I give you money.. all my money. I do not leave trash in your house. I do not vandalize you. In fact I shower you with love.

Stop hating me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another day in New York

My whirl-windy life is spinning to a close with only one more weekend of West Side Story left. It’s been a gradual withdrawal since we, work work work - open. Then we have a few days off in between the show and the pick-up rehearsal, and then we have days off in between the 2nd weekend and the last. Then I’ll say farewell to my beloved show and cast to start working on the next show which is Patient A.

Patient A will be a small production in SF for one weekend in September. It’s about a 22 year old girl who contracts Aids through her dentist in the 1980s. The last play I did was Crimes of the Heart in ’05, and I decided to do this production because the story really intrigued me. We go into rehearsal August 3rd, and I’m supposed to be memorized by the 25th of August. That is about a month away and I have pages and pages of monologues that I better get cracking on. (sigh) I’ve just been so focused on West Side Story and getting the singing and acting perfect that it’s been hard to think about anything else. I think this week I’m going to start shifting my focus just for a second.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Critics

Every time I write about West Side Story, I think it’s my last post because what MORE could I possible have to say about this d-show.

Don’t you want to see what the critics have to say?

Despite my voice teachers very pointed advice of - DO NOT READ REVIEWS when you are in the show, I could not help it I’m addicted. Given my current self esteem issues, I really should have heeded her advice, but I did not. It’s ok, this is going to “toughen my skin.” I just have to keep repeating that to myself over and over maybe it will sink in.

So far there have been three reviews. One lady loved us, one panned us and one obviously didn’t see it.

Alameda Sun showered the cast with complements, and I was very very very flattered by some of the things she said about me. You can find the full review here, but here is a snipit: “Ingenue Beverley Viljoen as Maria blows the socks off this production with what is the most authentic performance I've ever seen at ACLO (and many other stages);” Very very kind. The reviewer “got” some of the different themes we tried to accomplish in a few of the numbers including the “Somewhere Ballet,” and she seemed to really love the show. Our Riff was mentioned, but I really wish that the reviewer discussed a little more about the absolute talent that came from his performance. My friends and family thought he was show stopping, and I agree with them. Riff and I talked briefly about the review because I expressed my concerns, and he reminded me of something extremely important in our conversation in addition to all the loving praise he unnecessarily poured on to me. :)

To be able to touch at least ONE person in the audience that way was enough is truly a gift. He’s absolutely right, and I’m glad I read this review before I read the 2nd one.

We were reviewed by Insider Bay Area by the lady that everyone has deemed “crazy.” Yet her nasty review was very pointed, and I had to disagree with a lot of what she said. I don’t know maybe it’s because I’m too close to the show and because I’m too close to the cast to really be able to look at it with an objective eye. You tell me. Here’s a snip it: “Any musical company can perform an occasional disappointment.”
“Encinal High School was far better in terms of dancing, drama and character growth.”
Ouch, but then she says, “The major actors turn in exceptional performances.” So, if we are exceptional was Encinal High Broadway bound? It doesn’t matter. I’m mostly upset that she was wrong about the TEAM effort in this show. This show is good because all of the actors push themselves to their personal limits. We’re all in this together, and I think she is wrong about the dances falling flat.

Our third reviewer didn’t go to the show, and I’m not convinced she even got a program. So, it’s not even worth pointing it out to you. She got Riff’s name all wrong, and she congratulated him on his amazing ability in Officer Krupkee. That song is in the 2nd Act, and the Rumble is the end of Act 1. Enough said.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Finally Opened

West Side Story had a seemingly successful opening weekend, despite the mic mishaps, and people greeted me with extreme flattery that I meet with gratitude. I’m starting to come down a little bit from the glory of opening an amazing show which I truly feel privileged to be in this excellent production.

I woke up on Saturday, and I just had to meditate for twenty minutes to remind myself of all the things that tech week jaded for me:

I love love love to do this. I can’t imagine doing anything else, and I’ve worked extremely hard on this production and on this role - EXTREMELY hard. There are singers in this world that will never have the opportunity to sing and act such an incredible role, and I am truly lucky to be here in her shoes playing her role in this destruction of love amongst violence and hate.

Here are my issues: WHO.CARES.WHAT.ANYONE.THINKS. Please, let’s repeat this, WHO.CARES.WHAT.ANYONE.THINKS. This 5 word sentence gets in my own way. I’m so owned by what people think and what people say that I can’t RELAX and it gets in my own way. This reason is probably the number one reason that road blocked me in college because I was so OBSESSED with being perfect, and being RIGHT that I couldn’t enjoy the process of learning all about a new person. All these lessons in college are things I think I have finally learned, but I can’t let go of the negative feels I have towards my experience, which is STILL causing me to get into my own way. I try and think of all the things that will help me deal with this, and I keep debating grad school. Then I think, WHY? Do I want to go to grad school so someone there can tell me that I’m a good actor?

Bottom line: I must find the confidence within myself, otherwise, I’m going to miss out on all the fun.

We got reviewed by the Alameda Sun, and from what I heard the review is good. They don’t update their website daily, so, I haven’t read it yet, but this is an article that they interviewed me for during the rehearsal process.

I gave Maria everything I have inside of me, and that is all I can do. I can’t ask myself to give anything more than my personal best, and if it’s not enough – then it’s not enough, but it’s all I got and I’m happy with it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Squeaks is doing so well..

Yes, I checked to see if she was breathing, and she still likes people thank God.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'll give you the full update

after my family leaves on Wednesday, but I think it went well. The audience seemed to really like it. Here are some shots...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet Squeaks

I’m obsessed with the show. Just two more runs before an audience and I’m starting to let the nerves and anticipation overcome me. I’m drilling my trouble spots in my sleep, and yet it never seems to be enough, but I promised… no show talk next post… tomorrow will be the prep talk post. It’s just I can hardly think about anything else except my angel.

I have a new addition to the Viljoen household party of one now party of two. As you can see from the picture below I am not the good looking one in the family.

She came to my household on July 2nd 2008, and I am so thrilled to have such a treasure in my life. So far she loves to chase her tale, play with her little jingle ball and hang out peacefully in the bathroom. Sometimes she meows when she freaks out, but trips to the vet have been amazing. Being in her travel case has been a plus since she loves LOVES her travel case. She sleeps in it in the bathroom, and she has been quiet in driving in the car. I hope this lasts. I also hopes she does well meeting people. My whole family is coming into town this weekend, so, I am hoping that will give her a chance to socialize her. She’s so special in every way. I love her dearly.

Find more pictures of her here

Look How Cool This Is

Monday, July 7, 2008

T minus 6 days

Sometimes, I start to have these dreams of being trapped in a cave and being forced to do the show over and over and over and over again.

I had that dream about West Side Story last night. I went to sleep tossing and turning to the music and lyrics of, "when you're a jet, you're a jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day." The faint sounds of the orchestra and singers slowly fade in as I type those words, and I slowly slip off my chair to lay beneath the table.

This weekend was tech, and I'm afraid of the balcony. It doesn't look that high up, but its high enough for me to feel fear. I can't hear my entrance the first time I sing in the entire show which ALSO happens to be the hardest part in the ENTIRE show for me to sing. I know... I know... it's weird, but I can't help it. I think I have started to turn it into a mental thing, and I'm doing everything I can to not feel nervous about it and just SING. Ugh. Just get me through this week. I swear, tomorrow - you're going to have a "squeaky" surprise.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


My friends and family,

I am so blessed to be so loved, and thank you so much for sharing my special day with me.

Thank you Thank you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm sleeping and standing at the same time.

... and it's July 1st and we are opening in 11 days.

Some days I think, oh it's going to be fab. Other days I want to hide under the table and pray pray pray pray that when I open my mouth the right notes will come out of my mouth. I don't care if it's the right words. Just please please please may it be the right notes. Please. I will do anything!!!! It would be a special bonus if the notes actually sounded GOOD. We are running the show again tonight, but we are doing it without Anita. It threw me off the last time we did it, but this time - I'm ready to be focused.

In other news, today is my last day as a 25 year old. I'm having mixed feelings about it, I'm getting older and going through so much in my life. I want the time to pass, but I also want it to stand still. This time, though, I'm feeling pretty damn loved.