Friday, August 29, 2008

Do I Hear A Waltz?

Let go of perfection and strive for excellence, says my good friend to me earlier this week when discussing the events of my callback for “Do I Hear A Waltz.”

I personally did not do a great job at callbacks mostly because of my lack of confidence, and lack of preparation. So, that creates a lot a lot of nerves. I’m full of clichés today, but that’s ok because I have to drill this stuff into my brain somehow. I didn’t feel like I knew the music solidly enough to perform it. So, now I need to figure out how I can curb my nerves even in those situations. However, if the director says, “Are you nervous?” THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING.

Let go of perfection and strive for excellence, and remember the most important thing is to just have fun! Sometimes it’s easy to forget. Just have fun. Fun Fun FUN! This is why I do this because I want to have fun! I want to have fun! Anyway, it was great to see some familiar faces, and I am incredibly lucky to be working on such an awesome show! Go out with a bang before you make the move! Well, there is one more show that I’m holding out for, and after that I’ll make the move. I’m excited and freaked all at the same time. Mostly I’m excited.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anxiously Awaiting the Results?

I got typed out.

It's ok, really, I'm ok! He said, "I know you're Hispanic, but I think you're too mature looking."

I'll give you the full report, but I'm off to get my car, do some soul searching and then go to rehearsal.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm in the audition room now, as we speak...

...and I'm number 50!

I'll have to give you the full full report later when I get a chance to sing, and my anxiety level drops one million.

Just wanted to check into my world instead of looking at all the marias there are here in this room.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm Leaving Today

August 17th 2008

Having a family living 2 flights away for the last 9 years of my young adult life has meant: many tears, goodbyes, hellos, hugs, phone calls, emails but mostly, MANY FLIGHTS! Flying two flights three times a year means MANY hassles. Sitting next to a bright-eyed 22 year old New Yorker, I anxiously picked apart her brain as I embark on my new adventure. Yet, in our exchange, she picked apart MY brain about flying and traveling as she carried on her experiences, and for the first time I felt my age.

We sat on the run way of Charlotte, North Carolina for 20 minutes because of the thunder and lighting going on around us, and we both looked to each other in a slight panic. My panic mostly came from the sheer fact that I was now 2 hours away from New York, and I quickly discovered that her panic was because she was going to miss her connecting flight.

“I’m 22 and just graduated college and our family always drove when we went on vacation,” she said to me at one point. Instantly reminded of all the traveling hassles, I looked out the window to take in the thunderstorm and I knew this little blip would be exactly that a little blip. I was not about to tell her about the 6 hours I sat at JFK once because of the dark dark dark and dreary thunderstorm that made even the darkest new moon night look like early morning. I refrained from telling her about the time I took a red-eye and the weather/delays which caused me to miss my connecting flight that happened to be the last flight out of the airport. Yup, in the middle of nowhere, I’m shipped off to timbuck two with all my luggage and just me to shlep it around. Oh, maybe I could tell her about the time that they lost my luggage for 5 days, but they sent me a 500 dollar check to cover all the expenses that I incurred. Maybe a story of the MANY times that I have sprinting across the airport to make my connecting flight? No, that won’t comfort her Beverley…..Hmmm….. “Don’t worry, this won’t take long and you still have plenty of time to make your connecting flight,” I replied. Seemed the only appropriate thing to say, and for the record, I understand the condescending I-know-everything type of responses I used to get from parents now. I totally get it – I still hate it, so, I tried my hardest to sound hopeful instead of knowledgable. She took it well because she began to give me a glimps into her life in New York.

Returning from her recent vacation in the bay area, she compared where she lived in New York to Palo Alto and San Francisco with the only difference being that the public transportation was significantly better. She told me about the different sections of New York and more and more I started to feel comforted by the similarities to home. Yes, I know, I KNOW it will be completely different. The people will be colder, and I will have to experience the tourist – esk life of New York before I can really begin to find my way of life living in this state – particularly because I have not moved yet. ☺ I am just hoping that it will be similar enough for me to not feel completely isolated and empty.

Just as suspected, the delay took no time at all, and just like that the thunder and lighting ceased and we were getting off the plane. I turned to her, and I thought I met my first New Yorker – super nice and I helped her. I comforted her! Not exactly what I was expecting, but I’m not sure what I was expecting – her to slice my neck while screaming “I’m a mean New YORKER.”

I’m boarding my flight to LGA now.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Start Spreading The News...

Sitting at the gate at SFO the tears are streaming down my face as I sit here acting as if I’m moving today. Over the past few days my thoughts have been filled with nothing but joy and warmth as if my own personal world here in San Francisco was coming with me on this trip to NYC. Choking on my excitement before and now I sit here feeling completely lost. I’m totally supported and incredibly loved, but yet, I feel alone. I feel isolated. I feel like I’m boarding this plane, and leaving San Francisco, my home and my life behind. It’s just a couple of days. Just a couple of days. I need to remind myself of it. It’s just a couple of days, but a couple of days that I wanted.

My feelings are getting in the way, and I’m loosing site of why I really am going to New York this weekend. I’m auditioning for a broadway show! Ha…. Wow, lets look at that again.

I’m auditioning for a Broadway show.

I’m still in utter silent shock. I can’t believe that I would attempt to accomplish this. I must be crazy!

I’m tired. My brain needs a rest, and tomorrow will be so amazing in everyway.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Am Crazy...

...That has been my mantra over the last few days, but I am working on changing it to: I am talented! I am fabulous! I am perfect for the part! I will do my best and have fun!Actors are crazy; they make things out to be bigger and scarier than what they really are in reality. The auditors WANT you to succeed. I need need to remember this. The auditors WANT you to succeed. They want to find their Maria, and I’m right here. I’ll see you on Monday. I’m saying that over and over and over in my brain as I rock back and forth in the corner: Maria is right here, I’ll see you on Monday.

I have been auditioning FOREVER, and now all of a sudden, everything that I usually do doesn’t seem like enough. My cloths are bright enough, aren’t clean enough, my voice… it’s just not enough! Beverley, it’s enough all I have is myself and everything inside me. It’s enough.

I am so glad that I did not take the time to really “think” this through because I don’t have the usual time I take to drone on and on about what to wear, where to stay, and blah blah. The problem arises – I make a choice – I mark it off my list because I have so many choices to make it is unreal. I don’t have time to dwell. I think this is a blessing.

I told a girlfriend, and she knew I would be falling out, and she has been so amazing by spending 45 min on the phone with me yesterday discussing every detail of a New York auditions, she looked over my resume, she answered my questions about callbacks, she helped me with my mantra, she answered every spastic email I sent her on BOTH of her e-mail accounts, she helped me prepare my audition book and she is amazing in everyway. I am so lucky to have her help and her brain to pick over. I feel less alone as I embark on this adventure by myself.

Two years ago I could not imagine living by myself. I moved.
Two years ago I thought I’d never sing again, but here I am.

One minute I am bursting at the seam to breathe, the next minute I think about how I don’t even consider myself good enough for Broadway by the Bay.

I told my dear friend this morning about the amount of support that I have embraced the last few days, and he said, “you’re whole world just hugged you.” Thank you friends and family I’m hugging you back.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cost of Your Dream: $548

August 13, 2008 began like every normal morning in the “quiet” city streets of San Francisco with my usual 7:01 am alarm jarring anyone within 20 feet, even the dead, and my starving kitty drooling over my face. “Get Up”, she meowed, “Turn that dreadful alarm off then feed me.” Discovering quickly that her meows had little to no effect on her staff (me) – she bit my nose. Love her.

Succumbing to her demands, I faced the day with my heart and mind filled with callbacks, phone calls, turning love sickness, the book I’m reading for my book club and my routine filled life that has up until now satisfied me to my hearts content.

Tweaking out on my usually 4 cups of coffee, I nestled into my usual work day. This time I was on a mission - do some research on the competition. Studying the movements and vocal qualities of this talented bay area lady, my friend im’s me. “They have announced the casting for Tony in the WSS revival.” Oh, I wonder who’s playing Maria, I thought as I typed: Maria + WSS Revival + New York.

Me. I’m playing Maria in the WSS Revival.

At least that’s what I thought when I saw this.

Laughing to myself, I jokingly e-mailed a few of my friends and said: should I go to this audition? The not so jokingly responses overwhelmingly screamed: YES! GO!

By 11:00am my brain filled with actual consideration! What would I have to do to make this work?
1) change my voice lesson.
2) email my director
3) finish q2 report.
4) find a place to stay.
5) Get a Flight.
6) get the time off work
7) find someone to take care of Squeaks.

Wow, the list seemed totally dreary and already I felt defeated, but I could not stop thinking about the fact that this impossible task really laid at my fingertips. All I had to do was really seize the day and all those other overly used clichés. Like an infectious disease the idea of actually going consumed my brain, and the mere thought of singing my favorite role at Chelsea’s studios detrimentally affected my mental health.

It’s Wednesday. That’s less than a week for my VERY FIRST BROADWAY audition. I continually turned to my friends begging for their words of discouragement, but I found only an out pour of support. “I will help you take care of Squeaks.” “Use my account for your tans.” “If you’re worried about money, I will chip in.” “Do it!” “You must do it!” “I’m so proud of you.” All this support showered my insecure self, but yet I could not muster the courage to spend over 600 dollars on a flight. Yet in under 60 min, I managed to find a place to stay, change my voice lesson, email my director, get squeaks handled, q2 report, and get the time off work.

Finding the flight, finding the courage to make the choice, accepting the fact that I am making an expensive decision tormented my soul, my mind and my spirit. Beverley, stop.

A moment of peace from my own thoughts came at lunch, which I shared with my co-worker, but by the end of the hour we were talking about how I was going to actualize this dream. This dream is all it’s been – how on Earth?

4:00pm I found my flight: $548! It was the cheapest I had seen all day, and me and the minans were searching!!! $548 seemed like a steal compared to the $1000 dollar tickets I had been seeing. Credit card info all typed in, my co – worker at the ready next to me, switching screens to my facebook e-mail looking, waiting, begging for… for…for what?
What exactly is holding me back? Is it JUST the fear of failure? I talk all the time about how I fail… I fail all the time. ALL THE TIME. Yet, I keep going to auditions, so, wait? What again is holding me back?


I clicked purchase.
Rinse. Repeat.

OMEFFINGGOODNESS! I’m going to New York. I’m going to New York. I’m going to New York. Tears filled my eyes, I gasped for air and I turned to my co-worker who said, “I think you’re doing the right thing.” I typed: I’m going to all the people who seemed interested in what my choice may or may not be. The flood gates for fear opened and the pit of dread grew inside my stomach. Casting in college came pouring back. Auditions for regional theatre came back, ACLO next stop Broadway- really? This is a country bumpkin story of the girl who came from NO WHERE and is now singing on Broadway, but the comforting knowledge of my exponential growth set my mind at ease. For the first time, I’m daring to be the person I have always wanted to be. I did it on a whim – in the span of 6 hours leaving no time for “rational” thought to take over me. Excitement has taken over my life. I thought my usual insecure self would hide the fact I’m making this crazy choice, but I felt like screaming to the world.

I wrote my Dad, I asked him, "Do you think I'm crazy?"
He said, "R u kidding….I am extremely proud that I have daughter who is so committed to following her dreams forgetting about the potential costs…….that’s character and those type of people are few and far between in our society today…….you are going to be very successful no matter what you end up doing but one thing is for sure, you were born to be a performer – so go and don’t get discouraged with initial failures – ever – just keep moving forward… youxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

I woke up this morning, and I listened to the song I have to sing for the audition. The feeling of utter anticipation and excitement lifted me off my feet, and I started to run to work. For the first time, in a long time, I feel free.

Monday, August 11, 2008

You, Me... Wait a Minute... Just a Minute

I sit down to write, but I can only think about...

I pick up a book and decide to read for this book club I have decided to join. The book is all about women hopelessly devoted and in love with the wrong men. Not saying that I am personally relating to these women, but I’m just saying that love is on my brain.

So, I decide to listen to some musicals to get some inspiration. First song:
“LoveLoveLove. It makes you do the things that otherwise would never dare to do. No not until a certain special someone says I care for you.”

Please. Can we talk about anything else except THAT?
Let’s take a walk then - look for a clinic that helps with these type of things, but let's avoid ducking behind buildings this time ok?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Two Funerals and a Sad Heart

“Chicken or Fish,” the stewardess turns to me and says.

“Chicken,” I eagerly reply.

Simple enough choice I’ve had to make many times over in my flying experiences in life because a) who on EARTH would ever dare decide to eat the fish and b) what are the simple-sited consequences? I mean, sure, you COULD get food poisoning, but you could also get hit by a car when you step outside your front door. Let’s not get all type-a super neurotic here and let’s just stick to the point. It’s a choice - an easy choice.

Some choices have not been so simple to make:
Should I move to FL with my family or stay and finish high school in the bay area?
What college should I go to?
Should I move to NYC?
Love him or leave him?
How do I move out?

These choices I tend to agonize over for months and months causing my friends to put in earplugs as I drone on and on relentlessly about these doesn’t-have-to-be-painful subjects. Yet, never have I ever been faced with: which funeral should I go to?

Until this week.

Unluckily or luckily, depending on your view, I am very late in life to experience evoking contemplation on the volatile state of life. My first funeral and I might have to go to two in one day? I might have to go to two funerals in one day ALONE? Turns out that both funerals conflicted, and I chose to go to the funeral of my fellow actor and friend John.

Rushing to Oakland at 6:15pm is quite the oxymoron when in fact I crawled as slow as I possibly could to Oakland, to the funeral service. At one point, I realized I could probably run there faster. So, I got out of my car and started sprinting across the Bay Bridge. Then I opened my eyes and realized it was my turn to finally merge on. Many points in the day, I contemplated flaking on the service by rationalizing the hell out of my fear. “We were only in one show together.” “There will be lots of people there.” “I shouldn’t go if I can’t handle it.” I had never gone to a funeral, and I’m going completely alone. A usual basket case, I welcomed the “I’m going to be late” sentiments to fill the hollow and numb feeling engrossing my state of being, except, being late only extenuated my aloneness.

Speeding, rushing, cutting every corner, I lurked the area for parking. Of course no space is going to be available. I mean REALLY? I rolled down my window, and in sweet solemn desperation I say, “Do you know where I can find parking for the service?” One shiny tear trickles down my face and he says, “You can park right here behind the Hearst.” Fine, you’re right - I didn’t have the perfect tear, but I did have the rock star parking spot saving me 60 seconds. I darted into the church and filed into the very last pew realizing that I had to sit through a catholic mass. In normal circumstances, this would have been fine as I have sat through many a catholic service, but I had to go to the bathroom. I had to go to the bathroom an hour ago, but I was rushing that I just held it. Now, I’m bursting. F**k. Wait, can I think that in a church?

I waited until the blessing of the bread and wine, and made a dash for the restroom. Whew! Perfect timing except for the part of me body slamming myself back into the church when it’s dead silent during prayer – Awesome Beverley.

The service was incredibly touching, and I felt extremely moved seeing the amount of people that John had personally touched. At one point, the priest asked everyone he had ever sung with in a show to come up and sing “What I did for Love” This little corner by the piano filled with people like sardines in a can, and I knew that some others did not come up. In addition, the church filled the pews with people supporting the grieving loved ones.

It was so comforting to be around my ACLO family, and to see people that I have not seen in so long. How I have missed their company, but I’m contemplating now why we wait for tragic events to bring us together. In addition, I was overwhelmed by how many people John meant to, but was he aware of how many people he touched? Are funerals more important to have before the passing of a loved one?

Yes, yes, I’m just regurgitating the “usual” questions we ask ourselves when jarring events occur, but why do we as humans always get so sidetracked?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Get Well Soon.

What a week, and it’s only Tuesday.

Misery loves company, and I’m telling you I have been surrounded by tragedy over the past couple of weeks. The Universe is asking me to evaluate my life and reminding me that time is of the essence. Every second counts.

A dear friend recently had an accident that landed him in the hospital for quite sometime, and I feel… I feel… I don’t know how I feel. I think that is my answer to everything these days. I don’t know how I feel just mostly numb. My friend and I were super close for about 2 years. Then without a warning, we slowly but surly drifted apart, and now he’s in the hospital, and I’m not sure how to react. We had recently seen each other a couple of times, and we were defiantly on the way to patching things up, but now this. I’ve acted the only way I know how, which is to be there for him every second that I have, but I just realized just how far I am out of his life. It makes me sad, but I’m still there. I’m still going to the hospital everyday, but he did say yesterday that it gets a little overwhelming because people are there all the time. I don’t want to feel in the way, but I am in the way. I feel like I’m irritating, but I just care. So I’m confused, and feeling messy.

The tragedy does not end. A friend and fellow actor, John Stenger, passed away on Sunday from a massive heart attack. He played the King in Cinderella and was currently rehearsing for ACLO’s production of Grease. It was a complete shock to the ACLO family, and all I can do is stand by and watch my theatre family weep for such an unexpected loss. I JUST saw him on opening night of WSS. I’m glad that I spent the majority of my time catching up with him and chatting to him on the walk over to the gala because it had been almost a year since I had seen him last. November of 2007 was the last time I saw him before WSS. I’m shocked and I’m sad, but mostly I’m shocked.

My friends all around me are grieving, and I’m feeling cranky. Cranky, irritable and grouchy. Is this my way of dealing with all this sadness? All this – well this is part of life?