Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My life in BCS through musicals.

In 14 days I'll be moving back to San Antonio. After 3 1/2 years I've come to really love this place and the people. When I first moved here I hated it, I was so homesick I wanted to just pack up and head home. My boss joked back then that when I went home for Christmas that year she wasn't sure I would to come back! It was bad. But over Christmas I made the decision that would end up changing my life here. I looked up information about the community theatre that did musicals in town and decided to audition for one of my favorite shows. It was through this threatre that I met some amazing people and three very special ladies who would become my closest friends while living here. So it's only fitting that as I get ready to head home I commemorate my time here through songs from the shows I was a part of.

***warning sappiness to follow***

The first show I did was in the February and March of 2013. Sunset Boulevard one of my favorites growing up (my step-father had been obsessed with it). So I knew the show very well and was so excited to be in the cast and have a bunch of fun random little parts. I love the music for this show, it's Andrew Lloyd Webber on crack, fun harmonies and crazy piano, it was a fun show...well kinda dark but still really fun. The costumes were cool and 40s-ish? and it was fun to be back in character shoes after taking about a 9 year break from doing musical theatre. I wore my hair in a snood because I will always have too much hair for my own good. The song that always comes back to me is "This time next year", it takes place at a New Years party and everyone is singing about their hopes and dreams and plans for next year. I've been planning and talking about this move for almost a year now too so it's great that it's actually finally working out. My only resolution this year was to find a job, get into law school and move home- all those things are happening so I consider it a successful resolution so far.

The next show I got to do with the theatre was 9 to 5- sooooo fun! I mean Dolly- come on how could you go wrong? This show had a lot more dancing in it than I was used to/qualified for but it was just a blast! We started rehearsing for it at the end of May 2013 and it ran sometime in the Summer. So since it was summer I feel like all the cast just had a lot of fun with each other, we went out almost every night after rehearsal and it was just too much fun. I feel like all the songs were particularly meaningful to me and if I thought about certain ones I would get a little teary. I feel like the show just spoke to me so much because I had left a husband, started a new job and was feeling all the overwhelmed feelings too! "I just might" always made me tear up and we were in really low lighting so it was all sorts of emotional, "Shine like the sun" was so great too when you listen to the lyrics, but I think "Change it" is the song that really fits my time here because it was a song I always looked forward to and it cheesily plays into my own thinking. If you don't like something then get off your butt and change it! Whenever this song comes on my playlist I can't help but sing along and smile, and tear up because I'm a sappy mess.

Then I took the fall off the next semester but came back in December 2013 and January 2014 for Jesus Christ Superstar. JCS has been my favorite musical for as long as I can remember. I've seen it at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio at least 3 times as well as 3 community productions and have wanted to be in it forever. I was so thrilled when I found out I got to be in this one because I love the show but also it was Director selected, no audition. It only ran one weekend because it was a fundraiser show and it had an abbreviated rehearsal schedule, but again it was a super fun show, the dancing was a weird sort of modern, and we needed to wear kneepads under our flowy hippie dresses. It was just a cool experience once you got past all the bruises. "Heaven on their minds" will always be my favorite song from this show- I just love it so much, but for a song that I feel represents my time here in BCS or my attitude I think "Could we start again please" is it. Not that I want to do over anything because I've loved every experience I've had here, but because I want to relive it! I would have joined the theatre community a little earlier, done some shows in the fall now that I know what my schedule looked like, but I just want to relive it all again! This who experience was unexpected for sure.

Immediately after JCS I auditioned for Little Women the show in which at 28 I played a 12 year old blonde girl from Massachusetts. Don't worry no one believed I was 12. I was so shocked when I was cast as Amy March, I believe I started screaming at 6AM when I woke up and saw the cast list. My mom was staying with me and just started laughing. This was another fun show to be a part of, a super small cast compared to the other shows I'd done. One of my favorite things about this show besides the awesome people I got to work with, were the costumes! So fun. My wedding dress was gorgeous, my back from Europe dress was shiny and pink and my dresses as young Amy were super cute with the aprons on top of them. Then of course getting to dye my hair Blonde was fun too. Yes blonde's really do have more fun I promise. I killed my hair, but it was so fun to completely change my appearance so drastically for a show. (I'll never do it again!) This is a show I was pretty much completely unfamiliar with the music prior to the show, so I'm so glad I did it because there are some great songs in it. When I think back on this show I think the song at the end of the first act that everyone loved belting out backstage or in their cars is the one that sticks with me the most. "Astonishing" it's a great song to pump yourself up and tell yourself that you're going to do the best you can and you're going to be great at it. You'll conquer everything you need to, to reach your goals. So I love it. 

The last show I did at the theatre was a very different experience than all the others before it, so that's why it was my last. It wasn't bad it just didn't have the same feel and this was the point where I started to realize that the theatre had served it's purpose here to connect me with some amazing people and new friends. So my last show was the summer of 2014 for Legally Blonde. I had already started to dye my hair back to it's natural color now, so it's a good thing I was cast as Chutney the curly haired killer daughter. I was also a law student but all these roles could be done as a legal brunette. This was another dancing heavy show and I feel like it was an excellent work out between the "ethnic movement" and the prison jump rope scene.  The music for this show is just fun and happy and another great motivational song that I always come back to is "What you want". This is the number we wore band uniforms and hot shorts for (good god the hot shorts). But Elle is studying for her LSAT and trying to get into Harvard and she has to deal with all these distractions while studying and I feel like I lived that this whole song last year, studying for my LSAT and applying for law school and jobs and having so much up in the air, but I still did it all my own way and it paid off in the it did for Elle ;)

So that's it! My sappy journey through musicals! I have so many pictures from these shows and some great stories, a few injuries, some good and bad costume choices and questionable eyebrow makeup. I used the word fun too many times, but that is what it was. As someone who used to be very opposed to fun, I learned to enjoy it and embrace it. I met some amazing people and created memories I'll cherish forever. I'm so glad I went out on a limb here and got involved with the theatre, my life in BCS would have been very different and possibly much shorter if I hadn't. Thank you theatre community!

***I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that in Summer 2015 I did do a brief thing with another community theatre in town, but I only came in for one song or olio during their intermissions and then left, but it was a super fun and cool experience too with the Stage Center, it was really fun to see how a different theatre in the community worked and I wish I'd done more there in my time here***