Monday, September 13, 2010

On the Road Again...

Ryah and I at 630am waiting for our first plane of the tour

6:30 Call Time at LaGuardia Airport (hence the sunglasses and large coffees)…First Travel Day of 9 to 5… and yes my bag was already 5 pounds overweight. I am a horrible packer. No matter how many times I pack my bag and send stuff home… my bag is always overweight. So I always try to scope out the nice people at the desk. The woman this morning at Delta Airlines was a gem and a half. Sometimes they tell you to remove stuff even if it’s 1 pound over. She just winked at me and let me go. So to that woman, thank you for making my day! J

Laura, Me, and Bekah at Going Away Party
Leaving NY was really hard this time around (it’s hard every time actually). I was really getting used to living 
there in my cute little apartment with my cute little roomies and friends close by. I just love my set up there. We also had a 9 to 5 going away party on Friday night and I was overwhelmed with how many people showed up. It was so humbling and wonderful to see so many friends--some that I hadn’t seen in forever!! Including my high school friend/college roomie/sorority sister Bekah who I hadn’t seen in 3 years!! Then had a great time meeting friends of my new road family! I feel like my NY community is finally solid… and now I’m leaving again. BUT I really could not be more excited for this tour. The people in it, the show, the cities, the stuff I’m learning… it’ll be a good time. So to my NY community of fabulous friends and to the city itself… I’ll see you soon. Love Love Love.

The show is finally set, we got into Nashville at 930am this morning, settled into the hotel, had a meet and greet at the theatre, saw the set, tried on wigs, and had our first Fly rehearsal with Mr Hart, the 3 ladies, and the understudies. Lots of fun. We are all crashed early because Today is D-Day… aka Dolly Day!! She has been an idol of mine for quite some time, so I could not be more excited to meet her. Then tech tech tech and dress rehearsals all the live-long week.

Let the adventures begin…
Waiting for the flight... obviously it's a little early for all of us
Micah, Ryah, and Gregg en route to Hotel
Sweet Jesse Asleep on Plane

*Currently Reading:
 The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (my Aunt introduced me to the series… Very True Bloodesque. The first book is titled Guilty Pleasures… which suits it well since the whole vampire thing is a guilty pleasure for me. Haha. Very excited)
*Favorite New Purchase: My Camera is here! So I am already jumping on the recording band wagon. Stay tuned for a little youtube series on some characters at Consolidated Industries.
*Song on Repeat: “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood. Must be getting into the Nashville mode because I am giving some extra love to my country music.
*Inspiration: My Sister, Carly. She is going through college apps and trying to figure out the next chapter of her life. I could not be prouder. She is such a bright girl and I know that she will do well in whatever field she chooses. Love you little sistah. Trust. J

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tumblin' Outta Bed...

Hey Friends!!!

So I am revamping the blog and starting with adventures in NY! I’ve been back in the city for about 3 weeks now and lots to update about.

First… rehearsals are going really well for 9 to 5. My body is getting used to these long hour days of rehearsals. So so tired… I really am tumbling out of bed and stumbling to the kitchen every morning. Haha. But I love it and I absolutely LOVE my cast. We are just having so much fun. It’s a really neat experience to be apart of an original touring company. Everyone told me it would be completely different then coming in as a replacement. And it definitely is. Something about being able to create something and workshop stuff together… we become family right away. It has been such a cool experience.

It’s so funny too because Ven Daniel (our UPS guy on Legally Blonde) told me, “Ash, watch… your entire vocabulary is going to change.” And he could not be more right. “Totes” and “Fierce” has definitely not slipped out of my mouth as much. Haha. But I miss my Blondies a lot. Mike Isaacson (our producer of both Blonde and 9 to 5) gave a great speech at 9 to 5’s first rehearsal about how important it is to take care of each other on the road. Then he mentioned Blonde and how we were a great example of a great tour because we really were like a family and took good care of each other. So I feel truly blessed to have been apart of that. Check out a video of our first rehearsal.

Back to 9 to 5… We finished blocking and setting the entire show on Saturday. Now we just need to clean, get it in our bodies, and fix transitions and such. But it’s going to be a great show! I have learned so so much from watching my fellow actors. It has been so so so much fun. And the creative team is so wonderful. The site is up and running. So make sure you check the tour schedule to see if we come to a city near you!!

When I am not in rehearsals, I have really been enjoying visiting with friends. My sorority sisters (who now live in NY) and I have been exploring some great brunch places here in the city. One was LANSKYS on 71st and Columbus! Bottomless Cocktail Brunch included with entire brunch menu. Good price and yummy. Plus they bring you a huge loaf of FRESH banana bread when you first sit down. Dangerous. But so so good! It’s a Modern Jewish Deli with great charm and service. Loved it!
The place us girls went to today was Sarabeths on 81st and Amsterdam. A lot pricier than Lanskys… but so so good and so so cute. Very quaint. If you go… go really early. We had a 45 minute wait. But it was definitely worth it.

4 years ago, I went on a European Cruise and met some lovely new friends from England. We have stayed in contact through the years, and just so happens that one of the girls had a graduation trip to the states with her friends. AND they were in NY the first week I got back! So I took them to the Meatpacking District and we had amazing guacamole and Mexican Food at Dos Caminos. The fact that they had been eating Hard Rock Café and McDonalds was NOT okay. Dos Caminos is so so good! But I actually preferred Rosa Mexicano which is in Lincoln Square. My dad and I went there when he was in town for a few days. Both places are fabulous and on the pricey side. But my meal at Rosa Mexicano (veggie tacos) was one of the best meals I have ever had.

Now of course… the city has much more to offer than food. : ) I have really enjoyed taking pilates, reformer, and yoga class at Yogaworks outside of rehearsal. I bought a great package on and have been trying to take good advantage of it while I can. Besides that, my days consist of: Too much shopping, pampering, reading, walking, park time, loving my apartment, loving my roomies, missing my puppy (my parents are spoiling him in California for a bit), friend time, packing, and studying.
And that’s the NY saga! One week until Nashville! CRAZY!!!

Until next time…
*Currently Reading: The Hunger Games (I am on the 3rd book)… SO SO GOOD!!
*Currently Netflixing: Entourage Season 1… starting from the beginning
*Current Song on Repeat: “If it’s Love” by Train.
*Current Inspiration: Dolly Parton. Because of the show, I follow her on twitter and have been doing more research on her. She is such an amazing, inspiring, talented, brilliant, funny woman who definitely stays true to who she is. One of my favorite quotes of hers: "Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." I just cannot wait to meet her!!
*Favorite new purchase: I bought a new camera!! Should be getting it via mail very soon. So more pics and videos to come!! Woohoo!

Bye Bye Blonde!!

Well… the blonde door has closed. 11 months, 29 cities, 9 tracks, approx. 138 shows on (that I recorded), fun show, great memories, new puppy, fun adventures, new friends, lots of laughs… I couldn’t have asked for a better year. Being part of Legally Blonde has been a true honor and a blessing. When I first booked the tour, I cried. Not because I was excited… it was because I was scared (you know what)less. I remember watching our super swing in High School Musical saying “thank God I am not a swing… I could NEVER do that!” Well… be careful what you put out there. Haha. But I could not be more grateful for the opportunity. I have learned more this year—about myself, people, the business, traveling, life, etc—than I could have ever fathomed.

But what being a swing really taught me was to stop putting pressure on myself. Coming right out of college, it was so easy to get caught up in who was doing what, comparing myself to others, NEEDING a job, having to be successful, money worries, etc. I did not even enjoy those 5 months I lived in NY. They flew on by and I was stressed and focused on everything that was going wrong instead of enjoying the people around me and all the neat things NY has to offer. I have also always been such a perfectionist (since I was hmmm about 4 haha). Truth is… there is so such thing as perfection. And I know that is elementary school teaching “No one is perfect… except God” is something that bible school always taught me. ;-) But... that entire concept fully clicked in LB. You are always competing in college to be on top, be in the best classes, get in the musicals. While that’s great in school (for pushing and getting a better education), it sucks in real life. No good comes from it. So as a swing… I learned that sometimes ya just can’t have the “perfect” show. We all make mistakes, we live we learn, we crash, we burn. ☺

Whether you guys read this full blog or not, it has been such a fun thing to do: to blog! I have enjoyed connecting with you all and reading most of your own blogs. So nice to keep in touch even if we can’t connect directly. Thank you for reading, hearing, responding, and being such a big part of my Legally Blonde travels. Now onto the next adventure. I am hoping this time around, I can focus more on things the cities have to offer.

Big shout out to the non equity cast of Legally Blonde who started rehearsals on the 16th! Work it out, break legs, and enjoy!! : )

Big Hugs and Snaps!!
Some pics from the closing night when the swings got to come on for final bow : ) And yes... one of the boys dressed in drag.