Monday, October 11, 2010

Now for the Update : )

Hello my friends!!

Happy October! Can’t believe it’s already fall! Did a big shipment of summer clothes to my parents house yesterday. Bye summer dresses and sandals…hello boots and layers!! Not that we are going to very cold places in the next couple weeks. But tis the season. ☺

So we left Charlotte and are onto Des Moines, IA. Last time I was in Des Moines was with High School Musical and I am definitely having a dejavu: same hotel, same theatre, same mall just a mile down the rode. Looking forward to catching up on new movie releases and shopping time this week for sure!

Charlotte was a very sweet town. Holly, Janet, and I rented bikes on Wednesday and rode over to some cute Shops on Central Street and a famous diner named Penguins. If you ever find yourself in Charlotte, check out Hong Kong (an adorable vintage shop), Boris and Natasha (great boutique), and Penguins (amazing dive diner). Our company stayed at the Omni Hotel (beautiful) and it was connected to some great bars and restaurants (aka the Epicenter)… so check that out too! Not to mention a KILLER opening night party at Sonoma. Some of the best food I have ever had at an opening night party… and it was actually healthy!

Besides those little ventures, most of us spent a lot of our time in understudy rehearsal. We are cranking it out… first understudy run thru is this week!! AHHHH So much info thrown at us, but every one is doing an awesome job and I am so excited to see us all FULL OUT soon!

Keeping busy but tour life is a lot easier this time around. It’s so funny not being a swing anymore. I never realized how uptight I was on the Blonde tour until doing this one. I was always learning something, or reviewing, blah blah blah… I rarely relaxed and just had fun. So having my own track has definitely chilled me out and I am able to really explore cities and play more.

That’s all for now.
Sending Big Hugs!

Not an update… just some heart spillage

I mentioned earlier that I met up with my friend, Jeff Parker, while in Atlanta. He is a sweet, talented, and brilliant man who was in grad school at UC Irvine when I was in Undergrad. Make a long story short, he is now following his teaching dreams and is a Theatre Professor in Chatanooga, TN. We had a great time catching up, telling stories, and asking questions about our lives and the biz. One topic that has played over and over in my head was when he asked me what’s a piece of advice that he should pass on to his students from me. Loaded question… should be an easy one… most people get that question all the time… I have been asked it before… and yet my answer surprised me. My answer was cliché as it can get… and so many people have told me it before… but I don’t think I ever believed it. So saying it out loud and writing it out to my bloggers makes my heart happy. So thought I’d share.

My answer went something like this: Be Yourself and Trust that you have your own path and journey. It’s so easy to get caught up in who is doing what and comparing yourself to others. We all have our own purpose and own paths to follow. Some of us won’t get a professional gig until our late 30s, some will get some right off the bat and never stop working, some will get jobs right away and then realize they’d rather live in a sweet suburban town and raise a family, some will be huge stars, some will be 3rd singer track from the left, some will veer off the entertainment path completely, and some [like Jeff] will bless others and teach. I am realizing more and more that we have one life to live… so why not follow your dreams and test out your desires (within safe reason of course haha). Who do you have to prove? I am proud to come from a family of high achievers and perfectionists, but sometimes it’s important to remind yourself to not compare yourself to others and if you fail… WHO CARES!?! Something great is coming.

Some of you know that when I first moved to NY, my agents dropped me, I auditioned for 2 agencies who did not take me on as a client, I was not getting any callbacks… I was MISERABLE! Then in a span of 2 weeks, I booked High School Musical at Theatre of the Stars, booked the New York Cast of Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (Singer track), Legally Blonde, and had 3 agencies calling me about submitting. Truth is… it’s all in God’s timing. There is no use in pushing stuff. I am a firm believer that you HAVE to do the work to get where you want to be, but there is no use trying to push and pull in directions that you may not be destined to go. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunities and adventures I have been given thus far in my career… buut I still got a ways to go and I have NO idea where it’s going. A little scary… but also exciting with this business. Who knows… I could get off tour and go back to LA never wanting to perform again (doubt it… but ya never know where my path will lead me when the time comes). I know it’s easier said then done… but I do remind myself as much as possible that every thing that has happened and will happen is all a part of God’s plan. All I can do is be the best I can be, honor him through it all, and enjoy the journey. So I hope you will too. Listen to your instincts, your heart, your prayers, your desires, and enjoy the journey you are given. Embrace your likes, dislikes, dreams, people around you, and embrace who YOU are. You are loved.

And that is that… a little heart spilling on this Travel day! Thanks for letting me emotionally vomit (haha). T.M.I.?? ☺

P.S. Shout out to Isaack who drove quite a ways to Nashville to see the show. He said he was one of my blog followers. So glad people are reading this and so happy to have met him. ☺

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Working??? hmmm more like "Playing" 9 to 5!

What a surreal couple of weeks it has been!!
2 Weeks in Nashville, a week in Atlanta, and now we are in Charlotte, NC.

Nashville started out with meeting Dolly first thing Monday morning. And she was there for the next two weeks at almost every show and at every day of tech. She made us fudge, laughed and clapped in the audience, sat and ate with us, and made us laugh till it ached. She is everything you would think she is: gracious, sweet, kind, giving, funny, charming, and extremely talented. What a blessing to be able to meet her!

Mom, Me, and Vava
So that was an exciting thing to start with… then it was onto a week of tech. 10 hrs at the theatre every day that week! Before we knew it, it was opening night: red carpets, great first show, and fabulous opening night party!! Not to mention, my mom and grandma got to come for a visit so I was so blessed to have them with me. I had the hottest dates… that’s for sure!
Ryah, Micah, Me, and Jesse
A ton of behind the scenes videos from tech week and from the party are at or on TPACS youtube channel. Check them out!

Nashville city highlights:
*BROADWAY: of course! The night life in Nashville is so fun. Each bar has live music, so as you walk down Broadway, the music changes at every door. So we enjoyed that a couple nights post show.
*The Pancake Pantry and Noshville: Nashville’s 2 famous breakfast places. The Pancake Pantry is self explanatory… the best pancakes and a wide variety of kinds. So so good!! And then Noshville is a perfect All American Diner Breakfast. Yum Yum Yum!!!
*2 for 1 Cowboy Boots: I wish I could say that I bought me a pair… but I never made it over there with rehearsal schedule and family time. BUT some of my cast members definitely scored with some great boots!! Lucky them!

Atlanta was the second stop of the tour and what a great stop it was. We got in early Monday and I was able to hop on Atlanta’s easy train system (MARTA) and go visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin in Roswell, GA. I had never been to their place and hadn’t seen them in way too long! They gave me a tour of the city and we had great family time Monday (including a HOME cooked meal… unreal!). Then we got up Tuesday and they drove me around and showed me Atlanta City before I had to be at the theatre to start the week of shows. I got to see them again when they saw the show on Sunday. It was the first time they ever got to see me perform so it was exciting to have them there. My favorite thing about touring is being able to visit with people I hardly get the chance to see. What a blessing to have been able to finally get to see them. During the week, I was also able to catch up with my mom’s best friend and her precious little girl (Erin and Bella Roosen). I hadn’t seen them since Bella was a baby…and now she is 4 and so beautiful! Then my great friend from UC Irvine, Jeff Parker, drove from Chatanooga to come see the show and visit! It had been almost 2 years since we had last gotten together!! What a lucky girl I am to have such supportive family and friends. Can’t thank you all enough for sharing your time with me when I was in town!! Xoxoxo

Dolly stopped by both shows on Saturday. It was thrilling to see the audience’s reaction because it was so unexpected. We had our bows, the curtain went down, then she came on stage real fast, the curtain went up, there was silence in the audience, and then all of a sudden SCREAMING!! People were up on their feet jumping up and down and yelling. So cool to witness. And rumor has it she is making an appearance in Charlotte too… so for all you Charlotte people… you may just want to go to every show just in case. 

Atlanta Highlights:
*Renting Bikes: We had a day off on Monday (traveled to Charlotte today before show), so Micah, Ryah, Jesse, Holly, and I rented bikes all day. It was the perfect day to do so, great exercise, and so much fun!! Check out the facebook album of our magical day!
*The Flying Biscuit: Before bikes, we loaded up on some quality brunch at Atlanta’s hit breakfast place! Highlight of the meal: an oatmeal pancake with peaches. It was unreal!!
*Aquarium: Our first bike ride stop was at the Aquarium. I took so many pictures of our time there. It was like nothing I had ever seen!
*Zoo: Micah, Jesse, and I separated from the group to go to the zoo… but it was closed so we rode around Piedmont park instead. GORGEOUS park! At one point we just sat in the grass people watching and watching the clouds roll by. Life is sweet.
The Gang at Aquarium
And that is a novel of our adventures so far. Some of us have made a pledge to each other to embrace our inner child and PLAY on this tour. So we are definitely PLAYING! Stay tuned for more stories.

Love to all