NYC Trip: Day 3

Welcome to part 2 of my BroadwayCon trip recap! If you missed part one, find it here.

Saturday
We were up and at ’em early once again Saturday morning for day 2 of BroadwayCon festivities. After grabbing our quickie Pret a Manger breakfasts, we walked to the Javits Center so Sarah could make her 10 am autograph appointment with Anthony Rapp of RENT fame. He’s also the co-founder of BroadwayCon, which I didn’t know at the time!

While Sarah was doing her thing, I decided to just wander the Marketplace a bit and relax, as there weren’t any panels during the 10 am time slot that interested me. When Sarah was done, we headed over to the Mainstage area for the Dear Evan Hansen show spotlight. The panel was made up of Steven Levenson, the book writer, Noah Galvin, and Taylor Trensch, who respectively were just finishing up and just coming into the role of Evan. It was interesting to hear more about the show, but I found Noah Galvin to just be really off-putting for some reason. Oh well.

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We once again grabbed a quick lunch in the cafeteria and then headed to Playing Theatre History. This was such a great, nerdy panel. The panelists were all women, and there were so many excellent topics of discussion I can’t remember them all. My favorite part, though, was one of the panelists relating a story about how she went in for an audition, and she was so nervous, but right before it was her turn, the casting director came out and said they’d cast the part and wouldn’t be seeing anymore auditioners. Suddenly, she was furious that she had spent all this time preparing and hadn’t been able to audition, and she said that completely flipped the audition narrative for her. Rather than being nervous, from that day on, her attitude was that those 10 minutes were HERS, and the casting directors damn well better listen up and pay attention to her. It was just such a refreshing take on something that can be so emotionally fraught.

At 2, we headed back to the Mainstage for Theater People Live Featuring Laura Benanti. Theater People is one of my very favorite podcasts, and the host is just such a delightful gay theatre fanboy it’s so much fun! Laura Benanti is unbelievably funny–she has a super quick wit. She’s also a social justice warrior who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, and a badass working mom. The hour flew by and was a total blast.

We decided to continue the podcast love and went to the Broadwaysted Live show featuring Sierra Boggess. Broadwaysted is my other favorite podcast. It’s similar in nature to Theater People in that they interview Broadway folks, but they do it while drinking and playing drinking games. Too much fun!

Our last two stops of the day were the Mainstage Singalong, which was pretty short but absolutely adorable, and The Band’s Visit show spotlight. Neither Sarah nor I knew anything about The Band’s visit, but the short clips of music we heard, plus the lovely interviews with the cast, made us both want to know more. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score tickets while we were in the city, but it’s on my list of cast recordings to purchase soon.

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Singalong!

At this point we were starving, so we set off in search of dinner. We ended up at Beer Authority, a pub about halfway between the Javits Center and our hotel room. I was feeling some pregnant lady eating guilt (so much processed/fast food happened!), so I had a big fat chicken Caesar salad… AND a side of fries. #balance

Food coma in full force, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for a few hours. We were meeting some other VT friends for a midnight show at the Comedy Cellar, so quiet time was in order. We left our room at about 10:30 to meet Megan, Ian, Sean, Faith, Don, and Serena at the hotel bar where Megan and Ian were staying. After a round of drinks and chats, we hopped on the subway for a quick ride.

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The Comedy Cellar is just that: a basement where there are comedy shows. It’s apparently the place where Jerry Seinfeld and lots of other famous comedians have started out. They have an incredibly strict no photos policy (if they catch you taking photos during a show they throw your entire table out!), so I didn’t take any pictures, but the show was fantastic. As always, the night was heavy on male comics, but it was still well worth the trip. And I was proud that I was able to drag my pregnant behind out for some late-night city fun! We shared a cab with Ian and Megan since their hotel was just down the block from us, and we made it into bed just before 3 am. Oof!

And that concludes part 2 of the NYC trip recap. I had hoped to cram Saturday and Sunday into one post, but this has already gotten a little long, so stay tuned for the final installment soon!

 

September 2017 Wrap Up

CrossFit
While I didn’t get to CrossFit as much as I could have liked in September, I still made it to class at least twice a week most weeks, which is my self-imposed bare minimum. Would I like to be going three times a week? Of course. But in trying to keep up with both running and CF, and still trying to have at least one full rest day a week, there’s only so much I can do.

I’m strongly considering upping my CF membership to an unlimited monthly membership, rather than just my 12 classes per month. This would allow me to hit CF every weekday (or even 6 days a week if I wanted), and would only cost me $30 more each month. I still have some goals I’d like to achieve, and getting to class more consistently seems like the best way to get there. However, considering I rarely make it even three times a week, I’m not sure that the unlimited membership is the solution. It’s easy to say that spending more money is a motivator to get to class, but it’s already not working with the 12 classes per month, so…

Running
This month was the best running month I’ve had in quite a while. I did two double-digit long runs, some speed work, AND registered for my first “for time” half marathon in ages. I completed 7 runs for a total of 44 miles.

After having such a great month, I wish I could say that the momentum will continue, but I honestly doubt it. Now that I’m no longer training for a half, and as the weather here in Vermont gets ever colder and darker, I will probably back off on running a bit. I recently cancelled my Planet Fitness membership because I hadn’t gone in over nine months, which means that I no longer have access to a treadmill. That said, I’ll try to cram in some lunchtime or after work runs while the weather allows, but I’m not holding out hope for anymore high mileage until spring.

Theatre
I am still thoroughly enjoying NOT being involved in a show. I’ve had a couple of temptations pop up recently, both of the onstage and behind-the-scenes variety, but I’ve managed to stay strong and remember that I truly need a break. Not having rehearsals three or four nights a week means that getting in my runs and CrossFit workouts is easier than ever, and I still get to come home for supper, or see my friends, or do fun stuff with Ben.

Instead of being onstage, I have been trying really hard to SEE more shows. Ben and I road-tripped to Massachusetts earlier this month to see Company at Barrington Stage, starring Aaron Tveit of much Broadway acclaim. It was an excellent show, and well worth the whirlwind trip. I also have tickets to see Lyric’s production of A Christmas Story, a play my friend is directing, a cabaret-style show starring a bunch of my Lyric friends, and I’m looking at tickets for several other upcoming productions as well. I figure, if I can’t be on stage, seeing theatre is a great way to still feed my passion. I subscribe to the idea that, much like if you want to be a writer, you must read, if you want to be an actor, you must see shows.

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Aaron Tveit signing autographs after Company

Highlight
We have officially kicked off house hunting! We have an application in to get pre-approved for a mortgage, and have secured the services of a buyer’s realtor, so now begins the real work–actually finding a house. EEEEEEEK!

Lowlight
United Way campaign week kicked my ass. I ate like a garbage can, slept poorly, and was generally super stressed out for an entire week. I am SO GLAD that it’s over. AND, I found out that I’ve been granted a reprieve, and will not have to be on the committee next year. I am intensely grateful to have a break after four straight years.

September Goals
As a refresher, my goals for September were:

  • Go to CF 12 times (the max allowed with my membership) – no excuses!–no
  • Complete a 10+ mile long run–yes!
  • Plan a long weekend trip with Ben–yes!

I was somewhat disappointed in my CrossFit showing this month, as stated above. Still, though, I hit all of my other goals, so I can’t be too upset about it.

October Goals

  • Make house-hunting a priority
  • Complete at least one item on my “long term” to-do list at work
  • Go to CrossFit at least 2x per week

Did you have any goals for September? How’d you do?

 

August 2017 Wrap Up

I know it’s a day early, but I’m trying to stick to my M-W-F blog posting schedule, so just roll with it!

CrossFit
All I can say is, YAAAAAAAY. Since Dogfight wrapped up early this month, I have been going to class three times a week. The first two weeks were a tough adjustment, and I was sore pretty much all the time, but now I’m feeling great. I will be wrapping up this month with eleven total classes, which I believe is the highest number since I started.

I’m already seeing some noticeable gains since getting to class more consistently, and I’m excited to see where it continues to take me. My friend Cat recently commented that my arms were looking amazing, which made me feel SO GOOD, because I’ve always been self conscious about my arms.

I’m also delighted to report that although I’ve only lost about three pounds since I started CF in January, my overall measurements are almost back to where I was three years ago. So basically, I’m becoming more muscular and slimming down a bit, which is good enough for me. I actually need to buy some new jeans because mine are a officially too big! I spent all night at Ben’s birthday party pulling them up over my butt.

Running
If I complete tomorrow’s scheduled run, I will finish out August with 7 runs for a total of 31 miles in August. Considering that fitting running in alongside CrossFit continues to be a challenge, I’ll take it. CrossFit takes priority for me because the membership is so expensive, so with three days a week already spoken for, squeezing in the runs is harder. This is compounded by the fact that just waking up early in the morning and running from my house is simply not doable due STEEP (seriously) hills and busy roads with no shoulder. This means after work and lunch breaks are my only options for mid-week runs, and depending on the weather and my schedule, it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.

I’m still on the fence about running the Charlotte Covered Bridges Half on September 9. I haven’t run long in two weeks due to my right foot niggles, but otherwise, I feel good, and pretty well trained. My heart is telling me to go for a PR attempt, but my budget is telling me that the $50 registration fee would be much better spent elsewhere. I’m toying with the idea of putting it off another month and finding a race in October, but I know myself well enough to know that I would have the same wishy-washy feelings then as I’m having now. Only time will tell whether or not this fall holds a half marathon for me.

Theatre
Oh my, am I LOVING this break right now. I continue to have FOMO over fall shows, but I just keep reminding myself how amazing it is not to have rehearsal or shows four times a week. I’m trying to just soak up all the relaxation I can, because I rarely allow myself to have down time, and I know it’s only a matter of time before I cram in something else.

Highlight
BEN CAME HOME! This was not the first time we’ve spent an extended period of time apart – we spent four months apart while he did a study abroad program when we’d only been dating for about four months – but him being away nearly the entire summer was still challenging for both of us.

The good news is, the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is definitely true. I feel like we’ve been so much more appreciative of each other, and spending a lot more time together since he got home. We’re also planning a weekend getaway to Toronto for October. Even though we travel a lot, we’ve actually NEVER taken a vacation together just the two of us. We’re always staying with/visiting other people. It will be nice to have some “us” time before we (hopefully) get pregnant in the next few months.

Lowlight
Our eye-opening appointment with the mortgage broker. We’re definitely not giving up by any means, but we’re expanding our options. We’re looking at potentially buying land and building a small house with the option to add on later, considering staying with his folks for another year or two, and lots of other possibilities. But yeah, seeing the bottom line numbers was scary and stressful for sure.

August Goals
As a refresher, my goals for August were:

  • Stick to “no booze and no treats Monday-Thursday” rule–mostly yes
  • Go to CF at least twice a week, preferably three–mostly yes
  • Run at least twice a week–mostly yes

So, the caveat with all of these goals is that I’m counting “August” as post-Dogfight. Once the show wrapped up on August 5, I did really, really well with getting to CrossFit three times a week, and running once or twice a week, with only a few exceptions (mostly due to my ouchie right foot). The no booze/no treats rule was messed up a few times due to special events like friends visiting from out of town, but for the most part I stuck with it, and it’s becoming the new normal. So much so that I’m not even making it a September goal!

September Goals

  • Go to CF 12 times (the max allowed with my membership) – no excuses!
  • Complete a 10+ mile long run
  • Plan a long weekend trip with Ben

Do you have any goals for September?

 

The FOMO is Real

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I don’t suffer too much from FOMO as far as social events go. I’m a bit of an introvert, and usually I’m pretty happy to just be hanging out at home with my cats and my husband. I’m generally happy when plans fall through or people bail, because it means I don’t have to put on pants and a bra and leave the house.

The only things I get true FOMO about are shows. Namely, shows that I want to audition for but somehow don’t work with my schedule, or could have auditioned for and didn’t and now I’m missing out on the experience. This FOMO is what has led to me doing two shows back-to-back on numerous occasions, even when I was exhausted and it probably would have been better to just take a season off.

As I contemplate our (hopefully) impending pregnancy, I’m ALREADY obsessing over the shows and theatre opportunities I might miss. For instance, Lyric Theatre Company’s fall show A Christmas Story the Musical is auditioning right now. The music is by Pasek and Paul, of Dear Evan Hansen and Dogfight fame. There’s a GREAT part for me. And the rumor mill is suggesting that audition turnout hasn’t been that great, meaning that I stand a very strong chance of getting the part I want. SO TEMPTING. Obviously I’m not auditioning because hello I need a break. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What if a local company does a show I really, really love while I’m 6 months pregnant, or I’ve got an infant child dependent on breast milk? I live in a relatively small city in a small state and some opportunities literally only come up once in a lifetime. I only have so many years left where it’s feasible for me to be cast in RENT, or The Last Five Years. Dogfight is a perfect example–it was the first time the show had ever been performed in Vermont, and due to the fact that it’s a small, not well-known show that never made it to Broadway, it might be YEARS before it’s produced in the area again, if ever, at which point, I will be too old to play Rose. I got lucky on this one.

I just can’t seem to shut off the nagging voice in my head that’s telling me to run out RIGHT NOW and audition for anything and everything I can until I’m too pregnant to pass as non-pregnant. I’m exhausted and burned out and have SO MUCH TO DO but I can’t help but think “What if I don’t get to do another show for a year? Two years? THREE YEARS?” I play mind games with myself, like, “You might not even get pregnant the first month. Or second. Or third. You could totally do a show this fall.” Which is INSANE! Cause if I do get pregnant right away, I’d be working a full time job AND rehearsing 15+ hours a week during my first trimester. That sounds terrible. But then, that devil’s advocate again. “If you don’t get pregnant by January, you can TOTALLY audition for the spring show.” I can’t stop.

Obviously, starting a family is my priority, and once you have a child/children, you’re simply going to miss some things. That’s how it goes. I get it. I’m sure once I have my own actual child, I will be a lot less worried about FOMO and more worried about keeping said child clean and fed and happy than “Oh, man, I could be rehearsing 20 hours a week right now.” I firmly believe that having children won’t preclude me from pursuing my passions. I have a loving, supportive husband who wants me to do what makes me happy. We are a team, so it’s not like I have to worry about, “Oh, well Ben can’t handle the kids without me.” That’s silly. It will just take some time to adjust to life with children. And I truly can’t wait. I just need to tell the FOMO to kindly shut the hell up.

Do you ever suffer from Fear of Missing Out? How do you handle it?

Dogfight Post-Mortem

Whew. Three weeks of shows for Dogfight the musical have come to an end, and I’ve got SO MANY thoughts and feelings, so I decided to do a little post-show brain dump.

As I’ve already said a couple of times, this rehearsal process was not that great. I was so, so excited for this show, and pretty much every rehearsal had me doubting that it was ever going to come together. Mercifully, it did, and the end product actually turned out to be pretty good in spite of all of the crap, which is great. As always, a show ending is bittersweet. I’ll miss the music. I’ll miss my friends. I’ll miss performing. But BOY am I ready for a break.

This experience really threw some things into focus for me. I have a good friend who talks a lot about process vs product. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how crappy the process is because the product is so good. And sometimes, the process is so crappy that it totally sours the product. Or the product isn’t super great but you have lots of fun working on it. In the case of Dogfight, we ended up with a good product, but the process sucked.

Going through this made me realize that I’m really, really over committing myself to projects that aren’t challenging and fulfilling. Yes, the music for this show was amazing, and I’m really glad I got to sing it, but I’m not sure that all the time I spent being stressed out, frustrated, and anxious was really worth it. Not to mention all of the time spent driving to and from Stowe, and the money I spent on gas, costume pieces, and makeup. Maybe it’s not for me to say, but I feel like I’m ready to be consistently performing at a higher level, and not just taking every opportunity that comes my way. At Stowe, I’m a big fish in a tiny pond, but I feel like I’m capable of being a medium-to-big fish in a bigger pond.

Unfortunately, this decision that my time and talent are worth more is coming a bit late, in the sense that I’m likely on the cusp of taking a fairly long break from performing in order to try and start a family. All I can hope is that there are better opportunities for me when I get back to it. I’m also already feeling the FOMO for all of the shows I may miss due to pregnancy and having a child. Expect a post expanding on this soon.

Until the next audition, I definitely plan to do all I can to keep improving. It’s really expensive, but I’m hoping to get back to voice lessons this fall, and maybe a dance class too. In order to do CrossFit, voice lessons, and dance classes, I will definitely need to do some pretty serious budget-trimming, but I’m ready to make the commitment, both in time and money, to things I’m passionate about.

On that note, as I teased in my July wrap up post, I have officially joined the PR and Development Committee for Lyric Theatre Company. I’ve been doing shows with them since 2002, and while I genuinely love and appreciate the organization for all it has given me and the community, there are of course things about how they operate that I think could be better. And rather than just bitching about it, I think it’s time I get more involved and actually work within the organization to help make it better. It will be nice to maintain an active role in the organization even if I’m not able to perform for a while.

Friday Free-For-All – 07/21/17

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BEN COMES HOME TODAY! For like, three whole days! This will be the longest he’s been home since July 1, and I am STOKED. He’s coming to see the show tomorrow, and then we are both actually home on Sunday, so I’m hoping we can just do an “us” day and hang out and relax together.

I took yesterday off and slept for 11 hours after opening night. I needed that, so badly. I’ve been feeling exhausted and emotional lately, so getting a bit caught up on sleep was 100% necessary. I felt like a new woman after spending pretty much all day parked on my tush.

Dogfight is going surprisingly well. I was very, very nervous about opening, but so far, so good. We had decent audiences for our first two shows, and I’m hopeful that as word of mouth spreads, we’ll have bigger crowds. At least one woman told me last night that she’s coming back, and bringing friends, which is always encouraging!

I’M GOING TO BROADWAYCON!! What is BroadwayCon, you ask? Well, it’s like ComicCon, but for Broadway. I’ve wanted to go the last two years but just couldn’t swing it. Since I’m not doing Disney this year (sadface), I decided to do BwayCon instead. I’m going with my friend Sarah. We’re going to take the train down, and she found an INCREDIBLE deal on a hotel a 10 minute walk from the convention center. I sprung for the “Gold” pass, which gets me some fun perks, including three guaranteed photo/autograph sessions with Broadway stars. I can’t freaking wait!

Have you ever gone to a convention like ComicCon? Which one?

May 2017 Wrap Up

CrossFit
I had sort of a weird crisis over CrossFit this month. I got suddenly very uncomfortable with how much it cost, and was frustrated with changes in my schedule that made it more difficult to get to class. I actually debated giving it up completely because I was just feeling so weird about it. I even started writing a post all about how I was feeling, but never hit “publish.”

Thankfully, I snapped out of it toward the end of the month. After a week and a half of no classes, I went to one that was just SO MUCH FUN, even though it was hard. It washed away any doubts I had that CF was something I wanted to stick with and I’ve been full bore ever since. Yes, it’s expensive, and yes, sometimes I don’t go as much as I “should,” but I love it, it’s a great compliment to running, and I’m so effing strong these days I hardly recognize myself. I love it.

Running
I was supposed to run four races this month, but only ended up with two, which is totally ok with me. The VT Respite House was my first race this year, and was pretty dang speedy. Then the Craft Brew Race was just a good time with my friend Megan.

I ran 8 times for a total of about 27 miles. I’m still trying to fit in two or three runs a week, but it’s hit or miss right now. CrossFit is my priority because I’m paying for my membership, but I love to squeeze in lunch runs when the weather is nice. I’m less dedicated when it comes to running in rain, cold, or on the treadmill.

Yoga
Sadly, I didn’t get to yoga even once. This month was surprisingly busy with social activities, and with Dogfight rehearsals starting up mid-month, my entire schedule shifted quite a lot and yoga was a lot less convenient. I hope to get back to it, but with summer temps on the horizon, hot yoga may not be quite as soothing as during the winter.

Theatre
We started Dogfight rehearsals, and so far, so good. Stowe Theatre Guild is a much smaller, less well-funded organization than Lyric Theatre, so things aren’t quite as well organized as I’d like, but I love the show so much that I’m just trying not to worry too much about anything and roll with it.

We also had a season kick-off cabaret on the 20th, which was a lot of fun. I got to sing a song from the show, and meet a bunch of the actors in the season’s other shows that I wouldn’t normally get to interact with. We had a decently-sized audience and I was pretty proud of the performance I gave in spite of never actually having rehearsed the song.

I’m feeling a bit anxious about the whole “I have to play guitar and sing onstage” thing, because the guitar that the director loaned me to learn/practice on has a broken string, so that hasn’t actually been happening yet. I’m ready to buckle down and work on it a lot this month, I just need to get a fully functional instrument.

I also scheduled my first professional theatre audition, and I’m feeling excited AND scared, to quote Little Red from Into the Woods. It’s a great opportunity, so I just need to relax, prepare, and do the best I can.

Highlight
Ben’s job situation has finally settled! For the last two years, he’s been on a temporary contract covering a leave of absence for someone, and after lots of delays, ups, and downs, he finally has a permanent part time position, and the district is allowing him to fill in some Instructional Aide blocks to pad him to full time so we can keep his benefits. This means buying a house and starting a family are ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.

Lowlight
Work has sort of slowly been draining my will to live. I am lucky in that I have excellent co-workers and really competitive pay, but the job I do is SO. BORING. 80% of the time I don’t have enough to do, and the other 20% of the time it’s batshit crazy. There is no in between. It’s been getting me really down lately, and I’ve started getting stress headaches at work, which is no fun.

I’m just trying to remind myself that the end (getting knocked up and not coming back to work after maternity leave) is squarely in sight now, so I just need to suck it up for another year or so. It could always be worse.

May Goals
As a refresher, my goals for May were:

  • Go to CF at least 10 times (my membership allows for 12 classes per month)–nope
  • Go to yoga at least twice–nope
  • Do at least one “long” run (4+ miles)–check!
  • Take the Honda to the dealership to deal with the airbag recall notice–nope

Boo. Not so great on the goals from this month. Hopefully I can do better for June.

June Goals

  • Run at least once a week (5 times total)
  • Go to CF at least twice a week (8 times total)
  • Take the Honda to the dealership to deal with the airbag recall

Do you like to set monthly goals? Do you find that they help you get stuff done?