Monday, January 19, 2009

Now I Remember Why I Love it So Much

This show, the Spitfire Grill, has really brought home to me why I love performance theatre. I had never realized how much a person could be affected by what we do on the stage. I have never received such glowing comments on anything I've done. And this cast is truly a remarkable cast to work with.

I wanted to share this letter from a patron. I hope she won't mind. I won't leave her name and I don't even know who she is myself. But it's too special to me not to share with those who read my blog.

This is a big excerpt from the email:

"Effy was a hoot and always a joy to watch. As we watched the transformation of Shelby from wall flower to a strong and assertive woman, we cheered. The actress who played Shelby was truly wonderful and her lyric vocals were a pleasure to hear as well as her dancing and duets. The wild bird song was so touching and the small duet with the sheriff added a sweet touch. We felt the desire of Shelby to comfort her friend, the pain of Percy as she thinks and relives the painful memories, and the love of the sheriff for Percy despite the rejection. A lot in a small package. Caleb was indeed a cad, but he was written that way, and it was well acted. The angst that Hannah must have gone through was well portrayed and we felt her pain as she struggled - very nice vocals to boot! I can't say anything that will do the scene with Eli justice. My kleenex ran out after that.

"The woman that played Percy was truly a blessing to hear. From opening to closing she was indeed a "spitfire". We loved hearing her sing and her dancing and acting just made it that much more enjoyable. When she sang the song on the hill with the sunrise I was grinning from ear to ear. There is forgiveness and second chances indeed. I whispered to my friend,"Where has she been? I didn't know we had ladies that good in Wasilla!" The man that played Joe...I had been hoping to see him in a musical again since Beauty and the Beast. When he sang both times on the hill he gave me goose bumps and his duet with Percy was flawless and we knew that there should be more coming. When Joe sang the forest and trees song and proposed to Percy my goosebumps came back. We could feel his intensity and passion from where we were sitting. When Joe looked at her we knew he loved her and that he was singing only to her - the rest of us just happened to be VPA voyeurs! My friend leaned over to me and said, "I bet they're a couple in real life. You don't fake that!" Please keep those two together because they are a joy to hear and to see together and the chemistry crackled.

"I went expecting just another night at VPA and left truly touched. My heart was warmed by the message of the story. I think the actor that played Joe mentioned that the story was heartwarming and spoke of love and forgiveness during the radio interview. He was right. I left having had a truly wonderful experience and one that I will remember fondly for a long time to come. I will be telling my other friends about this and encouraging them to go see the show."

I am truly blessed. I can't even express how emotional I feel right now. I cried earlier, tears of joy. Thank you for sending us such warm sentiments and letting us know that what we do is indeed special to many.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spitfire Success!

It's almost 3 o'clock in the morning right now. I can't sleep. I'm so jazzed up and feel the need to squawk about it.

The show is going great. The response is really amazing. Instead of the usual obligatory "Great show, wonderful job" statements you get from the patrons as they pass, we find ourselves surrounded by people grabbing our hands and saying with great exuberance, "That was fantastic!" and other expressions of rapture. People are REALLY enjoying this show!

Yes, we've had our share of problems. We've had several forgotten lines and song lyrics, a wig falling off on stage, a mic cord getting caught on something and requiring one of the techies to run to the store during intermission to get it working again. And that was all just tonight!

But it never seems to matter. We've had standing ovations both nights. I think the seats are going to fill up quickly.

And this cast is the most amazing cast I've ever worked with. The talent is impressive, and they like to go out and bond and have fun. We went karaoke-ing tonight and I'm still dancing and humming. So much fun. That's why I'm still awake. We have a matinee tomorrow, but at least I could sleep until 11:30 if I wanted.

This must be sinful, to be enjoying myself this much. Or at least fattening.

I'm going to be blubbering like a baby when this show closes. I hope I'll be able to put the tears to good use on the stage.

Friday, January 16, 2009

You Tube Spitfire Grill vids

Here's a taste of the Spitfire Grill. Please ignore the little problems here and there; we were still ironing out the bumps at this point!

Shoot The Moon

Diggin' Stone

Colors of Paradise

Opening Night!

Spitfire Grill opens tonight! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Okay, I feel better now.

I'm going to post the radio program that three of us did to plug the show yesterday somewhere on this blog. Just not sure where yet. We'll see where it appears!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Watch your backs, California!

Logannie-poo is headed your way!

Logan is going to visit his family for a bit. It's a good time for him to go, job-wise. I can't go back until after the show is over, so I've booked a flight for February 21. That's a Saturday and I'll stay until Friday, the 27th.

Rehearsals are getting better and better. I kind of wish we had one more week of rehearsals rather than one more night. But then, that's because I don't want the show to end. I'm having too much fun, I love the people I'm working with, and I don't want to drift apart when the show is over.

Sigh. Going to bed to dream.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Little House Weirdness

When I first read "These Happy Golden Years" from the Little House series of books, I cracked up when I read this line: " ... and everyone was so happy and gay because it was only 20 degrees below zero and the sun shone."

I figured at the time that it didn't really matter that it had been forty below earlier in the chapter because anything below zero is FREAKIN' COLD!

Well, in a way that is true. It seems once you get past a certain low temp, it just plain feels cold.

However, I will now admit that twenty below could feel downright warm after forty below.

The last few days, our lows have been in the -20s. It's been the lowest we've yet seen here in the Valley and we've been hearing from the locals that this is the worst winter in 30 years. (And last winter was abnormally mild, though it did snow in April.)

When we got up this morning to go to work, it was only -3. And it felt warm!

I wonder how the Big Lake folks are faring. Though they are only about 1/2 an hour away from us (about the distance of Shingle Springs to Pollock Pines, for my California friends), they were in the forty below range while we were in the -20s. Basically, those folks weren't going anywhere during that time; their cars were not cooperating!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I love Baffin and Tea!

Okay, two totally unrelated things that have both entered my life in the last few days and I love them both.

The first are my Baffin Impact winter boots. These things are worth every penny! My feet are so warm and they are so comfortable. Yes, they are on the huge side, so when I change to my regular shoes, I walk funny for a while. Like my legs are dragging or something. But when I walk outside in -20 degree weather, my feet are oh so toasty!

I would recommend Baffin to anyone living in extreme cold weather areas. These boots totally ROCK!

As for the other, I've been drinking tea off and on for a few years. Green tea mostly. I put honey in it, but it never really thrilled me. And you had to wait for the water to heat up, which I told myself I didn't have the time to do.

Well, a few days ago I got knocked to my knees with a head cold. It made me panic because the last time I had a cold, it took my voice away for a month. I am at this point two weeks away from my show opening. I need my voice!

On day two of my cold, more than half of my vocal range was gone. I could speak, but not very well. And definitely no upper range at all!

I refuse to take cold medicines. Most of them will actually prolong the cold because it dries up the symptoms, which are actually your body's processes of cleaning out the disease. And usually when I take those medicines to sleep, it's a drugged sleep, not a restful one.

So I stalked the internet, looking for natural remedies to cure my cold. Read about the usual hypes, echinacea, zinc, blah, blah, blah. Zinc has never worked for me. Read about garlic, may try that one next time.

The one I saw over and over again was tea with honey and lemon. So I started drinking at least three cups a day (I have several versions of green tea). I was also drinking as much water as I could manage throughout the day. And spending a lot of time running to the bathroom.

I even tried a variety box of teas specifically for colds, like Throat Coat, Breathe Easy, Organic Echinacea, and Gypsy Cold Care.

I think this cured me of my cold in three days.

The night before the third day, I spent two hours coughing and coughing while trying to sleep on the futon. Then all of a sudden it stopped. When I woke up, I was feeling fantastic. My voice took another day to start coming back.

I still have some phlegm floating around between nose and lungs, but the temps have been in the negatives for the last week (today, -24, the coldest we have seen yet). I wear thermals, my Baffins, my heavy coat, gloves, and my turtle head thing that covers my head, neck, and face except for my eyes. I think everyone is in the same boat as me at this point!

Anyway, I'm in love with tea + honey + real lemon and my Baffin boots. I think these are true necessities for dealing with your health in cold climates like Alaska.

Just my humble opinion, of course! ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy yew near!

What's a yew?

Anyway, this is the first post of 2009!!!!

And I have nothing interesting to say.

Just kidding.

Lookie what I did with some of my friends here in Wasilla, Alaska! Summer, who is props mistress for the Spitfire Grill, invited me to join her in this video project. Apparently there's a contest for promoting a book called "Beyond Heaving Bosoms". Summer wrote a script, gathered a bunch of us together, and we shot almost all of it in one day.

And I gotta tell you, that was one blustery day! Single digits with a wind chill in the negatives. We'd run outside, do a shot, then run back in and warm up until the next take. I'm glad I was wearing my red Southern Bell dress; I had my long johns and my hiking boots with thick wool socks underneath!

Win or lose, we had a total blast. I can't wait to see the bloopers! Here's the finished project:

I'm "amnesia girl"!

Happy New Year to one and all. This year, my resolution is to finally finish and lay to rest the novel I have been working on for seven years. It's the first novel I ever completed, but I've been rewriting and polishing it forever. I want to get it done and start submitting it for publication, then move on to my other projects waiting in the wings.

Anyway, hubby has commanded my attention elsewhere. Adios, adieu, and all that jazz until later!