Monday, May 7, 2012

You Should Really Fix Your Teeth

I really wasn't that good.

I was a teenage Gleek.  I was in choir from the time I was a wee awkward chubby girl.  And on it went until my junior year of High School when my Choir Director told me I should audition for the musical.  It was Anything Goes. 

I did.  I auditioned.  FOR THE CHORUS.  Because it never EVER occurred to me that I could be anything other than in THE CHORUS. 

Then the Director called my mom at home and asked if I could audition for one of the leads instead of just the chorus.  I flipped the hell out.  My mom encouraged me.  And I did.  And I got the part.  Talk about heady.  Look, Theatre and Chorus kids were not the cool kids at our High School.  But in that circle, to be a lead in a musical, meant I was PRETTY. HOT. SHIT. 

Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes.  That's me on the right, sailor dress, bad perm, shoulder pads.  Who cares that it was a 1920's show?  The set designer had to specially design rails on the "boat" set for me to hold onto while singing my solos, because I was so spastic and couldn't stand still while singing.
I started watching Glee because I am absolutely a geek and a glee club kid and a nerd and musically and theatrically gifted.  In certain ways.  But in many, more important ways, I was just not very good. 
Rachel Berry on Glee
I won't say I was a Rachel Berry, because I didn't have a pinkie's worth of her talent, but the yearning and the passion she has for the stage and performing, I had that.  For a long time.  With the figure skating for years and years and then the couple years of high school theatre under my belt, I was ready to conquer the world.  To become an actress.  And, I didn't want to be famous, I just wanted to do my CRAFT.  To perform and have people recognize the genius of my ability in the THEATRE.  AHEM AHEM AHEM. 

Every single high school has these kids.  These kids that are special at this one thing.  The football hero, the math genius, the Prom Queen.

I told my parents I wouldn't go to College, as I was Broadway Bound.  Not Los Angeles, that wasn't for me.  I longed to be on the stage.  And honestly, I did at that time.  My dad said, NO FUCKING WAY (not in those words, but close) are you not going to college, so we compromised and I went to school for theatre.  I have a B.S. in Acting.  Hold the snickering down please. 


Stage Left.  I even got to have a baby bump in part of this one.  The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods.

College was a battle.  I wasn't that good and the deck was stacked against me as there were politics and talent at play and I didn't really get many good shows and parts.  Also, I was super nervous and didn't play the game very well.  I wasn't a victim and it's not "poor me".  That's just how it was.  The Theatre School experience is a post for another day.  Or many posts.  Anyway.....

I graduated college and went out to a ton of auditions and got a few parts in Chicago theatre for a few years.  I got a couple agents, although they basically told me I was generic and needed to get my teeth fixed.  I waited tables and became a drunk.  I was living the dream! 

Into the Woods AGAIN as the Ugly Stepsister(s) in the pink.  Long story. 
And it was fun.  And it was what I wanted.  Until it wasn't.  And then one day I realized, I don't even enjoy doing this anymore.  So I just didn't go to auditions anymore.  I didn't look at the Hotlines for notices.  All of this coincided with me becoming a serious drunk, mind you, and the last show I did I was in a COMPLETE black out.  I read reviews of this show in the paper, talking about how good my performance was, and I had NO MEMORY of it. 

The worst part of acting for me at least, was auditioning.  There was a scene in the last Glee where Rachel was up on stage and flubbed a song for an important audition.  Even if you've never had to audition for anything, you cringed for her.  I've done that flub.  A few times.  And it is MORTIFYING.  I dream of these times now a few times a week.  No lie.  I wonder if it will ever go away.   If I feel like doing it again, I always can.  I just heven't felt the need, the desire, the passion to do it again, so I figure, why force it?  Chicago is a great city for theatre, and my dear husband happens to be a big shot Director.  He is really good.  He is way better at acting and directing than I ever was at acting.   

There are many reasons I love my life today.  One of the main reasons is that I no longer have to audition for any part.  I don't have to pretend in any part of my life in order to escape.  Not through acting, and not through alcohol.  I've gotten the part I never dreamed I was good enough for, and that is being exactly who I am in my own skin.  Oh, and I never got my teeth fixed.  Fuck all that bullshit.  I am good enough just as I am. 

31 comments:

  1. You are more than good enough. You are AMAZING. Don't change one thing - especially not that million dollar smile. <3 ~Betsy

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    1. Not changing, except going upwards. xo

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    2. OOH KitKat!! I just LOVE you!!!
      I was a drama geek/nerd, I got my degree in theater and I hated, HATED auditions. There was not enough deodorant in the world to help with the pit stains that would follow. In fact, you've inspired me to blog about my whole, gave up my theater dreams of becoming a broadway star because I hate auditions chapter of my life!
      My daughter just was cast in Into the Woods at the community theater. She's Milky the Cow- she's so excited she doesn't have any lines or solos. Yeah! Fist pumps air!

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  2. You ARE good enough, just as you are. I truly enjoy reading your blogs, and learning more about what an amazing, strong woman you are. (Yeah, it sounds sappy, sorry 'bout that)

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    1. sappy is good. Sometimes. Thank you!

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  3. Hell yeah. Say it loud, darlin'.

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  4. OMG I love you and I too am a theater geek as well. Who knew? Now I sing at church pffft...

    I LOVE YOU!!! and your smile...did you see my teeth int he pic I posted puuuhhhlease?????

    *m

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  5. And you are an adorable, funny chick! You are just awesome the way you are!

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  6. I love it that you are so honest. What you described is my daughter's dream. She'll be 16 soon & has big dreams of Broadway. She does have the talent, just unrefined. And that's more than parent bias - we have a lot of choir & theater people tell us this about her. We have tried to tell her what reality can mean & I think she believes we just want to discourage her. I had her read your post. She was in tears knowing this could be all too real. We will keep encouraging her dream, but she needs some reality to kick in, too. I also want her to see that you are OK. That you are a wonderful chick because of this stuff. So...you helped us to parent. That's a big deal. We needed that help. So thank you for this post. Really.

    Also...she thinks you look like Jessica Simpson.

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    1. Holy cow. This is intense. I'm honored you would share me with her. It's tough to keep realistic when chasing your dreams. She will be ok though. She's got you. Jessica Simpson. Yes! Thank you for sharing this with me.

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  7. You are the most darling girl...and I don't mean "girl" in a derogatory way. Your honesty is so refreshing and your energy for life is out of control. I truly believe you are amazing.

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    1. thanks lady! Life is pretty damn good today. xo

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  8. Wonderful! Love this. Love you. Rock on sister!

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  9. Awesome. Fellow choir girl and drama club member here, too. I wasn't much of an actress though, I'm way too self-conscious. I can sing though, but no one knows it because of the aforementioned self-consciousness. Yeah.
    I heart you lady. xoxo

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    1. I heart you! and drama and choir girls gotta stick together. xo

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  10. great post! i loved every syllable. i was in orchestra (2nd violin!) in HS and the only reason i did that was because a very cool girl was first chair, so i thought, "if they're gonna razz me, then they can razz her too" which they didn't - i didn't get razzed. then after orchestra, i joined chorus. loved it. i was a soprano until my tonsillectomy at 16 (long story) which turned me into an alto. that sucked. so i quit. i wanted to be on stage too, but my mother was / is The ActOr in our family and that's another story. you've inspired me to be less self-conscious. And y'know what? if you get the bug to go back on stage, even for a bit part, go for it. you've earned it. and oh! one more thing: i did get my teeth fixed. at 35 i had the braces removed and my mother looked at me and said, "great! now let your eyebrows grow in." that's a post i need to write. i hope you and your husband have your baby. goodness knows, a baby out there could use someone realistic and lovely like you. :)

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    1. I so relate to all of this. We have much in common. I would read those posts! thank you. xo

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  11. I was a band nerd with crippling self-image issues. A part of me wanted to join the drama club, but I couldn't do it. I wish I had, though, because it would have pushed me.

    I love the way you wrapped up this post in the end. The way you recognize and approve of your true self without the need to escape is inspiring. I'm not there yet. I suppose it's in the contrast, if that makes any sense. Your ability to survive and thrive coupled with the extreme challenges you've faced have pushed you toward the top of the self-love spectrum. I've been able to avoid tragedy and desperation for the most part, but it shows in how sheltered I am.

    What I mean to say is, I see your strength, and it's empowering. Thanks for that.

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    1. oh band geeks are my people. You know I adore you. We are growing and learning confidence every day. You included. thank you for this.

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  12. I was the chubby chorus/drama maniac in high school. Had a couple singing solos, quite a few leads in musicals. I also LOVE Glee, because I totally relate. My leading roll these days is MOM. I sing to my babies...biggest and most exciting roll of my life :)

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  13. Love it! I also played hope in our high schools production of Anything Goes, and my teeth could use a good fixin'....meh, they're all gonna fall out anyway!

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  14. My step son and I were just discussing what a great phrase, "fuck that shit" is, so I laughed when I read that. I love that you were all brave enough to go out and audition and perform and then you realized when you wanted to stop and stopped.

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    1. I love that you and your son were discussing that phrase.

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  15. Fuck all that bullshit. I heart you. Seriously. I think about you all the time lately. But not like in a crazy stalker way, because that would just be wrong. And creepy. More like in a I hope you're really hanging in there kind of way, because I know that waiting can suck my ass. I'm sure waiting can suck your ass too. Not that I presume to speak for your ass or anything.

    Hey....I bet I made you laugh at least. ;)

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  16. Hah, love the inclusion of the photos. You definitely seem to be comfortable in your own skin now, no hiding behind a costume, or a drink. Hooray for you.

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  17. My little 12 year old, Peanut is a drama and choir junky. In a good way. She loves it. I hear her singing throughout the house all the time. It's cute. As a matter of fact, her first program for this year is tomorrow night. She's stoked. And I'm happy that she has something she's so passionate about. It's hard for me to completely identify as I'm a tone-deaf-stage-fright-nerd.

    I did the drama thing in high school, for credit hours but when it came time to get on stage... in front of people ... I cried! HA! I'm better as a anything else :P

    Great post as always Katy and thank you. I can see what my future holds with the Peanut - on stage. :)

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