Friday, December 3, 2010

Blue Skies, Smilin' at Me

My blogging has been less than zero lately, here and on my other blogs. Blogging rules say that I'm not "supposed" to apologize for long absences, so I won't, but I am going to explain where I've been anyway. It's my blog, and I can do what I want!

I've been a more than a little preoccupied lately with a musical that I've been working on now since August. It's a production of "White Christmas" that the Scugog Choral Society in Port Perry is doing. (Tickets are almost sold out, but you can get what's left here) It's based on the old Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye movie, for those who don't know. It has fantastic music, a lot of dancing, and a whole lotta love! And the parting of the Red Sea! No, seriously!

The show closes tomorrow night. We have three shows left between now and then. Honestly, despite the show taking over a large chunk of my life lately, I am pretty bummed about the end.

I hear a lot from people in my life that I shouldn't "waste my time" being in the chorus of shows. These are people who love me, and care about me, and know my background in theatre. They think I should hold out and only do shows if I have lead roles. I understand where they're coming from, and truthfully I'm always a little bit bummed out to be "in the chorus AGAIN" but I don't have the strongest singing voice, and I know that, so even though it's always a bit disappointing to be given yet another chorus role, I end up accepting happily, because I know that in the end I will enjoy myself. I also don't do these shows in the hopes of being discovered by an agent, or a major movie director who just HAPPENS to go see a show in small town Ontario. I do them because I love musicals. I have them in my blood. I love the fact that in musicals it's okay - even expected - to have BIG emotions. If you're happy, you're the happiest guy in the world, but if you're not, it's the biggest trauma you've ever experienced. There's no in between in musicals. I love the costumes, and the dancing, and most of all, the music.

I openly admit that I wish life were like a musical. I truly believe that I should have an orchestra follow me around at all times who could just play along to whatever song fits my emotional state at the time. It's one of the reasons I love Glee - they just HAPPEN to have a band who can play any song, any time. It's my dream for life.

This show has been so much more to me, though. I always enjoy doing shows, but sometimes the cast gels better than others. This has been one of those times. I knew a lot of the cast members before, through other productions with various companies, and some were good friends, but there were some I had never had the opportunity to work with previously. There were some I had "known" but didn't really know. There were a few that I was already good friends with. This particular combination, though, has proven to be magical (yes Liz, I'm stealing your word!)

I am really sad to know that after Saturday night I won't see these people again, in this particular grouping, on a regular basis. As much as I know my husband is dying to have me home again all the time to help with the kids, it has been a joy to go to the Town Hall, knowing that I was going to see them, and spend the evening running up and down stairs for copious costume changes, sitting backstage and whispering along to songs I don't get to sing, but wish I did, and occasionally making somewhat obscene comments - away from the younger members of the cast, of course! I've gotten to spend more time with one good friend than I have in years; I've gotten to know people I've worked with previously, but didn't really spend time with (even if some of them are total divas who have to have a follow spot everywhere they go!); and I've been lucky enough to get to know a few new absolutely fabulous people that I hope will stay in my life after the curtain closes for the last time.

There's almost always a camaraderie amongst a cast, and over the years I've learned that those fast friendships formed backstage can quickly fade after the final curtain call. I really hope that won't be the case this time. The friendships I've made, and strengthened, are far too valuable for that.