Sunday, August 16, 2015

"You got to be hearty." --Aunt Eller

It's been an interesting week.

I actually wrote the first draft of this blog entry on the back of Thursday's sides, while waiting in between takes on the set of "Stepsister." The battery on my phone was dying, so that was out, and they were shooting 15 feet away from the talent holding area, so chatting was a no-go.

That day was my second day on set--the first was Monday. And lemme tell ya, that one day helped me understand why actors can get a reputation for being prima donnas. I didn't have a trailer, but I did have a private room (with a massage chair?!) with my name on the door. I ordered breakfast from catering and someone wearing an earpiece brought it to me in the makeup trailer. People kept asking me if I needed anything. Between takes, another person wearing an earpiece would hand me a water bottle with a straw...they would wipe the condensation off the bottle beforehand. And I was just this tiny part in this low-budget film. And I get that really, everything they do, they do for the movie, and not for me. But it felt bizarre.

I tried to be really polite and easy-going on set, in part because that's what good human beings do, and in part to remind myself to not take any of it for granted...that I wasn't entitled to any of it. Between filming on that set and doing a show at the Hale (where there are designated people to put on and take off my wig and a kitchen full of snacks), I have felt unreasonably spoiled.

Which, now that I think about it, has been a huge blessing. Because the last week or so felt kind of insane. I got new headshots. We had tech week. I got sick. I was filming for two days. I was working at Alianza, which is in the midst of preparing an appeal if we get put on the chopping block by the state of Utah, which we are in line to do. I had a video audition. "Oklahoma" opened on Wednesday, and Alianza starts classes a week later.

I realized the other day that I cried every single day the past week. Just from the emotional strain of it all. But in the words of Aunt Eller, "Ya cain't deserve the sweet n' tender in life less'n you're tough."

And my life IS filled with the sweet and tender. I GET TO DO WHAT I LOVE. Half of the things causing me stress last week were things that I have been hoping to do for my entire life. And among all the stress and strain, there have been some beautiful moments, too.

Friends holding me on a couch in the greenroom at the Hale, while I tried not to cry, feeling their arms around me as I confessed the things that were hurting me. Laughing with joy backstage and in the audience while fellow actors make astounding discoveries. An incomparable director hugging me and giving me compliments on my work that I could hardly believe were meant for me. Making new friends, and strengthening friendships with old ones. Gathering with co-workers at Alianza, even while we are settling down into the trenches to save our school.

Oh, and this came in the mail:

I'm eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild. (The union for screen actors.) I'm not going to join quite yet, because A) I ain't got the $3000 initiation fees and B) Utah is a "right to work" state, which means non-SAG actors can still get lots and lots of work, even on SAG projects. But it's still this amazing milestone, and I'm so excited to have reached it.

And "Oklahoma" is open! We made it! And we don't suck! And I finished this little project that I've been working on the entire rehearsal process--a little "making of video."

I was more nervous on opening night of "Oklahoma" than I have been for a very very long time. But it's a beautiful show, and everyone in it is wonderful, and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

If this blog is quiet for a while, it's because I'm trying to help open a charter school for a new school year/doing a show/auditioning for stuff. But I've got some sweet and tender in life to go along with the tough parts.

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