Friday, May 20, 2005

Basking in the Afterglow

All week I've been basking in the afterglow of the Smoke on the Mountain experience....

Last night, I went to a concert and twice had people (who I did not know) recognize me and tell me how much they enjoyed the show. (I've only lived in Huntsville a few years, so running into people who know me is still an unusual occurrence.)

Plus, this week as I've been up speaking in front of people - Toastmasters' meeting, choir rehearsal, my students' recital - I've felt different.... more calm, more self-assured... less anxious.... almost like it's just no big deal anymore!

I am so grateful for the experience and for such a fun way to step out of my comfort zone!

And since I am so bad at getting around to writing thank you cards, I wanted to say some thank you's to the Smoke Cast here.... especially since I'll miss the cast party on Sunday....
  • Clint (Mervin, the preacher) - You are an incredible inspiration to me and a superb example of what it means to pour your whole self into your character and into the show. Every night you inspired us all to keep our energy up and to "get into the spirit". You put 110% + into everything you do and you're not afraid to learn new things - like how to play the piano and the accordion! I really enjoyed working with you in this new capacity and hope we get a chance to share the stage again!
  • Emily (Denise, the "girl" twin) - Your ability to memorize the whole show word-for-word is amazing! You were the first one out of book and the first to know all the lyrics and chords to the songs. Everything you do, you jump into with excitement.... whether it's learning how to play piano or stand up bass for the show... or filling in on Dennis' solos the last night - sprained ankle and all! You are awesome!
  • Amber (June, older sister) - One who "doesn't sing, I sign".... and steals the show every time with your "home-made" signing! You are also an inspiration and a tremendous example of what it means to get into your character 100%. You are a quiet, calm, yet intense presence on stage and I learned a lot from watching you. I hope we can work together again.
  • Mel (Uncle Stanley) - Your beautiful voice, your solid vocal support and your strong stage presence was a joy to work with. Thank you for your dedication and learning to play the guitar and the stand up bass for the show!
  • Kelly (Burl, father) - I already knew and appreciated your musical talents - vocal, guitar, bass, violin.... I really enjoyed working with you on stage and getting to know a little more about your many other talents and interests..... hunter, pilot, doctor, lawyer....
  • Ryan (Dennis, the "boy" twin) - Watching you get into your monologue and solos was inspiring - definite "show-stealing" qualities! Every night, of all the songs in the show, I'd go home singing "Life is like a mountain railroad....." Thanks for all the energy you added to the show - and for learning the piano (and guitar!)
  • Jayce (Cousin Cletus) - Banjo Picker, Extrodinaire!! You are amazing.... and it seemed like you just kept getting better and better! It would NOT have been the same show without your talented musical handiwork!
  • Bob (Director) -Thank you for all you do behind stage to support the arts in Huntsville and through Renaissance Theatre. And I can't say thank you enough for giving me the opportunity and the encouragement to spread my wings and give the acting world a try..... It was an incredible experience and I loved it!
Here's to continuing the Journey.... stepping out and enjoying the ride with strong support and encouragement from a great, Smokin' cast.... Thank you!

- Becky

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Smoke Cast

Smoke Cast
Smoke Cast,
originally uploaded by bwaters.
Tonight was the last show of a two week, 7-show run. I have loved every minute of it, from the first rehearsal to the end of tonight's show!

It has been a very rewarding - and definitely, comfort zone expanding experience.

Now, I have very mixed feelings - part of me is glad it's over, as this is the next to the last thing checked off on my rediculously busy Spring Semester. (Student recital on Tuesday is the last!)

But part of me is also a little sad. You have been my "family" over the last 2 1/2 months. And with no cast party tonight, the experience seems a little "unfinished" and incomplete.... I look forward to getting back together with everyone in a couple of weeks to celebrate!

Here's to continuing the Journey.... expanding comfort zones and making new friends!


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Political Profile

Just for the record... I'm not the least bit interested in politics. I can't even keep it straight in my head what "conservative" or "liberal" or "republican" or "democrat" means or stands for or anything.....

But when I discovered the How Liberal/Conservative Are You? quiz at Blogthings... my curiosity got the best of me! Here's my results: (sorry, I can't figure out what is making the profile frame be so far down! It's driving me crazy!!)

Your Political Profile

Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal


Here's to continuing the Journey.... and learning more bits and pieces about yourself!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Decisions and Change

I apologize for not writing a post in awhile.... this acting stuff takes a lot of energy and time! Dress rehearsals Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and shows Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee! (Smoke on the Mountain) Plus my parents, their friends and a couple of my friends were in town for the Saturday show.

Needless to say, I'm very glad to be having a couple of days off! Then do four more shows this week - Wednesday through Saturday. I sure hope the sore throat I woke up with Monday morning is gone by tomorrow night!! Went to the doctor and got some hi-power drugs today. Not my usual mode of operation... but then, neither is singing and speaking in front of a lot of people every night!

In the meantime, between shows, lessons and coaching, I've been making decisions and changes in my life. So Decisions and Change seemed to be a good topic for the May issue of my newsletter, Create a Happy 'Tude.
Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.
- Anthony Robbins, American advisor to leaders
Here's to continuing the Journey... growing, changing, making decisions.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Feed Off the Audience"

At the beginning of my comfort-zone-stretching, first-time-since-10th-grade new actress adventure... (read Stepping Out for the background story)... the idea of memorizing all my lines and remembering where the heck to say them seemed like an impossible task! And I was terrified of the probability that the audience would be laughing or might even shout out comments or something during my monologue... (which IS hysterical!)

But all the experienced actors told me that I would know my lines and be so in to what I was saying that it wouldn't bother me, and that I'd actually "feed" off their laughter.

Well, I nodded and smiled like a "good girl," but I didn't buy it.

Last night, though, I got a taste of what they meant....

We had three older couples walk in unexpectedly during our rehearsal, giving us our first "real" audience.... and now I understand!

Wow... what a rush! Having them there laughing, singing along, enjoying the show was tremendously encouraging and energizing! Just think what it will be like with the whole place filled with people!

I can't wait... I'm hooked! Let the feast begin!

Here's to continuing the Journey.... stretching, growing, experiencing, believing!


P.S. See pictures here.... scroll down to the second show listed. (I'm the one in the gold dress.)