Monday, July 31, 2006

Maggie the Cat, Dream Role

For every actor, there is one role that he or she is dying to do. For me, that role is Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

Fifteen years ago, I was breaking in the Piedmont cafeteria and walked passed an audition notice for Kernersville Little Theatre's production. I had done my high school plays and was looking for something to do, so I decided to audition. Looking back on it now, I have to laugh. I was no where old enough, or experienced enough to play Maggie. The director called me and, though he turned me down for the role, he did offer me assistant stage manager. That's where my love of theatre was born. But, back to Maggie.

Ruthie Tutterow played our Maggie. She was, in a word, fabulous. I remember standing backstage watching her performance. Ruthie brought such life to the complex, catty Maggie. I decided then and there that Maggie was my dream role.

And so I was very excited to learn that The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem was opening their season with "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Today's audition date has been marked on my calendar, even before the auditions dates were posted on their website. (Thanks Jen, and sorry to have bugged you!)

I got to the theater a little after 7 and spend some time filling out the audition form, getting my picture made, chatting with people I knew and sizing up the other actresses. I went in to read more than an hour later, so I had plenty of time to review the sides. Then it was my turn....

I felt really good about my reading. When I came out, Pat asked how I did. (You usually know when you've messed up a reading or not given 100% of yourself.) I told him I was very pleased with my reading.

And guess what!! I got a callback! Tomorrow I will return and read with more folks. While I still might not get my dream role, I am very excited to have been called back. That's a personal accomplishment, in and of itself.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Celebrity Match-up

Here's a fun thing to do on a rainy day. Go to and upload a picture of yourself. Their "face recognition" software matches celebrities to your facial similarities. The software looks at bone structure, spacing-between-the-eyes, etc.

I used my "profile" picture. And I am in some beautiful company!

I matched Mira Sorvino best with a recognition factor of 67%.

Rachel McAdams at 64%

and Demi Moore with 60%.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

US Airways and the Postal Service

I just got my severance check today. According to the yellow stickers (yes, plural stickers) my check has been bouncing back and forth between Washington, DC and Lewisville since July 7!! Four yellow stickers indicate my check was "returned to sender" each time.

Now, the address on the check is, in fact, my correct address. I am absolutely at a loss as to why the local post office sent it back in the first place. I've received other pieces of mail (mostly junk and bills) at my address. Why someone slapped on the first yellow sticker I'll probably never know. I can only guess at the initial excuses, "We had a new employee." "We got your name confused with someone else."

Upon return receipt, US Airways did exactly what they were supposed to do: check employee records. Yep, the address on the check is the same one we have on file. Maybe it was just a new employee or name confusion. We'll just drop the check into the nearest mailbox, yellow sticker and all.

Now the post office is holding my severance check for the second time, and, noticing the yellow sticker....what do they do? Check their computer for a correct address? Remove the original sticker and deliver the check to the correctly printed address? Seek a supervisor for additional assistance? Heck no! We'll just assume we were correct the first time and that Cheryl isn't at that address. Slap goes another sticker. Shuffle off to Washington.

My check is, again, in the hands of US Airways. Have you read the papers about the airline lately? They are overworked and morale is so low since too many employees have been layed off due to the merger. (Hello? I totally understand. It is my severance check after all!) Everything is moving to corporate headquarters in Tempe, AZ and since Washington, DC is not in Tempe...well, we'll just re-re-mail the check to the exact same address. And because they are overworked and losing their jobs they don't care enough to remove both yellow stickers.

Now the post office is admiring my check for the third time. Did the price of stamps go up recently? We've no money to pay (good) employees since too many people are emailing these days and snail mail is becoming obsolete. So are postal (no pun here) employees. With an attitude similar to US Airways' the third yellow sticker gets slapped on my check. Shuffle ball change back to Washington.

Are there US Airways employees still in Washington? No human being could have possibly layed eyes on my severance check. There are three neon yellow stickers pasted on my check. No one investigates employee records to find a telephone number. Nope, instead we'll make an assumption. She is obviously not at the listed address, so any telephone number located would most likely be incorrect as well. Third time may just be the to Lewisville.

Now the post office is really getting ticked. Three yellow stickers? Is US Airways that dense? Does US Airways not understand what "return to sender" means? Well this should teach that airline....whack goes the fourth yellow sticker. Drop kick back to Washington.

We were guaranteed to receive severance checks within 45 days. Most of my co-workers received them within 4 weeks. Two days ago I send an email to my HR representative who, incidentally, is in Tempe, AZ. I receive a voicemail from US Airways who, incidentally, is located in Washington, DC advising that I should be receiving my check by Friday. "Please call back if you do not receive it."

A package was hand-delivered this afternoon to my door compliments of FedEx. My severance check, with four yellow stickers attached, was inside.

Tempe, AZ and FedEx....I thank you. To the rest of you, well, enough said.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I finally went down to the Employment Security Commission to sign up for unemployment. I, apparently, dressed all wrong. I was wearing a long skirt and a sleeveless shirt. Based on the fashion in the room, dirty jeans and a t-shirt would have sufficed. Guess I'll know what to wear next time.

I felt very uncomfortable being there today. I felt as though everyone was looking at me and wondering just why I was there. I certainly wasn't dressed like I'd lost my job, and I certainly looked able-bodied enough to hold a job. When it was my turn, I gave the lady my name and told her I had been displaced from US Airways. "Huh?" I tried again. "You mean you were layed off, right?" Yeah, I was embarrassed to be there. But, since my employer pays for these benefits, why shouldn't I utilize them?

Anyway, I'm all signed up. I just need to start pounding the pavement. Problem is, I still don't really know what I WANT to do. I just need to suppress that feeling, and just go with what I NEED to do to meet my financial obligations.

After all, that's why it's called WORK and not FUN....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

List Item - Checked Off

It's one of those lazy Sunday afternoons where I haven't done a whole heck of a lot. Mostly I'm playing on the computer. But I was able to accomplish something today. Something that I can now check off my list of "Things To Do Before I Die".

Today I watched my very first Ester Williams movie!!! Silly, I know, but up until today I had only seen clips from some of her movies. I've always loved her water ballet, staging, choreography, etc. I finally flipped the channel at the perfect moment so I could watch it from the beginning. It was "Million Dollar Mermaid". It was a bit silly, but I sure did love the water number.

So, if I should die tomorrow, I will die having accomplished one of my list items. And no, I won't tell you what the other items are.....

You Can Be a Pepper Too!

Look! Oh, looky what I found! Kenny Mathews in full Pepper costume! I am almost wetting my shorts again. Enjoy!

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm Doing Dallas

I was in a crappy mood all day, having done not much of anything but veg. While I was a little down about the show closing (and trust me, I was just as surprised by that emotion) I was actually looking forward to a couple of weeks off to prepare for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Grace and Glorie auditions. Ken IMed around 5:30p. I updated him on my crappy mood, and he was preparing to head to his first rehearsal of Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. Around 6p he IMed me again. "Why don't you come to rehearsal?" Now why the hell would I want to come to his rehearsal? "Hell, no." I retorted. He then told me Jamie left a message offering me the role of Tammy. I really thought Ken was pulling my leg. My phone did not chirp all day. But when I checked it, sure enough, I had a voicemail. Yep, Jamie was offering the part to me.

I headed over to Ken's house. He was much more excited than I was. We had had lengthy conversations about the show, and how I wasn't sure I would ever want to do it because of the "simulated" situations. And yet, here I was on my way to rehearsal. Theresa saw me first and was excited. Rebecca came in and we hugged like true cheerleaders. "It will be so much fun!" they promised. The rest of the cast was also happy to finally have a Tammy, and a full cast for rehearsal.

Wouldn't you know that the first scene we blocked was Tammy helping Donna (Rebecca's role) stretch....suggestively. I turned 15 new shades of red. Nothing like jumping right into the biggest acting challenge yet. Woohoo.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Four words - Thank goodness it's over!

During the run of a show those four words usually don't enter my vocabulary until closing on the 3rd weekend. This show ran one weekend, just 4 little days. Still, I cannot tell you how happy I am that the show is over. From a testy costumer, the set falling down during final dress to dealing with an ungiving actress each night, the show was very trying. Theatre is supposed to be fun and this show was anything but fun.

There were a few positive things. Mallorie and I worked on the show together. She ran lights and did a great job, especially with the "fireworks". Our stage manager, Sarah, and our artistic designer, Deborah, were wonderful to work with. Also, the KLT community really rallied around Randy, our director.

Still, I'm so glad that it's over. I'm looking forward to some down time.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Take Me Out to the ballgame

Ken and I went to go see Theatre Alliance's production of "Take Me Out" last night. Now, Ken, Mallorie and I usually attend shows together. However as TA's second "naked gay show" this was not one Mallorie could attend. I was also Ken's means of fending off any potentially interested gay guy with a broken "gadar".

I attended the show for one reason only: to be supportive of my friend, Craig Dixon, who was in the cast. I was well aware, and had been for several months, that there would be full frontal nudity, so I was nervous about going to the show. Don't get me wrong, I saw "Love! Valor! Compassion!" last year, so I knew what to expect with the nudity. It's just that Craig and I have been friends for more years than I care to admit, and seeing him in "all his glory" was not on my "Things To Do Before I Die" list. Still, he is my friend and so we went.

The show was good and the actors did a really great job. Jon Odom, was believably arrogant, Mark March was great as the redneck player, and Craig delivered his lines with gusto. Mark Armstrong was the highlight of the entire show. I've seen many shows that Mark has done, and I feel blessed to know him. But last night I absolutely fell in love with him! He brought such life, realistic and comical, to his character. He was phenomenal! He is exactly the kind of actor I aspire to be.

The show runs next weekend as well. There's "plenty" to see, so prepare yourself.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pre Fun Fourth

When I arrived at the Cultural Center for rehearsal tonight, I was surprised to see tables in the hallway. They were decorated in full 4th splendor. Apparently the sponsor(s) for Greensboro's Fun Fourth spares no expense! The event crew was still tooling around in their golf carts, chatting on walkie-talkies, working so hard to get things ready for tomorrow. I ran into JD, who is one of the head honchos for the event. He mentioned that he, most likely, will only get about two hours of sleep before he's back at it again tomorrow. Whew! I wished him the best o'luck and lots of sleep on the 5th!!

Based on the decorations and how hard the event crew is working, Fun Fourth will be spectacular.

Tale as Old as Time

I must hand it to West Side Civic Theatre. Their latest production, "Beauty and the Beast" (which they promoted as their biggest undertaking in their history) was wonderful.
Ken, Mallorie, Cade and I saw the show last night. Well, Cade didn't finish the show. I had to call Allan to come pick him up since he was a bit restless and chatty. (Cade, not Allan.) As soon as Allan got there, it started to rain. Some folks decided they didn't want to brave the outdoor performance and left. (Rain plagued this production. One of the performances was rained out last week.) We decided a little rain never hurt anyone. As long as the show was continuing, we'd support the actors by remaining. We were glad we did.

I saw CTG's production of "Beauty and the Beast". Overall, I liked CTG's better; they had much better singers. Still, West Side deserves the standing ovation. They did a beautiful job. The set was the most amazing thing-huge!-filling the Lewisville Square perfectly.

The best part of the show was the "Be Our Guest" number with dancing napkins, plates, forks, spoons, knives, etc. It was a showstopping dance extravaganza. We nearly wet our (already fairly wet) shorts watching Kenny Mathews, a former castmate, dancing around as a Pepper Shaker. Hilarious!! Allyson Edwards, also a former castmate, took us backstage at intermission so we could chat with Kenny. He had taken off his Pepper shaker, Pepper hat, and was parading around in his silver Pepper unitard. Priceless. I'm getting the giggles just thinking about it.

If you haven't seen a West Side Civic Theatre production, you really should. Performances are in the Lewisville Square and are absolutely FREE. My suggestion is to stop by the Square early (4 to 6 hours before performances) to set up your chairs, blankets, beach towels, etc. Everyone from Lewisville and many from surrounding cities support this town event. "The Wizard of Oz" is their next production. From the size of the cast, I'm sure it's gonna be another extravaganza. You can get more details by going to their website at

Oh, and one last note, Ken and I are still singing Mrs. Pott's song. Yep, complete with accent...