Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Like a ton of bricks

It hit me today. I guess I haven't thought about it much because it's taken so long to get here.

3 (major) moves.
Two universities
3 BYU rejection letters.
One BYU-Idaho acceptance letter.
One BYU-Idaho Associate's Degree.
One UVU acceptance letter.
I-can't-even-count-how-many auditions.
An engagement.
A wedding.
One 2-year break.
Five jobs.
One business.
Tears, blood, sweat, failures, joys.
Six years of total schooling.

In a year, I will have a diploma. A Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance.

In a year, I will be deciding where to go for grad school.

In a year, I will be able to call myself "a professional."

As I think back on these six years, it's been a wonderful and awful experience. I have made and lost many friends. I met the love of my life. I have grown as a person, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a wife. I have grown as a musician, a professional. I have come to love myself and my gift enough to want to develop and share it.

I want to grow. I want to succeed. I want to be an example to my children, to my students, to anyone I encounter that anything is possible with enough determination and love and faith.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why I need the Gospel in my life

August 9th, 2013 was (in a word) AWFUL.

I had four tearful breakdowns during my 10 hour shift at work, yelled at almost all of my coworkers, and didn't answer my desk phone once.

Needless to say, it was stressful.
I think all the CRAP that's been happening over the last couple weeks just built up and came out yesterday.

I cried twice--yes, TWICE--driving home to pick up Bryan (which is only about 15 minutes long).

I cried when we got to the theatre to start getting ready for the show.

A few hours earlier, I had texted Bryan telling him how upset I was. His response was sweet and ended with "Let me know if you need anything."

"I need a blessing" I responded.

"I can give you one."

When we got to the green room at the theatre, we were able to use my dressing room since not too many people were there yet to use it. My Marie was sweet enough to leave us for a few minutes. I sat down in a chair and Bryan used the power of the priesthood to give me strength.

I was blessed with the love of my Heavenly Father.
I was blessed that all anxiety would leave me.
I was blessed that my performance would be one of the best of our run.
I was blessed with the Spirit of Comfort.

And then it was over. I felt immediately the change in my attitude, a warmth in my bosom. Everything would be okay. It spread around the cast that I had had a terrible day, as well as my sweet assistant, Jennie (who was also in our cast). So many prayers were said, hugs were given, and so many sweet words of comfort and aid offered.

I didn't feel an ounce of anxiety for the next 5 hours. It truly was one of the best performances I gave during our run. It wasn't because of me, though.

I need the gospel in my life because I am not perfect. I need the priesthood in my home because I can't get through this earthly state without the power of God on my side. I need prayer because I need to tell my Father in Heaven when I need help, when I am grateful, when I need forgiveness, and when I love Him.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"I'll [Not] Forget You": A Memoir of The Scarlet Pimpernel

It's over now.

I will probably never grace the Scera Shell Stage as Lady Blakeney ever again. I will never perform "Where's the Girl?" with my husband as Chauvelin ever again (he's assured me that). I'll never do spacing rehearsals arm-in-arm with my "double-head Marguerite" ever again. I will never nail the footbridge scene with Stephen Gashler ever again.

And it breaks my heart. But I will never forget it.

I am one who loves the stage. It doesn't matter the role I take, but I will never stop loving performing. It's a thrill that can't be replaced.

When I sing "I'll Forget You" and bring tears to not only the audience eyes, but my own eyes, I know I did something right. And when the audience applauds and they recognize the work that went into that emotional piece of music... That makes everything worth it. I makes all embarrassments of hair pieces falling out, of falling down stairs and dropping props, of messing up lines... Disappear. Because they know that I am putting my whole soul into a character that I love so much.

And it makes it all worth it.

As I sit alone in my living room typing this post, I can't help but think of what I'm going to do with my evenings here on out. I have school tomorrow which means studying. I'm looking for a new job which means filling out who knows how many online applications and uploading so many copies of my resume.

I need to clean my kitchen and fold laundry.

But, no. I'm sitting on the floor, humming "When I Look at You" and looking at pictures from rehearsals and the show my cast mates took.

I sent a Facebook message to my adorable double today. I truly miss her. I consider her a close friend now. If I had a little brother, I'd want him to marry her. She's so wonderful.

I think about the fact that I don't get to work alongside extremely talented actors who have taught me so much.

I don't get to feel that complete satisfaction that comes when I know I did a good job in Jerry Elison's eyes anymore. I am going to miss that man so much. I hope with everything that is in me that I get to work with him again. Bryan and I love him so much.

So, here it is:
To My Scarlet Pimpernel Family,

I cannot begin to say how much this experience has meant to me. From the beginning of auditions until closing night this last weekend, this has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. I remember sitting at the callbacks and listening to each of the ensemble ladies sing "Madame Guillotine" and then listening to Marguerite (after Marguerite after Marguerite... *wink*) sing "When I Look at You" and thinking how ridiculously talented each person was in that room. It was intimidating and exciting all at the same time. I knew that, no matter what role I took, I'd have to keep my game up at all times.

When I got the offer to be Marguerite, it was a dream come true. When Bryan was offered Chauvelin, I laughed a little. I won't lie. We were so certain that if I was Marguerite, he would be Percy. But I guess Bryan is just too slimy to be a fop ;)

And so it began.

I loved every one of you the moment I walked into that Pre-rehearsal meeting. Bryan and I were just so excited. We couldn't have asked for better people to work with. Each of the directors were amazing, and as we got to know all of you, it just became better and better.

I hope that we will continue to do parties at Sabrina's house, late-night Menchies runs, bombard Denny's and IHOP at midnight, play night games until who-knows-when, and get into all kinds of shenanigans.

Thank you for making my experience as Lady Blakeney even better than it ever could have been. It's like that line in We Bought A Zoo:  "The animals are cool, but I sure do love the people."

I sure do love you people.

With everything that I am,
aka Marguerite St. Just/Lady Blakeney

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guess what...?

Business cards are in the mail! We're kind of officially official! :)

... Know anyone getting married? We do memory and wedding videos!

Monday, July 1, 2013

I've got to stop.

I'm really set in my ways.
I mean, I don't mind change at all. Let's face it:  I've moved more than a lot of people should in their lifetime and I enjoyed it every time.
But if you're going to tell me that something (like say, who you're cast with in a show) is going to be one way and I get used to the idea, don't turn around and tell me that it's changing.
I have my opinions.
Maybe I shouldn't share them.
But hey? Who's going to be reading this anyway, right?

There are two Marguerite's and two Percy's in our production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I am one of the Marguerite's (but let's face it, I don't think I would have turned down Percy, either!). Anyway, we've had two weeks of rehearsals and we still hadn't heard who we were going to be paired up with. We've been trading back and forth with each rehearsal to give the directors an idea of how we work with each other. I'm going to be honest:  I am a singer, first and foremost. I sing, I learn lines, I learn my part, then I act. Acting, for some reason when there is no music underneath me, is really hard for me. So, of course switching Percy's every other day has been a task. Obviously a good one because, hey, I'm not a great actress! But learning to listen is something every performer should know how to do.

Moving on. I've asked the director on a couple of occasions (which looking back on it, I probably shouldn't have but again, I'm terrible and I'm set in my ways) if he knew who we'd be with. He told me both times the same Percy's name. One of those times, the other leads heard him. Naturally, we gravitated that way and would practice in those pairs more than not. Probably not the best choice, but we did it.

Just the other day, he mentioned that because of extenuating circumstances, we would probably be switching.


Did I not just say that I'm set in my ways? Have I not been freaking out for the past two weeks because I'm not that strong of an actress? The Percy that I was supposed to be with has a very similar singing and acting style that I do. The other Marguerite and Percy are the same way:  acting and singing styles blend very well. And now he's going to switch it up?! Ah! I felt really comfortable and now I'm being taken out of my comfort zone.

Not that I don't think the show still won't be amazing. I will just have to adjust. But I'm afraid I'll hold back because of how different the other Percy is to my style of performing.

I don't know why this is bothering me so much, but it is.