Monday, July 27, 2009

Grease is the word ...OR... How I Spent My Summer Vacation

My Facebook friends are undoubtedly sick and tired of my Grease postings, so if any of you happen to stop by, feel free to roll your eyes and move along.

I have always been a big fan of musicals. If it involves singing and dancing, I love it. Many of my favorite movies are adaptations of musicals.

The first live musical play I remember seeing(besides those shows at theme parks)was Little Abner my Sophomore year of high school. I was totally and completely caught up in it. The music, the dancing and the fact that it was all being done by kids I knew and walked the halls with daily was fascinating to me. And I wanted to be a part of it.

The next year the musical was Hello Dolly. I went to auditions...and then I left without trying....mortified to actually have to speak and sing in front of "people", I chickened out. Despite the fact that I was a very outgoing kid who would enter talent shows and beg for speaking parts in school plays, as a teenager, I became "backwards" as my Grandmother might say...extremely shy when it came to having to talk to or in front of people outside of my small circle of friends. I watched Hello Dolly from the audience, secretly wishing to be up on the stage singing and dancing.

In college, I went to two auditions, only to chicken out again. I actually made it up onto the stage for Bye Bye Birdie. They told me to sing and I said "I can't do that" and walked away. What did I think I was going to have to do at an audition for a MUSICAL? Sheesh.

That last audition was nearly 15 years ago. We have a very active community theater and whenever I'd hear of auditions for the latest Summer musicals, I'd always want to to go, but never would.

This summer, the theater advertised auditions for Grease. With the encouragement of a friend and my sister(who both also went to auditions). I made up my mind that I was going to audition for this play if it killed me. I was thinking "I'm 40 dang it...I can do this! I've wanted to do this since I was 16 years old and now I'm tired of worrying about embarrassing myself or what people think!"

So, I did it! I went with my sister and my friend Emily, took a number(37) and auditioned. I was terrified...but I DID IT! I felt silly reading the part of a high school student(I read w/some of the girls as both Jan and Marty) but I DID IT! I sang a wobbly, nerved out version of Happy Birthday for my audition...but I DID IT! And I survived. And I even enjoyed it! Call me corny, but I cried a little on the way home. I was just so proud of myself for FINALLY having the courage to go through with something I'd wanted to do for so long.

I got a part in the chorus(which was all I wanted...just let me sing and dance)as a teacher. Frankly, I wouldn't have cared if I didn't get a part, it was such a personal accomplishment for me to go through with an audition!

But I did get a part and I had a great time! It took up a lot of my summer vacation, but it was worth every minute! I met so many wonderful people, made some great new friends and I got to spend most of the summer with my sister. There were a couple of times when I thought "WHY did I want to do this???" like when I found out I had to wear a slip on stage in front of the entire town. However, the good far outweighed the bad! And being onstage with an was exhilarating...even for plain old Delores in the Chorus. I can't imagine what it must be like for the lead actors! So much fun...I regret not going through with it all those years ago!

And that's how I spent my summer vacation.

The performances were last weekend and I miss it so much! I miss the rehearsals and I miss the friends that I made there. I miss singing and dancing every other night! I can't stop singing the songs and frequently catch myself singing "Born to Hand Jive Baby!" At 5:30p.m. during the week, I still feel like I should be out at the Glema Mahr Center warming up my voice and dancing.

A few photos... friends...That's my sister Jackie wearing our mother's wedding dress! I made my outfit...the teachers were all dressed Hawaiian style for the "Moonlight in the Tropics" prom scene.
My lil sis again (on the right) was a featured singer. She was a backup singer for the song Grease, which opened the show.
My hair was HUGE that night....and this is how it got so big!
My fellow Rydell high teacher. Shelley's hair is even bigger than was fantastic!
Opening scene/Alma Matter
Beauty School Drop Out
That's my sis in the hairdryer on the left(me pushing her)
Next summer? South Pacific!


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you!
How fun!!!

There's nothing quite like conquering a personal fear.

Now you got me thinking...

Kel Luvs Pink said...

How fantastic of you! What a great thing to accomplish and you had so much fun. You have inspired me. I'm going to audition for something. When I was 11 I went to the Annie audition and chickened out. You go girl!

Yarni Gras! said...

oh how much fun was THAT! great photos, thanks for sharing!

jennifer anderson said...

oh wow i know some of these people and i was just looking online for a barbecue chicken recipe!! The next year my daughter was in South Pacific and mrs. B helped her practice for the audition!

I think the Glema Center is one of the nicest things for the area.