Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The WAG Experience








































So...I never thought I would feel this way.

My original goal was to get involved in community theater again...no matter how long it took. Then my goal was to make it to auditions and make it through auditions.

I did and then when I was cast in the show...I still did not believe that I would stick with it.

Auditions were in September and then we started rehearsing early October. Rehearsals in the beginning were slow and painful as we learned music and not easily. Then 3 weeks into rehearsal, with all of my doubts flying around everywhere, Rob told me he would be losing his job. One night, as I was sitting in front of the director, trying to learn a song, panic rushed over me. I needed to leave and immediately. She excused me as I told her I was having stomach issues. As soon as I got outside, I started crying and hyper-ventilating. What would happen to us? What if we could not afford Cobra? What if we lost our house? The thoughts were rushing in and I couldn't control any of it. Just when things seemed tough already, they were about to get worse.

I remember coming home and venting to Rob and as we fought, I told him..I just don't think I can stay with this show. It will be too much as you are interviewing and we are figuring out how to survive...he just kept saying to me...let's just see...I don't want you to quit. I will let you know if it becomes too much but I want you to do this.

I agreed that I would stick with it but my heart wasn't in it completely and anyone who knows me knows that I am either completely in something...110%...heart and soul OR not so much!

As time went on...some things became fun...I met some great ladies from town..ladies I had heard of because of their real estate businesses (yes Debbie and Donna) and I started rehearsing my duet a few times.

I have to give credit to my partner Jonathan. I bitched to him for the longest time and something fierce and he always just smirked at me...told me to calm down (in a nice way) and then always made our numbers fun.

When our director talked to him about doing another number in the show...possibly a duet..he asked her if I could be his partner and shockingly enough, she agreed. Then we had so much fun looking at videos on You Tube and listening to various songs until we decided on You're The Top and Friendship (both from Anything Goes) to run by her. She didn't choose...she put both in the show and then added Alex to Friendship so our threesome was complete.

I know I am not the best singer...but I can make up for that with my dancing and acting...though after being away from the stage for 16 years and being under the direction of an extremely critical and negative director, my self esteem was at an all-time low...that is, until last week.

I went back and forth for the entire months of October, November and December. My heavy heart, however, lightened up when I realized we were going to survive and be able to stay in our home and stay in our community, when Rob landed a job on Wednesday December 15th (the day of my office Christmas Party so we could really celebrate!)

After that, came the holidays..and rehearsals throughout. Still not completely thrilled... though I was starting to have some more laughs with my new found friends.

Then we found out Rob would be flying out to Vegas for the big sales kickoff for his new company Aspect Software. Guess what week he would be gone? Yep! Of course! "Tech Week"..only me...only us.

Thank God for my wonderful step kids. They agreed to stay with me for the week to help me and watch Diana while I rehearsed every night at the high school. Although the kids' mom needed Zack and took him early in the week, he was a HUGE help over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday. Ally was a true champion the remainder of the week. Diana did not feel much of a change in schedule but would ask every day "Where did Daddy go?"
Me? I can't put into words what I was feeling last week but I will do my best.

My husband? The love of my life...would be flying and would be going across the country. I hate flying. I do so when we must get away but I hate it. I was a nervous wreck. Then, Jonathan, my theater husband (ha ha) flew to Florida to see his parents and was just returning at the start of tech week (we had not rehearsed our numbers for two weeks leading up to production week- eek!)...I was sad..I missed Rob and although I have always appreciated him, when he was away, I realized even MORE how much he does around the house and how much he holds our family together.

So...tech week...all rehearsals are on stage and in the theater...Sunday...ok...Monday great! The director gave us a round of applause and wrapped up the night by saying "Congratulations! You have a fantastic act 1."

Tuesday night...not so much. This was the night, she finished up by crying at how bad our 2nd act was...not so fun.

It is also winter (my least favorite season) and we were preparing for the biggest storm in a long time...two feet of snow and when? Oh yes, Wednesday, the day Rob was flying back. My show was starting on Friday night and I just wanted him home safely so I could get excited (finally) and share this experience with him. (no rehearsal Wed night as we were all snowed in- not too great to miss our first dress rehearsal... especially after the reaction on Tues night)

By the Grace of God...everything fell into place and for a reason. I truly believe, now, this all was meant to be and I had a rebirth.

Though most flights, everywhere in the US were either delayed or canceled on Wednesday, Rob's flight was on time and he arrived home safely on Wed night. I tracked his entire flight out and his entire flight back...I had three websites up at the same time!

On Thursday, it was the day of our one and only full dress rehearsal...and I could finally get excited...nervous but very excited.

I guess I started realizing how much I was going to miss my new friends...and also realized what chemistry we had on stage together...and how after 16 years, I was getting back up there. I was so excited for those lights to go up and strut my stuff. My fears, doubts and lack of confidence were slowly slipping away.

Friday, opening night? Like I said, in one word, amazing! What a feeling! Our numbers really came together...well, we flubbed Friendship (my fault- no arguments) but we still pulled it off!

Saturday and Sunday were even better.

Just as fun as the show was hanging with my new theater pals during the cast party on Friday night...at the CMan on Saturday night and then the final cast party on Sunday night back at the CMan.

Before each show..I must add...I would have a drink to calm down with my newest freshy friend Deb...at The Lobster Tail...it was so fun seeing people on Friday who were also heading to the show...I felt like a true celebrity. One of our state reps, once he saw me, ran out and came back with the newspaper with my picture on the front page! I was even more thrilled.

Some of my fellow cast mates found it humorous that I was a bit buzzed..(I had to do something to get myself up on that stage!) not mentioning names but one of my partners...took it to the next level with his panic! ha ha!!

To my new found friends...to this entire experience...I feel a true rebirth...I am so glad I found the lights again...I feel like I can accomplish so much more now...After months of stress and uncertainty..I feel like my family is moving in the right direction and I feel like I am truly having fun again...after living my life and sacrificing everything for everyone else, I truly found my thing again...and I deserve to have "a thing."

Thanks to God and Rob for pushing me back here.

PS More pix coming in the form of a video slideshow...just too many to download in this format!

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