We open in Huntsville, and then to Demopolis…

It may not have the same ring as Venice and Verona, but we just had a wonderful opening night at Huntsville, Alabama’s lovely Merrimack Hall.

The hardest part of the day? Getting up at 7:30. I’m an actor. I am not a functioning human before noon. I know that many people wake up early and go to bed on time, but I’m not one of those. I sometimes wonder what goes on between the hours of 6AM and 12PM. Today, I found out: Not a whole heck of a lot. I spent most of my bus time watching LOST. I am three episodes in and loving it already. I know my more seasoned LOST friends will probably think I’m crazy for this but I relate most to Boone. Anyway, I started drifting off towards the end of the third episode so I decided to sleep. However, sleeping proved rather difficult due to my uncanny ability to pick a seat directly above the speakers. I curled up in a ball, mentally running away from the 80’s metal jam on the radio. Eventually, some Dave Matthews Band started playing and I was able to get about half an hour of rest. I guess that’s what life on the road is about – little adjustments. There is no way to be successful out here if you’re not willing to sacrifice a little bit of what makes you happiest.

All in all, we arrived happy and healthy in Huntsville. Merrimack Hall is a gorgeous proscenium theatre. Gorgeous or not, it’s a new space so load-in took some figuring out. We did it though! Our set looks gorgeous in the larger space. We took a well-earned breather after setting up the show and gorged ourselves on the barbecue buffet the theatre so graciously provided for us. After that delicious meal, it was time to do the show! It was a little strange. Butterflies I hadn’t seen since last fall came flying out of every corner of this new space, aiming directly for my stomach. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. Doing this show for an audience full of complete strangers unaware of our personalities and inside jokes put some pressure on. We had to prove to them, and ourselves, that our show was worthy of their theatre and their ticket price. Based on the faces of audience members as they shook our hands after the show, I think we accomplished that.

It’s really amazing to talk to people after a show. They look at you like you beamed down from some strange planet where people sing and dance all the time. Considering my fellow cast members, we probably are from another planet. All joking aside, these audience meet-and-greets remind me why I’m in this business. I am an entertainer and I live to see those smiles, to see pure joy in the face of a perfect stranger who feels like she knows me after watching me perform.

An elderly man shared something surprisingly profound with me several years ago after a performance. “There’s nothing like music,” he said. I, being the jerk I sometimes am, smiled and nodded in agreement before going to laugh about his statement with my friends. “Uhh…what about dance? Or painting? Lots of things are like music. Old people are so silly.” Thinking back on it now, what is like music? There is nothing that can bring people together like music. Art is the great unifier of all people. I may not have a single thing in common with a cute grandmother sitting in the third row, but if I sing for her there has been a shared experience. I’ve communicated with her and she’s listened. I may never see her again, but that moment will always live.

Think about this. I get to have these amazing experiences until the end of April. I am so lucky.

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  1. I’m so glad you had a great opening. =)
    And Boone is the MAN! Wait til you get to the next episode (if it’s the one I’m thinking…); it really defines the show.

    • Teresa
    • January 30th, 2010

    Congrats on your first show on the road…..and, it always amazes me just how much we have in common with people. Even the ones we think we are most unlike. Wonderful insights.

    • Hobo Joe
    • January 30th, 2010

    YAYYYYY.

  2. hey man, you don’t know me, but your sister gave me a link to your blog, saying I would enjoy it….

    very nice stuff man. I used to be a theatre major, but I dropped it because I didn’t think I could go anywhere because the business was so competitive. But I always admired the people stuck with it; they were the ones who had the true vision for it, and were undaunted by the challenges that most actors face. That is true passion. I’m sure you lead a wonderful, adventurous life. That’s awesome man

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