Monday, May 23, 2011

an inconsequential post about bird feeders and birds.

We have a bird feeder now, it's hanging outside our sliding glass door. When I am eating at the table I can see the birds pigging out which is super cute. And it is driving our cat Stella crazy to be so close, yet so far away to the birds...
This isn't the feeder we have, but isn't it pretty? These look like the "hoppy birds" I speak of in the next paragraph.

I like to go to Starbucks to journal, read, and get some alone time with God or just with myself. In Oregon, I used to love when it was warm enough for me to sit outside and do this mostly because the tiny little "hoppy" birds would be nearby looking for crumbs. I loved how they hopped around instead of walked. They had some serious glute strength, those little birds! They just made me happy. Some of these birds have come to eat the seed out of our feeder and that has made me smile lately.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

the end of things.

teen dancers in waltz scene after "Shipoopi"

No, I am not going to talk about the supposed "end of the world" which (shocker) didn't end up happening... I'm going to talk about the fact we closed Music Man this last weekend (May 15th)... The cast was one of the most positive and caring bunch of people I have worked with so far, the play was just plain FUN, and overall the experience was amazing and one I just wanted to go on and on. I was not ready to close the show-- I could have easily done three more weekends. 
They say all good things must come to an end, but along with these kind of endings come post show blues. You work with a group of people for sometimes months, put your hearts and souls into a show as a unit and become really close because of the mutual goals and efforts. This causes sometimes serious withdrawals (especially because the reality is you won't keep in touch with everyone you became so close with-- the cast had over 35 people!) Offstage, one of my favorite things about this experience offstage were the pre-show prayer circles we'd do before most shows. It was so neat to see even the kids come out and pray with us. Onstage I feel I really grew as an actress and singer playing Zaneeta. The choreography was just FUN, and I had a blast playing and dancing onstage with the other "teen dancers." There were so many special moments onstage with other actors that I'll never forget, and singing along with an entire cast has always been such a beautiful experience for me.

teen dancers -- "Marian the Librarian"

So how does one deal with the endings? The bittersweet realization that you'll never get to do it again with the same people, same circumstances, same experience? New projects have always been key in helping me move on, and yet I am hesitant to just "bury it" and move on so I don't have to feel any sadness at all. I've definitely done that before with other experiences and I am fooling myself if I think I can just forget it. Maybe for awhile, but that doesn't make for an emotionally healthy Gina. I believe the period of feeling the loss is important and part of the process of letting go completely. It is necessary, and an opportunity to realize how blessed I am to have these experiences and this passion. God has always provided another outlet for my love and abilities and I don't think He's going to stop now. However, knowing this doesn't make leaving these beautiful faces and people any easier...

To the MM cast: Love you all. Looking forward to working with you again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Face of Love.

   The face of love can take on a million different forms. Some people find their passion in singing, some in fishing, and others in less public actions such as accounting or writing. But when a person is united with their passion and is given an outlet to shine their talents and use them for the benefit of the others and the world, something magical happens. We are treated to a picture of absolute beauty. It is the face of love, expressed in a way that only that each individual can express it because: THIS IS WHAT THEY WERE CREATED TO DO. I find nothing else more captivating than seeing someone in this moment: Doing what they are made to and love to do.
  This is what I see in every one of my castmates  in Music Man. Below you will see many faces (not one being mine, as you have seen plenty of that in the last month) shining with love and passion and doing what they love. Pure magic. Come see this show if you can because I can guarantee you won't find too many other groups of people more passionate about, and more talented at, what they love to do.


Marian in "My White Knight"

Amaryllis and Winthrop

Harold and Marcellus in "Sadder But Wiser"

Traveling Salesmen in "Rock Island"

Mayor Shinn and Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in "Shipoopi"

The "boys band"

Harold Hill in "Goodnight My Someone" reprise

The hilarious Pickalittle Ladies doing their "fountain" pose

"Marian the Librarian" scene- teen dancers

Harold Hill meets his first River Citizian 
Our Barbershop Quartet

Tommy and the teen dancer boys in "76 Trombones" dance section

"Till There Was You": Harold and Marian find love in the most unexpected place

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A couple more shots- Music Man (live performance)

One more weekend of shows left! Here are some more shots I got of us performing Music Man...


Zaneeta is annoyed at Tommy.

Shhhhh! Marian the Librarian will see us!
Contact Lakewood Cultural Center for tickets. Sunday and Saturday matinees only have a few single scattered seats left so hurry! Website and box office phone number below.
Box Office: 303-987-7845

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Few Music Man Performance Shots

Here are some shots of the final dress rehearsal onstage for Music Man. I love that I can look at these after the show closes (which isn't till May 15th, but still) and all the memories and feelings and sensations of being onstage flood back. Stay tuned for more, these are just a few I acquired! 

76 Trombones

"Ye gads!" Tommy, Zaneeta, and Harold Hill after 76 Trombones

Tommy shows Zaneeta his new invention

Shipoopi!! Tommy, Marcellus, and Zaneeta in the foreground

Zaneeta and her mom, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn looking a bit worried for Harold's future
We have two more weekends left starting tonight, and I am already getting a bit sad about closing the show. The energy onstage, developing a character and expressing it to the audience, dancing to live music, and the relationships you form in a cast are unforgettable and such a great gift. I teared up in the grocery store the other day when I thought about what a wonderful gift God has given me in being able to be part of this show and cast. That is the double edged sword of theater-- you get rejected sometimes, yes, but you also get to be part of an amazing community for just a short while sometimes. And it doesn't last forever, so it's bittersweet. Yet we come back again and again...
If you want to come see the show (please do!) it's at Lakewood Cultural Center and you can get tickets by calling the box office at 303-987-7845. Some shows are not available to buy tickets for online.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The times, they are a'changin...

I am considering exploring a career in social media marketing. This means (as far as I can tell so far) I would help businesses/individuals have an active online presence on facebook, blogs, twitter, and other social media. Considering the time I spend advertising my shows the last few weeks before they open on my blog/twitter/facebook, and the interest I have in what it takes to get the word out about cultural and arts events, I figure this is a job that might be right up my alley. I am currently doing the marketing for Delusions of Grandeur Productions (the dance company I performed and choreographed with last summer up in Boulder, out of which my piece "that which was lost" came). I am also discussing possibilities of taking on the social media marketing for a photography business as well. 

  This is pretty exciting, because it is something I am actually really fascinated by, and I do adore writing in general. Also, how in the world did we get to the point that a lot of people get most or all of their day to day information online instead of the paper? And because this is happening, how does one compete with the millions of blogs/pages/ads etc online and get your information to people that might be interested in it?  It is an amazing transition we've made and it seems businesses need to be thinking about jumping on board with facebook, twitter, blogs, etc if they are to survive financially.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy birthday to meeeee! And happy opening of Music Man too!

I turned old a few days ago. *offers up my face to be slapped by everyone older than me* . Yes, I had yet another birthday and 100% of people I tell of this event, do not believe me that I am my factual age. So I decided to try and figure out just how young I could get away with being... First I tried to say I turned 16 (Zaneeta, the character I play in Music Man, is that age). No dice. People just looked at me with narrowed eyes and said, "Really? Really. No." So then I replied, "Fine, fine. I'm 21." They then continued looking at me (with slightly LESS narrowed eyes) and didn't answer for a bit. The lucky ones, I told my real age. Can you guess how old I really am? Doesn't count if you've known me for more than a year.

"Ye Gods!"
Can I just say I frickin LOVE the cast of Music Man? A couple darling friends I have made in the cast knew it was my birthday and went and got me a birthday cake on the night of final dress/tech rehearsal (which just happened to land on my birthday). They had the lettering say "Ye Gods"-- Zaneeta's catch phrase. I love you, Susan and Carolyn! It was one of the yummiest cakes anyone ever got me, not to mention one of the most thoughtful. We brought it with us to a restaurant after we finished up rehearsal and had a little celebration (during which 25-ish cast members with amazing voices sang a perfectly harmonized version of "Happy Birthday" to me... I HATE being sung to, so embarassing, but I have to tell you... I didn't mind this so much because it was so beautiful!)

Susan and Gina in our "Iowa Stubborn" dresses

We opened Music Man at the Lakewood Cultural Center in Lakewood, Colorado April 29th, 2011. I was so excited to get onstage in front of a live audience with this show, because I not only get to dance my little butt off, but I have lines and get to sing as well. I play Zaneeta, the Mayor's "oldest girl" and a very twitterpated teenager secretly dating Tommy, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. I cannot tell you how much energy it gives back to us when we hear the audience laugh or applaud at something we were hoping they'd like, and something we've been working on for so long. It is just the best, most natural high in the world.

Zaneeta and Tommy (Andrew) ready for "Marian the Librarian scene
 After "Oklahoma!" last year, I doubted that I would ever have as much fun onstage again in a musical. Luckily I was wrong! Music Man is a very fun, fast faced show that has a lot of comedy in it. Being that dancing and laughing are my two favorite things to do in the whole world, I consider myself very lucky to get to do both at the same time.

Some of the teen dancers and Marcellus in back ready for "Shipoopi"

Speaking of comedy... Some of the funniest people on the planet are in this show. Not even kidding. Below you see me with Dan (plays Charlie Cowell in this show), with whom I got to act in a melodrama last summer ("Dark Deeds at Swan's Place"). He was the villain and I was his little puppet, basically. Here we are reinacting a scene from last year's play. 

Montague Leech and Tai Pan reunited! (Here costumed as Charlie Cowell and Zaneeta Shinn)

Here I am with my "parents" Mayor Shinn and Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn :)
 I also must add, that there is so much talent on that stage! The singing is out of this world. I have learned so much by being in close proximity to such amazing performers. They make it fun to give up my weekends!


Above: Me, post opening weekend at home taking out my hairdo... This is how I get my hair to stand up in that little roll around my face. A poly-fiber stuffed knee high over which I wrap my front section of hair. You can see how much I enjoy wearing it...

Casey has been such a trooper with me gone so much lately!
Casey has been a true "white knight" during this very busy time. He's been busy with work as well, but we don't get as much time together as usual with me gone so much at the theater. I am so blessed to have such a supportive guy who is happy I am happy doing what I love!!!
Come see me in Music Man, it's my biggest role yet in the musical theater arena and I can guarantee you will have a good time. Here's some info below if you would like to come. I hear tickets are selling out fast so get on it!

Show times: 
Friday May 6, 7:30 pm
Saturday May 7, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday May 8, 2:00 pm

Friday May 13, 7:30 pm
Saturday May 14, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday May 15, 2:00 pm

Lakewood Cultural Center
Civic Center North Building 470 S. Allison Parkway 
Lakewood, CO
Box Office: 303-987-7845

Show synopsis: Con man Harold Hill poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader, sells band instruments and uniforms to na├»ve townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim but progressive Marian the librarian sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her. Songs include "76 Trombones," "Trouble," "Goodnight My Someone," and "Wells Fargo Wagon."