Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Morning Baltimore!!

So kids... It HAPPENED!!!

In case you haven't been frequenting my facebook page, my mom's page, my GRANDMA's page and didn't hear the news... I went on as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray this weekend at Broadway Palm. And let me just tell you, the first emotion I experienced was not joy...

To those of you that know me, know that I am NOT a morning person. I'm not even a mid-morning person. I'm BARELY a noon girl, and even then I still need to not talk for about a half an hour after I wake up. So normally, people don't call me. They know better. But Saturday morning was different.

I had gotten a text the night before from our stage manager which simply stated "(Tracy) has a soar throat. She is performing tonight but be ready to go on this weekend just is case." To say I panicked is an understatement. I was shopping with Emily, and I'm pretty sure if you asked her she would tell you that all the color drained from my face. We were shoe shopping, and all the sudden all I could think is I HAVE to go home and watch the video I had taken of the choreo and run lines. Through all the madness I had the brilliant idea to actually GO to the show and stand in the wings to make sure I knew the entire track, including all the backstage goings ons.

After the show I felt much better. I knew that I had everything in line and that if pigs sprouted wings and hell froze over, I would be fine. I ran a few extra things with Michael (Link) just to be safe, said goodnight to the stage manager Adam, and headed for home. He had said in our parting words that it was still unclear whether or not I would be going on, but that he would give me a call in the morning if I was going on. What we figured the scenario would be is that I would watch the matinee, have a put in rehearsal with the cast (which would be my first rehearsal as Tracy) and then go on for the evening show and the possibly on Sunday.

At 10:00 I was wide awake. And it's a good thing too because that's when I got the call. "It's you." All day?? "Yep. Get down here as soon as you can, we need to fit you for the costumes." I went and threw up.

Mom packed me all up with some snacks which we both knew I wouldn't eat, some smart water (to make me smarter of course) and a whole bunch of prayers and love. On the way to the theatre I may or may not have had to make a pit stop to throw up again, but all things considered I think that is just OK. You probably would have too don't lie.

The funniest thing is that my concerns weren't what you would have thought they would have been, but that's what makes me me. For example, I am smaller than our Tracy, and I didn't know until I walked in at 11 that I had a fat suit so the costumes would fit me properly. YAY. I was having visions of costumes falling off of me and being all exposed on stage (however my shirt did fly open during one of the numbers, but it wasn't terribly noticeable and it was my fault, I didn't fasten it well enough). I also knew that I am almost 4 inches shorter than our Tracy, and that concerned me. I was afraid that when I had to kiss Link, I would only make it to his sternum... I didn't take into account that he could help me lol.

When I got to the theatre and backstage the whole cast was there waiting for me, brimming with encouraging hearts and loving spirits. Since they had a promotional event that was previously planned, there was no time for me to have a put in rehearsal. So Adam put on his actor hat and played every role in the show while I ran around the stage like a mad woman making sure I had my blocking down.

Showtime was quickly approaching and I was finally excited. I had done my work. I had said my prayers and this is where God had brought me for a reason, not to mention I was surrounded by a cast that wanted nothing more than for me to succeed. Chuck (Edna) "tucked me in" into the signature stand up bed for the top of the show and just told me that when it comes down to it, it's all about air and water. Make sure I have my water on both sides of the stage, and get deep enough breaths to keep going. After that each member of the cast made their way to me, each giving me a little bit more strength by wishing me the best, and actually meaning it. Then they made the announcement. "Today the role of Tracy Turnblad will be played by Courtney Whittamore." I smiled so big I got a cramp in my cheeks.

By the grace of God, the shows went so so SO well. I had more fun than I have ever had in my whole entire life. Yes I dropped a line here and there, or maybe didn't do this move exactly perfect, but I did it. It was my show. Being the perfectionist I am, I was saying this to my dear friend Clinton when I said "I know everything I did wrong." to which he responded "But do you know everything you did right?" Yeah. He got me on that one. I received many compliments from my cast mates and family, all of which deeply touched my heart. I am not a one woman show. I know I did not do this on my own. I have a fantastic cast, the best family and an Amazing savior to thank for this. And I am also taking some credit for myself. I am proud of myself. Proud and pleased. :)

From this weekend I have a months worth of happy, hilarious and touching memories. Jennie giving me her time and her servant's heart to make sure I was ready, dressed, calm and confident. Making that Welcome to the 60's twenty second quick change with Amy and Scott, having never rehearsed it and rewarding myself with my very own Jersey Shore fist pump at the end. Clinton smiling a proud friend's smile at me every chance I got to look at him. Walter telling me how happy he was to work with me. Ayana looking me in the eye, taking me by the hand and telling me that she loved me and that I would do great. Trevor being a complete goof and just making me smile. Being on the receiving end of Negdra bringing down the with I know where I've been and bringing me to tears. Literally belting Michael's face off in I Can Hear The Bells, and acting along side of him for the duration of the show. Dancing like a crazy person with Lisa and laughing at our own little jokes. Getting to play with Chuck and Paul, learning and absorbing anything and everything I could from my stage mama. Adam playing every role before curtain for me to make sure I had my lines and trying not to laugh/throw up from anxiety. Actually being scared of Amy when she towered over me in Baltimore crabs, then later learning she actually had a hard time being mean to me. Watching Lara do her thing up close and personal, and respecting her all the more for what she does. Getting HUGE hugs from Courtney Love in the wings. Watching Ford twirl his fanny off. Getting encouraging glances from Nina, Cameron, and Kierstan whenever I could look at them. Standing alone on the stage singing the Good Morning Baltimore Reprise. Taking my first final bow. Seeing my mom's proud face in the audience. And these are just a FEW of my lovely memories!! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who was involved... This is just the beginning guys!!