Tag Archives: What I did for love

Summer’s End

I started composing an email to Julie Klausner yesterday. I’ve been bingeing on her Podcast Archive for the last couple of months and since I’m finally nearing the present day I started writing down all the things I’ve been wanting to tell her about. She likes hearing stories about dogs who eat things they shouldn’t and turn out OK so I googled my post about my dogs fecal frolic in Prospect Park. Then of course I found myself browsing down my blog’s rabbit hole which inspired me to write a new post and catch myself up on where I am.

I transferred to a new job in mid-August. I was very happy about the change. My new office is an hour away and requires me to drive on the NYS Thruway which is not my favorite but I’m dealing with it. The new position meant moving to a place where the office was nicer (indoor parking garage!), the pay was a bit better and there was a lot more opportunity to move up. Mr. Awesome felt that my company has been taking advantage of me and my skills for a long time and that meant I should go elsewhere. Even though I agree with him I really really didn’t want to have to start all over again somewhere new (really!). My new office is huge and maze-like. I’m glad that I can find my way to the ladies room and back again without breadcrumbs. While the drive might be anxiety causing and made me have to start taking acid reflux medicine again – I’m very pleased with the change. I hope that this is the start of something really good for me and for us.  

P started the 5th grade this week. She is 10 now and I almost can’t believe it. I think she had a really good summer. She went back to her day camp but also went to acting camp, had two weeks home with Mr. Awesome and spent a week with my in-laws in August. She’s been going to the acting place since last fall. They did a production of The Little Mermaid last winter that was fantastic. The leads were all teens and her age group was in the ensemble. The summer camp worked a little differently since all the 4th and 5th graders were eligible for lead roles. She was very enthused about that idea and was hoping to get a leading role. They did a production of Honk! Jr., which is a musical version of the Ugly Duckling story. She is a great performer but not the strongest singer when it comes to keeping her voice in key. I got the sheet music for the songs and tried to encourage her to sit down at the piano with her dad so he could help her hear and sing the exact notes. She refused this help. The auditions were an all-day affair in early July. They audition as a group and everyone goes in-front of everyone. The director tries different combinations of kids to see who’s going to work best for each role. P was so fixated on getting a lead role she didn’t even want to consider one of the smaller supporting parts – parts with lines and singing solos. When it became clear that she wasn’t strong enough for a lead role they asked her if she wanted to audition for a supporting part and she said no. Later on in the day when she began to realize that she was going to be getting a small non-singing part she became very upset and then asked if she could audition for one of the supporting roles and they said no, it was too late. She was dissolved in tears when I went to pick her up at the end of the day. It was a fundamental lesson to learn but it was a very hard one. At first she said she didn’t even want to do the show and it took a while for her to get used to the idea again. The rehearsals didn’t start until the last week in July and she was hesitant at first but ended up really enjoying herself. The director was very proud of the change in her attitude as well and said that she had turned out to be a model cast member. She did an awesome job in the show and put her all into every moment she had on stage. I was very proud of her. My heart ached for her but it was something she had to go through herself. She says she understands why it turned out the way it did and she’s already preparing for the next audition in a couple of weeks. This time if it looks like she’s not going to get what she wants, she’s not going to shortchange herself. Her singing is improving too. We tried some lessons in the middle of the summer but I don’t think she really connected with the teacher. She’s become obsessed with the music from My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic seasons 1-3 and is constantly singing all the songs. She’s able to keep herself in tune singing those songs. As P obsessions go it’s at a mid-level. She’s singing, binge watching on Netflix and has just started asking about me to make her a pony costume. Her other obsessions of the summer have been mermaids/watching H2O on Netflix and of course Harry Potter which included an insatiable need to listen to back episodes of MuggleCast. While the mermaid mania included an irritatingly irrational desire to make and wear a swimmable mermaid tail the constant listening to 3 and 4 year old episodes of MuggleCast at top volume was very hard to take.

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Glee Schmee

I know this is probably blasphemy but I just can’t get into Glee. I love the concept of the show much more than the show itself. It’s absolutely fantastic that a show about High School kids who love to sing and perform is so popular but it looks and feels too much like High School Musical to me. I guess it’s the esthetic I don’t get into. It’s too Disney. They all clearly have amazing voices but the sound of the show is just too overproduced. I LOVE Jane Lynch though. She is hilarious. I’d probably like the show better if it was just her and her zingers.

Now, if you want to see some real young singers check out the kids from PS 22. I love their faces, they are feeling this song.

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3 for 16

If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?

  1. Don’t let your brother Mike slip out of your life. He’s going to steal from you in a couple of years and it’s going to hurt. You’re going to be angry. When you’re angry with someone it is easy to let your heart harden towards them. The anger will subside in time as it always does. Just don’t forget to reopen your heart again. Don’t miss your chance to truly forgive him.
  2. You are just starting to really get into theater and performing now. I should probably tell you to pay a little more attention to your schoolwork, especially math and science. You won’t listen to me so I’m not even going to try. You are finding out where your happiness lies and no one is going to steer you away from that, even old you, I mean me.  Let me make just one little suggestion to you 16, get a teaching degree.
  3. You will meet the love of your life in about 15 years so you’ve just got to relax and hold on until then. I’m not sure what else to tell you 16. I’m not feeling especially filled with wisdom right now. I will tell you what I always tell my daughter (yes, you have a daughter and she’s a STAR), treat people the way you’d like to be treated and that life sometime means you have to do things you don’t want to do. You are beautiful, be kind to yourself. Learn everything you can and don’t postpone joy. Oh and buy Apple stock in a couple of years and hold onto it.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

Love always,

44

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What I did for love


I watched “Every Little Step” the other night. It is a documentary about both the making of the original “A Chorus Line” and the broadway revival from a couple of years ago. I got all weepy watching. I typically do whenever I see people who have the kinds of dreams that I used to have working to fulfill those dreams. They play bits of the score throughout the film and hearing the music again is such a strong sense memory experience for me. I am transported back to myself as a kid in my yellow room in our apartment on Schenck Ave (pronounced SKANK if you can believe it), listening to those songs and trying to belt along to the music and sound like the fantastic actresses on the records. I have a little bit of a sore throat today and I’m wondering if it’s because I was singing too forcefully in the shower yesterday? (At The Ballet! Hey!) I remember being so sure that I was going to have a life in the performing arts. I didn’t want anything else. College showed me more of the real world and it was hard to find myself not quite fitting into the box that I’d promised myself I’d be in. The movie goes behind the scenes for the long audition process they had for the revival. It was thrilling to see all the performers giving it their all at their auditions. I have my own set of regrets at not really going for it myself. I was too much of a mess right after college. I was desperate to leave Skank Ave and didn’t want to rely on just an iffy acting career to live. As it turned out I made the totally rational decision to move to Philadelphia and work as a telemarketress at a Dating Service instead (!) and ended up having to return to my yellow room at home anyway. Not long after I started working at the Writer’s & Artists Talent Agency. It was a little hard for me to be around all these young performers who were putting themselves out there. I was a teeny bit jealous of them yet too terrified to try the same thing myself. I told myself that I wasn’t going to get hired because my look was too untraditional but I probably could have made it work if I really wanted to. It was my first real NYC job. I used to get all dressed up (with pantyhose even) and commuted back and forth on the train to get there. This is my desk at W&A. I loved the lighting in that place. They always kept the florescents very low and had lamps on our desks and above the typewriters (!) so we could see. I thought my typewriter was the bomb back in the day. I figured out how to pre-format my submissions on that thing and simply had to push a couple of buttons and it would set up the entire page for me, margins and all. This office also featured a very busy fax machine that used rolls of paper that would emerge from the machine all warm and damp. There were always reams of curly faxes drying on top of the radiator next to the machine. It was only a little over 20 years ago but it seems like much longer. Everyone used to smoke at their desks, can you imagine?

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Five for a Tuesday

For your blogging amusement:

Five (because I can’t manage ten) things that I loved in childhood (that I want my daughter to love too)

1. Group singing – I’d always get all choked up at summer camp when everyone sang together. Sometimes when the audience sings along on Prairie Home Companion I start to blubber.
2. English Muffin Pizzas – I’ll always love my english muffin pizzas though no one seems to like them as much as I do.
3. Performing – Right now she’s quite shy of showing off infront of others but give her time. From ballet recitals to the first time I sang in the elementary school auditorium I knew that this was my drug.
4. Horses – Not every girl gets hooked on them but oh . . . I still swoon.
5. Movie Musicals – I’m not sure how this will happen unless we start investing all our savings in a geriatric DVD library. When I was a kid they showed them on TV on Sunday afternoons, etc., remember those days? My excitement and joy while watching these movies brought me to number 3 on the list. All hail Donald O’Connor!

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