The beginning of this month finds me leaving Annandale, New York for Flatrock, North Carolina. I begin rehearsals today for my fourth production of "Miss Saigon" at the Flatrock Playhouse. This time, I have the incredible new opportunity to showcase a different character in the show than I have before as I am "Mimi/Ensemble/Kim Understudy". It will be a familiar body, but with different skin and I am unbelievably excited. Talk about broadening my theatrical toolkit.
Booking this show as a big deal to me on many levels. I moved to New York from California in January of 2011. With a check from my Godmother, one national tour on my resume, EMC points, and various goals in mind, I took the leap. At first, I wasn't sure what I was going to accomplish, only knowing that this had to be the next big step in my career. As soon as I moved, I found myself flying back to California, only to book one of the biggest dream roles of my career leading up to that point. With La Mirada's production of "Miss Saigon" it gave me my Equity card, a new connection and a new family. Kim was woven into my identity, my vocal chords and was stamped big and proud on my resume.
Living in New York after playing 'Kim' at that point had become unbearable. Equity was packed like sardines with hundreds of people chasing the same god forsaken dream. None of the casting directors really knew me or could give a flying fuck what was on my resume. 70 auditions in a year, not one bite. Yes. Seventy fucking auditions. Why did I count? Because I'm coo coo bananas.
The point that I'm making is that the phone call that I got from Flatrock Playhouse was the first Equity show that I booked out of New York on my own without connections from Big League (a company I love and work for as much as they allow me to) or any LA connections. Although I don't discount the work I do receive. Best believe I appreciate any work I book, backstage or onstage.
However, booking this was different. No previous ties, no nudges in the right way -- merely walking into an open call with my headshot and auditioning. To move across the country with every thing you have in possession for a dream, it can be heartbreaking to work for two years and continuously seeming to "fail". Getting a bite in this industry seems harder and harder, but when Flatrock bit, ooh girl, did it feel good. Amazing, in fact.
Everything happens for a reason and in the right time. I had a moment today where I felt like I was moving in the right direction, which filled my soul with warmth. This year has been one of the best years of my whole life. I am on the path towards light. My eyes are opening. My heart is mending.
The only way I know to express the gratitude to God is hopefully continue to spread joy in whatever ways I can. Reaching out. Listening. Letting annoyances go. Forgiveness. And mostly, understanding.
I ring in the first day of July with positivity and gratitude!