Long Time No See...
Without meaning to at first I sort of took a hiatus over the last eighteen months or so. I stopped booking new gigs, and recording and blogging and teaching and started to explore some other areas of my creativity that I had long neglected. Eleanor Roosevelt said, Do one thing a day that scares you , and somewhere along the line I decided to be an overachiever and do a whole bunch of things daily that terrify me.
It all started with Gretchen Cryer. Gretchen, if you do not know her (and you absolutely should know her) is an actor, director, writer, and teacher who co-wrote the Off-Broadway classic I'm Getting My Act Together & Taking it on the Road. I won a free solo show writing class with her at a theatre event I attended. I had long wanted to take a writing class but was too chicken and this turned out to be just the push I needed. From there it progressed to a weekly group class with Gretchen and two amazing and fierce women that I met at the first class. It wasn't long before that progressed into regular private sessions and the creation of a solo theatrical piece that is slowly but surely working it's way to a stage near you.
Somehow, and I can't really explain how, writing leads to dancing. I had not set foot in a dance class in years. Dance has never been my medium. I'm flat footed, uncoordinated and look like a stork - nothing movement oriented has ever come easily to me. Yet, there I was, willingly entering a dance studio. Soon I was going to class five nights a week and having private instruction. And not only did I find I liked it, but I also didn't completely suck. It has been a long strange journey (that I will share more fully with you in a series of upcoming posts). For now though, I will say it's given me another way of looking at music, and at myself.
Another twist in the road lead me back to theatre. A friend who has a theatre company came to me and said his company was doing a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and would I audition for Nurse Ratched. I laughed. For the past few years I have identified as a singer, a singer who was trained as an actor and uses that in her work certainly, but primarily I was a singer. I wasn't sure I wanted to do a straight play. The thought of doing it petrified me. But being me, I couldn't let my friend down either so I stilled my knocking knees and went to the audition. No one was more surprised than I when I was cast. It was great fun to play a woman some people see as one of the great villains. I disagree, and that's another story for another day.
Although at times pursuing all of these things led me away from my first love of singing for a bit, I found in doing them whole new creative possibilities. I can see new ways in which I can combine all of these areas with what I'm already doing, and I am returning to music with renewed enthusiasm. As for doing those things which scare me...maybe it's time to learn to fly a plane...
Nurse Ratched photo by Denise Medve - Penguin Moon Studios
Courtesy of Pioneer Productions