The inevitable blog entry in which I pour my heart out

I’m going to go back to my childhood in this entry, and I’m warning you right at the start. That way you can choose to read the rest or not. It’s going to get sappy. So here goes.

I wasn’t a wanted child- my mom was only 17, and while it seems she did try for a year or so, I was eventually sent to live with my grandparents. They never said as much, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t really want to start raising a baby all over again. They spoiled me and were fun- but I think they felt guilty.

So I’ve grown up with some issues- a major one being surprise and suspicion when I make new friends. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that people want to spend time with me, and when I am invited or included, I am much more thrilled than I should probably be rationally. I’ve always felt I’ve had to be the one to start a conversation or invite someone somewhere (though I am far too shy to do it often) because who would talk to me first? When I get an unprompted text or invite or message or call (and it’s not spam or a telemarketer), just for a moment the stupid insecurities I have are calm.

Theatre helps me with my (lame) fears too. It’s great to feel wanted, we all know that. This has brought me a circle of friends better than anything. All shows have their amazing memories- but some almost….FIX me.  Hair was one…and oh, Cabaret. Cabaret is right up there.

I know this cast & crew didn’t all spend a lot of time together as a whole- I wish it had been different, but regardless, there’s not a soul in this show I don’t think rocks my world. I love you ALL.

However….. to our EMCEE, the Kit Kat girls and Sally…

There is nothing like working your ass off along with six brilliant girls and one magnificent man for six months to learn an ungodly amount of choreography and sing and try and breathe at the same time and remember it ALL and keep your boobs in your costume and your legs in both pantlegs and your props on and off and your set pieces in the right place…to feel like you’re closer than anything……it’s been amazing.

SO- my (probably) final entry is to say thank you for keeping my ghosts at bay for a little while longer- and hoping against hope you’ll all continue my therapy and keep in touch. So yeah…like….text me, ok? (I know- SO pathetic.)

 

Love and light,

Helga/Amber

All the signs are there

Hell Week is imminent- as I mentioned in a Facebook status, my body hitting sleep mode the second I sit in one spot is the first sign. It is building up stores to replace what I’ll be losing over the next week or so. That is a good thing. The other signs that we’re nearing opening night are less positive.

I am itchy.

Not anywhere unmentionable or gross, but some very specific spots that won’t stop BEING itchy. The top of my right foot near my big toe and the outside of my left foot. The side and back of my left knee.. My right ankle. My right shoulder blade. I don’t see a specific cause, like a rash or something but there’s at LEAST a psychosomatic cause, and frankly, that’s real enough for me.

My skin is being very rebellious.

Even though I’ve been trying to take really good care of it since so much of it will be seen, and I don’t normally have much of a problem with breakouts, it’s not very pretty right now- dry, blemished and STILL continuously marked with bruises- I have yet to get through a rehearsal without adding a new one, and I am acting like a delicate flower at work trying not to hurt myself. (There’s a surprising amount of heavy lifting at Tim Hortons.) My skin is pissed because I am clumsy and it should just shut up.

I am using 30 words where 3 would suffice.

This is an excitement and adrenal and hormonal thing- all of these kick into high gear, which makes me talk a lot. I don’t say anything extra of substance, I basically just repeat my first point over and over again until I’ve beat it to death. And the topic was probably stupid to begin with, since my brain is on overdrive at this time, and not really capable of any real profound thought.

WAY more stuff pisses me off.

Like, being itchy, bad skin, and talking too much.

BUT- I have chosen to believe all of these challenges shall be overcome next week, and my skin will be dewy and glowing, my bruises will heal and I will shut the hell up long enough to sing. And dance, cause man, that kickline needs all the air I have.*passes out cold*

 

 

 

As opening night draws near….

…I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve seen many costume pieces (they’re magnificent), our makeup will be so striking (beautiful with a hint of scary,) choreography is getting tighter and sharper every time (must gain stamina to rock that kickline) and  I love everyone in this show…which isn’t hard to do cause you’re all hot and Libras are notorious for falling in love with pretty things.

I’m thoroughly enjoying being underdressed at rehearsals and getting used to the whole “half-naked thing”…NOW. I suspect I SHOULD enjoy this now because there will come a time when it will be a bad idea to take my clothes off for more than a select few. (You know who you are.)

I want to gush here now- I’m so glad I have the most perfect set of stunning fellow KitKat girls and a gorgeous Emcee to be up there with. A beautiful, sweet and funny Sally to back up dance for. Watching Schultz and Schneider’s tender moments and tearing up EVERY time. Being enchanted by Gorilla and Emcee’s dance number. Listening to Cliff’s lovely singing. And groping and climbing on various combinations of these people is the cherry on my sundae. *evil leer*

Let’s all enjoy and make the most of the time left to rehearse and perform this show and be together. No matter how many shows you do, there are thrilling things in all of them. I wanna remember. XOXO

Mixed Feelings….

Today was a series of ups and downs at rehearsal. I’m sure much of it had to do with my regularly scheduled 4 am wake-up call, which makes me a little punky to begin with, but I was getting a little teary.

Things like just getting used to and even enjoying the sexy garters and shorts and such, but HATING how much less pretty my legs are than the other girls (don’t say it- it’s an obvious truth.) Hating my “opposite of flat” tummy, even though it’s my own damn fault I have it. Trying to think of myself as lovely and curvy, and failing. Loving and trying on amazing costumes, but everything is too small and/or having to be made for me instead of just …..working.  Now I’m not saying I won’t look and feel great as we go along….most days I’m fine….but today was not one of those days.

The high notes of the day- getting almost all of the steps of the dances pretty well, not thinking about them, and feeling my character. I’ve been enjoying that for a while now, but now I’m sinking into it like a comfy chair. Hoping it shows in my face too. Getting the set changes and transitions smoothly organized was sweet too. Our voices were great. This cast is stupendous. Oh, and I also enjoyed Michael’s ‘liberal’ use of his newly acquired riding crop-perhaps a little TOO much 😉

I am looking back at the great stage experiences I’ve been allowed to have, and thinking this one is right up there- so challenging, but something I can show the pictures of to people in my nursing home when I’m 90, and say “And here I am in Cabaret as a Kitkat girl….I told you I was young and beautiful ….)

Can you, can you do the can-can…

And we’re back!

Cabaret rehearsals were back in full swing shortly after the New Year began- the Kit Kat girls are determined to nail all of these dances and look great- and then Alina started us on the kickline that begins Act 2. Our determination and drive is still there, but my body was about ready to go on strike.

Did you know the whole time you’re kicking with one leg, you have to keep hopping on the other foot as prettily as you can? Do you know what that does to a woman my size? It makes her boobs tired. And her neck and shoulders sore from having her arms around the beautiful lady next to her for so long.

But really truly, I love it. I might be quite dead after going through the whole dance ONCE, but it’s going to look so lovely as soon as I can look happy while I’m doing it. I just have to have supportive undergarments.

I was really happy to get back to seeing everyone too- bonding with your fellow castmates is key. Since many of us don’t have scenes with many others of us though, I find the bonding hasn’t incorporated EVERYONE quite yet. The Kit Kat girls have been spending much time with each other and the Emcee in various stages of undress, so immediate comraderie occurs there.

Note: I DID find a Karaoke bar in Peterborough where you can rent rooms with just your friends and sing the night away, so I think we should all DO THAT. Someone needs to organize THAT event soon. (Shannon.)

All right, meine freunde- we’re in mid-January now, and getting ready to rock this show. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Helga

 

 

Frohe Weihnachten!! Merry Christmas!!

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.                                 -Oren Arnold

        So I give every one of you my heart this holiday season, and will miss you all very much over the next two weeks, even while I am deeply enjoying time with my own family. I hope everyone has the same opportunity.

      ALSO, if anyone is waffling over whether they should come out to Toronto on December 29th to see Michael perform, get off the fence and COME OUT! It’s a great time (like, REALLY fun) and a nice way to support our Emcee and wish him a Happy Birthday too. And we can sneak time together as a cast and crew team, which I think is just damned important, especially when you have to be half-naked together and stuff.

MERRY HAPPY CHRISTMAS HANUKKAH NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS!

XOXO

Helga

Ein herzliches Willkommen (a hearty welcome)….I think

I am excited that my friend Meaghan has joined our cast as Inga, our newest Kit Kat girl! (I think she may already know more steps than I do…keener.)

ALSO, Lisa Missen is going to be our creative brain behind our costumes, so yeah…rock on! Really, my only request was for the crotch of my pants not to rip when I do the splits, but she said she doesn’t do the sewing, so I’ll just have to hope for the best. (Ok, she didn’t really say that.)

I feel things coming together now. This is in large part because it’s literally true…I’m actually singing many of the words while dancing! Usually takes me much longer, but I’m getting more confident. I may even be emoting at the same time….I know, crazy, right? Helga is emerging…or something. I’m having fun PLAYING sexy, but I have no idea if it’s translating well, or if I just look like I have to go to the bathroom. To be honest, in some porn I’ve seen, I can’t actually tell the difference. Hmmm….there’s a good chance I’m getting my ideas of what is sexy from the wrong sources….

As many of you know, I’ve been writing my dance steps down in a notebook I carry around with me. I gotta tell you, it’s been invaluable. It was just something I thought I’d try, and I think it’s helped. The faster I learn the basics, the better I can move on to where I’ll be actually making the movement look good. Something I must remember to continue until my dancing days are over.Which may be sooner than I think the way my body feels sometimes after rehearsal. Although that may be understandable considering how much time we spend contorted on the floor. It’s a dog eat dog world down there. Rosie fights me for money, Texas steps on my leg, Mark throws me to the ground….what the hell did I agree to? 🙂

I’ll tell you what I agreed to – a show that looks impressive already, and is going to ascend to becoming phenomenal, like, any minute.  And with any show, I always hope to create bonds that won’t ever quite break,  even if they stretch really, really far.

 

 

 

“Sexy is easy…..nun is hard.”

The title of this post is a direct quote from me when Alyssa commented that I even made a point of sitting down on my chair in (what I consider) a sexy way at the beginning of “Don’t Tell Mama.” I was being sassy. But allow me to let you in on a little secret.

I am very often full of shit.

But maybe with a lot of work, I can be sexy. It will probably take a buttload of corseting and binding for the appearance to match the mindset. But really, it’s all about the mindset, right? Watching Alina’s recording of our dancing was mortifying and just another reminder I should have done P90X OVER AND OVER…must THINK sexy. I’ve heard sexy comes in all shapes and sizes. Even soft and pillow-like, like I am. Which means men and women want to sleep on me, right?

But enough about me and my insecurities. I want to take an opportunity to say what I think may of us are thinking…. I miss Elly!!!!

Elly,if you’re reading this, it sounds like you’re going through a most horrendous illness and we can’t wait until you’re better and back with us. It hasn’t been the same without you, and we’re going to have so much fun when you’re back (we’re just faking it until you’re here.)

Other things going through my head in the last day or so:

– singing the ‘Do-Wa’ note in “The Money Song” over and over to cement it in my brain (now to get the rest of the song)

– how much my neck hurts from the numerous times I must swivel my head when we sing “Money makes the world GO AROUND”

– how missing 3 weeks of Zumba has made me feel way fatter, even though I weigh and probably look exactly the same

– Christmas, kids, work, wedding, Board stuff, friends I miss, (the same stuff everyone thinks about, quit whining, you idiot)

Sexy Helga is getting her sexy PJ’s on (consisting of an Old Navy tank top and butt-covering underwears) and going to bed. Night all!

 

 

 

Such a lucky girl I am…

SO, this past Sunday was cool. It was the first day in a week I didn’t have to get up at 5 a.m!

Also, my family and many of my fellow Cabaret castmates and crew came to see the final performance of Doubt. It was incredible to see them all there in the audience, though I was also a little more nervous than usual. I find I feel nervous more often now. Lost some of the cocky assuredness I had when I was a dumb kid. But it was great to perform in front of a supportive audience. And then I spent a large part of the rest of the day with these same people. Sweet.

Rehearsal was BRUTAL….choreographing Sitting Pretty/ The Money Song was very….uh….challenging for me. My brain was useless and I had no memory from one run to the next. I am relieved to have a bit of time to practice this week.Because, holy shit, I need it. But, though I can really only speak for myself, we KitKat girls had fun groping the Emcee and playing sexy and crawling around on the floor….which we did a LOT. My “musical” knee bruise has become a musical all-over bruise. I’d really like to wear those knee-pads construction workers wear…now THOSE would be sexy.

Since a large part of the cast had been at the theatre since 1:30, we were dying of starvation by 7. It was lovely to head to Jack’s for pizza and relax. Not a lot of time to talk and get to know everyone since rehearsals are quite busy, so I liked this a lot. I’m hoping for more cast & crew get-togethers over the next few months…like Paul’s proposed Christmas party on the 10th……it’s hard to be half-naked onstage with people you don’t know very well. Or so I’ve heard….

My day yesterday ended with a sleeping pill and an unread book. AND I still went back to bed this morning and slept for THREE more hours. It was heaven….unfortunately now I’m up too late again. I guess it’s time to try for sleep. Auf wiedersehen ( I guess it’s time to shed Sister James completely and embrace Helga, nicht wahr?)

Heather-this is my post that starts with Heather-there aren’t any other words

….ok, yes there are.(This is a song she sings sometimes.)

My best friend Heather was added to the Cabaret cast, and it’s AWESOME! In one rehearsal, she’s pretty much caught up to the rest of us, because she is amazing, and I am so happy to be able to spend more time with her. (She’s also my maid of honour, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing a crap-ton of each other anyhow.) She shall be Fritzie, and Fritzie shall be continually to blame for certain items disappearing….well, I shan’t say where.

(It’s her hoo-ha.)

Today was a very, very long rehearsal. BUT, I am feeling a teeny bit more confident each time we go through our choreography, and might even be starting to get a little sense of character too, though I can’t worry about that until I damn well learn the steps. I also greatly enjoyed seeing the other scenes everyone has been working on, and hearing some wonderful music. Not having a full script, I’ve little idea what’s happening in what order. So yes, lots of fun- which is why my big toes are crazy sore from those character shoes and my joints feel like cement drying.

This coming week promises to be more of the same busy- I realize now I will only have Monday evening at home. Tuesday is a Meet & Greet for the new Board, Wednesday is Cabaret rehearsal and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have Doubt performances. Add Sunday rehearsal and dinner with the cast afterwards, and it seems I will need to re-introduce myself to my children.

I’m really excited to have some of the Cabaret cast at the show on Sunday! It’s going to be a great day- I hope you all love it. As Heather mentioned, we highly recommend getting your tickets from Vic Hall’s box office TOMORROW, because they are selling and there are only 51 seats. If anything prevents you,  maybe I will see you there on another night! Or come twice…that would work too. 🙂

Also, I really hope we can spend some time together OUTSIDE of rehearsal before we break for Christmas, so Cabaret cast & crew, respond to Paul’s email about a party at his place and let’s ring in the season together. Hopefully mostly undressed, if I have anything to say about it.

xo