Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Eddie and the Memphians; or, ::coughcoughcoughthere'satigeroverthere::

So I have to tell you the tale of the Coolest Thing Ever.

Normally, we don't work on Mondays at Playhouse, like most other theatres. But this Monday was load-in day. I didn't mind, I didn't have a lot of notes from my show. Rebecca put together a lunch for me and Kate as a "nice knowing you, goodbye" sort of thing. At about 4:00, I was watching the clock because I got to leave at 4:30. All of us were working on the stage, and I was upstage right with Liz when suddenly she said "Is that Eddie Izzard?"

Not knowing what she was talking about, I looked at her, and saw her staring downstage left. So I followed her eyes and saw a stranger standing at the foot of the stage, talking to my roomie Brian. Once I realized what she was saying, my first thought was "Chyeah, right, why would that be Eddie..." and at about that point I realized it was, in fact, Eddie Izzard. In Playhouse. Right there. So I tried to conceal my excitement and calm my heartbeat as I moved closer to his side of the stage.

It turned out that his first gig in the U.S. was in a theatre in Overton Square, so since he was in town for the first time since then and had some time to kill, he took a cab to Overton Square to see if he could find it (it doesn't exist anymore; it was about where Studio on the Square is now, apparently), and wandered into Playhouse to see if maybe that was it. Brian and I ended up chatting with him for a few minutes, and I got a huge kick out of watching more people come into the room and realize who he was. We told him who we were, what we were doing, etc., and that we'd wanted to come see his show the next night, but we all had to work. He said "Oh, that's a shame. I would've arranged free tickets."

Eventually Brian took him up to talk to management, and I got released. Being naturally excited (but *not* a stalker!), I decided to go out the front door of the theatre rather than the side, on the off chance I'd see him again. And as luck would have it, he was walking out just in front of me. We ended up chatting on the sidewalk, and Jay came up to say he'd decided to get tickets, which put us back on the subject of getting to go (because, of course, I told Jay that he was stupid for getting to go). They said I should try to get out of rehearsal, because after all it *is* my last few days, and when would I get a chance like this again, and it's not like I could do much during the show anyway. And finally Eddie said "Well, if you change your mind, here's my assistant's number. Her name is Rachel. Call her and she'll arrange tickets." And when he went to walk away, he turned around and said "And come round backstage after the show, and we'll have drinks."

This is the point where I finally got to freak out, because I ran over to the new building to tell Rebecca about it. Jackie was over there, and when I told him about it, he went *running* to see if he could catch Eddie. That's when I finally got to gush and squee like the little fangirl I am. And Rebecca, who of course was totally excited as well (and kept saying "Why didn't you call me?!", though of course I had had other things on my mind), was open to arrangements being made so I could go. So after jumping through a few hoops, it was arranged.

Being the proper and classic girl that I am, I went home that afternoon, took a shower, got nice'd up. And then came out of my room and saw that the other people who were going were all wearing tee shirts and jeans. I felt like I should change, but between the time it would take and the effort I'd made, I decided not to. But when we got there, there were plenty of other people dressed up too, so then I didn't feel so out of place. Other than the fact that I started having an eye-allergy-freakout and my right eye was all red and swollen. But it was better enough once the show started for me to not think about it, and was actually-better by the end.

Candice's favorite part was when she went to pick up her tickets and the box office person asked "How did you purchase these tickets?" and she got to say "Oh, Eddie left them for me as his guest." :-P And the seats were really good -- 5th row, close to the center.

Afterwards, we decided to go over to the stage door on the off chance he actually remembered us and we could get him to hang out. We were expecting him to come out to go straight to his bus and have to do a "Hey, remember me?!" sort of thing. But so we were all milling around, just off from the throng of people who were waiting like vultures outside the door. Eventually the door opened, and people got excited for a hot second, but were disappointed when it was just a girl who clearly worked with him, as she was wearing the "Stripped" pass on a lanyard. She was looking around, looking for someone, so finally Jay said "Are you Rachel?"

And she was. And she was looking for us! Not only had he remembered, but he sent his assistant down to gather us and take us up to the dressing room. It was the funniest thing: she ushered us through the people, who yelled things like "I want to be your friend!" and "I'm with them, they just forgot me!" I've never felt so popular. Not that I really ever feel popular, you know, but still. It was cool.

He shook all of our hands when we came in, and as we were rather crowded in the tiny dressing room, I moved further in to get out of the way, and when he stepped back, he stood right by me. We all chatted for quite a little while, and occasionally I would glance across the room to where there was a mirror, and marvel at the reflection of me and Eddie Izzard, barely a foot or two away from each other.

He's a really neat guy. Very friendly, down-to-earth, cool in one of those ways that's clearly just that he's a nice person, not nice-for-a-celebrity. Eventually we were joined by a couple, the girl of whom was clearly 100% off her rocker and possibly on drugs and wanted to talk to him about global warming. It was after that that the mood was broken a little bit, and a few minutes later we were taken back outside so he could do a Q&A in the parking lot.

I'd have to say that was probably about the coolest thing that's ever happened to me. The most interesting and unbelievably random occurrence. An "unbelievable coincidence", if you will; if it had been any other Monday, Playhouse would've been empty, and we never would've even known that he had come in. We would lament in a few days' time, when we realized the concert date had passed, that we hadn't been able to go. We might've imagined going down to Beale that night and running into him at Blues City and sneaking a photo. But as it is, we have a really cool memory of a chance meeting and the rose-colored aftermath.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Savory spinach-cheese muffins

Thought I'd post the recipe for the muffins I ended up making for Liz's birthday picnic.

2/3 c skim milk
1 T vegetable oil
1 egg
2 c Bisquick
1/2 c chopped spinach
3/4 c grated cheddar cheese
2 T chopped onion
1 T minced garlic
1/3 c chopped red pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin tins.

Beat milk, oil and egg until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix just until moistened.

Fill muffin cups 3\4 full. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I started off with a recipe but, like my knitting, I just can never seem to stick to those. I think I used more of most of these than it says, because I didn't actually measure anything but the milk and Bisquick. I added the garlic and red pepper on a whim, and it was a good choice. And I burned my arm on the inside of the stove, but that's beside the point. I have an unsightly red blotch on my right forearm, but it kind of goes with the dark spot on the back of that hand where I burned it while baking acorn squash about 3 years ago.

UPDATE: These were a hit! I wish I'd made a double batch, but I barely had enough Bisquick for these, and my goal is to use most of what I own rather than buying more foodstuffs over these next couple of weeks. Waste not, want not. Also, as I was leaving the park I stepped on a piece of glass and it went straight through my flip flop and into my foot a little bit. Ouchies. Thank goodness for that recently-updated tetanus shot!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I had hoped to make a video of myself singing this, but as all I have is my crappy camera, this little girl will have to do.

Monday, April 21, 2008

An update and a video

Things have been pretty crazy around here lately. Been working like mad the last few weeks to put up my latest show, with almost no help until this past week. It's a really big show too -- my biggest yet, both costume-wise and cast-wise, and set in a time I knew nothing about, so all around pretty effing hard. There's a short video clip of the 2nd scene on the Playhouse website, and they've actually already managed to put the show photos up as well, which I believe is mainly due to recent sales drop-offs on the main stage. They're trying to account the low sales to poor advertisement, so they're trying to get the word out on this one... of course, the last show on this stage sold out every night (heck yes it did), so no worries on that ground. Anyway, to see pictures, visit and click on "Compleat Female Stage Beauty" on the left (no, we didn't misspell Complete -- that's how they spelled it in 1660, and that's how the playwright wanted it spelled). You can also click on "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" if you want to see a few from my last show.

Rather than reporting directly to my boss lately, she's had me reporting to one of the higher-ups via bi-weekly e-mail reports, with minute-by-minute details of what I did that day. I have a task list, all of which are related to the move of our costume shop next week, which I am expected to have completed by then... she thinks it's a lot of work and will keep me out of her hair, but I should have it done in no time. The bad part is that she hasn't scheduled me any time at all to start on my next show, and I have first production meeting this coming Wednesday. I don't mind, though, because finally I'll have a real log of everything I do. I always tell her things like "Oh, I stopped working when everyone else was ready to leave" or "No, I left my paperwork here last night", when I really work over the number of hours we're required to every week without noting the overtime. This is because 1) I don't have time to actually *use* the overtime, nor anything to do other than work, nor money to do anything else with, and 2) she freaks out if we work over the scheduled hours, stay late at night, or fail to take our a half-hour break at 5:00 every evening (and I don't remember the last time I took my break). As it is, if I feel like I absolutely *must* get out of the house on my day off, I usually end up shopping for my show, as there really isn't much to do in this town other than shop or eat, and I don't need to shop for myself. And I'm the type of person who works till the job's done, which oftentimes means either working late at night or taking things home to finish. And I don't tell her this stuff because she freaks out. And I don't want to seem preachy or like I want attention\recognition for it... I'm just trying to do my job as well as I possibly can.

My next show should be relatively simple, though. Six people, maybe two outfits each (maybe basic outfits for one or two of them, with pieces they can change), set in 1960. The characters are Orson Welles, Joan Plowright, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Kenneth Tynan, and a stagehand named Sean. And I'm getting a pretty early start, trying 1) not to lose the "Stage Beauty" momentum, 2) to balance the additional load of beginning my 3 summer shows via e-mail and phone conversation, and 3) needing to start thinking about packing up, getting rid of things, tying up loose ends, etc. I'm getting pretty tired of this constant moving thing and am hoping to find someplace to be for a little longer pretty soon. Maybe I can see if I can get a ship this fall, if none of my other job apps work out, and then I can pay the bills and have time to work on things like grad school applications. Of course, interviews and whatnot would be pretty hard while living on a boat, but if I find a place that wants me bad enough, they'll be willing to work it out, I'm sure.

And the real reason I decided it was time to post is this video. I was doing YouTube searches for songs we used to sing when we were kids, and I found this fantastic video of some missionaries re-enacting an odd version of the Snowman song. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we hadn't left the Church... I can't tell if life seemed so much more planned because of the Church's ideas, or if it was just because I was a kid and every new idea seemed as if it was certainly what was *going* to happen. Maybe it's just because now I only have a base, where the Church set up walls -- for better or worse.

Monday, February 18, 2008