Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Let Me Wake Up in the Morning to Find I Have Somewhere Exciting to Go...."

     I leaped out of bed this morning.  Song lyrics coursing through my head.

     "Let me wake up in the morning to find I have somewhere exciting to go....."  Okay, yeah, that's from A Chorus Line but it applies here.  There should be an actor's version of this song.

     I'm just coming off of three nights of auditions for Bye Bye Birdie.  It will be the first ever CrazyLake musical.  Yes, I've come full circle now.  Bye Bye Birdie was the show I did in high school that started this whole theatre mess.  Reid LeFavour and Hilda Studabaker, wherever you are, thank you, thank you.  You have no idea how you have impacted my life.

     My co-director, music director and choreographer is Amy Studabaker--no relation to Hilda, but...certainly serendipitous, don't you think?  Last year, she was the music teacher at Mt. Vernon High School and I was the drama director--a job I stumbled into quite by accident.  I insisted upon meeting the person I with whom I would be working before even applying for the job.  We discovered that we were both from the same home town. of Bluffton...serendipitous x 2.  My family knew her family, and we have many touchstones in common, but to make a long story short, after she toured me through the building, we knew we were meant to be a team.

We worked one show together--The Music Man--at MV, and then she left on maternity leave and never came back.  End of story?  Not on your life!  When our high school production ended, she asked me, "So.  If I wanted to do some theatre, where would I go?"  [Oh, darlin', I'm so glad you asked!!]  And right then and there, Amy Studabaker and Christine Schaefer, two homegrown Bluffton girls, began laying the plans for CrazyLake's first musical, Bye Bye Birdie.

In the meantime, I directed Laughter on the 23rd Floor, a comedy that Amy took a small part in.  It was pretty much love at first sight between Amy and my CrazyLakers; our tight little family grew by one (two, if you count Patrick; three if you count Steve).  Amy directed her church choir; I directed another show at Mt. Vernon and a show at KidsPlay....and finally May , 2014, rolled into town.

Amy and I called in all our resources, all our markers.  We tapped into pockets of people we've been acquainting ourselves with from years past, shows past, jobs, past, friends, friends of friends, talented folks who lives we've touched and who have touched our lives, to come and audition for this show.

Auditions!  Such talent.  Such singers!  A preview of cra-a-a-a-zy choreography.  A demonstration of Amy's vocals.  Girls doing everything but setting their hair on fire to play the part of Kim.  Actors that knocked it out of the park for Albert, Mae Peterson, Hugo Peabody, and Ursula, and Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee.

I do believe that something's coming (thank you, West Side Story).  This could be the start of something big (thank you, Steve Allen).  The moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter is aligned with Mars (thank you, Hair).  What I mean is, I haven't been this excited about a show and a cast in awhile--well, at least since the last show, but this is different.  New.  Alive.  Buzzing with energy and excitement.  And. I. Can't. Wait.

Once again, I marvel at the frantic, frenetic, drama-filled (on multiple levels) life I lead.  How lucky I am to be here, in this time, in this place, collaborating with, quite honestly, the most talented people I know.  HOW did we all end up HERE?  HOW NOW?  What stars aligned to bring us all together?  I don't know, but I like it.  I LOVE it.  Theatre makes every day a holiday.



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