On my way to Texas, I let Tulsa go. I released the drama and frustration and looked into the future. For the first few days in Dallas, I was staying with Alixe Ward and her family. Alixe is one of my best friends from Tulsa and I was looking forward to spending some time with her. Her family took me in with open arms and welcomed me into their home. I even have a key to their house (Sean doesn’t even have one! LOL!). I got into town, dropped off some of my stuff, and headed down to Uptown Players for my first rehearsal for Next to Normal.
As the show began to come to a close, I was not ready to leave Dallas….or Erica for that matter. Erica had told me out another theatre in town that was auditioning for Spring Awakening. I told her that I was way too old to actually play Melchior (and she said the same thing about Wendla) but that I would at least go and audition to see if I could do Hanschen. The funny thing is, we both got cast as Melchior and Wendla! I didn’t have to say goodbye to Dallas yet!
I did have to say goodbye to Next to Normal though and Uptown Players. What was this? Why did this show affect me so much? How did these people mean so much to me in such a small amount of time? It’s because of the amount of respect that everyone had for each other. On one of the last nights while I was in Erica and Patty’s dressing room (a place that I found myself on a usual basis before, during, and after the shows), Erica and I were talking about Spring Awakening and how we hoped that, like Next to Normal, it would be a positive experience and that with such a young cast, we could leave negativity and problems at the door. Patty, being the amazing woman she is, looked at us and told us to only surround ourselves with people who loved us and wanted us to succeed. She wanted us to surround ourselves with encouraging people and to leave those with negative and demeaning attitudes behind. Looking back, that was some of the best advice I had gotten all year. With this being the start of my career in theatre, it was time to let go of the past, let go of the negativity, and move forward with people who loved and supported me.
I left Next to Normal with a challenge: to find another production that contained this amount of love and talent. Challenge Accepted! J