Month of Love #14: Theater

July is my episode month.
July 9th, in fact.
And I didn't get here alone.
And so, it seems only fitting, that a few of these posts have to do with the many people who played a significant role in helping me to learn, I MATTER.
And don’t get me wrong – that list is LONG.
TOO long for this blog.

However, there a few that, especially this year, this year of Extreme have really shown me that not only do I love them, but also they, in turn, love me.

Today: Enter stage left, Theater.




Okay, technically, Theater isn’t a person.
It’s a place.
With people in it.
So.
Go with it.

A lot of people were confused in the first 90 days of my episode.
By the fact that there was no reward offered for meeting my goal.

I like to argue that Chile became the ultimate reward.
But.
There was a reward offered.
I’m assuming since I didn’t make it, they didn’t want to show it.

But it was Broadway themed.
Since I am a Broadway fanatic.

So I was either going to see some of my favorite shows.
Or take tap lessons with my favorite Broadway star.

Because my production team knew I had a passion for theater.
That had long lain dormant.

More than 10 years dormant.
The love Theater and I share starts back in 4th grade.
When my Auntie Les invited me to see A Chorus Line at the Bushnell in Hartford.
She and her family were Season Ticket holders and I sat in the front row.


When Diana’s character sang Nothing, I thought, someday, I want to do that.
For that matter, I also wanted to sing Dance 10, Looks 3. J

A few years later, I had the opportunity to play the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol (Thank you, Mrs. Roux.)
 
And I felt about as big and lumpy as this guy in 6th grade.
And I was bitten.

But I never got any parts.
Like, ever.
So I started to feel nothing and no good.

My freshman year in High School, Mrs Gil, our biology teacher, took us to see Les Miserables in NYC.  Not sure how that was connected to the curriculum or we may have stopped at a museum, but it didn't matter.  She was one of those amazing educators, that got it.  That teaching is more than microscopes and books.  

BUILDING A PASSION.

We sat in the 6th row.
And I remember vividly, the reverberation of the sounds.
The rotating stage.
The heartbreak of Eponine’s story line.
How moving Stars was and Javert’s suicide.
And I remember crying, out loud.

And when we boarded the bus back home, I remember thinking, my life will be forever changed.

And it was.
I tried out for every show in high school.

And never got a part.
Except for one where I wore a blonde wig and yelled one line on stage.

And that one time I played Mrs. Boyle in Mouse Trap, and was murdered in the first act.
(Though, I should Shout Out Aimee Monet, who gave me that role and for the first time made me feel less brown and more beautiful.  Powerful profession, teaching is.)
(I also need to Shout Out Joan Robb and the Stanley Park Youth Theater Group - that thoroughly saved my life during the summer and kept me living.)

Adding to the fact that I already hated myself came the belief that I wasn’t really good enough.

Or pretty enough.
Or could sing….enough.
Haha, or at all for that matter.

And as my self loathing grew, so did the belief that I couldn’t sing.
Or act.

And that got reaffirmed in College.
And by the time I was out of school, I resigned myself to loving theater.
From afar.
So I saw Wicked 14 times.
And Les Miserables every time I could before it closed on Broadway.
(Hardest hit by the news that the rights to the show would only be released to High Schools and no community theater would ever be able to redo the show.)

I saw Rent with the original cast.
And fell in love Adam Pascals eyelashes.
And was pretty sure Idina Menzel and I were related. :)
I watched EVERY episode of the Rosie Show and hoped one day to be in the audience when someone from Broadway was there.

Like Audra McDonald.

Ha, yeah, right.

Anyways.
That was the long way of saying, I didn't get the prize.
Obviously.
And I went the next day to see Book of Mormon (my favorite guilty pleasure show).
This year I also went to see Matilda.
And Cinderella.
And KINKY BOOTS.

And that's where I thought this post would end.
Thank you Theater for inspiring me.

Until, the virus that is Theater returned and I started wishing there was something to audition for.
Just to audition for.
Because I can't sing.
And I probably can't act.
So just to audition.

And wouldn't you know.
The rights to Les Miserables were released.
To community theaters.
And that's how a few weeks after my finale, I found myself at the Exit 7 Players stage.
Waiting to sing On My Own.
In front of people I didn't know.

And I thought then, as I do now.
Judge away.
I'm not here to knock anyones socks off, because I probably won't.
I'm here to sing.
To prove to MYSELF that I can.

And so.
I did.
Quickly.
And exited upstage and out of the theater.

And truly, truly truly, that moment was enough.
Just to sing.
And have a few people say that was good, as I exited.


 But my story doesn't stop there.
One call back later, Wonder Woman and Shakira and I were shopping for Prom Dresses in JC Penny.
No, seriously.
Wonder Woman and Shakira and I.

And our Director phoned.











To offer me the part...







Of Eponine.






Real life reaction.

Real life.

And that's how theater came to save my life.
Last night.
We had our first act read through.
Sing through?
And it was beautiful.
And our cast is beautiful.
And we're supported by beautiful people.
It's all a little jamazing.

Theater.
Great space.

You should totally come.
Tickets are on sale.

Performance dates are September 27, 28, October 4, 5, 11 & 12, 2013, at 8pm and September 29, October 6 & 13, 2013, at 2pm

Get your tickets here: 
http://www.exit7players.org/reservations/

Thank you theater.
(And our cast, that I don't even know, and love to kibbles and bits already.)

9 comments:

  1. This is soooooooo AWESOME! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! I pray you have blessed performances and that others will be blessed by you. Les Miserables is an amazing musical! So happy for you Jami! Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Diane! I am so exited! Thanks for keeping me in your prayers!

      Delete
  2. Sooo excited for you! This is one of the many accomplishments that I am sure are still to come for you! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jami--

    So excited for you!!!! You have a Jamazing voice!! Absolutely beautiful!!! We missed coming to Boston to watch your reveal, but we definitely will come see Les Mis!!!

    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So exited you'll be there! I can't wait! :) YOU are all amazeballs!

      Delete
  5. Jami,

    That is SOOOOOOOOO exciting!!!!!!! I'm soooo happy for you!!! You will be jamazing!!!!! I absolutely LOVE Les Mis!!!! I so wish I could come see you in it. I know God will give you the strength you will need!!! You rock!!!

    Much love to you!!!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete