Post 9: Showcase and First Preview of Bandstand

And just like that, it is over. I still can not believe I showcased with my beautiful class. It is so strange to me because I was anticipating showcase day since before I even came to Otterbein. Then, all of a sudden, we completed our three shows and we were done. I thought I was going to be very sad when it was over. With it being the last time our class performed together, I thought everyone was going to be emotional wrecks. However, that was not the case; there was such a positive, luminous energy when we completed our final show. Everyone left it all on the stage with no apologies. We were undoubtedly ourselves in every performance we gave and we had so much energy to share with the audience. And I could not be more proud. Some things came of showcase but I will write another blog in the future if any of these things come to fruition. However, as of right now I just want to thank the families of the class of 2017, the faculty, the alums, and of course my class. I do not know where I would be without each and every one of you. I will hold all 12 of you in my heart forever and I am so proud to call you my family. 

Last night was one of the most magical nights I've had in NYC by far. Previews for Bandstand started last night and it was virtually sold out. Since I've seen the show so many times, I did not think I would get the butterfly feeling seeing it with an audience. However, I was very wrong.  I was beaming the entire time.  The audience adored every moment of it and the cast was eating it up.  My heart was racing and I was shaking from excitement. I have not had this reaction to a show in a very long time, It was giddiness. It reminded me how much I love being on the other side of productions. While I did not have a huge hand in this production, watching the audience go on the journey we all created was thrilling and I felt so proud. I also got to go the the preview party at Sardi's which was also incredibly surreal. So many wonderful theater professionals were there and they were more than happy to talk with me, even though I was just an intern. Everyone has been so thoughtful and kind to me throughout this process and I feel so blessed. The cast even made me a video the day of showcase congratulating the class of 2017. 

About 3 more weeks of internship and then I return to Westerville to graduate. I cannot believe how fast these few months have gone. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for the future.

Post 8: COME SEE OUR SHOWCASE :)

5 days until the big day! The Otterbein BFA Class of 2017 will showcase this Monday, March 27th! I am so excited to be performing with my class one last time. It is going to be very bittersweet but I could not be more excited to see my class do what they do best. It is also going to be so great to see all the alum, friends and family supporting us. 

One of my favorite parts of New York so far has been seeing classmates perform in things all over the city. My class is already working hard to make connections and get their face into the business and I am so proud of them. A couple weekends ago I saw the beautiful Dana Cullinane in "Cranky Cabaret", which is a monthly cabaret of young professionals performing songs that could be classified as "cranky" (?). Dana sang "All Falls Down" from Chaplin, which brought the house down. However, she closed he show with her notorious "Villain Medley". She pretty much blew everyone out of the water. It brought me so much pride seeing a classmate do what they love and also do something that was so inherently THEM. It just gets me jazzed for what is to come for each of us. 

Bandstand starts previews a week from tomorrow and there is still plenty of work to be done. However, I have to keep in mind that new Broadway shows continue to evolve and change well into previews until the "freeze date". It is a completely foreign world to me and it is so strange that previews does not equal finish product. I still can not really believe I am here, but I am so happy that I am. 

Much love xoxo

Post 7: Tech begins for Bandstand! Showcase in a week!

Today, we began tech for Bandstand and in 10 short days we start previews! This process is flying by and I am so excited for audiences to see this show. The set (designed by David Korins) is absolutely stunning and the lighting (Jeff Croiter) makes it almost other-worldly. I think this show is really going to surprise people because most people believe it is just another jukebox musical. However, there is nothing surface level about the story or the performances. I cannot wait to see how people react to it. It is a very competitive season this year so we will see how it does compared to these other shows, but I am very excited to continue to watch the journey unfold. 

I ended up getting done a bit early today so I am writing this update J Hood Wright Park. This park sits almost directly across the street from my apartment. It is always packed with kids and puppies so it is a really nice place to sit. It also over looks the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge, so it is a great place for a photo op (if that is your thing). I really just feel so blessed to be here. I am so glad to be living in New York prior to showcase and prior to truly diving head first into auditioning and becoming a working actor. I have such a better understanding for the business and the culture of this world. I am so thankful for Otterbein and the opportunity they gave me. I love living here so much and I feel so supported by friends old and new. I am so excited for what is to come.

Speaking of showcase and what is to come, we showcase in a week! I still can not believe this is happening already. Freshman year seems like it was yesterday. I feel surprisingly calm about it all though. I am just excited (and a little heartbroken) to perform with my class one last time. No matter what happens, it is going to be a wonderful way to send us off into our careers. I a already feeling very emotional about it, because this is sort of the final exam of my college career. And I will miss it very much. I think of Otterbein and Westerville, OH everyday. I will always hold it so close to my heart. But it is time to jump full into this crazy new world. And I could not be more ready to do so. 

Post 6: I survived Stella! Also visits to MOMA and Come From Away

Yes, everyone, I am alive after the crazy blizzard yesterday! Honestly, it was not as bad as everyone expected it to be so we were very blessed in that way. We got plenty of snow but nothing like the 24 inches they were predicting. I took advantage of my snow day by organizing my book and getting headshots and resumes together for StrawHat Auditions/Showcase. So it was a productive day off!

Last week, Andy was out of town so I had a couple days off to explore and go to a couple auditions. I went to the MOMA by myself on Thursday. I've been before and it has to be my favorite museum in NYC I've been to.  I definitely have an appreciation for earlier eras of art, but I love all the different techniques used and ideas expressed in modern art.  Also, as I've grown up, I've become more familiar with the time period in which these pieces were conceived. I have a better appreciation for the content. It was nice to just have some alone time with a chai latte on my day off.

Something I COMPLETELY forgot to blog about when I initially attended it was COME FROM AWAY. Producer and Otterbein Alum, Randy Adams, generously gave each person in our class 2 comps to one of the previews of this incredibly moving Broadway hit. I took the lovely Haley Jones (class of 2015) and it was awesome being able to talk her ear off a bit. Everyone should try to see this show if they can. I do not want to give too much away but if you are feeling down about humanity right now ( s I know a good amount of us are), this show will lift you. It is simply about the good that truly lives in humanity and it is beautiful.

That's all for now! I'll be back soon!

 

 

Post 5: Final week before Bandstand moves into it's Broadway home!

As a lot of people's internships are winding down, Bandstand is just starting to make the ascent! This coming week is our last week in the rehearsal space before it moves into the Jacobs Theater on 45th! It's been such a great experience watching this musical morph and develop over the past weeks. Bandstand premiered at Paper Mill Playhouse about a year ago. However, the show has continued to change and develop after a great deal of feedback and care from the entire creative team since then. Watching Andy choreograph AND direct this show has completely changed my view on a song and dance show. The trap with a heavy dance show is that the dancing does not serve the plot or it breaks the story flow. However, Andy artfully incorporates movement into the entirety of the musical, so the transitions are virtually seamless.  He also takes great care to explain to the cast what each movement was derived from and how it moves and helps the story. It is truly fascinating. 

Most people are probably shocked that I've not talked about food in any of my blog posts! However, now is the time. This city always blows my mind with how delicious and unique the food is. One of my favorite new "comfort foods" I've been exposed to is ramen. There are tons of amazing ramen shops around the city that I need to try.  However, one of my favorites is the one in City Kitchen. City Kitchen is a food court located on 8th Ave and 44th St. They have several different amazing specialty food stops. The ramen is incredibly flavorful, inexpensive and it is LOTS OF FOOD! My other favorite shop in City Kitchen is DOUGH. Do you like huge, unique donuts for $3? Then this is your place.  I highly recommend the Toasted Coconut and Cafe Au Lait variety :)

That's all for now! Thanks for stopping by!

Post 4: Lots of Changes!

The past couple weeks have been very busy and fun; however, it is finally starting to sink in that I live here and I am not just on some extended vacation. While that is of course very exciting, it is also very emotional. When I first moved, it really did not feel that life changing; it was more fun and exciting than anything else. Now it is really sinking in that I will never spend a large chunk of time at Otterbein again, or Ohio in general since my family is moving away from there. It is very bittersweet, but I am ready to start this new chapter in my life, without a doubt.

Also, in preparation for Showcase next month, I started Whole30! Whole30 is a thirty day diet that basically cuts out all the foods that could have a negative effect on your body. My relationship with food has changed drastically and I feel pretty amazing. It was very difficult at first because, as most of you know, I a am TOTAL FOODIE. Now, instead of going to food for comfort when I am stressed or sad, I find other ways of dealing with it. Food is more of a fuel source than anything for me right now. 

The last big change that I am facing recently is a little too personal and raw to discuss here. However, it is something that is going to drive me for the next couple of months to take care of myself more. I have always been the type of person to worry about others, so much so that I do not care for myself in the way that I need to. And unfortunately, in this business, you have to be your biggest fan first and be a little selfish at times. And I think it is time for me to be my biggest fan. So that is also a very sweet thing to start working on, though it is being caused by a little heartbreak. 

One thing people do not realize about NYC is that it is SO MUCH MORE FUN when it is warm and sunny :) Last weekend, my classmate David and I explored Central Park together. And I wore a dress! We saw the carousel (although we did not ride it, since I was wearing a dress LOL), we soaked in some rays on the giant rocks around the park and we saw the batting cages people always talk about (although they were still closed for the winter). It is such a large space and I cannot wait to go back to explore more of it!

Bandstand is up and running and seeing a Broadway show become and Broadway show is so fascinating and exciting to be apart of. I am learning so much from the talented actors and creative team. Also something that is so refreshing is how thoughtful and humble the big stars are. Laura Osnes knows my name and always takes the time to see how I am doing. It is just so wonderful to know that these people are truly normal people. The Hamilton Tour just left to start tech in San Francisco and I am going to miss being in rehearsals for that show very much. The actors were so hungry and willing to do whatever was asked of them in the room. It was so inspiring and moving in a way. Also casually talking with Tommy Kail, Joshua Henry and Alex Lacamoire will be something I will miss greatly!!! 

That is all for now! Thanks for checking in :)

 

Week 3: Shows and more shows! And a NYC acting debut!

I was holding back on posting for a little because I've had a crazy couple of days! And when I say crazy, I mean it in the best way possible. Last week, I saw 4 shows in one week! I saw Wicked (thanks to the impeccable, Asel), which was very nostalgic for me since this was the sow that sparked me to pursue musical theater (cliche I know).  Andy also brought me along to see CATS with him this past week! I already saw this production however, seeing it with him was very interesting! He would tell me little notes about the production or people in the cast while we were watching. So it was sort of like watching a movie with the commentary on! Super fun! Also I was seated in the back row on the aisle, and of course when members of the cast saw Andy and I, they would come mess with us! I had a cat on my lap basically!!

Saturday, I got to fulfill every New Yorker's dream and see Hamilton. It was pretty surreal and the audience was so involved the entire time. Reacting to every little moment of the show. This show is one of the most detailed shows I've ever seen, and it is quite beautiful. I also saw Glenn Close shine in the revival of Sunset Boulevard. Just go see it. She is absolutely breathtaking. 

As I'm sure some of you saw on my facebook and other social media, I started rehearsals for "More Than/Less Than", a ten minute play written by my lovely classmate Steven Meeker. It is directed by Evan Moore-Coll and my scene partner is Natalie Szczerba, two other wonderful classmates of mine. The play will appear in a ten minute play festival at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. We for sure have two performances (March 1st and 4th) and if we make it to the finals, we will perform once more on March 11th! So please come check it out if you can!

Until next time guys!

Week 2: The Great Comet and The Great Phenomenon

Week two of NYC life has been very busy and incredibly exciting!  I saw two unique, polar opposite shows since I last blogged and I am so excited to talk about them.  About a week and a half ago I saw Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. If you are in New York anytime in the near future, you must see this show. It is unlike anything I've ever seen. The show is entirely immersive the entire time, there are always members of the cast running around the audience and even standing above you on tables or large platforms. There are staircases that protrude into the balcony from stage itself. The show is sexy, raucous and a wild ride. However, the beautiful arias give the audience a wonderful chance to breathe and relax. It is a fabulous show and I cannot wait to go again if I get the chance. 

I also saw The Labute New Theater Festival at 59e59. Neil Labute picks one acts every year to be showcased in a festival celebrating his iconic writing style. Along with a first ever performance of one of his plays, 3 other original plays written by upcoming playwrights were performed, as well. 

This past week was incredibly fun because I got to sit in on rehearsals for the San Francisco production of Hamilton! I cannot say too much about "The Rooms Where it Happens" hehe but I will say that this show is truly a phenomenon. To give you an idea of how insanely popular this show is: San Francisco's house seats around 2,400. They are performing there for I believe 2 months (maybe three). EVERY SEAT sold in a few short hours. Every. Single. One. And with good reason. This show truly is the "new" American story. 

More fun news to come this week, so keep checking me out! Much love!

 

Week One: Up and Alive!

Today officially marks my one week anniversary of living in NYC! And what a week it has been...
I truly love living here so far. Adjusting to this new lifestyle has not really been as jarring as I thought it would be.  Also with my internship, I am running all over this place which has forced me to visit many parts of the city that I otherwise would not have seen in my first week. On Monday, I met Andy at New 42nd Street to do a meet and greet with the entire cast and team of Hamilton's Angelica tour. To say this was overwhelming was an understatement. However, what a neat group to be a part of. I got to meet Rory O'Malley, Alex Lacamoire and many other incredible artists. Also our beloved Jordan Donica was there which was very comforting! 

Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Brooklyn for a commercial shoot for The Bandstand. This was such a great learning experience. Seeing all the madness that goes behind  less than one minute spot is mind-boggling. This shoot, plus production meetings and dance prep rehearsals have already given me a nice taste of what the beginnings embers of putting on a Broadway show looks like. I cannot wait to soak it all in through every step of this process. Andy is such a great mentor because he just lets you jump in and is very trustworthy. 

This past Sunday I had the PRIVILEGE to go see Oh Hello! with my classmate and dear friend, Steven Meeker. The show just closed last night I believe so I was very lucky to see it when I did. Nick Kroll and John Mulaney were hysterical. The comedy and improv was so well executed and precise, it was basically a masterclass. I was also in tears because Nick Kroll rolled off the stage at one point and played it off so well and it was just SO funny.

SO MANY other things happened this week but all in all, I'm just very happy to be here with my class. We are going to grow exponentially and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us all.  

Moving to the Big Apple!!!

Hello friends! It has been a crazy semester as you can imagine! Now, sitting at home in Cincinnati with my dog, I have some downtown to update the old blog. About a week ago, I finished my last semester on Otterbein's campus.  This was by far the most bittersweet goodbye I've ever had to say. Otterbein (and Westerville) has been such a perfect place for me to spend my college years. learned so much about my art, craft, self and soul.  Leaving the little village broke my heart and I will forever hold it close to me.

On January 13th, 2017, I will be New York City's newest resident. I will begin my internships with choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, on the 16th. I could not be more excited to start this new chapter of my life. Stay tuned for many upcoming blog posts! They will become more frequent once I get to the city. In the meantime, here is a picture of my beautiful BFA class! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Opening of The Addams Family and other exciting news!

This past Thursday, we opened The Addams Family at Otterbein University! All four shows went very well, Sunday having the most energy, all thanks to the wonderful audience. The Parent Brunch was that morning, so everyone's family was present. If you would like, please check out this lovely review from Columbus Underground:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/theatre-review-otterbeins-addams-family-soars-over-its-material-rs1

Some other really exciting news has also come forward this week! This coming January, after I make the big move to New York, I will be interning with choreographer, Andy Blankebuehler.  Andy choreographed Hamilton, the Broadway revival of Cats, In the Heights and other hits. I will post more updates as the details of the internship get more solidified, but I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and I am so grateful for my professors and alumni that helped me make this life changing connection!

To close so this post, here are some pictures from the opening weekend of Addams!!! Bye loves!

First Time Blogger!

Hello all! 
Not sure how many people will see this first post, however I am excited to really dig deep into this whole blogging world once I move to the city. Currently I am gearing up for the big move by making my website, picking showcase material and searching for my internship! While it is great fun, it also has proved to be quite the challenge (shocking right?!?!). Website building is SO FUN however given that I barely know how to upload a photo, it might take me eons to get it to the perfect place. But NEVER FEAR, we will get there!! Showcase material is beginning to reveal itself which is crazy exciting considering I have been thinking about these choices for the past three years, trying to brainstorm whenever I had a moment. Internship search is incredibly exctiting as well. There are some definite possibilities on the table and I feel very fortunate to have all these wonderful teachers and alums to help me along the way. Also here is a fun picture!! This week, Randy Skinner (renown choreographer) came to do his annual Masterclass at Otterbein! Not only did we sweat a ton and embraced our inner Fred and Ginger, but he had some wonderful advice, especially for those of us moving to the city soon. He was nice enough to indulge me in a photo as well! What a sweet guy! 

Thanks for tuning in!