Monday, June 30, 2014

"The Sound of Music" opens on Friday!

I've been in Leavenworth for a whole month! I can't believe it's been that long. But, it also feels like I've been here forever when I consider all the work and progress we've made on the shows we're preparing.

I think this past week was the craziest and most stressful so far. But all the busyness is beginning to subside as we move into the final week of rehearsals for The Sound of Music. We open this Friday, y'all!! Woo-hoo! All last week, Maria and the kids were practicing up on the hill - figuring out spacing and making sure all the blocking and choreography will work on the actual stage! What a fun set of morning rehearsals!

In the afternoons, I did what I've been doing the whole time I've been here - practicing in my car almost everyday! I know it might seem weird, but in my car, I feel less inhibited to sing at the top of my lungs or get super emotional with some of the intense dialogue I have to memorize than if I were up in my room at the house where I'm staying. I'd be so distracted knowing that the family could hear me practicing. Anyway, it's a routine I've found that works for me.

I also found time to hang out with friends in the afternoons. I found some running buddies!! Morgan (left) is playing Louisa, and Lexi (right) is playing Liesl.

They are such sweet gals. And, it turns out we all have homeschooling in common. It's fun meeting so many theater people who have had that same experience as me. It's just kind of bonding!

I love that my friends Sarah (left) and Marissa (right) are really into coffee! This isn't the only reason we're good friends... but maybe one of the first! We found this really awesome coffee tasting room in downtown Leavenworth called J5.
We had a great time getting to know the owners and hearing their story. They told us about the local farmer's market that was happening that afternoon, so we were off! It was small but the offerings were amazing! Beautiful local produce and flowers, and much more!

We ended the week with a cue-to-cue rehearsal up on the hill. This is mainly a tech rehearsal - working out the coordination of the lighting & music cues, sound effects, set changes, etc. It was fun to be up on the stage with the whole cast! It started feeling really real once it got dark! This show is happening in 4 days!! I feel so honored and crazy excited to be a part of this project. Outdoor theater! Performing outside is a first for me, and I can't wait!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Busy, busy days in Bavaria!

We are just a week and a half into rehearsals and we've already run Act 1 of The Sound of Music! We'll be working with the orchestra tomorrow night and then running the entire show by the end of the week!! The rehearsals have been packed full of new material to learn (blocking, choreography, etc.) plus lots of laughs as we all get to know each other better through this process.
(This is just one cast of vonTrapp children I get to practice with!)

One change that has effected my daily routine is that I'm not working at the box office these days. The theater company wanted me to focus on rehearsals and staying healthy, so they kind of kicked me out until we open the Sound of Music. It's a good and bad thing...I won't have as much spending money as I originally thought, but I am enjoying all the extra free time to practice and hang out with my new theater friends. I figure the Lord knows what He's doing with my life - including my finances! The family I'm staying with has been so generous and continually reminds me to eat whatever I want from their fridge/kitchen (which has lessened my grocery bill!). Plus, the mom (Kellie) is a really good cook! And they always set a place for me at the dinner table! What a blessing this summer living situation has been!
With all the extra time I've had on my hands, I've been doing a lot of reading and exploring the shops in town (which is about 3 blocks from where I'm living). I just love looking at all the detail on the buildings and the flower boxes at all the windows - it's just so pretty!
I also continue to find time to go running. It's a strange and wonderful thing to run in 80 degree weather!
I don't think I'll ever get used to the amazing mountainous landscapes here. It's just breathtaking... the bottom picture is the view I see every time I walk out of the building where rehearsals are held! Absolutely gorgeous!!
Two gals that I've really enjoyed getting to know are Sarah and Marissa. They are both staying together in a house just a block away from me. We're all a bit older and therefore seem to have a lot in common. These girls are so sweet and fun. Last Friday, we took off to the "big city" and did a little shopping (mostly for shoes for the shows) and ate yummy Mexican food! It was a short trip but a much needed change of pace!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I could get used this Leavenworth sunshine!

Wow, these rehearsals are moving FULL SPEED AHEAD! I have to say that with all the rehearsals we had in the last two days, this weekend felt more like a week! I'm just hoping I remember everything and that I took enough notes to go back and memorize it before we run those particular scenes, dances and songs again! I think the weirdest thing about this whole experience is working on two shows at once. It's pretty cool but it can get kind of overwhelming REAL quick. Some of the other actors here for the summer are in all three shows! I don't know how they keep all the shows straight.

I'm having a really fun time getting to know the other actors that are in Fiddler and Sound of Music. I'm just glad they finally got here - since I was here two weeks early for my box office job, I was starting to feel like I arrived at camp too early - I was just ready for people to show up! Well, they did and boy are they talented people! I feel very honored and excited to be on stage with all of them. Plus, they're super fun and a little crazy during rehearsals (like me!). It sure is fun laughing together but also focusing and working hard together. It's just been such a neat process so far!

I have a really full week coming up as I'll be in a 4-hour rehearsal each morning with Maria and the von Trapp children, then off to work at the LST box office till 5:30, then back to rehearsals in the evening. Whew! I hope I survive this rigorous schedule.

One thing that has been so comforting and grounding for me is being able to go running a few times a week. (We'll see if I get to do that much while rehearsals are so crazy.) Here's a fun picture collage of my favorite route I've found so far - down by the river. I just love it! It's so peaceful to be running along the river bank.

Though the rehearsal schedule can be consuming, I'm finding time to just chill. Whether it's reading or journaling in my room at night, walking around downtown, or driving somewhere out of town a little ways to sit in my car and just be - sometimes that includes practicing show material or sometimes just some time with the Lord praying, listening, and/or reading my Bible while sipping some tea. I need this time to just get away and be still and recharge.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Perfect Weekend!

I was able to sneak home to Olympia before my rehearsal schedule gets crazy. The #1 reason why I HAD to go home after only 1 week in Leavenworth?
I had to meet my adorable, little nephew - Levi John Simon! Isn't he precious?! I thoroughly enjoyed my time holding him as he stole little pieces of my heart with every coo and sigh. Levi was born on June 1st, just two days after I left for the summer. I'm just so glad I had this weekend to go back to meet and snuggle little Levi. My sister Bekah and her family are doing well and they are all adjusting to having a little one in the house. This is a really big adjustment for Eben, Levi's 2-year-old brother. He's still learning how to be gentle with baby brother. :)

It was nice to be home. I got to hang out with my mom a lot. We went and got pedicures together, and had so many deep and edifying conversations throughout the weekend. There's just nothing like a good talk with my Mom. This is something I'm going to miss this summer.

I also got a chance to squeeze in a morning run with my friend, Callie. It was SO GOOD to tell her about my time in Leavenworth so far. She's that friend who has been there for me as I've come through some pretty rough patches. Today, she was that friend who was celebrating with me! I loved talking with her about how God has been so faithful and perfect with His timing as He's led me to this new chapter in my life. We ran and talked and had a little Starbucks coffee afterward. I am SO thankful for her! Running in Leavenworth without her is very lonely.

So now, it's crunch time! I have to have everything memorized by Thursday when rehearsals officially start. And boy, do the rehearsals kick off strong - I have a 12-hour rehearsal day this coming Saturday. (Glad I got home while my schedule was still free!) So, I'm spending all of my spare time working on the Latin lyrics for being a nun, reviewing lines, lyrics, blocking, and choreography that I learned last weekend for understudying Maria, and then also memorizing lines and lyrics for my role as Tzeitel in Fiddler! Whew!

I am working in the box office this summer, and absolutely loving it! I've had some really fun phone conversations with people from all over who are planning on watching live theater here in Leavenworth this summer! All three shows are selling really well - each show is at around 25% sold, and that's just after 1 week of ticket sales!! There are still plenty of tickets for all performances of all three shows - The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Drowsy Chaperone. If you want more information about dates and prices, go to our website: Then, call me this week to save yourself a seat at one or more of these great shows! The box office (509.548.2000) is open from 10:30 A.M. - 5:30 P.M., Monday-Friday. I'll be there to take your call...well, either me or one of my awesome co-workers!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I'm here, in Leavenworth, WA!

I moved here 3 days ago and I've already had over 22 hours of rehearsal... and I'm still alive! What an incredible experience this is going to be though! This weekend's rehearsals were extremely stretching and growing for me as an actor. The director for Sound of Music helped facilitate countless opportunities for us to really discover and develop our characters. I'm super excited to practice all that we worked on this weekend with new and revealing insights into the role of Maria. Though I'm the understudy and may never play the role on stage here in Leavenworth, I'm super grateful for all that I've learned already! Plus, rehearsing with 14 theater kids - they've double cast the Von Trapp children - has been a blast! They are a very talented and enthusiastic group of kids on and off the stage!!

An amazing development since my last blog is that I found a part time job for the summer. Actually, you could say that the job found me! I got an e-mail from Leavenworth Summer Theater (LST) a few weeks ago, asking if I'd like to work in their box office. They also would work around my rehearsal schedule. I, of course, said YES!! What a specific answer to prayer. Truly! I had a handful of close friends who were praying I'd find a part time job that would work with my rehearsal schedule. I didn't even think to see if the theater had a job opening - and in their box office selling tickets to the shows I'm in?!?! Yes please! So, here's where I'll be spending a lot of my time this summer...
That's my dad, buying tickets for some of the shows this summer! My dad drove over with me on Friday to help move me in. My mom joined us later that evening so that he had a ride back. My parents have been so supportive and encouraging through this whole process! I'm so thankful for them - they truly are my cheerleaders and I love them so much!

I'm still settling into my new home for the summer. I'm staying with a great family, and get this - they live two blocks from the school where I'll be rehearsing for both shows!
My room is kind of a mess, but I have all day tomorrow to unpack and organize!

Well, that's all the updates for now! Oh except one more!! My sister went and had a handsome little baby boy today! I got to meet him via facetime tonight after rehearsal. He's so sweet! Bekah is a rockstar - she had a fairly easy delivery and little Levi is healthy and so cute! Congratulations to Bekah, Ezra, and to little Eben who is now a big brother!