Life has, again, eaten me whole. I was right in the middle of costumes for La Cage (Literally, RIGHT in the middle, working from a ginormous stack of mending and altering) when the artistic director of the theatre asked...

AD: "Are you auditioning for In the Next Room?"

Carrie. (Thinks about what that would entail. Blushes furiously.) Um... No.

AD. "Would you costume the show?"

And because I'm a complete and total sucker for all things Victorian, I said yes. Giddily, most likely. While giggling.

Photographs )

So life, alas, she has not stopped. I've jumped from one project into another, not even waiting before the first one was finished. I'm about to wrap up In the Next Room (my part, anyway), and wonder what I'll do once it's over. I've got a lot of sitting planned. And I've got some television watching lined up. Actual watching, not just listening while I have a lap full of alterations to do. I'm psyched. On Sunday, however, I took some time and did something I've not done in a rather long time. I baked.

I rejoiced when I found this recipe. A fall cake without even a hint of a pumpkin? I remember: I actually gasped. (If you know me, you're aware of the violent irrational irritation I get in reaction to the barrage of pumpkin-related things in the Fall. It very nearly pisses me off.) In any case, Nolan loved this cake. He even ate it again the next day, which is nigh unto unthinkable, for him. And it made the house smell fantastic.
Recipe )

Enjoy. :)
persephone33: (Chicago - happy)
( Oct. 4th, 2011 08:39 pm)
I should have linked this earlier. Here's a slideshow of all the work I've done for the last two months.

They're really beautiful pictures of the musical, and I'm glad that there's a record of it all.

Click this link for sequins, feather and glitter!
Whenever I finish a big project, like the show we just struck yesterday, my body decides that it has a bit of time to not be in top form, and oftentimes decides to shut down.

I wish to tell my immune system in a very stern voice: Now is not that time. I'm jumping into the next project (Victorian costumes!), have to build at least three sets of Victorian undergarments and various and sundry other costume-y type stuff, will spend the next two weekends out of town for a marriage retreat and my 20 year reunion, respectively, I have to make my children's Halloween costumes, finish a quilt for a baby who is nearly two months old, finish promised projects to other extended family members and take care of my family and home on top of it all.

I. Do not. Have time. To be ill.

Also, I have a touch of insomnia tonight. Fun times! So, I did the laundry from the show - extracting tattoo cover makeup from nylon/poly blend isn't as easy as one might think - and read the next play for which I want to audition, had a bath and am now sipping hot milk in an effort to get sleepy.

The play I read is funny. I love plays. That isn't to say that I don't love musicals. I do. But there's something about a play; reading a character aloud and finding the right accent, imagining the scene onstage, plotting out the comedic timing. I love it. It's as comforting as putting on a fluffy robe and curling up on the couch to watch a movie. In this particular play, that character I'd want to play is actually three different characters and have German, Scottish and English accents respectively. A dream for an actress. How much FUN would that be?

Anyway, it's a long shot. One female character, a billion girls who'll show up to audition, yet I'm ever hopeful.

The musical that we just put to bed was a good experience. It was a LOT of work. But I'm glad that I did it, and I'm happy that so many people enjoyed our efforts. It's gratifying, to put art out there and have it be recognized. And once I get the laundry done and the costumes back from the cleaners and put them all away, it'll really be finished.

You see why I don't have time to be sick?
My life, since I took the job of costumer for La Cage Aux Folles, has not been boring. Stressful, perhaps, maybe a little trying, rife with nightmares, but definitely interesting. And quite probably, the job has made people think I'm a little strange. (Not news for my tens of readers, but I digress.) As I was saying, the day to day aspects of costuming a drag show are entertaining.

Take today.

No, really. Take today. I'm done with it.


So, first things first this morning, I get my hair cut and colored. Honestly, the inch of grey roots was beginning to affect my self-esteem. I leave the brilliant Arviel's shop, ready for the day. My first stop is JoAnn Fabrics, where I'm getting some silver trim, a few white feather boas, and some bra extenders for some of the costumes. While I'm there, my eye was caught by the breast augmentation doohickeys.

Now, me being who I am with all that God has blessed me, have never really had the occasion to peruse the chicken cutlets. Here was the conversation I had with the store employee.

I loathe explanations. )

So anyway, yeah. Interesting times. Definitely interesting.
♛I've been working at theatre camp all week. These are some of the most talented students I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Also, they're some of the most uninhibited; I think that's part of what makes an actor great, letting go of what everyone else thinks and just being. Yesterday I got to coach scenes and monologues, one of my very favorite things in the world to do. The kiddos did a flash mob (to Fleetwood Mac!) at our largest grocery store in town today to promote their show this week, and it was super cool. So fun.

♛The chubbiness is getting out of control, and I feel there might be a direct correlation between that and the volume of food I'm putting in my mouth. I haven't even stepped on the scale in over a month. I'm afraid the poor thing might die of shock. Or strain. Or both.

♛I lost the Jeep a few days ago. I went to the mall to use my card for a free Victoria's Secret panty (like you do) and when I got back out to the parking lot, NO JEEP. The Jeep is no frills - no panic button, no remote entry, no power windows or anything else. I was upset - not because we don't have insurance, but because I was going to have to tell Mr. H. that the car was stolen on MY watch. I walked around in the boiling Texas heat for twenty minutes before I remembered I entered through a different door than I normally do. WHAT. AN. IDIOT.

♛My back has been killing me for months. Since March? I've been going to the chiropractor, and I thought it was getting better, but I woke up this morning to the same level of pain I started with. It's just frustrating. Annoying. Getting old is roughly on par with chewing up broken glass. It, simply put, sucks out loud.

♛The week without kiddos was relaxing, I'm not going to lie. It's fun to not have to be responsible for anyone else but me. Oh, and Nolan a little. But he's fairly self-sufficient. However, I'm glad to have those little goobers back in the nest. We were incomplete while they were away.

♛I'm gearing up to work another week of camp - I get to direct 'Baby it's Cold Outside' and 'Sing' from A Chorus Line, comedies both. :D Very fun. And I'm making a costume plot for La Cage... anyone want to place a bet that there's over a hundred separate costumes? Eeeek. :)
For a few days over the past week, I've been helping with the proper care and feeding of the Amarillo Little Theatre's costume storage. The short term for this is "heaven."

That nickname has made for amusing conversations in my home, being that when I use the name as it pertains to storage, it's usually with a fair amount of dread. One reason is that it's either boiling or freezing up there, with little in-between, and the other reason is that it's just a daunting prospect. It's huge. Enormous. Gargantuan.

I don't think I've got an adjective for the sheer massive amount of STUFF that there is in heaven.

Which is why it's normally used like, "Ugh. I have to go to heaven." Which always elicits, "Mom? Shouldn't you want to go to heaven?" from my children. Ah, the progeny of theatre folks. I expect they'll spend some time in therapy before it's all said and done.

In any case, temperature aside, I don't think it'll be as bad to visit heaven this season. Seven or eight years ago, I was on the crew to move all of the costumes from an area one tenth of the space to its current locale. All this time later, it's become a bit messy.

A 'bit' is on the conservative side. Honestly, I wish I had a before photo.

It's like my closet got pregnant and had a thousand baby closets, and then THEY got pregnant... )
Remember when I dyed a lot of stuff and glued it onto costumes? And it took me a month?

Turns out I won an award for it.

A tongue in cheek award, but validation of a job well done, all the same.

Photos... )

It was a great week, but truly, there's no place like home.
The last post was a bit dramatic. It's an occupational hazard. Apologies all around.

Nolan teases me that I'm annoyingly even tempered, but only because I store up all of my upset for six months at a time, until I explode and have an "I Feel" day, spewing hot, molten crazy on everyone in my immediate vicinity. Those days are rare, but they do happen. They hurt a little, too. I need to work on letting it out little by little. A crazy release valve, if you will.

Anyway. Moving forward. Onwards and upwards. Adapt and overcome.

The show is contained, for the time being. The next two weeks will undoubtedly be grueling, but I can actually see fun from where I am. It's promising. The thing that's motivating? The principles are having such a good time; they're funny, talented and well rehearsed, so the ensemble will just be a lovely icing on an already wonderful and yummy cake.

Forgive the food metaphors. I've got cinnamon bun bread in the oven for our breakfast, and the smell is driving me a little nutty.

I tried on the cute cowgirl costume from the last post, and... I could look worse. Talk about barely contained. I'm going to have to do some strategic work with duct tape and bailing wire so that all my business stays where it belongs. A friend of mine says that it's all about the base coat of paint. SO true.

So anyway. Things are looking up. It's Easter, and I do love this particular holiday. His sacrifice puts my problems in perspective as trivial and petty, comparatively. Plus, I made myself a new Easter dress, and always enjoy the coloring and hunting eggs aspect of the weekend.

So have a happy Easter, and may the Easter bunny bring you all the Cadbury creme eggs your heart desires.
Remember that time I got to dress up and wear expensive jewelry? And then when I made the purple spider sparkle dress? The museum exhibit that it was all for had the opening last night. Fun times!
Sparkly pictures! )

If I could do that all the time, life would be super fun.

Anyway, all you friends in Amarillo, you really need to go check out the exhibit. It's nine kinds of cool. :D
I haven't blogged in a while, but I've been BUSY. With a capital B. Like you read about, folks.

I got all my academy girls' dresses finished, with varying degrees of success. Most of the little sweethearts liked their costumes, so I think it's a win. I'm still working on a piece of commissioned art for an inspirational speaker - it's drawn but not painted, and I'm still trying to make sense of the chord progressions in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. (I'm in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at ALT, if you didn't hear my shriek of joy from where you were a few weeks ago.) The music might as well be Farsi, for how well I'm doing with it. Harmony is a challenge for me. And when I say 'challenge,' I mean it's so hard it makes me want to sit down in the middle of the floor and cry real, unattractive, unmusical tears.

But enough of my harmony saga. (For today, anyway. I reserve the right to whine about it again at a later date.) Last night I went and fitted the girls in their dresses, and then watched the rehearsal to see if they needed other mending or alterations. I took LOADS of pictures, and then my camera battery died before act II. However:

Pictures and a video! )
In any case, I love these kids, and I love my job, and I LOVE working for the theatre. There's so much joy in each step of the way. I wouldn't trade it for the world!
I must want to never stop moving.

But as long as I'm having fun, what the hell, right?

Here's what I've been up to, in case anyone has the burning desire to know.

You, know, the usual. Martha Stewart with cuter hair and better makeup. )

That's enough for the present, I think. :)
It's the story of the Purple Spider Sparkle Dress, as I've come to affectionately call it. It's the hardest thing I've ever constructed. And I didn't get to finish all of it because I got sick. That makes me die a little inside, but I'll sally forth. The dress is for Kiss of the Spider Woman, which opens tonight, as it happens!

Sorry I didn't cut this earlier... )
See? Way up in the corner in the amber spot? That's the Purple Spider Sparkle Dress.
Can't wait to see it in action. I'm going tomorrow. Everyone break a leg!
I'm ridiculously excited and MUST share it.

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance called me and asked me to be a part of a costume photoshoot that will be part of an exhibit at the historical museum in our area. Initially, I'd thought that he wanted me to do something with the costumes, but this wasn't the case. He wanted me to wear one of my costumes from Whorehouse, a long, red, backless gown, and be in the photos. There'll also be someone to do my hair and makeup. And I get to be in a museum exhibit (make 'old' jokes at your own peril)!

All of that was awesome, but not what really turned my crank.

The very best part is that a local jeweler is going to let us borrow their jewelry for the shoot! Like Amarillo's version of the Oscars! I'm giddy just THINKING about it. DIAMONDS. BIG ONES, PLEASE. :D

I'll post pictures (of course) next week.

On the first read, I didn't think I liked it.  I wasn't sure, of course, because I didn't really understand the script.  I felt absolutely stupid.

On the second read, I understood, but still had issues.

Now, upon seeing it four times during hell week, I have to say that I like it a lot.  It is unbearably sad (being a Greek tragedy and all), but really sort of beautiful at the same time.

And one of the best lines ever comes from the script.  Well, not best, perhaps.  But moving.  We'll say it resonated with me.  How about that?  The father in the piece, played by Don Washburn (who really is a masterful actor, I would love to share a stage with him), reads a letter to his daughter on her wedding day, giving her advice.  One of the points in his line is this:

"Continue to give yourself to others because that is the ultimate satisfaction in life - to love, accept, honor and help others."

I've just come out of a very selfish few years, centered all about mememememe... and in giving, I've found my own joy again. 

So giving of my time and energy to this piece of art has been very rewarding, indeed.  I must say that the Little Theatre is one of the most low drama (er, you know what I mean) and professional theaters that I've ever worked for, and it's always a joy to be associated with the organization. 

With this particular production, I don't think anyone really understood the artistic vision until we were presented with the finished product.  That could have been disastrous on many different levels, but fortunately worked out for the best - the play looks brilliant.  It's at once visually stimulating and thought provoking - funny and disturbing. 

I wish that I had pictures to show you, but the best way to explain it is that the Underworld is an archaeological dig, and there are partially exposed treasures of all of the resident's most prized posessions.  There are liquor bottles, barbie dolls, toys, sports equipment, video game consoles, bicycles, and every other thing you can think of partially covered with a layer of "sediment" that has washed over it from the river.

Pictues and pontification... ) 

Finally, here's a link to Chriselda Reyes' gorgeous photographic slideshow, which has more pictures of the actors, costumes and set, and will maybe explain where I've been for the last month.  Enjoy.
Things I've done this week:

* I've dyed more fabric than I ever wanted to look at a rather fetching color of blue. And purple.

* I've ruined perfectly good brand new clothing. On purpose.

* I've painted purple dye on everything that would stand still.

* I prayed for the Lord of the Underworld's pants to fit while I was sewing them (for the second time) AND THEY DID.

* I've bleached my hands so they would go back to their normal, pasty color instead of purpley-blue.

* I've sewed. And sewed. And sewed. And altered. And sewed some more.

* I've glued. And glued some more. And then you know what? I glued some more.

* I've bitten my tongue when I wanted to scream. (GO ME!)

* I'll probably get the chance to do that again before the week is out.

* I went to a conference at church that was really, really good.

* I played eight holes of golf with my husband and sons. (Why only eight? That is a different story for another post. It didn't devolve into family Monopoly night, but it was close.)

* I've shopped. And bought shoes. And makeup. And dye. And bracelets. And more dye. And dresses. And more dresses. And couldn't return two of the dresses so I exchanged them for my size and inherited two fancy party dresses.

* I'll spend at least two more nights up at the theatre this week: But Thursday? Opening Night. And then Eurydice will go forward on her own.
&hearts - I'm glad I'm a stay at home mom. I wouldn't ever have time to do anything if I had an actual JOB to go to.

&hearts - Speaking of my job, I have 14 girls in my theatre three and four class who are going to be a LOT of fun. I'm going to do movie monologues/scenes with them, so if you have any favorite movie scenes from the silver screen (featuring two high school-aged girls, appropriate for same), please do share.

&hearts - the little old ladies were ten deep at the Clinique counter, today. I guess I'm the only girl under 60 that uses that? It was a good free gift with purchase, though. Go check it out. Oddly enough, there were no little old ladies at the MAC counter. They don't like glitter mascara and loud music? Tee hee.

&hearts - I'm bringing back the word "codswallop." Hide and watch.

Cute kid story under the cut... )

&hearts - The boys are enrolled in Musical Theatre class at ALT. They had a good time and AJ said that their warm-up routine was to "Darn Yankees." When I questioned this, he replied, "We have to be 13 before we can say the real name of that musical." Thanks, Jason. Ensuring the innocence of the kiddos. Too bad I say worse than that on your average Tuesday.

&hearts - What. The. Hell. Why in the world would people need these? I'm sweating my ass off trying to GET my ass off, and now I find out that there are actually people that wear padded panties to make their butts huge? And that's somehow trendy? That's ASININE, if you'll forgive the pun. A load of codswallop. Please tell me who they are so that I can maybe stand next to them so that my rear end will look smaller by comparison.

&hearts - I love, and I mean LOVE blessing other people. Especially when it's something that they don't expect.

&hearts - Speaking of being blessed, I seriously hope that my breasts stay within the confines of the swimsuit that I'm wearing in South Pacific. There may be some duct tape/bailing wire rigging involved. I tried it on again today, and this time I stood in front of the mirror for a full twenty seconds before I burst into hysterical, cellulite-induced sobs. I think that's progress. I also made a sarong and matching headscarf out of gorgeous, donated, sari silk that's pretty freaking adorable, if I do say so myself. It covers most of the atrocities, so it's still safe to come see the show.

I think that's all. Have a great weekend, y'all!
So. I'm a seamstress. I sew. Before you pass judgment and go, "LAME!" let me explain. I only sew really, really cool stuff. Or stuff that can be used in cool ways. Stuff that I like.

Yeah, maybe it is lame. Read on if you aren't convinced I'm destined for "dorkiest" at my 20 year (gag) high school reunion. Oooh. I hope they don't give out that award. That would SUCK.

Again, I digress. I'm here to tell you a story. And let me preface with this: if I had actually leaned the fundamentals of sewing from my mother, I wouldn't be in this mess. My mother has always sewed. She made me a lot of cute clothes when I was little, along with some unfortunate culottes, but, hey. It was the eighties. What could she do?

I didn't learn to sew from mom. And even if she'd tried to teach me, I wouldn't have let myself BE taught from her. It's like cooking. Our personalities don't mesh well in academia. In other ways, we get on great, just not when she's trying to tell me what to do. Because I automatically want to do it MY WAY; and MY WAY, though well intended, never works as well as Her Way. Probably 'cause she's the mom and has 24 years on me.

Dang it, I digressed again.And it's not for me, either. )
Most of these are in the dressing room and backstage; the actual show photos on the set haven't come in yet.

It took so long to upload, I didn't do a description of each. You'll get the picture. There are whores, Aggies, cowboys and more whores.

Costumes, makeup, and more cleavage than you can shake a stick at. )
It's been awhile since I've done a proper "life catch up" post. *

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opens Thursday at the Amarillo Little Theatre, wherein I play Linda Lou, a girl working at the Chicken Ranch.** The show is solid, and funny, and musically sound, so say the directors. For my part? I've spent the majority of the last five weeks going up and down stairs and dancing in three and a half inch heels. Nothing can hurt me, y'all. I'm ready. Bring it.  Plus, I got to do my own costumes, and I have to say, they're awfully sassy.  Garters and thigh high stockings and vintage red slips and bejeweled floor length gowns.  HEE!  Chriselda (the theatre's photographer) is taking pictures tonight, so I'll have some to post next week sometime.

Ethan made both the honor choir and the safety patrol.  He has to be at the school at 7:30.  Dear God in heaven above, deliver me from the Safety Patrol.  Aaron is unamused that he has to get up earlier to accomodate his brother's responsibilities.  I, for one, understand where the kid's coming from.

I'm still working at the library again this year, with the added new bonus of having a little job reading books to the special needs class, oral interpretation style.  I started today, and it was fun.  I really enjoy reading books aloud, I always have (plus, it's one of the few things I do well).  And they seemed to enjoy it.  Win/win.

I think I may volunteer at one of the hospitals doing much the same thing.  Wish I could parlay it into an actual, paying, job.***

What else?  Because I'm ridiculously crazy, I'm writing for a new HP rpg, [ profile] turn_left_rpg , set after book 7 and with no reference whatsoever to the EoD.****  *shakes head*  Too, too fun.  And addictive.  I also and still writing for [ profile] si_muove_rpg , and I'm posting a new R/P at various communities and on my writing journal, [ profile] carriescribbles .

I'm having lunch with the Education Director of the Theatre today, who I love more than my luggage.  And It's FALL.  Life is FABULOUS!

* If you don't give a rip about me and my life, this is you chance to escape.  No hard feelings.
**which is the cleaned up version of "whore" and "whorehouse" respectively that you can sell to the grey-haired blue hairs that may attend :D
***I sound like Nolan.  :P
****Epilogue of Doom


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