Curiouser & Curiouser

Life’s short. Get curious.

Reefer MADNESS! February 23, 2009

Filed under: happiness,music,thoughts — curiouserx2 @ 9:53 pm
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reefOh yes… I’ve been running around telling everyone and nearly forgot to bring it up here. Got a call last night from the director of Center Stage Players’ “Reefer Madness” offering me the part of Miss Poppy. I said yes before he could really finish what he was saying.

My last brush with the stage (well, the theater variety anyway) was in college. My freshman year. I began at Indiana University as a theater major, having spent my formative years either in a play or musical or waiting (impatiently) for the next. I finished college at University of Cincinnati, graduated with a major in journalism, working as the frontwoman of a cover band. From there, original music become my passion, and the theater (along with audiences of any substantial size) was left in the dust of my teens.

In taking a hiatus from Marchioness, I’ve discovered time I never had before and interests I’d been neglecting. J and I are working on a children’s book, I’m working on developing an old idea I had for a graphic novel and finally, FINALLY found the opportunity to get back to the stage. The “Reefer Madness” thing came out of nowhere and was too good to pass up. Before I knew it, I’d auditioned and been called back. And then, in the midst of dinner, I got the call asking me to join the cast.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the musical, my character (played by Neve Campbell in the movie) owns the 5 and Dime, sings, dances and secretly helps lure teens to the reefer den. So good times 🙂

When I decided to set my music aside a few months ago, I felt all kinds of guilty, worried and even a little sad about doing so. But writing music and getting it heard is nearly a full-time job; the hours not spent at work were consumed by it. I knew that I could trade it in for a slew of other opportunities, and it turns out I was right. If I were sitting at home each night after work in front of the t.v. and spending my weekends drinking the nights away and sleeping late, then, okay, maybe all that worry and guilt would’ve been well founded. But I did it. Or I’m DOING it.

And it feels just as amazing as sitting behind the piano, so I must be doing it right. 🙂

~a

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A Modest Proposal… February 20, 2009

Filed under: adulthood,happiness,humor,life,thoughts — curiouserx2 @ 9:20 pm
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2009-02-10-488normal

It has been too long since I’ve posted a Wondermark, my friends. TOO LONG! And so, to undo this egregious slight, I offer you a clip from this week that was too close to my recent thinking to pass up.

Normalcy.

What exactly can we define as normal? As little kids we don’t generally pause from playing house or learning our letters to consider this concept, unless one of our classmates smells bad or has a strange mole or is allergic to food coloring and can’t eat the birthday cupcakes. Obviously, these kids were not normal. And sometimes they were made fun of. As teens, we strived to have the “right clothes,” to go to the “right hangouts,” to blend in. To be “normal.” (Ok, except for the goth kids who were a step ahead of the game and were already anti-normal – and they were DEFINITELY made fun of).

As we headed off to college (or not), we split in two directions. Some went the normal route – joined greek systems, wore college sweatshirts and pajamas to class, studied a lot or partied a lot, but mostly blended in. The others strove for individuality: made their own clothes (or looked like they had), created their own majors, spent more time off campus than on, discovered and loved (or pretended to love) really REALLY fringe music, but mostly attempted various forms of weirdness. Beyond college, I’ve been to towns as generic as they come (Ft. Wayne, IN, for one) and to one that goes so far as to campaign fr its strangeness (Austin, TX).

What I’m finding now is that, while I’ve swung between the two ends of the spectrum for most of my life, the whole IDEA is becoming decreasingly important to me. I’m starting to care less and less about whether or not the way I live is on par with the national average, and more and more about whether or not I’m happy with that lifestyle. If I like lying in bed on Sunday mornings and reading the paper with my dog, or siting in a coffee shop sucking up massive amount of caffeine and free WIFI, and these happen to be what “everybody’s doing,” well so be it. Because I also hate going to sporting events (which I’m told is practically unAmerican) and am about to audition for a community theater produciton of Reefer Madness.

So I suppose my point is Wondermark’s point. We’d all be happier (or at least feel a weight lifted) if we could stop comparing ourselves to those around us. Stop worrying about what other people think and believe (ahem… religious zealots!… ahem), find what makes us deeply content and get to it!

On this note, I propose we all wake up at whatever time strikes our fancy tomorrow (be it 8am or 2pm), throw social “norms” to the wind and enjoy our morning coffee. Or morning Mountain Dew. Or morning Jack and Coke.

Take your pick – no one’s watching.

~a

 

The Grand Finale February 16, 2009

Saturday evening marked what would be the final GIRLS!GIRLS!GIRLS! performance – at least in its current incarnation. For those of you unfamiliar with this strange phenomenon that I inadvertently started a little more than a year ago, it can be breifly summarized as this: four female musicians from various (and varying) bands come together a few times a year to perform an ecelctic mix of both original music and old standards – frequently in four-part harmony, eliciting both Vaudeville and Andrews Sisters comparisons.

Valentine’s Day was our fifth and final show together, and what a way to quit while we were on top. With our biggest turnout to date, we packed The Thirsty Ear wall to wall for most of the evening. The crowd was rambunctious and game for what we were dishing, and by the time we wrapped the set with a fiery little rendition of “Fever,” even the air in that room was on fire.

But let me rewind – to approximately 6 hours before the show. To where I’m just waking up (for the second time that day) and having trouble doing so. Hanging on my closet door is a red dress. It was once floor-length with a little rhinestone pin attached at the waste, but is now stripped of any ornamentation and cut jaggedly to nearly half its former length. You see, about a week before, I’d had grandiose ideas about revamping my dress from Christmas into a saucy little number for Valentine’s Day. But here we were, day of the show, with an unwearable garment hanging limply before me and little hope.

Procrastination becomes me. What can I say?

Anyway – at this point, my roommate and fellow GIRL! shows up in the form of salvation. She was a former costume design major in college, and although she didn’t complete the program, she did pick up a trick or two, and we now had about an hour and a half to put said tricks to use. I did what little I could, evening out the cut we’d made and pinning up a rough hem, the she took over, and something miraculous occurred: a little sewing machine action and a few darts later, we had an LRD that was not just wearable but quite the stunner. I threw a short, black petticoat underneath, pinned on a black rose where the rhinestones had been, pulled on some black tights and 4-inch ankle boots and…. voila! Out the door with time to spare, AND that dress got more compliments than anything else I’ve ever worn to ANY show. In short: my roommate is amazing, and may have a place on the next Project Runway.

But I’ll quit boring you tales of small fashion miracles.

What I’m really getting at is that these shows have been so fun, so challenging, so musically educational, and have given me the best excuse to work with three women I would’nt otherwise have much opportunity to and to sing songs I would have no other reason to sing. It started out one thing, and became something so completely novel and endearing, and the audiences at these have been some of the most moving I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing for. I’ll write rock forever, but it’s priceless to know the other possibilities and to have tasted them.

Now – a brief photo-essay of my experience as one of the GIRLS!:

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So That’s What the Universe Looks Like, Huh? February 11, 2009

Filed under: happiness,humor,life,love,thoughts — curiouserx2 @ 6:35 pm
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bite1Taking advantage of the bizarre turn our weather has taken (if only for a day), I bolted from the office for a bit to walk with J to Cafe Corner for lunch. After, we strolled home, and when we arrived at my car (the return to work hanging just as ominously over us as the storm clouds now starting to  block out the sun), I procrastinated in the form of lingering to give him a kiss (or two or three) goodbye and give him a quick pep talk for an afternoon interview he had coming up.

As we finally, reluctantly began to part ways, a gentlemen on a bike came rolling out of the park across the street. With skin the color of espresso and a bright, wide smile and donning an OSU letter jacket, he yelled jovially to us, “Ya’ll gonna be doin’ that same thing 20 years from now!” Yep – but that’s not all. “Ya’ll gonna have some little ones, some twins!” Twins, eh? “Just make sure they BUCKEYES!” he called finally as he rode off down the street.

Part embarrassed for being caught in the act, part baffled by the frankness of these comments, J and I laughed along with the guy, who was, strangely, not scary in any way. Instead – and maybe this is just the romantic in me speaking – he sounded like the voice of the universe telling us that everything was going to be okay. Which is exactly what we both needed to hear, as times have been as rough on us as they have been on much of America.

Crazy weather, crazy day. The world feels like it’s been shaken up a little, like a snow globe.

In a good way.

~a

 

It’s the Little Things… February 10, 2009

Filed under: life,love,thoughts,work — curiouserx2 @ 9:15 pm
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twistpopsAs the weather in Columbus finally eeked into the 60’s today, I decided it was necessary to get outside for a while in the afternoon. If the only way to make that happen on a day so busy I missed my lunch break was to run some office errands around downtown, then so be it. So I was on my way back from the post office, headed to the bank, when a little ways ahead of me I spotted two tiny children walking toward me with their mother.

Both children carried long, spiraled lollipops which must have just been purchased for them as a special treat during their downtown visit. The bright yellows and shiny pinks swirled into the candy were a stark contrast to the overcast day and the kids’ own drab coats. They family was dressed warmly enough, but it was apparent they were of no great means.

As I came closer, the little boy (he could’ve been no more than three or four) dropped his lollipop onto the sidewalk. The look on his tiny face was first of horror, then misery as he began to cry. “Oh, baby,” his mom said, squatting next to him, putting one hand on his shoulder and scooping up the candy quickly. I had every expectation that she would next toss it in the nearby trashcan and tell the child something to the effect of, “You should’ve been more careful. No more.” Instead, without a thought, she put the candy in her mouth and effectively cleaned off any dirt that might’ve gotten on it in the few seconds it had been on the ground.

It was a bit surprising, but then again, with this single, selfless act, she had just shown her child protection and love. Yes, she took a little dirt (literally), but it won’t kill her.

This brief event on an otherwise uneventful Tuesday afternoon has been seared into my mind, for some reason. I can’t figure why it means so much to me, but I may keep it up there forever, and may even be able to drag it out again someday when I have my own children. I can only hope.

~a