Brain-fried & Tongue-tied

I don't even know where to start.


I find I'm most productive in the early hours, when I should be sleeping.

Thank goodness I'm an insomniac.
When else would I find the time for last, last minute Christmas shopping & wrapping gifts?

T minus 2.5 days until I spend Christmas with my sister.
I. Can't. Wait.

Meet Cassie. She's magical & I love her:


The Thinker of Great Thoughts

When I was young, I distinctly remember wanting to be the first girl to think every thought there was to think...

There had to be some wildy impressive prize for accomplishing such a feat, probably even a Nobel prize...which I imagined must be cast in 24K solid gold and encrusted with precious gems. Not just anyone was capable of the brain power it required to ponder everything in the universe, however, at the age of seven, I was without doubt that I was more than capable, and ready to add that prize to the mantle I would one day need to display all of my most stellar, incredibly impressive, accomplishments. The mantle, I imagined, of course, would rest over the fireplace in the main sitting room of the fabulous mansion I would own in the future, (Maybe by age eleven...) because the house on Thousand Oaks was no kind of place for a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel/thinker of great thoughts to be living.

I would sit outside St. Thecla's church after my catechism lessons every Tuesday, plugging away mentally at the tiniest of thoughts, I figured I should get those out of the way before I moved on to the big ones. "What if I was that brick...What if I was that brick...or that one...or..." (seriously) "What if St. Thecla looked less like a giant, tacky beige & purple miserable prison & more like churches should look....like the ones on television where everything is shiny & golden & expensive, adorned with beautiful paintings" (I wanted everything in my world to look like the giant rhinestone clip on earrings my Yia Yia had bought me at the dollar store)Yes, I went to catechism. It obviously didn't work, because I have only three distinct memories from that time, outside of the general remembrance that I was bored out of my mind one hour out of every Tuesday for five long years. My relationship with God was fine, we chatted every night:

As I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, & if I die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. Amen. Dear God: please let my parents give me their credit card and drop me off at Toys-R-Us for an entire day. Please let me be home schooled. Please let that younger, less brilliant version of me with freckles & blondish hair that has been occupying the other half of this room for the past few years go back from whence it came...Jesus was an only child, so why aren't I? Ask him on this one, I'm sure he'll understand. Please let Princess Diana realize that she is missing her beautiful, talented princess daughter & send for me right away...oh & that my name isn't Nicole...it's something with more letters & more exotic...like Violet...or Violetta...or...well I'm sure she will figure out. Goodnight God.

What? I said please. The undiscovered daughter of Princess Di must have manners. I was, of course, royalty...Another reason I didn't need catechism. Third grade, my second year of catechism, I had the hiccups so badly, it was disrupting our lessons & they had to call my mother to come pick me up. Only after a scolding from Mom, for the smug smile I had on my face, between hiccups, the entire ride home, did they stop. That's the last time I've ever had the hiccups. Honestly...cross my heart. You tell me that wasn't God himself excusing me from that hour of nearly lethal boredom. I got it. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery (which at the time I thought that meant allow yourself to grow into a moldy, cranky old bat like my mom & dad) thou shalt not covet thy neighbors stuff, (mine was better anyways) thou shalt not ground their eldest daughter for mouthing off to a nun...common sense stuff. They weren't real nuns anyways. Real nuns wore those big, homely, blocky penguin dresses like they wore in Sister Act. So it was up to me to find other ways to occupy my brain for that hour...Following year, fourth grade, instead of spending the hour choosing a scripture to memorize & explain to the class what it meant to me from some giant outdated book with no pictures & no interesting characters, (Rainbow Brite, He-Man, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Johnny Cash, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Bob Dylan...I would have accepted any of the above.) I found it much more interesting to see how

many numbers of pi I could memorize within that hour. (It was displayed on a runner that ran around all four dingy grey walls, up where they met the dingy grey ceiling) Unfortunately the nun wasn't impressed with my recitation of the first 38 numbers of pi...mathematical prowess is not next to Godliness apparently...which I would find out a few years later, was a good thing anyways.

Which takes me back to my last memory of catechism, sitting outside waiting for the giant blue Lincoln Towncar to come flying through the parking lot at maybe 50 MPH, & swoop around the curved drive where it would finally screech to a halt in front of me. (I'm fairly certain the Macomb Township Police Department could pave their entire lot in solid gold using only the money my parents have paid out over their lifetime in speeding tickets. (& Lord only knows what else) The moment I realized that it was absolutely impossible to think every thought there was to think, because there was an infinite number of thoughts floating around the universe...Infinity...my favorite number. Imagine that. I was devastated, well, until I realized that there was no shiny gold prize to be had either. Oh well, I had enough on my plate as it was as a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel anyways. I would still be described as a thinker of great thoughts, brilliant perhaps, in the many television specials & newspaper articles that would be written about me..."the rockstar qualities of Janice Joplin & Joan Jett, The demure & timeless style of Audrey Hepburn & Jackie O. Smarter than Albert Einstein & modest as anyone could be." That would do I guess...

That particular childhood endeavor is what I blame for what now has become a nearly compulsive need to consider every

bad thing that can possibly happen as a result of every tiny situation I encounter throughout the day. Mental sanity suicide. Almost twenty years later, & I still have the same amount of "what-ifs" running through my brain at any given moment. For example, as I just took the elevator down three floors to check the progress of my laundry, I couldn't help but think there was a possibility that the elevator could malfunction & suddenly drop down to the basement the same way it does in the Tower of Terror in Disney Land. (scarred me for life) However, the mere fact that I considered the possibility of that happening, completely removed the element of surprise & therefore lessened the odds that it would. Make sense? No. Probably not. It's like an addiction, ranging from small scale crisis to unbelievably outlandish, 10 out of 10, life changing disaster. Paranoia? Kind of. I don't like being surprised & these things only happen when you least expect them, right? I'm just taking extreme caution & mentally preparing, constantly. If you really think about it, like I said, it's most likely suicide for my mental health, but on the other hand, I've already considered every possible (& impossible) horrible thing you could ever do to me, so when it happens, I'm at least not completely blindsided. As crazy as it sounds, this whole thought process, although mentally exhausting, has been serving me well.

Some people should come with a very detailed disclaimer, I'm one of them...


CAUTION: Mini-Vent Session Ahead. Limited Visibility.

Here's the thing people: Stop putting the responsibility of your happiness in other peoples' hands, or over other peoples' heads. You want something done, you do it yourself, right? Well that pertains to your happiness too. Take the initiative & make a decision. Take all of the time you spend blaming your unhappiness on her, or him, or this, or that & instead spend it doing one thing a day that makes you happy...magical. 99% of the time you know exactly what it is that you need, so what are you waiting for? Or who? The damsel in distress routine is so Renaissance Era...(am I right Ani?)

Carpe diem people, it's 2010 for goodness sake.
Thought of the day: I don't give myself nearly enough credit. For surviving the past 25 years of Burroughs-worthy dysfunction, somehow something clicked. I'm so glad to be me...Currently embracing my individuality, talent, intelligence, strange sense of humor & ability to think in a completely realistic manner & a completely outrageous, magical, over-actively imaginative way...simultaneously.
You dig?

Thank you. We will now return to your regularly scheduled programming.


When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels...

Never ever in the history, my history, of Radio City have they ever cancelled shows. Until today. Two shows cancelled in the Snowpocalypse of Washington DC, three cancelled tomorrow. And by the way...as of right now...11:09pm....it's not snowing at all. Why do I feel guilty? I've been given one of the best gifts mother nature has up her sleeve around this time of year...a Snow Day! Zero responsibility outside of late brunches, snow angels, & hot cocoa. A lot of people on this crazy tour's spirits have been crying so loudly for a day off that Ms. Mother Nature herself answered their prayers.

“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway."” - Maya Angelou

Instead of doing the last two shows of the day I got to catch up with my sister, have an incredibly fun dinner, & a giant mug of hot cocoa while watching Scrooged. (which is my favorite Christmas movie ever) There's just something so romantic in a Snow Day...it's an immeasurable force in the universe, Mother Nature, giving you permission to relinquish all responsibility for the day & feed your soul every comforting luxury it needs. Your boss, my boss, the corporate Radio City suits, can't argue with Mother Nature. What she says goes & apparently the people of DC have been working too hard, 'tis the season to drive yourself crazy.
It's time to crawl back into bed reach for a warm drink & your favorite Christmas movie. The weather outside is frightful. What I wouldn't give for a day off with my family, the fireplace & the frosty view of the river behind the house, hidden under sheets of grey blue ice & mounds of snow. Putting up a Christmas tree, with all of the ornaments my mother, the original crafty lady, & my Pop Pop, from whom she got the talent put hours & hours into crafting. It's been so long since I've seen any of them. I have my own box of ornaments at home, each one wrapped carefully with it's own memory in a sheet of old newspaper & tucked away in a box. Maybe it's in the attic, or the garage...waiting patiently for the day to come where I once again will have a tree to ever so painstakingly arrange them on for the holiday season. For now I will just have to settle with admiring the perfectly color coordinated, expertly designed trees in the lobbies of the hotels I seek refuge in night after night on this contract. Don't get me wrong, they're stunning, & I love them, but those ornaments don't contain the memories that mine do. My Christmas tree never looks so coordinated...it's more eclectic, more patchwork, more me.

Christmas is about family & memories & love & selflessness & hope. Things that easily fall through the cracks when I'm doing my best to get my laundry done, keep my suitcase organized, eat well, stay hydrated & somehow find time to Christmas shop, all while performing & traveling ever day...I'm spreading Christmas cheer to hundreds of thousands of families, in fact, becoming a very special part of their Christmas memories, but I've been unable to enjoy this Christmas season myself...instead I'm sitting on my bathroom floor with a white knuckle grip on my childhood Christmas memories & tears in my eyes, cursing the world for changing so much. Who wouldn't want to go back just once & be a kid on Christmas again? Dude if my six year old self caught me wasting the best time of the year the way I have been this season, she'd kick me in the shins so hard I'd have a bruise until next Christmas!! Those are my memories, & I keep them very near my heart, I can't ever have those days back....no amount of kleenex & Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" on repeat will take me back in time. Trust me, I asked....but then I realized I've been looking at this all wrong. So maybe my mom, dad & sister aren't all here with me...That doesn't mean I'm without family. My family here just happens to be comprised of Rockettes, singers, dancers, LPs, sound guys, riggers, bus drivers,
caterers, stage manages, company managers, wardrobe people, hair people, prop guys, & I'm sure I'm forgetting someone...It's unethical...but so am I. All things considered, I'm pretty lucky, I just needed a gentle reminder that although I may not be able to go back in time to Christmas' past, I can still approach the holiday season with just as much anticipation as I did when I was a kid, I get to spend it with a bunch of really amazing people! I'm going to try and be extra thankful for what I do have this holiday season, take a moment to admire all the holiday decorations & possibly throw a snowball or two on my snow day! Enjoy everyone!


What good is WiFi on the bus if I'm not using it?

"& well you should, because this garden is your soul. This mess is you! Together, you & I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. & it is wild & beautiful & perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging & growing & alive-a living fractal."

(Wm. Paul Young, 'The Shack')


Being on tour is like being in limbo. It's like going from nowhere to nowhere.

How am I supposed to drink enough to stay hydrated when it makes me have to pee every 3.14 seconds?

Fifth one nighter in a row.


I apologize for the interrupted transmission

I haven't forgotten you little blog, I just find that 23.5 out of 24 hours a day are 100% fully occupied. There are so many things I need to document quickly before they start to fade in my mind, despite my best efforts I seem to be incapable of avoiding mischief. Life sans mischief is just not my nature. I will write again soon, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut

Stay beautiful everyone! Sending my love from the fifth story of a Winston-Salem hotel on a particularly dreary day.


At times in my life the only place I have been happy is when I am on stage. -Bob Dylan

Despite our rather lite rehearsal schedule the past few days (which has been unbelievable) I've neglected to write. I like to think I was out living my life instead of day dreaming about it. From now on my free moments will be few & far between...as much as I would like to stay in bed & sleep them away, it's worth it to take the opportunity to explore at least a few of the 31 destinations in my near future. Our last few days of rehearsal before opening have felt slightly surreal considering how pleased everyone has been with our cast, Julie & Linda couldn't be more happy. How often do you get to play Radio City Jeopardy & end rehearsal an hour early with a cast sing-a-long to "Joy to the World" instead of cramming in one last full dress run. (it's amazing how few of the words I really knew to that song...)I'll admit...It made us all feel a little warm & fuzzy inside. In return for our hard work, we've had a lot more fun & a lot more free time!! (Opening day I had another phone interview, for the Grand Rapids Press...note to self Nicole: while in an interview situation, Rockettes do not use the phrase, "yea, man..." Honestly...)

Monday night was finally opening night, complete with butterflies & nerves, speeches, gifts, & a party! With electricity in our veins & stars in our eyes, the gun went off & we hit the ground running. The giant, dark, empty space we had been performing in for the past few weeks
had magically become a sea of movement, life, gleaming faces & thunderous applause. I have yet to find anything more gratifying, more elating, than the curtain going up on opening night.
Naturally we had some major technical boo-boos in the show. However, when it really came down to it...as we were doing our best to dance off of a moving double decker bus & charging downstage after our Shine staircase refused to budge, denying us the epic entrance we so deserved...we managed to accomplish everything we had so painstakingly rehearsed for the past two months, with more grace & style than any of the thousands of people sitting spellbound in the audience could have hoped for. On top of that we did it all without a hair out of place & a twinkle in our eyes, Lady Danger style, of course...what's up Hamilton? See you tomorrow Montreal.

So here we go, 105 shows, 31 cities, 17 one nighters, Thanksgiving on an airplane & Christmas Eve on a bus...Merry Christmas America. It's not necessarily the most ethical lifestyle, but as far as I can tell, it's what I'm best at. Thus far in life, normalcy is not my forte...I can't sit still...& although I still have yet to master sleeping in the fetal position across two seats on a greyhound bus, I'll take it over a white picket fence any time, at least for now...I like looking out my window & seeing something completely different every day, running out of my hotel room in a city I've never seen before on a rare moment off & discovering something new. I'm quite sure a month from now I will most likely change my tune & want nothing more than to stay in one place for a week & sleep it straight through, but then again, I've never pretended to be consistent.

One of my favorite people on this crazy little Christmas tour said this to me in an email yesterday, I think it might be one of the most epic, brilliant things I've ever heard on the subject of touring.

"Touring is crazy. It makes you crazy. The world will never be the same to one after one has toured and absorbed at the speed and level in which we coexist and make magic that we are all just used to creating, and sometimes fail to notice how cool this gypsy lifestyle is and we are leaving positive marks on people all over the map. That's ass kicking, and it's exactly the romance of the road."

Did I mention that I work with some of the coolest people on the face of the earth?


This is Halloween, everybody make a scene Trick or treat till the neighbors die of fright

Trick or Treat!
Here's the thing with scary movies: They scare me. I love them, I watch them, I sleep with the lights on. How do the Michael Myers movies still scare me? I mean, as much as I enjoy Josh Hartnett's very youthful face in this movie, he clearly has puny arms. This was 1998, long before Pearl Harbor. If only he'd watched the 19 preceding Halloween movies, he'd know that his weak right hook is no match for Michael Myer's boundless strength & large machete. I'll never understand how he always manages to be 3 steps behind Jamie Lee Curtis after a 20 mile drive, 4 hour boat ride, & 16 hour plane ride, when he's incapable of moving faster than a lethargic waddle. What's he so angry about? (Maybe he had to clean Group A off the bus again too...;)
Never fear, I have "The Nightmare Before Christmas" here on DVD...It's been one of my favorite movies since it came out in 1993. I've had the VHS tape since '93 & it's been played so many times it squeaks...long, long, long before it became a hipster staple...

I love, love, love Halloween. It's the one day a year it's perfectly acceptable to dress up as crazy, gory, glam, scary, silly, sexy, & out of this world as your imagination can fathom. (& not get funny looks from strangers) It's the one day a year you can go crazy & be who ever you want to be. (or perhaps let a different side of you shine a little bit more brightly than usual) I fully endorse celebrating Halloween once a month, at least. I totally punked out this Halloween unfortunately...There was just no time to put together an outstanding costume. Keltie & I wore cat ears to the mall today, that's about it. I even skipped the Halloween party in the hotel bar last night, I opted for a quiet dinner with Sam & Ging, & sitting in bed icing my poor, busted body & watching late night Food Network programming. (It was a good night.)
Thursday was another Media Day, but at the last moment Linda decided that instead of the usual black tight, black bottom & black Rockette tee she decided to bring back "bigger & brighter is better" day so we all got to give the news cameras some bright, bold, funky Lady Danger style. Of course, I don't own brightly colored dance wear, (I'm a balletrina, I wear all black, what can I say) the original Lady Danger, Schoppe, brought me a sassy tye-dyed tank to wear. I don't know if it was my hair, or my make-up, the tank, or the red lip, but I got tons of compliments on how pretty I looked. Everyone was so sweet :) I loved it!!
The most incredible thing about that day came when Linda announced that instead of having rehearsal today from one until four, that we were in such a good place that she was giving us all of Saturday off!!! What? Radio City history, again. That's never, ever happened. That means we have today off, tomorrow we travel to Canada, then Monday off...THREE DAYS in a row off...Unheard of. So instead of a run through, I went to the mall & Joann Fabrics with Keltie for some retail therapy & delicious Cinnabon :) Although, all I bought was stuff from Sephora & Apple that I needed. I could spend ages & millions in Sephora. Which is what I did today. There are just so many pretty colors!!
After yesterday, I needed the day off. We all did. We had two full show run throughs with clean up rehearsal after each run, I would say it came out to about a 2.75 show day. Man was I tired, by the end of the day my legs felt like they were made of lead. Our first run was a little less stellar than our fearless leaders had expected, they said it wasn't bad necessarily, but they knew we were capable of much better. We were all a little bitter & tired & wanted to nap. Before the second run Mark took a minute to inspire our attitudes & encourage us to work together, to feed off each others' energy...The reality of the situation is that we will be that tired once we open, probably quite often, & that's the only way we will get through the shows. We wound up pulling it together for a great run last night, I hope once we get into Hamilton we will all be 20 times better with our fresh legs & fresh minds.

Tomorrow we will be taking our first bus ride of the season, I stocked up on knitting supplies for the trip, I enjoy the bus rides much more than flying, they're pretty stress free. I will be in Canada for 18 days, almost a month. It's going to be fun, although I have a terrible time figuring out their money system, the loonies & toonies confuse me. I'm going to need Keltie's help on this one. On that note, I have a 7:00am bus call & haven't even started packing....See you in December, Hershey! Onward to the Land of "eh!"


When life gives you lemons...

Do you ever wonder when life throws you those devastating, gigantic life changing, jaw dropping, I never saw it coming, surprises, that maybe they wouldn't have happened if you had been paying closer attention? That if you weren't looking the other way, maybe things would be different? It's just not true is it. Some things you just can't foresee. Sometimes your problems yesterday fade into the shadows of a mountainous tragedy today. All of a sudden yesterday didn't seem that bad. It happens. That's life, we can say, & really, really try, to be thankful for what we have & focus on the positive, even in the worst of times. But who are we kidding, sometimes those valleys in the landscape of our lives collect a lot of rain water.
Much earlier today, I sat looking out a rainy window of Panera Bread with Keltie, Beth & Howie, contemplating a unique, witty ending to the phrase, "when life gives you lemons..." We laughed after going through a long list of cliche & silly answers, & finally realized we had nothing better. Little did we know that one of us was going to have a dump truck full of lemons unloaded on us hours later.

So what do we do when life gives us lemons?

The best I can do right now, is imagine you have to just start clearing a path to move
forward, one lemon at a time. I'd love to have some lofty, profound answer, but I'm only human, & not arrogant enough to pretend to be enlightened. You cry, & cry & cry & feel bad. There's nothing wrong with feeling bad. Sometimes really shitty things happen & you have at least my permission to take a moment & be sad. Life isn't fair. I DO NOT believe that every bad thing that happens in your life is karma paying you back, so don't feel guilty. Sometimes life just sucks. I guess you can do whatever makes you feel better with the lemons....lemonade, lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, lemon drop martinis...as long as you're making an effort towards getting to a better place. It's all you can do, I think, & these things take time. Life experience builds character & I do believe God only throws situations at you that he knows you can handle. Things will get better. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time. It's not easy by any means, but there is no shortcut.
Usually it takes something big to remind us all to be thankful for what we have. Unless.....unless we make a concerted effort to remind ourselves constantly. Time heals & things eventually progress in the direction you take them. Do your very best & things will get better. Even in the bleakest of times, cultivate le petite bonheur....even if it's just lemonade.


I don't belong many places, but I know I belong here.

The past few days have definitely had their high highs, low lows & fair shares of craziness. I guess when your days are this long, there is a lot of time for twists & turns. Friday wasn't my favorite day ever...It was a textbook example of how powerful our minds really are...unfortunately it was incredibly painful. One of my favorite parts of the show happens in NYAC, (New York at Christmas) when we dance on a double decker bus...so cool. Less cool was learning the exit off the bus...Grab the pole in the door with my right hand & swing out of the bus on 1, 2, 3, 4....My sassy big moment! Wheeeeeeee!......?.....No?......$#%@...Ow. Why can't I do this right? It's simple. Why do I keep smashing my shin on the door of the bus? I'm so awkward. I can't do it. We ran Group A off the bus on the upside of 20 times...Still no success. (Mind you no one is correcting me or telling me I look bad...it just feels awful. & Yes that is my battered leg on the right with the black boots...The other girl is the girl opposite me getting off the bus...We decided we must not be doing it right.) I was having such a good day before that too.

Eventually we moved on into the number, Deep breath, here we go. Until we went back to run the number from "Group A off the bus" again. It was about 8:30 @ night, hour & a half to go. We get back on the bus, we're waiting for the music to cue...I loose it.....tears. Merry Christmas Meltdown...It happens. (Thank goodness no one saw, except my bottom of the bus girls :) Took a deep breath & 5, 6, 7, 8....Holy crap, I was a mess...the harder I tried, the worse I danced. All of a sudden I was hopping a left double pirouette, my center was gone, my depths were unclear & I imagine I was dancing like a damn fool. And I swear, I was trying so hard to be positive & let it go. Just move on...but every time someone addressed me, I could feel my eyes well up again...even when Andrew, one of our Stage Managers asked to take my NYAC gloves that I apparently had been wearing for an hour after everyone else has already given him theirs...I managed to barely keep it together for the remainder of rehearsal until I immediately bawled my eyes out the entire car ride home. How embarrassing.
Here's the thing, in actuality, the people watching said I looked perfectly fine, good in fact. I have no idea why I felt like the worst dancer that's ever lived for that hour and a half. I'm sure it wasn't nearly as bad as I felt. (Well except for my shins...we're work shopping new ways to swing ;) In tech, we work long hours, we get tired, we're all crazy perfectionists, things just layer & layer until you feel like a can of coke that someone shook up. Sometimes you just have to cry, it cleans your soul. Trust me, I get that some people may not understand, that's okay. There are aspects of my job, my life really, that may sound completely illogical, & crazy. I'm definitely crazy, so that makes sense to me.
Saturday was so much better, despite the grey skies & endless downpour. How could I not be happy on bigger is better day? I put on a pair of my garish, over sized earrings & some equally as large rings. (I love gigantic jewelry. I always over accessorize, it's kind of my thing.) Little did we know, bigger is better day had so much more in store for us. About two hours into the day, Santa & the little boys were on the stage working some lighting, giving
us a rare moment to relax. I grabbed my book (The Book of Laughter & Forgetting by Milan Kundera) & sat on the floor near the hallways with our dressing room (the locker room) & a load in door for some light. About 10 pages into my reading, (I'm so close to being done with the book, I just keep going back & re-reading. Kundera is so epic it takes a lot of re-reading to fully absorb) one of the security guards addresses me, "Excuse me...miss...you may want to move...ummm...." I look up & there is a steady, fast moving flow of water coming in from under the load in door.
The arena was flooding. I couldn't believe it...A couple of the other girls & I took off running into the dressing room, pulling everything up off the floor. LaDuca rehearsal shoes are not cheap....By the time we had finished the hall was flooding, we had to run through backstage & jump to higher ground in some of the arena seating. By then nearly the entire stage/backstage/entry way of the arena was completely flooded a few inches deep with yucky dirty rainwater. There is a lot of wiring & electronic stuff backstage...power down time. After a quick meeting up up in the dry second bowl, in catering, we were released until dinner...@ 6:00. Three hours to get paid to play? Thank you very much janky, busted, soggy arena. Keltie, David (our Santa swing) & I wandered through some nearby outlet stores & eventually made our way into three cozy armchairs in the

corner of Starbucks with a soy chai latte. I finally found time to read the news paper!! By dinner they had managed to clean & dry everything so we had three hours of working through Santas on stage. Even more exciting was that one of my very good friends was pulled from a different cast to come replace a girl we lost. Brittany had really bad Achilles tendinitis, I had really bad Achilles tendinitis once, I almost had to leave my cast. It's such a painful thing, I'm very glad she is taking good care of her body. I'm also very glad Sam is here. Welcome back to the A-Team Sam:)

I was in such good spirits Saturday that I even went downstairs for a hot second to be social! Yesterday was a day off, & boy did we all need one! Nothing too terribly exciting: mandatory Target shopping trip, of course. I love Target, they sell so many things I didn't realize I needed until I wandered every aisle. Adventured with Keltie: Michael's, Joann Fabrics, & Marshalls...needed some crafting supplies. Then laundry, days off go by waaaay too quickly. I always feel guilty for staying in bed all day, but when I'm a busy bee I just feel like I should be sitting in bed relaxing. I just can't win!!
Today there were no crazy, facebook status update worthy events. It was just a good day:) I had a moment sitting in the dark of the arena listening to our DC, Hannah giving notes, looking up at the ensemble working through a piece of choreography in the bright lights of the stage. It sort of balanced all the negativity I was feeling only a couple short days ago. Sometimes I wish I had a camera in my left eye. When I blinked it would take exactly what I was seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, & file it away in neat little compartments in the back of my mind, that I could pull out & relive whenever I needed them. They'd never fade, or fuzz around the edges, I could still feel it just as strongly as I did in that very moment. (I honestly wish this a lot, about a lot of different things..this would be my superpower if ever I had a choice.) But this was one of those moments, I don't know what it was that triggered it exactly but I was elated to be exactly where I was. Most times & most places I'm never sure if I exactly belong, I'm a hard puzzle piece to fit, but I know with every fiber of my being that I belong here.

New project: I was so focused on getting the slipper I was knitting finished that the day sort of flew by. It's cute right? Coming soon to the feet of a Rockette near you!!! I'm really proud, I just started the sole of the left one. Once I start something I get incredibly motivated & don't want to stop, in fact, as soon as I finish this post I am going to go right back to knitting. I need someone here to pry it out of my hands so I don't stay up all night stitching away...


If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic bean buyer...

Home sweet home. (for the next 10 days at least)

Sometimes I have these out of body moments where I step back and marvel at the sheer ridiculousness of my life. I got home from work at about 20 after ten o'clock at night. I'm always hungry after work. Normally, when you're hungry, you head for the kitchen, open the fridge, take a quick peek, grab something, & have at it. I, however, had to take the elevator down to the lobby, elbow my way through a crowded restaurant/bar full of strangers in business suits, people on vacation, & a handful of my Radio City family to pick up my carry out order. Pesto pizza. (not vegan. :( Shame on me, but there is a very limited menu this late at night) It's loud, karaoke night...People look at me funny...Hey, I may be wearing flowery boxer shorts & slippers but you're wasted, singing the worst rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" that I've ever heard. How cliche.

"Just another day @ the office"

Work today, was 10 hours of lighting & working through the technical aspects of maybe the first 30 minutes of the show. Yes, 10 hours of tech = 30 minutes of a smooth running show. (& we're teching really quickly for a new show) It's tedious. Every one's balls (of their feet ;) hurt. It takes forever, but it's part of our J.O.B. & totally necessary. We can stand on stage in one spot for 15 minutes at a time while they light us, not incredibly exciting. Then after hours of standing we have to kick it into gear and run a full number with track, at tempo. 5, 6, 7, 8...We just get more tired & more slap happy...by the end of the night we're all on stage telling jokes, playing telephone, doing the wave & saying the most random things.
Keltie: " you know how before the fall (in Soldiers) the cannon comes out and shoots?'
Me: "Yea?"
Keltie: "What if instead of the flag coming out of the cannon, Fergie came out & sang 'Boom Boom Pow'?"
I love my friends. Tech is painful, being surrounded by wonderful people makes it so much better. I mean, it's going to happen, like it or not. So we may as well make the best of it. We really haven't gotten a moment to breathe since we got here. We traveled all day, got in late last night & started fairly early this morning. My room is a mess, I'm just now finding time to read my news paper. (ps - This article is super interesting, if you want a good read: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/opinion/20brooks.html?_r=1 )
Walking back into Hershey Arena after a full year was so strange. It's always exciting to see the stage for the first time, & super fun to see guys working on the crew that I made friends with last year. Another branch of my big, beautiful Radio City family. Coming back here, to the same hotel & arena, inspired some unexpected emotion. Dragging my luggage into my room for the first time in a year somehow reminded me of the place I was in emotionally & mentally last year. (PS- Hershey, PA is on Food Network right now! How crazy!) I was not in a good place at all, I was incredibly unhappy & equally unhealthy. It took me almost the whole night & all of today to figure out what to do with this awful deja vu. I realized it wasn't that difficult. Reliving that unhappiness made me check in with myself & appreciate the great strides I've made in the past year, leaving me feeling very grateful. It's amazing how much can happen in a year.
I'm thankful, slap happy, accomplished, achy, proud, caffinated (I needed a diet coke.) & kind of exhausted...All things considered, it's not a terrible place to be. Goodnight!