The Floaters sing that "Everything happens for a reason, whether it's sad or it's pleasing." And, for me, this summer has been a prime example of everything happening for a reason.
It started with Tartuffe. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the producer for Guild Festival Theatre was in the audience for one of our performances. She liked my portrayal of Mme. Pernelle. Guess I make a really good helicopter mama, because she thought I'd be perfect as Dorothy Hardcastle, a woman who has her hands firmly wrapped around the apron strings attached to her boy!
So I auditioned for the role of Dorothy in 'She Stoops to Conquer', got cast and was thoroughly enjoying the run (minus the mosquitoes, natch!) when Marion Abbott messaged me about performing in her Women of Musical Theatre Festival, which ran July 20-24, 2017. This was the second year of this festival. One that celebrates all things female in the musical theatre world: Writers, musicians, directors, choreographers, stage managers & of course performers!
Would I like to be a part of it? Hells yeah, I would.
Due to the time constraints of She Stoops To Conquer, and the potential commitment I'd have to give for it, I couldn't accept the show she offered me. And I was majorly disappointed!!
And then Yay! She offered a second one!
That I promptly had to turn down. FML
And for a second (a teeny, tiny second) I regretted accepting She Stoops To Conquer. Not because I wasn't loving it, but because I couldn't do these fabulous shows I was being offered. Why wasn't I born with the ability to be in two places at once!!! Curse you molecules that only allow me to be in one place at a time!
And then, third times the charm. Final Offer.
If I couldn't work it into my schedule, that was it. The cabaret was the closing show in the festival. Wrap status on that.
And lo and behold, I was able to do it!
It would be a one day rehearsal, everyone singing a solo song from our own repertoire and then also any duets, trios and group numbers Marion chose.
We opened the show with the Overture of 'Nine'. It's an ethereally beautiful aria-type song. The cast strolled from the back of the theatre thru the makeshift aisles, serenading the audience as we went. And didn't I pick out a distinctive face sitting at the back. A past teacher.
There are teachers who stick in your mind. Educators who leave lasting impressions on your psyche.
Whether it's the sweet kindergarten teacher who you swore was the lead singer of "Boy from New York City" by Manhattan Transfer (She actually wasn't, but for some reason my 5 year old mind decided with a name like Miss. Limerick, she had to be!); or the 3rd grade teacher who coined the awful nickname "Snowflake", along with the requisite sticker of a snowflake on your desk, because you dared to roll down the hill at recess twice (a moniker which stuck throughout middle and high school)
And then there's Rod Maxwell. The Simon Cowell of Sheridan College, if you will.
He of the trademark funky glasses.
Razor sharp comments.
Dedicated and exacting knowledge of theatre.
Passionate about theatre, Rod knows his stuff.
Everything happens for a reason.
If I hadn't been in Tartuffe
Janet (the producer) wouldn't have recommended me to the Artistic Director of Guild Festival.
If I hadn't been in She Stoops To Conquer
I would have done the other two WOMT Festivals shows, instead of Dazzle
If I hadn't been in Dazzle
I wouldn't have reconnected with Rod.
The one person I'd want at my back, helping to guide me in this next phase of my career. And now he's there. And thru him, I now have Sandra Gillis & Sean Kauffman there as well.
Whether It's Sad or It's Pleasing
Pleased As Punch to announce I'm now represented by
"What The Hell Was That?" you ask.
(Come on, you didn't expect me to have a blog post about Rod Maxwell and not have his signature phrase somewhere in there, did you?)
That's me belting out The Floaters at the top of my lungs