Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In my house, we harbor a killer. A cold blooded murderer without feeling or remorse who revels in each kill...and he cannot be stopped. Even worse, I am an accessory to his crimes. I clean up after him.

Of course I am talking about my cat, Sam. I just came across him in my hallway eating a bird corpse. Poor little bird. Reduced to a pile of flesh and feathers on my carpet, its little life snuffed out by my mass-murderer of a cat. And there I am screaming "Sam, take it outside!", while visions of my baby grabbing a handful of it send me over the edge.

When David is home, the cat dutifully picks up his kill and lets us chase him outside with it. But when David is at work and I am here alone with the baby, Sam likes to have some sport with me too. He moves the bird to another part of the living room, leaving a trail of feathers for me as I do my best to chase him toward the door. Then I get the water bottle and start spraying him to get him to leave. This backfires as he instead abandons the carcass and takes cover. So now I am left to remove the bird myself and clean up all the poor dear's feathers before my 11 month old decides to taste this new toy that has been left in his play space.

I managed to scoop it up on a dust pan all the while chanting "Don't look at it, don't look at it." And "Don't throw up, don't throw up."

A few nights ago it was a mouse. In the middle of the night David and I awoke to hear a high pitched squeaking. David turned on the light and it was once again Charles Manson the cat torturing the poor mouse on the floor next to our bed. I was terrified that Sam was going to bring the mouse onto my bed - a nightmare I have occasionally. And it seems fairly likely to happen when you consider that Sam generally sleeps on the bed near David. Shudder.

This is always a dilemma in my house. What do we do when the poor beast in Sam's mouth is not actually dead. This happens often. Sam likes to bring them into the house broken, but still struggling. David and I are compassionate people and we can't stand to allow the cat to further harm an innocent creature. Especially in our living room. But here is the question. Do we try to get the creature out of Sam's grip? This is difficult to accomplish and the outcome is hazy. The creature is usually dying. So by removing it from the cat and placing it outside, hopefully out of his reach, the animal could presumable die in peace. But what if this prolongs their suffering? And by leaving the cat alone the creature's death would come that much faster. Or worse, you take the animal away from the cat and he doesn't die, but he is so injured that he can't feed himself or run away from the next predator. So we saved him only for him to starve to death or be recaptured and tortured again. I just don't know.

I just wish the cat would not involve us in his hobby. I mean, if he were to simply leave the kills outside, I would never have to interfere...or clean up after him. And really, I am simply terrified that Jackson is going to come upon a carcass first, while I am in the bathroom or something. And I am going to have to deal with the horror of cleaning the blood and feathers off of him. Or shudder, fishing a small mouse out of his mouth. Can you imagine?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Heh, we got 4 out of 5 Red Poppies...

The Williamson County Sun reviewed us for their Wed edition. Apparently they liked what they saw. On their infamous red poppy scale we received 4 out of 5. There are several great pictures of the show on the front page of their Life section- a big one of me that I actually like, even. And I got a mention - "The lovely Marsha Sray plays Rosalind...Her fresh face and talent should be seen again in Georgetown."

Not bad, I must say, for a girl back from a 2 year hiatus. Made me smile and my mom is so proud. She's showing the newspaper to her co-workers at the hospital right now, I am sure.
The Round Rock Leader also did a big write-up on the show. Our main poster pic made the front page of the Diversions section and there are a few more pics inside. I don't like the one of me though. I look like I have terrible posture. It may just be the scene we were doing - they are live photos - but it makes me want to be more aware of how I carry myself onstage. I can't go around with slumped shoulders when I am supposed to be the ingenue.

Not like anyone will know it is me anyway, as the picture is labeled incorrectly; says I am another actor and another character. And her picture says she is me and my character. Arg. So typical of reviews. I am almost more surprised when pictures are correctly captioned. Oh well. Not going to be bothered too much by that one. At least the G'town paper got it right.

So I have been working in the Palace office for almost a year now. And people have gotten used to me being here with the baby. Folks on the board of directors come by often with tasks so they know me as 'the office gal' as do all the volunteers that I oversee. But after seeing the show, the reception I have gotten has changed a bit. After opening night, a few of the board members came up to tell me they'd had no idea I was a performer and wanted to know where I had trained. Volunteers have expressed delight and surprise that I am in this show. I think they are getting now that I am not just some young mom who needed work. Truth is that the Palace sought me out to join them. It is nice to be recognized for who I am. Yes, I am a super-organized office person with years of experience. But I also know theatre and am an asset to the organization for more than my computer skills. It was just about time I let them in on it.

Ok, ok, enough of me tooting my own horn. I am just happy that this show has opened well and that the people I work with know me a little bit better.

Ooh, the hubby is auditioning this weekend for "Anything Goes!" I hope he gets a good part. I want to hear his gorgeous tenor voice filling the auditorium again. Though the last time he was in a musical, I was so overcome with the power of his voice - that I wound up pregnant. Let's hope I am a little more careful this time....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Good to be home...

Opening night of Moon Over Buffalo went well. It felt really good to be back up there. The audience laughed when they were supposed to and seemed to genuinely have a good time.
But it wasn't until the middle of the first act that something magical happened. It was one of those dreaded moments we all experience one time or another - an actor missed an entrance. She was in the dressing area and there isn't a monitor. She thought she had plenty of time, but she didn't and her entrance came and went. The two actors on stage covered so freaking beautifully, ad-libing new lines for what seemed like ages, but was probably only 30 seconds or so.

Then Eric, whose entrance comes just after the missing actor's, turns to me and says, "Should I go?" And I said "Yeah, yeah, go!" He went on and changed his lines to explain the missing actor. Kyle and Michelle ran with it and the three of them got us back on script within two or three sentences. They were brilliant. I don't even think the audience noticed! And no information was lost. The missed scene cost us little to nothing.

You might think this would throw the cast off; make us upset. Instead, it seemed to do the opposite. It energized us, made us feel like nothing could throw us. It made me remember what is so wonderful about the theatre. It is live and dynamic. You gotta have the skills to roll with whatever happens and keep going. It was really a neat moment. We were so proud of ourselves after that. The rest of the show went on without a hitch, but it was the hitch that cemented the performance.

Ahh, it is nice to be an actor again...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How to get a baby interested in his toys...

Well, it is simple. How do you get a baby to play with his toys? You put them away.
Jackson has a laundry basket in the living room in which I keep his toys. In the morning he dumps it out and drags them all over the house. Then in the evenings, I gather them all up and put them back in the basket. This inevitably sparks a renewed interest in all of the toys he has ignored for hours. The second I fill the basket and put it in the corner, he simply has to dump it out and play with the toys.

But I am a smart mom, if I say so myself. Having learned this technique, I can now buy myself a few minutes of peace in the late afternoon to get dinner started, read a magazine or, in this case, type a quick blog. All I have to do is put the toys away and Jackson will attack them and play contentedly for ten minutes. Rinse and repeat and you can kill a half hour till his bedtime...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Moon Over Buffalo Opens June 9th...

I have been so busy with rehearsals in the last month, I have not had much time to breath, much less blog. "Moon Over Buffalo" opens a week from today, June 9. I think we are going to be more than ready. Acting-wise, this cast is pretty stellar, one of the best I have worked with. Which is nice since I have not been on stage since November of 2004 when I got pregnant with Jackson.

So this was my first audition in two years. I was seriously nervous going into it. But you know, it just comes back to you, like riding a bike. It didn't hurt that there were plenty of auditioners there who were clearly not as experienced as I am and watching other people read badly always boosts my confidence. Then when I was called to read I was given great scenes AND great partners to read with. It makes a huge difference when the fellow auditioning with you is talented and able to give back all the energy you put out there.

So I was cast in the female supporting role in Moon Over Buffalo and offered the female lead in Barefoot in the Park later this summer. I almost didn't accept Barefoot as the rehearsal period is short and intense and it comes on the very heels of Moon. But my friends and family helped me decide that the time away from home would be worth it. Plus, if I turned it down it would be the second time to turn down the lead in Barefoot. I declined the role 3 years ago because of scheduling conflicts. I guess you don't always get a second chance like this so I better take it. I'll try to remember to write about how it goes when I get there.

But for now, we are about to begin tech week for Moon. I pick up my costumes tomorrow. I just hope they fit. I am not so confident in my post-baby body as I could be. It is funny, I weigh almost exactly the same as I did before the baby, but things have sort of shifted somehow. I still can't wear lots of my clothes from before. But I digress, I was talking about Moon over Buffalo, not the curious nature of my motherly hips as I see them...

So yes, Moon. Great script, near-perfect cast. If the costumes fit, the set gets finished and the lights hung and focused it will be a great opening night.