Day Three: L.A. and My Best Friend

City of L.A.

Today, travel took me farther West, and a little bit North to Los Angeles, the ‘city of angels’ or at the very least, the home of my very best friend for all time, Brandi.  I met Brandi in third grade, and we have been really great friends ever since.  Over the last fourteen years, we have spent less time together: we went to different colleges, she travelled to Burkina Faso for two years with the Peace Corps, and then moved to L.A. while I stayed in Portland.  Despite the distance, regardless of the infrequency of our communication, we remain very close, never skipping a beat when we do have the opportunity to spend time together.

We had a delicious brunch, I met another of Brandi’s very good friends (also a member of the bridal party in her upcoming wedding), and then we headed back to her place for a little recovery and nap before heading to dinner with her aunt and cousin before going to watch Porgy and Bess at the Ahmanson Theater.  We had just enough time to go for a quick walk in a nearby park where the lilies were blooming before going to dinner, and they are so beautiful.

The singing was fantastic!  I laughed, I cried, it was touching and so wonderful to see a stage show for the first time in years.  I now commit myself to attending more events (plays, opera, theater) because they bring me so much joy!!!  Thank you Brandi, for taking me to a show!  Attending the theater is  delicious reminder that singing and theater are still very dear o my heart.  Not only do I want to watch others perform these beautiful feats of song, dance, and acting, I want tot participate!

So here’s my declaration: I will learn three songs to have at th ready for auditions, and go put my best foot forward when I see an opening, … and just see what happens.  Without worry of whatever fears or worry my mind may have about getting “out there”.  Taking this chance is worth a little stress.

Choose to live your life through joy – whatever that means for you.

What are you afraid to step up and do?

~Alaina

Shave me a Song…

Actors Aloysius Gigl and Gretchen Rumbaugh portraying Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.  Photo Courtesy of Portland Center Stage

Last night, I had the great privilege to attend the performance of Sweeney Todd at Portland Center Stage (PCS) at the old armory.  I had the great fortune to meet two of the cast members in from New York while having dinner at Abby’s Table last month. Abby’s offers a wonderful family style setting where conversation with strangers is bound to turn them into friends, at least for the evening.  I discovered I was sitting with the “Beggar Woman” (Michele Ragusa) and “The Beadle” (Martin C. Hurt) and they were most pleasant company!  They decided I would have to see the show, and boy am I glad that I agreed.  It has been at least two years since I last saw a musical production, and this served as a pleasant reminder of how much I adore musical theater.

Sweeney Todd is not a lighthearted, happy-go-lucky, singin’ on the plain, man falls in love with woman in a country town musical.  I had no background information on the story or what to expect, and it is a startlingly dark perusal of the evil acts man can commit, yet somehow full of humor and sporadic hilarity.  The music and singing were brilliant; the cast and crew put on a fantastic show.  I highly recommend you attend one of the last performances if you have time this weekend: there are still seats available and two showings Saturday and Sunday!

Only once have I taken the opportunity to participate in a show – my high school junior year experience in The Music Man.  I had small parts (yes parts, plural: not lead, but chorus, dancer, etc), and I enjoyed every moment.  After Thursday’s show at PCS, I am inspired.  Perhaps, one day, I will be able to take the stage and help a girl in the audience like me, to be reminded of what brings her joy, and she, too, may finally take action on her dreams.

~A