Firsts, Favorites, and Friends

Alrighty, if you’re here for the pictures I have them all posted in a slideshow at the bottom of the page. So many of my friends and family were able to come see me in Next to Normal, and I am overwhelmed by their love and support.

I’ve reflected on these past months of Next to Normal and have come up with a list of “Firsts” and “Favorites” to summarize my experience in the show.

Next to Normal was the FIRST time I:

  • had my own dressing room
  • had green hair (even if they were clip-ins)
  • smoked “pot” (or count chocula) out of an apple
  • shot the bird at my “parents”
  • had an 8 and 9 show week
  • earned stars for picking up props on set
  • pretended to play piano on stage (and sounded really good! Thanks Boko!)
  • walked through a moving door
  • rode a trap on a toilet
  • gave an interview

 FAVORITE Next to Normal moments:

  • that time whole cast (including understudies) sang the finale together
  • that time I ran headfirst into my bedroom door
  • that time Jayson made Jordan and me “break” during “You don’t know”
  • that time I threw the lighter off the 2nd story
  • that time Jayson and I played air guitar (every. night.)
  • that time Liz and I danced off stage left (during Wish I Were Here)
  • that time the pit crew was all wearing mustaches
  • that time Cary hugged me on the landing when mom and dad were fighting
  • that time the porcelain clown on my shelf was eating a lollipop
  • that time Jordan’s glasses went flying over my head
  • when Diana flung bologna in the opening scene
  • when Cary (Gabe) tried to interact with us in “Gonna Be Good”
  • when Googie (Dr. Fine) said “Triangle”
  • when Catherine (Diana) and I had our dance break backstage
  • when Catherine (Diana) grabs me in “Maybe”
  • when I see Jordan (Henry) in “Hey 3”
  • when Bob (Dan) and I hug in “Finale/Light”
  • when the cast gathered again in a circle closing night for a toast

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I am so overwhelmed to have roughly 85+ people who came to see me in Next to Normal, and well over a hundred if you include the people who also share friendships with Jordan and Googie.  Thank you all SO MUCH for you love, encouragement, and support of this show.  It has been a great chapter of my life here in Atlanta, and I look forward to its continuing in Rochester, NY come 2013!

~Song of the Day~
(In honor of my Mozart piece)

Next to the End…for now.

Intermission love!

People like not only to be loved but also to be told they are loved; the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. -George Eliot

THIS WEEK, Next to Normal had its 11am student matinee (in which the talented Mary Nye Bennett performed the role of Diana).   At the talkback following the show I was asked the question, “What have you taken personally from this show?” Wow. Talk about a loaded question.  When I look at the score and script of Next to Normal and the conflicts that Natalie faces as a character, I think the overarching lesson that always leaps out at me is the idea that you can speak life or death into another person.

There is a LOT of opposition in this world- and I’m not just talking about critics per say.  A grumpy person you run into on the street, a small spat with a dear friend, an offhand “teasing remark” that may hit closer to home than you realize.  I’m sure there are people out there that are deliberately trying to “hurt” one another, but I don’t think that’s the case most of the time.  Often I think it’s the little things that are said or left unsaid that leave lasting marks on people’s hearts and souls.  For Natalie, it is being noticed or rather being told that someone is “proud of who she is.”  It boils down to that moment where you feel like someone truly “sees” who you are!

Words are life or death.  We can wield them however we choose. And as the quote says above, I don’t want it to be too little too late to share the love I have inside of me with those who are around me.  Why wait to leave flowers at someone’s grave when you can give them a bouquet of tender words today?

Lyndsay Ricketson and Bob Gaynor in the Alliance Theatre production of Next to Normal. Oct. 17 – Nov. 11, 2012. Photo by Greg Mooney.

5 shows left!!! Pictures from this past weekend to come next week!
So many of you have come and shown your love for me by filling a seat in the audience, sending me an encouraging text, or leaving a love-filled post on my wall.  I only hope that I continue to love all of you as well as you love me!

Love Always,

~Song of the Day~

Next to November!

My amazing family

Opening night has come and gone and now we enter into November! Wait. When did this happen?  I can’t believe how much activity a single week can hold.  It’s been a unique time of celebration for all that we’ve accomplished in this show, but the work doesn’t end here.  Each show continues to grow and breathe  as each of us make new discoveries.

It was our first 8-show week and man was I feeling it Monday… (Who knew emoting could sap so much energy and be so physically demanding.)  I am fortunate though, in that I was able to take the majority of the day to just rest and eat.  Monday evening however, the entire cast had the opportunity to sing at an event at the Selig’s house. Cary and I sang “Superboy and the Invisible Girl,” Bob sang “I’ve Been,” Catherine sang “I Miss the Mountains,” and the whole cast (including understudies) sang “Finale: Light.”  It was the first time we had ALL performed together, and I just have to ask… can’t the Goodman family have a bunch of random neighbors that come and visit at the end of the show??? 🙂 It was certainly powerful.

In other news, my next project( Little Women: the Musical at Fabrefaction) has begun rehearsals and I am really excited about working with such a great group of performers. I will be playing the role of Beth – and it will be a nice change of pace and temperament from Natalie! I can finally take a break from the teen angst for a while.  It will also be the first time I am performing a show during the holiday season.

Next to Normal has been blessed to get such positive feedback from the media/press. You can see some of the reviews below:

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Atlanta INtown

As per usual I will close with a slideshow of the people who have come to celebrate this show with me.  Much love to all of you and hope to still see many more of your faces in the days to come!

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SHOUT OUT to Margo Moskowitz perhaps my most dedicated reader- and temporary roommate. This blog was written from the comfort of her apartment.

Without her I don’t think I would survive these long weeks! Love you dearly.

Until next week,

~Song of the Day~