Friday, December 18, 2009

2009-A Look Back

A quote from my favorite musical, RENT:
December twenty-fourth, ten pm
Eastern standard time
I can't believe a year went by so fast
Time to see, what we have time to see

As the year 2009 steam rolls to an end, all I can say is wow! The skeptic in me looks back to see the things that I set out to accomplish this year and asks if I got anywhere close. In years past I can honestly say that goals fell by the wayside, but this year was different. Each of us took great strides to getting a little bit closer to our dreams. I thought I'd take some time to share each of our milestones.

Thomas finished his first full length novel shortly after ringing in the new year. After putting the polishing touches on it we sent out his first set of query letters only to learn how not to write a query. Even with the initial query he did have some bites on partial requests. We revamped and are hitting the next round very soon. He also accepted a position with the new professional dance school here in Omaha, where he will be teaching a wide arrange of theater classes. This of course is his first real passion.

I spent the year in a writing frenzy completing a number of short stories and screenplays, a full length screenplay and a novel. In the month of November I began my quest in NaNoWriMo; in which I failed due to time constraints, but learned a lot from anyway. To those of you who supported me through this thank you and yes I will be completing my project very soon as promised. On a lighter note it is my personal opinion that my second foot surgery is much more successful than the first and I will hopefully not be adding anymore titanium to my body anytime soon!

Cloudya our little superstar has had a number of achievements this year. In April, she signed with a top talent agency out of Chicago. In June she auditioned for her first film and later in August landed a national audition for the American Girl Doll Company. She spent the summer doing photo shoots and wondering around the neighborhood making movies with her friends. After doing a number of local things here in Omaha, she completed the year dancing once again in the Omaha Ballet's Nutcracker. Of course, if you ask her about her greatest achievement from the year she will probably tell you it was winning tickets to the Jonas Brother SoundCheck. In which she got to be among only 200 people to watch the preSoundCheck for their show. Later on that night she attended their concert!

Although our son doesn't do anything theatrical(yet) I feel bad leaving him out of this. Kaiden did do a photo shoot for a local Twilight event. He started his first year in hockey lessons, which people I'm telling you in my house is a BIG deal! He finished off his karate year earning his little dragon purple belt which means by this time next year he'll be a black belt.

Other 2009 milestones:

In January, Kevin Costner came to my Wal-mart and not only did I meet him, but spent the afternoon less than ten feet from him. Cloudya was super excited she got to meet the "mariner" from Waterworld. I really believe she is the only one I know that liked that movie.

In April, our family saw RENT while in Chicago. It starred Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal! I love those guys!

We spent a week in the summer in South Dakota. Visited Mount Rushmore, about died on a lake and spent the entire time being rained on.
So as 2010 approaches what kind of goals will you find yourself trying to obtain. Here's a few words of wisdom from us.

1)Writing what you know is good, but don't forget to think outside the box.

2)You are always auditioning!

3)Let your characters take over the story. After all it is theirs to tell.

4)Throw away the rules and you might just write something truly amazing.

5)Write everyday even if its only a sentence.

6)The last rule works for both publishing and acting. Remember the hardest person to beat out for the part is yourself.

Have a great holiday season everyone. I'm truly excited to see great things from you in 2010!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Confessions of a Crazy Superstitious Stage Mom!

This week and every week since September, but especially this week has been accosted by the production of the Nutcracker. Our daughter Cloudya is in production year number two with the Omaha Theater Ballet's holiday tradition. This year she's the purple Faberge egg and opens the second act. Needless to say our little theater brat enjoys every minute of it!

Let me explain for a minute the life of our theater engrossed daughter. She was one week old when she made her stage debut. Call me crazy, but yes she was a week old. Cloudya is the product of two parents who lived the crazy theater life for years. It is truly in her blood. When she was three years old we went our separate ways from the theater and took on "real" professions. Several years later Cloudya saw and met her now favorite magician Darren Romeo. His influence brought the spark of entertainment into her life. From then on it didn't matter that child wanted to be on stage.

So, I'm not your typically stage mom as many of us have gotten a bad rep over the years. Our ballet school is full of those moms and quite frankly they make me cranky and I steer as far away from them as possible. I don't run around trying to be in charge of everyone. I don't attempt to sew every costume, so my daughter can be Clara next year. Nor do I stop in on other's rooms to boss other's children around. Frankly I'm busy enough with my own child.

During the week, we try to promote the true spirit of theater in our house. Each of us who have done theater have very strong superstitions and traditions that we follow. As people arrived this year to view her show Cloudya spent time asking them about each of theirs. My brother in law use to spend time staring at the model of the Globe Theater that sat in the back of the theater in our home town. My husband would pace the hallway before production talking to himself. My own would be wearing my lucky pair of underwear. My lovely daughter now has her own preshow traditions. She brings a picture of Darren that he signed for her several years ago, her Nick Jonas necklace and any music she can get her hands on. The child sits in front of her mirror with the things spread out around her listening to music and completely going into her own zone.

As time consuming as it is, we all enjoy our part in bringing the Nutcracker to life. I get to chaperone little girls on a daily basis and make sure all their eggs crowns are on straight. Thomas takes care of the party boys and manages to get make up on five little boys in record time. Then of course Cloudya brings her character to life by allowing her sparkling personality to show through.
As the show winds down today, it brings a sense of sadness in our home. That sadness in which we are all familiar, but even more so that we are not sure if Omaha will even have a Nutcracker next year as the professional company closes its doors. While leaving the theater yesterday, Cloudya asked me how many shows she had left and I had to inform her that today would be her last show in the run. She told me she didn't want it to be over. From there we discussed how long and hard a cast works to bring a production to life and how each person we work with over the years will always have a special place in our hearts. As the discussion ended it made me feel reminiscent of my own years in the stage and how many actors were so much a part of me.

The first day Cloudya did the show this year, she walked off stage and said, "There are so many people out there mom. That's why we do this!" You could use that to describe the entire process, but in her nine year old wisdom she is right.