Sassy Actress, with a Side of Quirk

Life Musings by a Real Drama Queen

California Dreamin

on October 29, 2016

Hey there! 

Some of you might have seen my post, some maybe not, but I am currently in Northern California working on A Christmas Story at Sierra Repertory Theatre. WHATTTT? Yeah, it came a little out of left field for me as well. I went MIA for a bit primarily because I was so busy trying to get ready for this gig. I am playing Miss Shields in the play version of A Christmas Story, which is a lot of fun! We open in less than 2 weeks, which is crazy, and I got here on Monday, so it’s been less than a week of rehearsals, but we are already mostly blocked.

I still am just trying to adjust to this change of pace. I was working at the Players Theatre in the West Village less than a week ago. I unfortunately had to make a tough decision and choose between Stone Soup and A Christmas Story. As a nonunion, unrepresented actress, it can be really hard choosing between a commitment that you’ve already made and an unexpected opportunity. Though it was a hard decision, California and Sierra Rep won out. I am so grateful that I was able to perform with my Stone Soup gang for 2 weeks and I am sad that I had to leave them mid-run. I miss you guys! 

That being said, HELLO CALIFORNIA! So Sierra Repertory theatre has two theatres, East Sonora and Columbia. I am working at the East Sonora location and lemme say, this is one hell of a small town. I am in northeast California, right on the edge of Yosemite National park. I haven’t had the time to explore Yosemite yet, but the town itself has a lot to offer. Sonora is a part of Tuolumne (pronounced Tuh-wah-leh-me) county, which also includes the gold rush town of Columbia (super historic) and Jamestown (which I have yet to explore). Though it is small, there is a lot going on! The county is in the Sierra foothills and there are tons of small businesses in the area. I am currently sitting at this awesome coffe shop called Schnoogs, which offers organic coffees and teas and homemade baked goods, sandwiches, and soups! I am enjoying a cup of organic costa rican coffee and a delicious lemon scone. There’s a lot to do and see and I have barely even begun to explore!

At Sierra Rep, they house their actors in community members’ homes, which is actually really cool. My homestay is just outside of Sonora, which is nice. They also provide cars to get around town, which is a huge plus. The woman I am staying with, Vicki, is an absolute gem! We get along so well and her house is super comfortable. I get my own bedroom with a private bathroom, but I spend a lot of time hanging out with her in the living spaces, when she is home that is. She is a busy lady who volunteers a ton around the community. Last night I didn’t have rehearsal, so she invited me to one of her wine clubs’ tasting parties in the neighboring town of Murphys. Murphys is about 45 minutes from Vicki’s house, so she gave me a tour of the whole county. We drove on this county highway that overlooked a limestone quarry. It was without a guardrail but to Vicki it was no big thing. We don’t have that on the east coast, that’s for sure! 

Anyway, Murphys is an amazing little town made up of over 20 wineries, dozens of shops, and countless restaurants, all of which are small, local businesses. Swoon!!! I am a sucker for that stuff and I really do believe in supporting small local businesses, so this town is right up my alley. We went to Tanner’s Winery and enjoyed their tasting party, where they released all of their fall wines. It was all red wine, which is my preference. All of the wines were easy to drink, flavorful but not too heavy, and really delicious when paired with their food. Vicki and I had a great time and not just because of the wine! I am so thankful to have been placed in her house for my stay here- and you bet I am gonna request her again if I have the opportunity to work at Sierra Rep again!

As for rehearsals, so far so good! My role is a cameo so I only pop in ever so often throughout the show, but when I do, boy does my character, Miss Shields, pack a punch! She is effervescent, witty, and sharp. I really love the writing in this show and it almost mirrors the movie to a T. That being said, we can’t put a movie on stage, so we are using our theater magic to create a show that is all our own. 

This show is interesting because the cast primarily consists of children. I just can’t seem to get away from the kiddies! From nannying to shows, children are just a daily  part of my life. Thankfully, I love kids and get to hand them off to their parents when the day is done! There are 7 kids in the cast and only 4 adults. If the kids decided to revolt, us adults would be in major trouble! All of the kids are really fun and for some, it is there first experience acting on stage. I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of their experience! They are so inspiring and though some are definitely green, the choices they make really do remind you how creative and smart kids really are. Some of the kids are Sierra Rep regulars, like the youngin’ playing Ralphie! He is so on top of his stuff, it just reminds me of how eager I was at his age to be on stage. 

As for the adults, they are also rockstars! They all have great senses of humor and despite the fact that my interaction with them onstage is limited, they do a great job of making me feel welcomed and included whenever I am around. They are true professionals and they are hilarious onstage and off! 

So that’s what is happening in my crazy life. Unexpected, exciting, crazy, and I wouldn’t change it one bit. Thanks for reading and putting up with my excessive use of explanation marks. If you have any recommendations for my stay here, comment below. I miss NYC and my boyfriend and Murray my furbaby, but boy am I loving this career of mine.




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