I've had a wonderful experience that was just beginning when I last posted in late October and it has affected me so much as a person I wanted to share it with you. Back at the end of October I was cast as Mrs. Cratchit in A Scrooge and Marley Christmas Carol at the Knightsbridge Theatre, here in L.A. I was excited, nervous and ecstatic all at the same time.
With this production, I was going through a lot of "firsts". This would be the first time I play a wife and mother. Previously, I've played a wife or a mother, but never both at the same time. It was my first time working with children. My first time in a musical and the first time I cried on stage. Those first few weeks of rehearsal, I was getting to know "my family" and we were learning things about each other that made us grow closer. Chris, who played Bob and I never talked about how we would become a family, we just did. I know personally, I instinctually talked to Jessica and Sam, who played Belinda and Tiny Tim and made sure I sat next to them in rehearsals and Chris did the same.
I laugh now, knowing how we are as people. Christopher and Sam were talkative, they could talk about anything and everything. Jessica and I were quieter, more observant. It wasn't until we became comfortable that we opened up. During the whole process I was surrounded by a wonderful group of people who cared for this production and worked hard to make it come alive.
Rene, our director was patient and suggestive, but gave me room to play with the character. I will not pretend to think that I was confident or happy all the time during this rehearsal period. I remember during one week I was so mad at myself for not "getting it" right away, but I realized I was still doing my homework. Mrs. Cratchit, isn't the easiest character for me. It was difficult for me to find the mother/wife within her and balance that out to be something believable. I was very fortunate to have Rene and Christopher to work off of and try different things. I found within myself that I instinctually looked out for Jessica and Sam as if I was their mother. That wasn't hard for me. What was hard, was letting myself go when I had to break down during Tiny Tim's death. It is something I don't ever want to have to go through in real life, so during rehearsals it was like pulling teeth to get myself to cry. By the end though, I am proud to say, that I cried during the performances and we were able to get audience members to feel with us.
Being part of a production is always a bonding experience. Even on productions where it sucked to go to the theatre I was able to bond with my fellow actors in our misery. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Knightsbridge family because during the two productions I have been a part of, I have felt welcomed and supported. It is so rare to have that. It is the little things that make me see what I am missing in my life as Tara and want to change it. This production let me have a family during a very lonely time in my life and everyone accepted me and vice versa. That means more than I can put into words. So I will smile when I remember little things that made us the cast we were.
I will never forget playing the staring contest with Sam, how Jessica and I would lip sync other actor's lines to each other backstage, how Chris and I would joke about "Christmas Day (wink,wink)", slow motion dancing with Swank, talking football with Scott, listening to Travis rehearse "O, Holy Night", Vance and Beth improv'ing with each other, JT and Aaron rehearsing their dance sequence, Nancy Kay zipping up my jacket, Allana's ringtones, Maddie helping me with my bun and Rene's warm embrace of us as a cast. To say it was a good experience isn't saying enough. I will genuinely miss the cast and crew because we did have fun together and in the end I cared for everyone and that means a lot. So with that said, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and God Bless Us, Everyone.
Take care and be safe.
All my love,