It's a love story with a murky beginning, theatre and I. Growing up in a smaller city far from any "professional" theatre I hadn't seen my first professional show until a few years ago in my earlier 20s. It was Phantom of the Opera (a great first for me) in The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. For this reason, that theatre and that show will always be special to me.
But, my special bond with theatre (musical theatre, especially) started long before that. I would say that my first run-in with the theatre and its people was when I was only about 10 years old. A memo was sent to school asking for young people to come audition for The Sault Opera Society's "Hanzel and Gretel." To this day I don't know what possessed me to go home and demand my parents take to me the audition, but I'm glad I did.
I auditioned. It was a singing audition. And I apparently stunk. The musical director recommended to my father that should I hope to continue auditioning for shows I should get some vocal lessons. But, there was no time because the next audition was right around the corner. It was for "Annie," and it was being produced by The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste Marie. I figured it was a sure bet what with all the little girls they'd need. I think this is the point where I learned that in life, if you really want something, you're going to have to work for it.
When I wasn't cast in that show either, I decided it was time to get myself some lessons. For the next 3 years I sang and I sang and I sang. By the time I reached grade 9 I was ready to audition again, so when that same Musical Comedy Guild (MCG) announced auditions for The Secret Garden, I was ready. I sang, I got a part, and I was hooked.
My life has been forever changed as a result of that show, that director (Clinton Walker), and that cast. I continued training vocally with a variety of instructors, and since then I have been in several ensembles in shows like Godspell and The Music Man. I've been invited to sing in revues and musical tributes. And I've been fortune enough to take the lead in several shows like White Christmas as Betty Haynes (my most recent leading role), Pirates of Penzance as Mabel (my most vocally challenging leading role), Bye Bye Birdie as Kim McAfee (my first leading role), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as Philia (my most fun leading role). All of which were produced by the same MCG that gave me my start 11 years ago in 2000.
The reason I share all of this with you is so you can really understand me when I say: "I want to be a producer!"
The Producers. Auditions were a few months ago, and not knowing where life would be taking me in the next few months I opted not to audition... though I'm kicking myself for it now because there I sat last night (and for the past 4 months) in Sault Ste Marie (looks like life didn't take me far), watching a hilariously fun and spectacular version of the Mel Brooks' smash hit.
So many people who I would consider friends were singing and dancing and being so utterly hilarious that I still can't believe I missed out on the past few months of hard work, yes, but also I'm sure, absolute hilarity and good times.
The show was great. Certainly deserving of gigantic audiences, but tonight is its closing night. I would recommend that if you live in Sault Ste Marie or anywhere near here, get out to the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre tonight for a definite good time! Tickets are available at the door and all tickets are $28 or less.