Friday, July 30, 2010


I about had a heart attack last night.
I was being measured for my costumes for "Damn Yankees." When I've been measured before, I've had to get down to my skivvies. This wonderful lady, however, supports our modesty and measured us over our clothes.
Especially after all I've been through with nutrition and fitness as of late, I was worried the addition of clothing to my measurements would make those numbers a little bulkier than my mind would prefer.
I hear, "Waist, 36."
I scream (I really should learn to control myself), "WHAT?!?! My waist is 36 inches?!?"
The costumer looked rather startled at my reaction and said, "Yep, you want me to check again?"
Uh...heck yes!
"Ohhhh.....that was 26, my mistake."
I about died.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Due to an inordinate amount of fur around the house (and me being a neat freak), I decided to bust out the brush and have at it with my shedful little kitty.
1. She loved it
2. I think we created another creature with all the fur...kinda like Gizmo
3. Check out my slammin' outfit...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sheer Energy Legs!

I am immature. Or at least I was this week on a trip to one of my most beloved restaurants.
Maybe it didn't help that I was with my lil sis, who was visiting from Ohio.
Maybe it didn't help that we had a couple of other friends with us with whom we have non-stop giggle-fests.
Regardless...we couldn't stop ourselves.
We saw this man.
He was wearing cargo pants and tennis shoes.
Then...he wasn't...and we saw...pantyhose.

I know he is probably wearing these for circulation difficulties and I am the most meany mcmeanerface person in the whole world by getting a kick out of his kicks, but....c'mon! You'd be more than slightly amused too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bad Romance

I gathered together with friends of yore last night while my sissy was in town from Ohio. We were giggling, as girls do, about funny stories from years ago.
We recalled one in particular that instigated quite the prolonged giggle-fest.

One Valentine's Day a very sweet boy scraped my windshield for me. Cute.
He left Hershey's Kisses in the shape of a heart on said windshield. Very Cute.
Upon which windshield he placed a photo that had some kind of precious animal. Very Very Cute.
Examination revealed photo of a llama...being kissed by a human. Odd. Potentially funny.
Close examination revealed the photo was of this very sweet boy kissing the llama. Disturbing. Definitely funny. Surely not the kind of funny intended.
Removal of this bad romance photo uncovered a note. Possible explanation and chance for redemption.
Note states, "I need this photo back."



I have this compulsive need to wad up my trash before I dispose of it.
You know, you have a receipt and you can't just toss it, you have to wad or rip.
What is that about?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Letter to a 15 Year Old

July 22, 1995

Dear Larissa,

You are enjoying summer break, seeing Clueless (soon to be one of your favorite movies), and probably enjoying a light bean burrito from Taco Bell's now extinct light menu (enjoy them while you can!). You've just finished your first show choir camp, are mourning your first summer off of gymnastics team, and gearing up for your national baton competition in California. Man, you are going to love that surprise cruise your parents take you on afterwards in the Mexican Riviera, the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios, Disneyland, and touring all of the southern half of California. You won't even get to go home after that three-week trip before heading to your first band camp as feature (and only) baton twirler for the school - enjoy this season with Mr. Morgan while you can because your new director next year will be a red-headed tyrant.

But what I really want to tell you, at the height of all of these amazing things are you growing towards and experiencing, is to hang in there and keep giving yourself those high-and-mighty goals.

Your priorities will change substantially over the years, but based on what you are concerned about now, here are some more things you should know:

-Don't worry so much about your weight - you'll be just as small if not smaller in 15 years. You will definitely be healthier as you learn to love fitness and being/eating healthy and working out.
-Don't worry that you won't get "the" lead in the musical your senior year - your time will come and you will be all the more grateful.
-Don't worry that you haven't been paid much attention by the boys. Not to frighten you, but you actually won't go on your first date until you are about 17 and a half. The only school dance you'll go to will be your senior prom with your best guy friend. But you know what? You'll grow to go on over a hundred dates with men who are much more amazing than any you currently fancy. You will learn all-too-well how to love and then how to let go.
-You may miss gymnastics, but you'll get to take a gymnastics class every semester of college, as well as help coach. In fact, you never give it up. You can still do aerials and back flips and kips and splits against the wall:-) You will still wear your team shirt to bed.
-You can wear colored underwear - don't listen to your mom's nonsense.
-You will have your very own kitty who lives inside with you and loves you way too much.
-You will get into a great school and graduate college.
-You'll be financially stable and have your very own big girl place to yourself.
-Keep saving your money and being frugal.
-You'll get a different car when you are 18....and you will still have it at 30...treat it well.
-You will have visited all 50 states by the time you are 29. Many with dear friends and unforgettable memories.
-You will get to live and work in New York City! And will visit there at least 11 times.
-Treasure your family - you will leave Ohio for college at 17 and you will never live there again.
-Your mother will always have battles with food. Learn from her experiences and love her.
-Cry. It feels good.
-Pajama pants? Yeah, still the good stuff in life.
-You will miss mowing the lawn on that riding mower in the summer sun for 3 hours while snagging fresh blackberries from the bushes as you buzz by.
-Always remain more generous with others than you are with yourself.
-Keep that drive, determination, and motivation you have - this is one of your most unique and advantageous features.

Just stop worrying!
You live life to the fullest every day in every way, have some of the most amazing friends in the world, constantly dream and constantly make those dreams come true.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This is why I can't leave the guest bathroom door open. Many a loyal role of toilet paper has lost its life prematurely to the Great Shreddini.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stomach Dial

I woke up yesterday morning and shortly thereafter received this text:
"Is everything okay? Did you mean to call me in the middle of the night? By the time I realized the phone was ringing, it had stopped."


Then I look at my call history and vaguely recall having awoken actually laying ON my phone.
I also remember having dreams about calling 9-1-1. At least I didn't do that. And I thank heavens that my friend was very understanding and actually a little concerned. Yeah for Jake!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tuck Me In

My mommy is in town to see my show - all the way from Ohio!
Last night she came and tucked me in.
I giggled and giggled and giggled.
Then this morning I saw the darndest thing on my couch - a CAT QUILT - special made for me...I'm officially an old spinster cat lady.
Nothing like having Mom around:-)

Damn Yankees

I got cast in another show!
I had my little heart set on the part of Lola (♩♪♫♬ Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets ♩♪♫♬ ), alas it was not meant to be. I was *this* close - runner up! However, I did get the next best leading lady role.
My character is Gloria Thorpe - nosy reporter and invader of the men's locker room. I will sing "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo."

It'll run at the Empress Theater September 10 - October 16 - 17 performances!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I was digging through my stash of quarters today.

What is it about a quarter that is so special that we all keep a little trove of them?

As a child, quarters were treasured for depositing into those toy machines in the grocery stores...but only when your little hand wouldn't fit up them for a quick five-finger discount.

I think my quarter-hoarding is rooted back to the college days of needing quarters for laundry, vending machines, or saving until that wonderous day when you have four of them and can make a Wendy's run.

Just basking in the gloriousness of all things quarter - seriously, what is so magical about them?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How Lovely To Be A Woman

Lately I've been feeling a little overwhelmed.

With gratitude.

I still cannot believe that I am playing the role of Kim McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. ME! Playing the role of Ann-Margret fame. I am the one singing, "How Lovely to be a Woman!"

When the 1995 TV remake of the movie debuted, I remember holing myself up in my dad's office in front of the TV and VCR after school, watching the musical numbers of the show and daydreaming about performing.

Every time I enter a scene and take my place on the stage set, I experience something almost out-of-body. I feel like that little dreaming 15-year old I once was, dancing around my bedroom and singing, heart full of hope and wonder and innocence.

I get to share the stage with so many wonderful and talented people - the kind of people I have been watching for years and wishing I could be. And there I am standing next to them...I am one of them! I look at all of the dedicated, hard workers in our bursting-with-energy ensemble and think, " What made me the lucky one this time? All of these people are so amazing."

I don't think I will ever forget that moment Elise (stellar choreographer) called and shared with me that they wanted me to play the role of Kim. I giggled, I jumped up and down, I screamed with delight, I ran around aimlessly, I pounced, I got ice cream! When I had showed up at auditions a few days earlier, Vic (director's husband) asked me what roles I wanted to read for and my answer was (seriously), "uhmm....I'm not sure...I'm too blonde to be Rosie, too old to be Kim, and too young to be one of the other characters....Gloria, maybe?" His response after giving me the once over? "I dunno, they may want you to read for Kim." Then he handed me the lines and sent me on stage. Callbacks were ridiculously fun a couple days later. I left knowing I'd given them "all I got" and honestly believing one of the other girls was better for the part. (I'm glad to say the terrific "other girl" did get a part absolutely perfect for her)

We still have four shows left and I find myself already on the verge of tears for the night this amazing dream come true comes to a close. For the night I share the stage with that wonderful cast one last time.

Everything about this experience has changed who I am. I always thought I could sing well enough, but I was not an actress. I'd tell people I wasn't doing shows because I couldn't act. Now, here I am - playing a role half my age. Ends up the reason I couldn't is because I wasn't trying - I was afraid. My friend Leah, accompanist Tim, and director Wendy in "Nunsense" helped me realize last year that I was capable of more than I perceived. Tim currently plays my father, Harry McAfee, and constantly greets me with, "How are you, amazing actress?" He is always letting me know of the latest auditions and how wonderful he thinks I would be in this part or that. He doesn't know, but I just want to bust with joy and humility every time he says those words. Quite often I think he couldn't possibly be talking to me.

I've gone from "I can't" to "I think I can" to "I know I can."

Our director, Michelle Groves, has this talent that I can't quite put into words. I never feel corrected or scolded, instead she makes me feel like a piece of clay that she is molding into a treasure. Through all the exhaustion of 5-hour rehearsals, 6 days a week, she helped me feel as if I were playing every minute. On opening night she said she had one note for me. As I stood there waiting, she gave me the hugest hug and said, "Your only note is, I am so proud of you. You have grown so much in this part. That was the best 'Lovely to be a Woman' so far." I want to do my absolute best just to make her proud, to prove to her that she made the right decision.

That thought brings me back to the rest of the cast. I am so blessed to be on stage with them and want to improve every day to respect their talent, to live up to their standards to prove that I am worthy of sharing that stage with them.

Saturday morning after opening night, I sat on my bed gazing at the trees and mountains, listening to the babbling brook, and reflecting. There are so many things I wish I could tell my 15-year old self (which I will make another post about).

On top of all of this, I have the most supportive friends who have arranged different groups to come to each night of the show thus far.

This is all so surreal:-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speed Racer

This morning I was on my normal route to work, going the normally frustrating speed limit - which I obey to the "T" through one particular area because so many pedestrians are to be found gallivanting around.
I see an elderly gentleman and immediately glance down to the speedometer - 25. That means I'm actually going 23 -24, cause my car reads fast.
Then it happens.
I see the gestures, the mouth dropping into a yelling sort of shape. Yes, he is really doing it. This old man is using every last ounce of energy he can muster to yell at me and give me the old fist shake and fingers pointing downward.
Confused, I look at my speedometer again.
Apparently, going under the speed limit is not slow enough for this tough old cookie.
I immediately throw the car into reverse, roll down my windows and say, "I'm going 24, old man! Get a life!" Then, I floor it and speed away into the sunrise.
Okay, so maybe I didn't do that last part, but I sure wanted to.
I hope I have more to do when I am old and gray than yell at people for obeying the law.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie - Opening Night!

It's Opening Night!!!

I'm more than a little excited!

All of the show is over-the-top and super energetic to boot. You will get a kick out of almost every moment.

We had a "preview" night last night that some of my friends came to see for free, but I feel awful because it was technically only our last rehearsal and we didn't have all the props and half of us weren't singing full-voice and we were missing several cast members. SO, if you are one of those friends, PLEASE come again - last night's show was 50% of what it will be from here on out.

One dislcaimer, I play a 15-year old - which means singing like a 15-year old - which means high flighty soprano notes that no adult in their right mind would sing:-) My directions were not to sound "so pretty."

That being said,

Midvale Outdoor Stage in the Park
455 West 7500 South
7:30 pm
$5 general admission, $3 seniors and children

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Take Off Your Clothes

I was sent home with one of my costumes last night so I could practice taking my clothes off on stage.
Does that sound as strange as I hope it does? :-)
Before you hyperventilate, I'm fully clothed underneath and am putting other clothes on while taking some off. I just get a little giggle out of it. I fully change my clothes on stage. Twice.
We open tomorrow. Just sayin. More than a little excited.