Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A little over a year ago I moved from a tiny town in Wyoming to Salt Lake City, Utah, filled to the brim with aspirations and fears and the feeling that my life was really going to begin. I knew no one besides my grandparents. I had no job, no school, no plans for the future. I remember driving around a corner and seeing the nighttime skyline of Salt Lake City for the first time on my own. Looking back it feels brave and out-of-character for me.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I felt the absence of my family and friends  as a near-constant ache. I had lived out-of-state for college, but it had never felt permanent. I became very familiar with the sinking feeling of being absolutely lost. I filled out an absurd amount of job applications. I wondered if I was making a huge mistake. I cried myself to sleep more than I ever have before.

In fall and winter I (slowly) learned to navigate. I got a job, albeit one that I didn’t enjoy. I met people. In short, I tried to convince myself, and everyone else, that I knew what I was doing. While I fell in love with a new library and the Capitol Theatre and Temple Square, the feeling of being an out-of-place visitor still lingered in the back of my mind.

I don’t make friends quickly or easily; at least, not lasting ones. I tend to be terribly shy around people until one ordinary day I am not, and never am again. If that explanation doesn’t make sense to you, well, it doesn’t really make sense to me either. I was bottled-up and quiet at church, work, and pretty much everywhere else. But I was able to open up around a select group of people-- the cast of The Frog and I. They were my friends when I desperately needed friends and seemed to like me when I desperately needed to be liked. God bless those wonderful people.

It was a poignant and bittersweet moment when I looked around recently and realized that somewhere in the day-to-day and the change of seasons this place had become my home, not just the place that I lived. It wasn’t the new house, the new ward, or the new job that had come with the spring, though all of those were great.  It wasn’t just the new friends in the cast that I joined in the summer. It was a culmination of every familiar landmark, every inside joke, and every late night walk downtown, along with a thousand other factors.

Home, I think, is the most beautiful of words. It’s full of love and hope and acceptance. It’s a warm place when you’re cold and a comforting shoulder to cry on when you’re sad. For me, it means that I can be my own strange self without a trace of embarrassment. It doesn’t mean that times are always good or easy, but there are people that you care about to make it easier. I lived here for months and months wishing for the return of this feeling of belonging, but it built itself back up in pieces so small it took me months to notice it was complete.

Home is truly where the heart is.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's Going On

It's been a while since I've written. I've been keeping busy, which is actually a great feeling for me. In fact, I'm booked solid until Sunday morning. I work mornings Monday through Friday and perform Hello, Dolly! on Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as well as other miscellaneous activities. This Saturday and the one after it I will also be doing a matinee. On Tuesday-Thursday nights I just kind of go crazy and wish I was at the theatre. Because there is honestly nowhere that I would rather be. C:

My roommates and I are getting ready to move, albeit not that far. I hate packing. We'll see if I can find my motivation around here somewhere.

I've been reading a Beethoven biography. I am pretty much more in love with him than I already was. He's one of those famous figures that is actually as cool as he seems. I'm listening to the fourth symphony right this very moment and yeah....I don't understand how composers do what they do.

I'll be spending eighteen of the next thirty hours at the Empress Theatre. There's nowhere that I'd rather be and nothing that I'd rather do.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts on Opening Night

Tonight is opening night for Hello, Dolly! in Magna at the Empress Theatre. I highly urge all my friends to come and see the show--  it's going to be FANTASTIC. :D Here are five (poorly written) reasons that you should do so.

1. Hats, hats, and even more hats
There are so many hats in this show, I don't even know. I am a hat fan, and I love getting to wear a beautiful hat each night, although they do tend to make crowded hallways and dressing rooms even more crowded.

2. The classic music
If you can come away from the show without humming "Hello, Dolly!", "Dancing", "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", "Elegance", "It Only Takes a Moment", or "Motherhood March" I will be astonished. These songs get in your head, but they're great!

3. Makes you laugh
This is such a clever show. Dolly is full of one-liners, I find Horace hilarious, and of course there is the one, the only Barnaby Tucker to keep everyone smiling.

4. Genuinely talented cast
Hello, Dolly! has been double cast, but either night you come you will see a great show with a cast that has worked their fannies off getting to this night. The leads are great, and I've had such a fun time getting to know the other ensemble members.

5. Beautiful scenic drive to Magna
Obviously kidding about this one, but in all seriousness the show is completely worth the drive. I'd love to sit down and see the whole thing from start to finish, but I'm dancing in the ensemble. :)

I really do think that you will enjoy the show. Please come!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I have a file on my computer called "Quotations" that I started in early 2010. It's currently over sixty pages, and I'm sure it'll continue to grow. It's filled with quotes that I want to remember. I've found them in magazines, books, conversations with friends, all over the place, really. Today I'll share five, picked pretty much at random.

1. “If a secret history of books could be written, and the author’s thoughts and meanings noted down alongside his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!”
-William Makepeace Thackeray

Sometimes I get out a notebook, sit down, and imagine what it is like to come up with stories and characters that will still be fantastic hundreds of years later. I don't understand how it's done. Every author invests time, emotion, and thought into their book, even if no one else ever reads it again.

2. She now smiled at him in a special way; it was a cheerful, reassuring smile which meant more than the society smile which was always there adorning her face. Pierre knew that everyone was just waiting for him to say the word, cross the line, and he knew he would cross it sooner or later, but he was inexplicably horrified whenever he thought of taking this dreadful step.
-War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

If you haven't read War and Peace, you need to. It's full of quotes like this that make me want to run up to Tolstoy and go, "Where in the world did you learn to understand and write about people so well?"

3. “Over the course of the [fourteenth century], more than ten million people live and die in England. Many die in infancy. Many die young. Some die twitching on the end of a rope. Some die screaming in smoke-filled rooms. Some perish in battle, many in pain and terror. Some die fighting so furiously that, in their moment of glory, they want to die heroically. Many more die alone, shivering, scared, and feverish with plague. Whatever the manner of their deaths, at some point in their lives there is also some joy, be it the childhood treat of a spoonful of jam or the thrill of an illicit kiss, or seeing a grandchild. At the end of the day-- at the end of the century-- this is what history is. History is not just about the analysis of evidence, unrolling vellum documents or answering exam papers. It is not about judging the dead. It is about understanding the meaning of the past- to realize the whole evolving human story over centuries, not just our own lifetimes.”
-Ian Mortimer

 Every time I try to think about how every person who ever lived has had emotions as powerful and complicated as mine and a story just as real, even though it has been long since forgotten, I get overwhelmed.

4. “I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad-- as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”
-Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

This speech was my favorite part of Jane Eyre. Rules aren't made to be ignored in hard times, they are specifically *for* hard times.

5. “Winter isn’t sad. You’ve had happy times in winter. And sad ones in summer. Life goes by year-round. People get married in sleet storms. People get cancer on soft summer evenings, sitting by the radio, looking up words in a dictionary. The wonderful world falls apart around the clock…And there’s nothing necessarily sad about anything. Or happy.”
-The Flu Season (Will Eno)

Although perfect days do happen, they are few and far between. But so are the absolutely one hundred percent dreadful ones.

I really enjoyed going through my quotes file to write this, and I think I'll do a Part Two some other week.