Just enough hair for… Hairspray! (The Up-Do)

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Just enough hair for... Hairspray!

Trying to remain cool, a taste of sweat seeped into my mouth as my body shuddered in relief. With the plane parked at the gate and bodies cascading towards the door, I couldn’t help swim in the awkwardness of unfamiliar faces and nervously traded smiles. My catchphrase from my escapade with RENT tweeted in my head:

I’m not a theatre person…

Yet, here I was, amongst individuals who live, breathe, eat and sleep theatre. Their excrements even making melodious ripples in the toilet as it sings through the waste passage. You could see theatre pulsating through their pores, their internal antibodies chewing away at anything that invaded their passion.

And then there was me. Just there. Nowhere.

I had no time to digest any true feelings though. I didn’t have any. I was surviving off of two hours of sleep and the only thing I looked forward to was a bed, a corner, a chair, or even a grassy knoll. But sleep evaded me.

I was whisked off in a bus, paraded through the highways and falling head over hills in love with the palace they had put us in.

A quiet hush fell over four faces as we gaped, in awe, at the enormity of our two month abode. Racing up stairs and bursting through a cleanly wiped glass door, it was as if we were the last four standing in the running to become America’s Next Top Model – this year’s travel accommodations being South Carolina.

And as soon as the excitement began, it was over: at least for me. I could no longer enjoy my surroundings as my body limped towards my bed and fought me into a sleep I so desperately tried to avoid.

…..

I awoke to the chills of Jack Frost tapping against my skin. The discomfort in my limbs creaked as I tried to do as much as I could to combat the cold. With a vent blowing directly over me the Tundra wind tightened around me, suffocating my warmth. Yet, as I arose, for some reason, I didn’t care. I was The Little Merman. My mind sang:

Look at this stuff/isn’t it neat/wouldn’t you think my collections complete/wouldn’t you think I’m a boy/a boy who has everything…

And that is where the song stopped. I did have everything.

“I have a huge living room, grandmother!” (The better to dance and back flip with)

“I have a nice little swimming pool, grandmother!” (The better to skinny dip with)

“I have a two huge couches grandmother!” (The better to get away and jump up and down with)

“I have a huge amount of songs and harmonies to learn, grandmother!” (The better to… yup, you’re screwed)

The first rehearsal slapped me in the face as I nervously meandered through the meet and greet. The cast was there, the directors and even theatre donors.

What am I suppose to say?

And just like that, I remembered the advice I had once given to another:

“Just stand there and smile!”

And that is what I did. As a tall skinny pole, I stood in the back and smiled as theatre talk ensued around. They shrieked about the rainbow of musicals they had been in, seen or hoped to adorn. I stood back and sang lyrics from one the only four musicals I actually know of:

What is this feeling so sudden and new/I felt the moment I laid eyes on you/my head is rushing/my pulse is reeling/my face is flushing/WHAT IS THIS FEELING/Fervent as a flame/does it have a name/YEEEEESSSSSSSS/YEEEESSSSSS… Loathing! Unadulterated LOATHING! (Musical “WICKED”)

The song continued as I sang into the mirror:

“Unadulterated LOATHING! For your face/your voice/ your clothing.”

I laughed.

I didn’t really loathe myself. I just felt a bit out of place, a tomato in a batch of strawberries.

And then arose a flower.

Put on the spot by the director, a story about an unknown actress being called in for a last minute, impromptu callback, in a hotel room, and up against the elite past “Tracy’s” of the musical industry, a short, brunette girl, with a flowery get-up emerged from the crowd.

The pianist began to bang against the ivories and the flower opened up. The room fell into a stupor. This little flower, opening her quaint and pouty lips, belted with the power of a bullhorn as she effortlessly cascaded through the song as if she had written it herself.

A chill fell over me. I looked at my surroundings scared to pinch myself. If my environment wasn’t real then I definitely desired to sleep just a little longer. However, if it was confirmed reality, then I was in for quite a ride. And as I sat around the piano, with the rest of the ensemble, seeing where we were my feelings fluttered at the new discovery:

I HAD MY CRAP ON LOCK!!!

I was hitting notes I never knew existed and remembering harmonies I never knew were created. I was joking around, laughing at myself and genuinely having fun. And when I messed up, the sweat wasn’t the first thing to surface. A whole-hearted laugh erupted from my lips as I tilted into my lap, my stomach cramping from the enjoyment.

I was finding my voice and the next day, as my rehearsals were split, with 5 hours of nothingness to be had, I began to find myself…

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