Alright people, I'm back! Sorry for the few weeks off, but it has been an adjustment getting used to being on tour again. Since I last wrote, we spent a few more weeks in Toronto, had a funny ole time in Detroit, loved every moment of Boston, and were elegant ladies in Raleigh! This post is all about my time as Whatsername and a Boston post will follow shortly!
So it happened!!! I went on for the first time for Whatsername!!! I had been waiting since Broadway and it finally happened while we were in Detroit!! I got the call at like 11am from my stage manager Monica saying that Gabby wasn't feeling well and that I would be on for both shows!! This is quite a luxury, being put on for two in a row, because the first one is pretty much insanity so it is always a total help to get to do another one without that first show adrenaline pumping to actually understand what is going on. The adrenaline one feels going on for the first time is unexplainable and the most incredible feeling in the world. I couldn't stop smiling, I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't stop being thankful for everything in my life. It was such a humbling day for me in many ways. Anyway, I called my family and warmed up a lot while looking at notecards and going over blocking in my head and headed to the theatre.
When I got there we went through put-in notes which is where we go through the certain safety things on stage and run anything that needs to be run before we start. The minute I got to the theatre, the support was overwhelming from my fellow cast members. It made me so emotional and thankful for these unbelievable people I get to work with every day! The next few hours were a complete blur. We went through notes, warmed up, and I was rushed to hair where my pink dreadlocks were put in! I put on my new makeup, ran around to sound and wardrobe to talk through quick changes, had a chat with Van about some specifics, and before I new it..."This is American...!!!!!" and the show started and I was running on stage looking at Jillian being me as I followed her out as Whatsername!! The show was unbelievable; a moment in my career that I will never forget. It was one of the best experiences I have had as an understudy going on for the first time because I felt so ready. I had been studying and rehearsing the role since Broadway, so it was still somewhat in my body despite the very few rehearsals I've had being her so far on tour. I was able to fully let go and just be Whatsername. I wasn't in my head at all and I felt totally in the moment throughout the show. It was incredibly fun and again, very emotional for me. I remember climbing the ladder backstage and waiting for my entrance in "Boulevard" and I got a little teary! This whole journey with American Idiot has been so beautiful and humbling and I could not be more thankful that I got the chance to go on. The show went on, with only minor mishaps, my favorite being that I put my dress on in Last of the American Girls wrong. It is different from the one I had on Broadway and has a pretty opening in the back...so instead of putting my right arm in the sleeve hole, I put it through the back hole...it looked silly but I just had to go with it haha! Other than that and a few minor things that you only can ever learn about from actually going on, I had a pretty smooth show technically and then got to eat some food, work on a few things with Van between shows and do it all again!! My heart is pumping just remembering how it all felt.
Now I have to give a big thanks to you guys, the fans. It was so beautiful and moving to have the support that you all gave me that day on twitter, facebook, and in person. I have never felt more loved and supported than I did on that day by you all and my family and my cast. It makes the biggest difference when you are opening yourself to something new to have people cheering you on. So thank you so much you guys. I would shoutout to you all individually, but that would take forever! I love you all more than you know and am thankful for every single one of you.
I will however give one individual shout-out to Joanna F (@jkathleen5). I received the most heartwarming fan-mail in Detroit from Miss Joanna and I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to tell me your story and put so much love into that letter. It was very moving and made my day extra great. I wish you the best of luck Joanna and please keep me posted on your career in theatre! Keep focused and positive, and you will be able to achieve it all!
That is all for now as I have some catching up to do! I will be posting a very fun blog all about Boston next week! What a great time it was!