Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Tears That Flow

Ever have one of those days when no matter what you do the tears will not stop? I am not having that day now, I did have one last week, but something today made me think about it. You know the day I am talking about? It is the day when so many small things happen that just pile on top of each other and then one final thing happens and you CANNOT STOP CRYING?!

Last week, during the run of All Shook Up I was exhausted. I would get up to go to work around 7 a.m. on most days (or 6 on the day we have our meeting), work all day, run home to change into my tech outfit and shovel food into my mouth, be at the stage at 6 p.m. to open the rooms for setting up, run the show, clean up, get home around 11:30 p.m. most days, then have to count the money in the cash box, clean the mics, and some nights take a shower. I would crawl into bed around 1:30 or 2 a.m. on a bad night. Get up and start it all over again. Well after a few days of this I was so tired I could not see straight. Add to it some new medication for shingles that made me foggy and I was pretty messed up.

Wednesday was an average day. Though I was pretty busy at work, had to work through my lunch hour, was late to set up for the night, and forgot my keys. So I was already a little frantic that night. Something small, and relatively innocuous happened that was unrelated to the show that broke my hear a little. It happened at the show, and in front of me, and it set me off. I could not turn off the water works. I sat in the sound booth and cried pretty much through the entire show. The end of Act I in All Shook Up is a song "Can't Help Falling in Love" and the cast signs part of it. It really was a touching bit of the show. Again, I cried. Then in Act II the character Sylvia sings a song to Jim "There's Always Me" where Jim rejects her. Again, I cried. I went to bed in tears that night, I woke up in tears the next morning. You could have told me that my shoe lace was broken and I would have cried (especially since I was wearing flip flops.)

The funny thing (now in retrospect) was that I really had no reason to be upset by what I had seen. I did not have any real cause for the tears; the emotional cause was real, but the rest of it was fluff. I had, in my mind, convinced myself of a possible reality that would, in actuality, never be. So the "death" of that dream is what I guess I was mourning. Once I accepted that this dream or hope was never going to be a reality, I was fine. I had to have a conversation with my mind (for those who were in drama at Hillcrest crica 1994 - I said to myself "SELF! AHHH!!") and the sad thing is, I actually talked back to the voice of reason in my head. So not only was I weepy, but I was actually talking to the voices in my head.

I do not know when crying became a sign of weakness. I think it is a natural part of being human, obviously or God would not have given us tear ducts. I think that everyone needs and deserves a good cry from time to time. I felt like I was letting people down by crying when I was supposed to be the boss for All Shook Up. I will never forget the kindness of K, S, & P who just let me cry. Especially P who came over and put her arms around me at the sound board and let me sob a little. M & L after the show, without knowing what was going on, each gave me a hug and told me they loved me. Isn't it interesting that these little things that are good do not add up as quickly as the little bad things do.

So I say we should celebrate the small triumphs more than we mourn the small losses. We should be able to accept compliments easier than we accept criticism. We should be able to look at life's little miracles easier than we see the little piles of crap that life deals out. And we should eat more chocolate!! So let it be written (or rihhun) so let it be done!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Program

When I was growing up my Grams had her "shows". These were the soap operas that she would watch daily. I admit to knowing 'Days' pretty well when I was younger. I was home-bound, in bed, recovering from getting a new roof recently so had some time to find a new program.

I always have been a bit of a nerd when it comes to space, the final frontier. I grew up in a home where Star Trek and Star Wars were watched, quoted, and revered. I remember where I was the day of both the Challenger and Columbia accidents and always wanted to see a shuttle launch; I missed out on that one. So when I stumbled across NASA TV, I thought I had died and gone to heaven ... not literally died ... but you get my meaning.

NASA has its own tv channel (212 on Dish). All day, all night, NASA. I watched this program day and night for a few days. Not much happened, but the sights were AMAZING! The obvious star of the show was the space station and shuttle. (I know, nerd, much?) But there was this one supporting character that cracked me up. Sandy Magnus made me giggle so often, a painful experience with shingles, that she is my new favorite astronaut. (What do you mean you do not have a favorite astronaut?!) The episode where she found the socks she had left on the space station was epic!! Oh and then the episode where they were transferring supplies from the shuttle to the station and she would fly past the camera doing flips and twists. Oh my goodness, I laughed. I actually hit rewind a few times to watch her. Oh and the episode where they were interviewing the astronauts and she let her hair fly? Classic.

I was worried that once the shuttle program was over that they would turn off NASA tv, but they did not. They are replaying old episodes right now. I highly recommend. I mean the NASA tv is the recommendation, not getting shingles. I would highly recommend never getting shingles, because it hurts ... and itches ... and hurts ... and itches some more.

So if you missed my program, here are some great images from the show.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My mate River asked me to post this link:

Sounds like an interesting way to raise money for women who could desperately use our monetary help. The Women's World Health Initiative is sponsoring a fund raiser that will raise funds for their organization while allowing participants to exercise for their own health. Worthwhile. Check it out. If I did not already have plans that day I would be there to get my Zumba on!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Hope You Go Soon

For those new to the blog, or as a reminder to some who may have forgotten, my mom has cancer. She was diagnosed 3 years ago, underwent a stem cell transplant, and was in remission for 2 years. It came back this summer, we knew it would. So now she does a milder treatment than a transplant, she takes an oral chemo which is designed to hold off the cancer for a while. She will have to do another transplant in the future when the oral chemo does not work any longer against the cancer.

She went to a bbq the other day and was talking with the wife of an old school chum. At the end of the conversation this lady leaned into my mom and said (in regard to her cancer) "I hope you go soon!"

I pause for effect ...

Really lady? Really? You hope my mom dies soon? Okay, how about we apply a filter to your brain - mouth connection? How about a more appropriate way to communicate what you meant to say as "I hope you do not have too much pain!" Or "I hope when the treatment options no longer work that your pain is manageable" Or how about "Good luck with your treatments, you are in my thoughts and prayers!" ?????? How about you think about what you say before you say it, and if you would not be offended by what you say then continue. If you would be offended by what you are about to say, if someone told you that they hoped you would die soon, then maybe do not say it.

Lady, you're an idiot! Have a fruit roll-up! (quote stolen from the live CD Stunt by Barenaked Ladies.) I do not always filter what I say, this blog is evidence of that, but there are some things that you just do not say to a woman in the early battle stages of cancer. "I hope you go soon" is one of those phrases. When she is bedridden and in pain all of the time, then you hope and pray she goes soon. But when the cancer fight is still raging and there is still a fight to be had, you do not tell someone that you hope they die soon. I ... you ... wow! Just wow!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Did I Not Turn You On?

I promised my Riss and Foxy (shout-out!!) that I would blog about this last night, so here it is my lovey's. I have uttered phrases like this over the last 2 weeks: I forgot to turn you on. I forgot to turn you off. I totally turned you off to early. I finally turned them all on at the right time! Come here I need to turn you on. I just turned you off.

I am referring to the microphones for the show I am teching (in addition to producing) right now. Teching is a term we techies use that incorporates lights and sound. In our little community theater we have to set up and take down our tech booth every night for outdoor shows. So sound and lights are always an adventure!! Every night there is a new issue.

I get to play every day with a 20 channel mixing board (small by some standards but perfect for what we need!) We have 12 body mic packs for the actors. But we also perform outside on a cement stage which means that when it is 96 degrees, like is was last night, my actors sweat. In order to prevent these mic packs from getting ruined with sweat we cover them with super specialized microphone pack protectors. Trade secret what these super specialized microphone pack protectors are. I could tell you, but then I would have to ... watch you blush.

The other day I did not have one mic at all. Someone had unplugged the receiver in the back. To trouble shoot that problem took 15 extra minutes. 15 minutes we do not have. I could not turn on #12, which is Tif and Mark. Tif has a solo in the show, and Mark needs to be on at the very end. So I was heard to mutter an expletive or two (to be honest probably more like 37) along with the phrase "I cannot turn on Mark." Last night Mark's mic did not work for the end of the show. I uttered the phrase again "I cannot turn Mark on. I have lost Mark."

Last night I also had some pre show troubles with Foxy's mic. Now this lady is a gem. She has worked a board before, she knows the frustrations of the board and just was ideal to work with. We plugged her mic into another channel and she was golden. (I think my board needs some tender loving care from my dear pals at Poll.) To her I posed the question "Why can't I turn you on?" To which Foxy smiled and (paraphrasing) said "You'll figure it out and turn me on."

I understand the alternate meaning of this phrase. Every time I ask why I can or cannot turn someone on or off, everyone seems to get a smirk on their faces. Oh theater is an interesting beast. It is an industry I love! Pretty much everything has a double meaning, and the second meaning can be taken in a sexual connotation, as in my mic phrases. Sometimes I wonder why I do it, why I love it, why I keep coming back to theater? I get so tired during a show's run that I have been known to cry for no reason (i.e. 24 hours ago) and the cuts, bumps, bruises, and bug bites make question my sanity. I swear more when I do a show (confessions of sailor's daughter), I sleep less, I manage to some how do all of my work (though I do not know how that happens), I use parentheses too often when I blog (effect of the show, I am sure), but I love it.

Someone asked me the other day which I liked better: producing or directing? I have to admit I love to direct. It killed me to not be able to have more creative freedom during this show. As a producer I get to choose the show, hire the staff, pay the bills, and organize the crap out of every aspect. As a director I get to let the producer do all of the dirty work while I play chess on stage with actors; placing them where they need to go until I win! They are two very distinct jobs. I love to be organized so producing appeals to me. But I can sit down to read a script and something magical happens inside my head: I can see a staged show production. I can see in my head what a show can look like. As a director I love to make that vision a reality. I have said to the cast this week that I am an actor first, director second, and a producer third. Mostly because that is the order in which I grew in my theater progression. If I had to choose my chosen field I would be a director first, actor second, and producer third. I will produce again for the MAC. It is kind of my job on the Council now. Once I get good enough, like Suzanne did, I hopefully will be able to produce and direct a show. Or produce and be in a show. But for now, and thanks to a challenge from Besty, I will produce and nothing more. I love it. I really do. I loved making the choices, I loved being the boss, I loved doing it all.

Hearing the cast perform, listening to some amazing women sing (the men are good too, do not get me wrong!), watching the crowd's reaction during the show, hearing the applause after, and seeing the smiles on the faces of the cast after a good night's show is all worth the extra time and effort of being a producer. It makes the sound trouble of not being able to turn people on or off on time all worth it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


To resign, to submit, to yield, to give up. I think that resignation usually involves giving up something that one cares about. Submitting to the will of another, realistically yielding claim on a dream, or resigning oneself to accepting something that is hard to accept.

Resignation is hard. Hopes and dreams are meant to inspire. It is hard to accept that sometimes dreams are not, nor will be, a reality. It is still nice to dream, though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How I Know

Here is how I know that I am in the middle of a show right now, in no particular order:

1) I am tired, in fact I am so tired that it is clearly indecent. In the sales meeting this morning when someone asked why a printer in my office was not set up with the network, I took it as a personal insult.
2) I quote lines from the show that only those who have seen it would laugh. (He was a war hero, who died in war. It is only the most beautiful thing ever rihhun.)
3) I wake up daily with a different tune in my head. Today it is "Can't Help Falling in Love."
4) I have various cuts, bumps, and bruises on my body. (Here is an abridged run down: blood blister on my left pinkie, blister on my left hand and right foot, 27 bug bites, both big toes are trashed, 17 distinctive cuts, too many bruises to count, and crazy cankles.)
5) I have a crazy summer cold on top of getting over shingles.
6) If I do not make a list of things that need to be done, they do not get done.
7) I am so tired when I finally get to bed that I cannot sleep.
8) I am hungry all of the time, and extremely thirsty.
9) I am grumpy ... really grumpy sometimes. (I pulled out my angry face with the cast the other day, not a fine moment!)
10) I am blissfully happy!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deseret News Article

This news article was in the local paper about our show: The link is here

Deaf Utah woman is major part of upcoming musical

Published: Sunday, July 17, 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

MIDVALE — Karen Chatterton, director of Midvale City's upcoming performance of "All Shook Up," says a deaf person performing in a musical is "totally possible."

And it's a reality.

Sandy native Anne Fife, who is deaf, first found out about the musical when her son Nick decided to try out. He expressed his mother's interest in trying out to Chatterton, producer Stephanie Johnson and other staff members.

Johnson, who was already friends with Fife, sent her a text message asking if Fife would like to try out, and she did.

Fife actually sang at her audition, but at the same time explained to staff members that she would be happy perform the song in sign language if they preferred.

“When she was auditioning, I was thinking ‘What’s going to happen? Are people going to make fun of her?’” Nick said. “I was deathly terrified.”

When it came time for callbacks, Fife didn’t get a call and was ready to shrug it off. But after a little while, the cast list was up, and her name was on it along with Nick’s. They were both to be part of the supporting ensemble.

Nick said they about screamed their heads off because they were so excited. They wanted to keep it a secret to surprise the family, so they rehearsed together late at night.

“My personal philosophy in the arts is that they’re for everybody, and that means everybody,” Chatterton said.

Rehearsal in the city park runs just like any other musical rehearsal, except two languages are spoken.

Melissa Espinosa and Crystal Nichols, both volunteers from Salt Lake City, have served as Fife’s interpreters throughout rehearsals and will do so for the performances as well.

They sat in front of the stage during one rehearsal with scripts in their laps practicing their parts for the community theater’s ASL nights.

The musical will run for a week from July 15-22. Two of the performances — July 18 and 22 — will be interpreted for the deaf community.

When asked by way of interpreter about the challenges of rehearsing, Fife simply said, “I haven’t really seen any challenges.”

“Obviously, there are things I can’t really do because of not being able to hear,” she added. But Fife, the staff and cast members don’t view these as barriers. They simply had to make some little adjustments.

When Fife doesn’t have her interpreters with her, she gets help from Nick or other cast members. She said she was surprised to discover just how many of the cast members knew a little bit of ASL.

DeeDee Palmer, who Nick said is the most helpful with his mom, welcomed the opportunity to help Fife and brush up on her own ASL.

“It makes you just understand and realize that even if you don’t have some of your senses, it still won’t hinder what you want and love to do,” Palmer said.

Because Fife can’t hear the music or any of the spoken lines, it can be difficult to follow cues and rhythms. Palmer and other ensemble members give her barely noticeable physical cues like a tap on the shoulder.

Her interpreters will sit in the audience to help her get back on rhythm if she ever gets off beat, but she rarely is.

Marty Buhler, who plays one of the lead characters, Dennis, said all of the cast members have a lot to learn from Fife.

“She’s always on her cues. She always knows what to do,” he said. “She’s been on top of her game. Watching her do that we need to pick up our game because we can hear our cues.”

Fife saves questions for before and after scenes and says that the director, choreographer and fellow cast members take extra time to make sure she understands what’s happening.

“It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but we really have a lot in common, and we work it all out,” Fife said. “I have really good feelings for this group and everybody I’m working with.”

Of Fife’s deafness, Chatterton said, “We could either mask it or embrace it. We chose to embrace it.”

Chatterton helped with writing a subplot telling Fife’s story.

“It was important to us to use her in showing inclusion throughout the story,” Johnson said.

The musical, based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and Elvis Presley’s songs, centers on themes of inclusion and unity. The unity of the hearing and non-hearing worlds provided a perfect opportunity to illustrate that.

There’s one scene in particular where the cast performs the song “C’mon Everybody.” Nick leads his mom over to the jukebox so she can put her hands on it to feel the vibrations of the music that everyone else is listening to.

“It’s this really cool connection moment when she starts to realize that there’s music,” Nick said. Fife then begins dancing with everyone else.

Fife taught the whole cast a little bit of sign language to use in the musical number “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and they will all sign the last line together. Fife will also participate in some of the songs by way of signing.

Both Palmer and Buhler think Fife is a wonderful actress. Because sign language requires a great amount of expression, it’s not surprising that acting comes naturally for her. She’s also no stranger to performing, having been in performances with the Utah Opera and at the Black Box Theatre at the University of Utah.

But Fife hasn’t been in any performances for almost a decade. She’s loved having this opportunity to return to the stage and express herself. She says she “will definitely do it again.”

Fife was adamant about deaf people not being afraid to get involved.

“Being involved is what a community is,” she said. “They can’t just oust you and say only a specific group can be in this play — a hearing group — because really all of us can be involved. We need to have variety in the plays.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from," Chatterton said of the message of the musical. "We’re all human beings, and we all have something to offer."

There’s always a place for someone, whether they can hear the music playing or not. They can certainly feel it.

“It’s really inspired me,” Fife said of her experience, “and I think it can inspire other people.”

For more information about the performance and tickets, visit

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get Your Shook On

All Shook Up opens tomorrow night, we are up to our ears in tech this week. I hope you will come out to see it; we run July 15-22. Information on the show can be found here at the Midvale Arts Council website where you can purchase tickets online. Of course tickets are always available at the door as well. Bring a camp chair or blanket if you do not want to sit on the ground!! We have a deaf actress in the show which has been amazing!! The show will be interpreted for the deaf on July 18 and 22.

I stumbled across this little gem today and laughed right out loud!! Hopefully I remember how to embed video here. My blogging skills are a little rusty right now. So much to catch up on, like my hip getting a new roof.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Deep Thoughts ... by Starbuck

Do not clean out your gmail folders under the influence of pain medication. Nothing good can come of it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Being followed

So this guy I know recently told me he was following me. It honestly took me a minute to figure out what he meant. See, call me old fashioned, but in my day when a guy says he is following you it meant you had a crazy stalker who physically followed you around everywhere you went and waited outside your window to look in and asked your mission companion if he could have your hand in marriage so the mission president had to transfer you out of the area literally at midnight. It did not meant that you clicked a button on the internets to see what said person was up to and then 'like' what they are doing. But my good friend D, apparently follows me!! (Hey D!! I totally talk about you and your brother here sometimes!!)

One day I will have to have someone explain to me about Twitter. I am not a Twit (?!) yet and have never tweeted. But I do the blog and the facebook on the internets and apparently I am being followed. I kind of had a stalker once in real life in case that was not obvious, story for another day, so this is like good clean, free therapy to get over being followed, I guess!

I do not have one of those phones that is smarter than me, I am still smarter than my phone ... I think. I am waiting to upgrade to see if maybe Apple is going to release a new iPhone in September or something before I get a smart phone. Right now my phone would be average, not dumb, but average.

Have you ever heard someone utter this phrase "What did we ever do before the internet?" Well I will tell you what we did before Al Gore invented the world wide interweb. We picked up our rotary to make a phone call. We looked in the newspaper to see what time a show was playing, and then we washed the black residue off of our fingers. When you had a research project to do you had to go to the library to look in their reference books. We picked up our stationary and pens to write a letter to someone, and then licked the envelope and stamp to mail it. A tweet was the sound a bird made. If someone was "sick of being sick" or "tired of being tired" it was not broadcast for all their friends to see. And telling someone you were following them could land you in hot water with the police.

I am not saying I want to go back to those days ... ever. No, no. The internets are for me!! So follow me, blog stalk me, tweet, and like!! I am all in, baby!! All in!

Friday, July 1, 2011


The Midvale Arts Council presents All Shook Up, a musical inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley®. July 15-22, nightly except Sunday, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Midvale Outdoor Stage in the Park; 455 West 7500 South in Midvale, Utah. ASL interpreters will be available on Monday July 18 and Friday July 22. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. Tickets are $7 - general admission, $5 - children and seniors, $25 - family pass (one household please), group tickets are available at our website. Midvale residents receive $1 off admission with proof of residency at the door.

If you enjoyed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and are a fan of Elvis Presley’s music, you will love All Shook Up. The show is being directed by Karen Chatterton, Stephanie Maag, and Patricia Rogers. The cast includes Larissa Villers as Natalie, Jace Mitchell as Chad, Kevin Cottam as Jim, Lorri L. Cerva as Sylvia, Sarah Rogers and Lorraine, Marty Buhler as Dennis, Korinne Ivory as Sandra, Melody Chapman as Mayor Matilda, Bryant Roberts as Dean, and Mark Hansen as Sherriff Earl.

The Outdoor Stage in the Park is a beautiful venue which allows you the freedom to bring blankets or camp chairs, a picnic lunch, and enjoy this theatrical presentation under the stars. Shows may be postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather.

For more information visit; for group ticket information email