Life is to short to live it without a smile...or a mustache

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mending a broken heart...

My mind is one that never seems to rest.  It turns and cranks every scenario I do/could encounter...sometime causing more stress and worry than I could want.  I find myself in moods or ruts sometimes because of my thoughts.  Maybe its just because I become hypersensitive to my thoughts, but most times I find other peoples conversations and even music around me to match, cause, and influence more thoughts.  On my mind a lot lately...relationships.

Lets be honest from the get go, I have little to no reference on the subject, how ever, I know quite a lot.  I am the man who has always kept himself so busy with work and school so there was no need for a relationship.  I am the man who sees his friends and families growing and moving away with their life partners.  I am the man who goes to meals and events alone, and comes home with no one to see and share my daily joys and pains with.  I am the man who has a heart so large it murmurs and pulses when emotion is true.  I am the man who can make someone happy.  I am someone who would cherish a partnership of friendship in love.

All my life I have watched with open eyes relationships and gathered what I felt was the keys to success.  Goods and bads, dos and dont's, dreams and fair tails.  Its never simple that's for damn sure!  Relationships don't work like a cookie cutter, but more like and eggs.  Eggs can be cooked in many ways, yet you still end up with an egg in the end.  Eggs(relationships) are fragile things that if broken can never be fully be put back together.  You just have to either cook it another way or toss it out and try again. 

Like I've said, the last personal relationship I "had" was in 6th grade; when eating at the same table and walking to classes together meant you had it all figured out.  I've avoided the subject really well to date...I'll tell you what, I've saved a lot of time and money too.  For what though?  To be 24 and not know what it is like to date and maneuver a world that is so fast and non traditional unlike what I've envisioned all my life and been taught.  How do you even begin to feel like capable when kids half your age are in relationships you aren't?  Do you just jump in doing what ever it takes or do you sit back and wait for something to happen? Or better yet, what percentage of the two do you mix to get your result.

I guess I've always seen two types of people when it comes to relationships.  Those who are always looking, and those who are waiting for it just to happen.  I have been the later of the two....what good that has done me...I'm still waiting.  I want a FRIEND who becomes more...but we all know that comes with the possibility of things never working and a friend becoming lost. 

I'm jealous.  I'm jealous of happiness and love.  I'm jealous of the people I love who have what I don't.  I jealous of courage and dedication even when its rough.  I'm jealous of my friends finding persons first.  I'm jealous I'm the one always loving and not being loved.  I'm jealous I care SO MUCH and don't know how to not care.

Someone recently told me I was in a "different part of life" than them and not to stress because things will come in time.  I get it...But don't discredit my heart for being any less capable of love and emotion just because of my age and track record.  I see the happiness in the friends and family members around me.  I see the pain as well.  That's where I am pretty freaking good at seeing what works and doesn't work.  That's where I don't have the personal stories to help you through your needing someone to talk to, but I know how someone should be treated and feel when it comes to a relationship.

Maybe my standards are to high and I will end up old and alone.  That's what I don't know.  I don't know how to play this game.  I don't know what its like to put someone else ahead of myself and have them do that same in return.  I don't know what it is like to have a relationship....but I DO know how to love.

As you can tell, there is a lot in this post.  And this is only a sample of what my head looks like at any given moment.  All I want is someone to talk to; someone to care what my day was like; someone to do something for you because they want to not because they have to; someone to know a hug or kiss is needed or give them even when you don't need them; someone to make laugh; someone to think about and know they are thinking of you; someone to miss; someone to defend; someone to fight for you; someone to fight with; someone to surprise; someone to talk about like they talk about you when your not around; someone to love and be loved.

I may not have ever had a relationship but trust me when I have loved.  I know the pain of a broken heart before its been loved back...think about what my heart is capable of when it is loved...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wet suits, platform boots, plus a pig and a mirror cat.

Time...It amazes me how February seemed to creep day to day and now I cant seem to hang on to March to save my life.  What a month and a half it has been since I last posted.  Fun times, great visits, big news, and weather that just isn't sure what to do.

February was slow and my "more regular work" swinging at Lion King slowed quickly as well.  I knew it was going to happen sooner or later.  I found myself knowing all the tracks there and only being able to sub when needed.  I quickly jumped back into the resume world getting things ready to hit the streets again.  I also reconnected with the shows that wanted me to come work with them but I wasn't able to at those times.  Luckily I booked almost three weeks with Mamma Mia on Broadway and knew I would have those days worth of work in the beginning of March.  The best part of that!...I would get to see the wonderful Stacia that I worked with on Next to Normal back in Florida last year.  Back at Mamma Mia I subbed the male ensemble track I originally learned in about a crash course the first night after that long....and then two more days after that.  I was also blessed in this booking stint to learn a new track in the building and then get to sub it for almost 2 weeks.  I worked with the male principles in the show.  The three dads and the daughters boyfriend in the show.  Great men!  I had a lot of fun with them and I was actually a bit sad to be leaving when my time was done.  While working at Mia again I got all the experience one could want with wetsuits, Lycra rock jumpsuits, and platform boots.  I can't work a normal dressed show can I?

Mamma Mia house from up center stage.
I tried on Stacia's swim cap...don't tell!
 Right at the beginning of March my sister in law came to town after making a trip to D.C. for work.  She convinced them to let her fly to NYC and then fly home because it was cheaper for them.  She spent a couple days and nights with me and I tried to give her her first NYC visit crash course quickly.  We enjoyed a trip on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, a night of Costco Margarita pizza and some wine, sushi, shopping in the city, and even a New jersey Devils NHL game....just to name a few of our doings.  I LOVED having her with me for the couple of days and didn't want her to leave.  I'll admit, as the car drove away from the airport, I fought tears back but had to wipe a few.  Words cant explain how important my family is to me and how much they give me life.  I can't wait to get home next!

The day my sister left I jumped into my stint at Mia.  While working there I was also lucky enough to start doing some day work doing an ironing call on Fridays.  I've learned the person who had been doing that call is no longer available for it, thus why I have been doing it, and I hope to maybe get that call permanently.  Hopes and prayers please!  It would be another for sure 4 hours of work every week in the pocket book.  Just coming off my Mia work I dressed, between Mia and a couple last minute day off subs at Lion King, 17 shows in 12 days and worked 17+ hours of day work, rehearsals, etc.  Oy!

Now...I know some of you maybe wondered what I meant by "Big News" in my first paragraph.  It's kind of a crazy story.  The night I was with my sister at the hockey game, I got a text from the wardrobe supervisor at  Lion King saying "he might have some dressing work for me starting the 3/26 for 6 months on a principal track and was I interested".  Through that eve and the next morning I spoke with him in a couple different media ways, and learned through him and a couple other people in the building, the current principal dresser put in his two weeks minutes before I was called and I could take his gig.  Long story short I have taken the position and start for the first time FULL TIME on Broadway this coming Tuesday!!!  I can't tell you how amazing, crazy, exciting, scary, and blessed I feel all at once.  At this moment I will be full time for 6 months.  The man leaving has taken a new non theatre related job back home in up state New York and his position comes with a 6 month trial basis.  He is covering himself in case things don't work out, but knowing him and the computer job he is taking, I will be shocked if he returns to the show.  I was told this could become permanent permanent if I wanted when they know he is not returning.  Time will tell...I'm just taking the 6 months for now and not over stepping.

That's my life to date...Kind of boring and not much to write about other than the couple big events.  On days off I have been trying to focus more on myself as a person and my home and personal needs.  I have gotten back into bargain shopping for more room decor and am working on building a couple lighting fixtures/shades for my space.  I have been trying a few new restaurants with a little help from others and have even eating new things like grilled chicken hearts from a Brazilian place (not bad either even though they totally were full hearts I just ate whole).  Along with my adventures I am working hard again in the gym working on my summer body to hit the NY area beaches and the rooftops for daily tanning.  Lets see how good I can look eh?
I miss my friends and family a lot this month and am working toward figuring out a trip home for a couple weeks during the summer.  I hate missing out on things like friend cruises (a group of my friends fly out tomorrow to board the boat on Saturday) so hopefully I can figure out something fun when home.  Have a blast on the boat all, and I'll maybe catch you in a tube on the river in July!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ringing in the New Year with Style.

2013 was brought in with style for sure!  Well, that was until I arrived home at my apartment at 8:30 AM.  No, it was an AMAZING night full of new and newer friends, a ton of laughs, multiple bar hops around Hell's Kitchen, and for sure some drinks. 

New Years Eve was spent dressing a matinee show of the Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre in NYC.  I was lucky to pass thru all the security gates and check points in order get to work, and see from above in the warmth of the theatre lobby, all the craziness of Time Square.  Unlike anything you will ever see anywhere else.  All those people in the cold, trapped in cages all day without even the simple thing of a bathroom.  I don’t know that I will ever see the ball drop that way in NYC and am okay with doing it on TV at a party with friends.  After the afternoon show, I left Midtown and all the blocked off subway stations and arrived home making a half of a Costco margarita pizza and popping a bottle of wine to relax.  I soon after received a couple gathering offers back in the city with Lion King friends.  I decided I need to make memories of my first New Years in the city so that I did.  I got dressed again making my way back to 49th street just above Time Square to a friends beautiful studio apartment full of his closest friends....that in itself was amazing to me.  I was invited to a party with these people from all walks of life that met thru Kellen...and I got to be a part of that! Shortly after the ball dropped Kellen gave a speech talking about that very thing.  He said that through all the things in his life the people in the room have meant the most to him and wanted all of us to love each other the way he loves us.  Talk about a great talker and movement maker he is.  My year was set to a standard at that very moment.  Shortly after that...when the mood jumped back up....we put on our coats and started to bar hop around his area of town.  A couple bar later, we found a good spot and stayed there until the bar kicked us out to close.  A night cap...morning?...was the next step back at his apartment until I knew I was tired and needed to head home.  A slow subway ride home later I slept really well most of that afternoon. 

NYE Eve Prep

NYE Eve Prep

NYE Eve Prep from the Lobby.
January has for sure been a month of style and friends!  This last month I got to welcome a mentor from college and students from my university on a study abroad trip that I was part of 4 years prior.  The third trip of this Jan Term program visited for roughly three weeks and gave me the opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new amazing students ready for the next parts of their careers.  I found myself rejuvenated and hopeful for what I could have next in my life.  More meals, shows, drinks, and fun was had with this group...maybe that’s the theme of this year?... 
While my mentor and even better friend Brooke was in the city I was able to spend some great one on one time with her talking about my career, hopes, dreams, and even share some of the perks of my life these days.  Arranged from ahead of time, she brought some of her best duds and we hit the town for a Lion King actor’s 50th Birthday party high atop The Sky Room.  A party is never a simple party with that group of friends and a night it was!  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else with me that night to share in the personal grand entrance of the host, the songs for him, A runway style picture wall, dances, and wonderful cake made by my housemate.  The bar alone was unlike anything I have witnessed.  A bar full floor bar on the 36th story above the city just below Time Square with a glass walls that allowed for a full view of Manhattan in any direction.  The Empire State Building was just blocks away at eye big deal or anything!

Just my buddy and I with our routine party picture like always.
January ended strong and February started with a bang, subbing a three week stint in the principle hallway at Lion King with three amazing ladies who treated me so well.  I was actually sad to have to leave the room on my last night...I guess I know I'm working somewhere worth wild and I am doing what’s right for me right now.  The down fall of February is that work has slowed expected though.  I knew there would be a time when Holiday season ended, vacations that weren’t able to be taken until after ended, all the tracks would be learned.  That time is now.  This week I only worked a couple day calls and was called for one subbing shift at Lion King.  I miss the people! lol,  I jumped back onto contacts with other shows I had turned down when starting my 4 month stint with Lion King, and asked for work.  After a couple days worrying and not knowing what’s next, I was called and booked at Mamma Mia again for almost a full 2 weeks over roughly a 3 week period.  I will do a couple day calls, sub the one track I have already learned there, and learn and sub a new track (a male principle track).  Yay work.  I since have booked a couple more days of day work at Lion King this week.  I am living the true life of a swing in the city.  Its a bit stessful but, I came to the realization that; after coming to the city, finding 4 months of steady work after 3 weeks, and now having a couple says off; I have to take a couple knocks and not have everything come so easy.  I'm getting used to that.

This week I had more friends in town too...and being I had time off from work I got to see them in way I never would have been able to if I was working every night.  I had a fellow intern from Florida arrive for a day this week.  He was auditioning for a cruse ship and it was nice to see him even if it was just for an hour walking around midtown.  Two fellow Alums from school where also here on breaks from their work with the Missoula Children’s Theatre company.  Last but not least, this week I had long time family friends from wrestling as a child.  I sadly was not able to see them but talked to them on the phone while they were seeing their suns place here in the city. Adam and I will have to meet up soon too as I haven’t been able to meet up with him since I arrived.  Last night I was able to FINALLY after multiple turn downs, see my lovely friend sing.  The same doll who took me in for almost a month when I was couch surfing.  She sang back up with a NYC singer at a club.  It was so wonderful seeing her on stage again and doing what she is meant to do.

As you can see, I have been busy, and am now learning to enjoy my time off....spending that time more at the gym which is a win in itself.  This past month or so has really grounded me and I am rejuvenated in my art and career.  I love my life and am learning to spend it a bit just for me in the moment.  Who knows what’s next...but, Ill take it moment by moment hopefully.

I miss home lots and am trying to figure out when I will be home next.  I've received my first couple summer wedding save the dates...maybe I will be able to hit a couple of those....and no, not even a step closer to that in my life...I might as well be running backwards from that haha

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our finest threads and new digs

Once again, life has gotten the better of my time and I have been distant from you.  A lot has been happening and some major changes have taken place in my life since we last...connected. Let’s see what I can cover in this blog:

The start of November brought my 24th Birthday and a night spent out in style with a group of my new friends.  I intended to lay low for this one but when some of the male dancers found out during intermission of that nights show that I was just going home they quickly threw together a plan of attack and told me to just be ready to go when the show was over.  I was taken to one of my favorite places in the city to date.  The R Lounge atop the Renaissance New York Hotel in Time Square.  It is a beautiful square glass room that literally looks out at all of Time Square.  A few cocktails there and then we walked to another club setting bar for a night cap and then home.  It was simple but had enough class to make me feel once again like I have started to make it in this biz.
The section between bliiboards is The R Lounge.
Dancer LaMar Baylor at the R Lounge.
From left to right: Jaysin McCollum, Derrick Davis, Me, Lawrence Alexander, LaMar Baylor, Kellen Stancil, and James A. Pierce III.
I am a full fledged Theatrical Wardrobe Union, Local 764 Member!  I was sworn-in in mid November and I have since received my member’s card in the mail.  A very special family member supported me in the financial means of this process, loaning me the money with no time limit to return, and forgiveness when I become a known name…we will see about that one.  At this point, I have every intention of repayment quickly.
To date, I am still at the Lion King learning and subbing tracks (I even have my own photo ID and can get discounts at local bars and restaurants with it!) . To date I know 15 of the 16 wardrobe tracks in the building, making myself the second most knowledgeable person/swing in the building.   I am only second to the full time internal swing whom has been with the show in one way or another for all 15 years of its existence.  I had been booked with LK thru the end of the year (2012) but this past week was booked for all of January 2013.  Work for another month!  During that month Ill finish my 16th track and sub vacations for both dressers and the full time wardrobe stitcher.  Know all 16 tracks will boast in make me very valuable in the next year when it comes time for needing short term and long term subs and covers.  While I have been busy at LK, I have also made my way over to the Winter Garden Theatre and started learning tracks with Mamma Mia.  I have learned 1 of the 9 tracks in that building.  Knowing more shows and tracks will be to my advantage when things start to slow in the theatre world at the end of winter before the summer push.  I was lucky to get into the city just off the end of summer slow and the new Fall/Winter push.  It’s all about timing and things, I know…I mean that’s what’s going to pay my bills in the end. 

All that being said, the first half of November was huge and busy at the Minskoff Theatre.  The 15th anniversary came and went at LK and we are still gliding down on the buzz.  I was shocked when even I, a swing, was included in all the festivities and gifts that came with the events.  I am the proud owner of a beautiful anniversary tee, new IPod mini, and a card signed by all the big names with the show.  During the time leading up to the anniversary, I was able to meet some pretty amazing people involved with the show, and be part of many television tappings and live broadcast.  I helped dress actors for a Juju Chang Nightline interview with Thomas Schumacher (President of Disney Theatrics) and Julie Taymor (designer and creator of the Lion King), I helped dress news a special taped spot with Good Morning America anchors Josh Elliot, Lara Spencer, and Sam Champion,  I dressed actors for a live performance on Good Morning America, for a special third act arrangement of circle of life I dressed Rafiki actresses from Japan, Sao Paulo , Germany, and London, and to top it all off, I rubbed elbows with the entire creative team and producers of the show and the Disney movie I grew up on.  After the amazing anniversary show I was dressed with a beautiful lady on my arm to attend a breathtaking party at Gotham Hall just south of Time Square.  The food, drinks, sights, music, and people of the evening were everything I imagined and more. 
Julie Taymor and Juju Chang during the taping of the Nightline interview with actress Chondra Profit our Sarabi.
Red Carpet.

Gotham Hall.

My beautiful date and I inside at the party.

Dancer LaMar Baylor and I.

Young Simba Caleb McLaughlin and I.
Special 3rd Act Rafiki Brenda Mhlongo and I.

Singer Rema Webb and I.

Singer Selloanne A. Nkhela and I.

Myself, (roomie) Singer Derrick Davis, and Child Wrangler Rick Plaugher.

In early November I secured a permanent residence and am now living with a coworker from the male singing ensemble at LK.  We have a beautiful and spacious true one bedroom apartment but we both have our own rooms.  His room is the true living room and I have the just smaller true bedroom.  We are a good match and things are drama free to date!  It feels amazing to finally have my own place to be excited to come home to each night!  The worst part of this arrangement I’ve found is there is almost always cake or a baked good in the oven.  Papas been on a continued descend in body size and weight and my roomies cooking isn’t helping!  I am slowly purchasing my first post college adult bedroom d├ęcor and stressing over it every moment.  I am determined to have a cohesive collecting made up in my room. When this are complete Ill let you all see it…maybe.

I spent my second Thanksgiving and Christmas away from my family this year but spent them in Panamanian style with my roomies family.  I was blessed and welcomed into the family with open arm…literally...and they told me I’m welcome when ever I need a dose of family time.  I truly was thankful for what this world of theatre has given me while I have to be away from my own family.

The weekend after Thanksgiving I took my first ever vacation as an adult.  6 actors/dancers from LK and I left after Sunday’s shows and drove thru New Jersey to Pennsylvania near the Poconos and rested in a gorgeous three story rental home.  Over 2 nights and 2 days, we ate, drank, and got to know each other more.  Drama free, laughter billowing, game playing time was had growing closer together.  Just being invited on the trip was amazing to me; having an amazing time was the icing on the cake.  The others and I can not wait for the next time we can do this type of thing again.  I mean, $190.00 for the car rental, gas, house rental, food, and booze was a great deal!!!
Our rented car and house for the weekend. Three floors, 6 bedrooms, spa room, game room, lounge with bar, etc.

New Years was supposed to be quite because I had just come off a 10 show week in 6 days at LK.  I found my way home Sunday after the single matinee show and cooked half a Costco margarita pizza, and had a glass of wine.  Mid show that day I received a couple party invited but I clearly was unsure of what I wanted to do as I went home after the show.  I decided I wanted to make my first NYE in NYC a bit more fun than sitting in my underwear in front of the TV craziness in Time Square (I had a breath taking birds eye view from the lobby of the theatre that afternoon).  I pulled myself together and attended a good friend’s apartment party just blocks North West of Time Square.  I arrived about 11pm and rang in the New Year with a couple LK folk and new friends that I met through the host.  We then took the town bar hopping and returning to the host’s apartment after we were kicked out of the closing bar.  One more…Morning?....cap and I decided to head home getting home at a crisp 7am.  So much for a quite restful night right?!  I wouldn’t have wanted anything different though!  I was once again reminded while out with that group how amazing they are as human and how thankful they are including me in their lives.  Good people…

So, with the New Year here, and I have been clearly living it up with party after party, I do want to make a humbling and sincere point.  I have been told I am changing and a different person these last months.  I quickly was hurt and defensive, but now see a light of truth covered with misunderstanding.  I AM changing and adapting to my surroundings with work and the people in my life.  I however AM NOT faltering my integrity and morals along the way.  Growth happens thru change in many ways; locations, jobs, people, and everyday tasks.  I AM NOT the same person I was when I stepped off the plane 4 months ago (can we just take a moment to breath with me after I just gagged at how I’ve been here for 4 moths already!!!!).  I am not the same person I was when I left Kellogg for college, Spokane for my internship, etc., but I will say I think I am doing a pretty freaking good job at being me.  My have and always will believe a journey is what makes a human who they are.  Because of the good and bad times I have had and the people who have and haven’t been in my life, I am Court.  Now, I may have different clothes, live in a different place, and talk with/see a person less than before, but I have not forgotten their personal and ever importance on the path I am taking.  Love may be one of the only thing a person has when all other things are changing and out of their hands.  I know I love the people and things that have gotten me to this place in my life, and I am excited to see what comes next in this year.  So, I’m sorry if people are hurt or I have seemed distant.  Not a moment goes by where I’m not sharing a story about someone I love or a story from my past.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think I wish I was home with someone that means the world to me.  Not a month goes by where I see how important my education is to me and how I am using it each and every moment…even at cocktail parties (you’re welcome Diana).  Not a year goes by where I am a human and have faults and successes.  But, I will tell you, I AM changing for the better, for the open hearted, for the dreams that burn deep in my chest, and for the hope that I can one day die having CHANGED a life in even the smallest of ways.

Call it what you may, but I’m always here.  To one of the biggest years in my life thus far, and for what is to come next.  Live…