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

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 décor 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…

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