That Time I got to work with Marin Mazzie: an open fan letter

November 6, 16

Dear Marin.

If you knew me you would quickly find out that I suffer from a reality of not knowing “who someone is” and “why they are that person”, but you don’t know me, we’ve just met.

I’m just this person who is working with you,
who knows this person that knows you,
and has worked with you.

I’m the person who captured glimpses of strength
and the beauty of hope for today that you hold so dear
on the odd trip in a cab to the Emergency Room.

I’m the person who is having a hard time believing
that your station and talent isn’t making your life easy
in fact you are fighting an entirely different fight to stay on top.

I’m the person who is in a master class in perseverance
structured by a syllabus filled with matter-of-fact
as you go about your process and impress all.

I’m the person who has a talent crush seeing you perform at 15 paces
in awe of the comedy and heart that you offer in a single song
and the honesty you manage to deliver in every word.

I guess I am writing you this fan letter because you, unlike the many very talented people I get to work with, have an active story that you are sharing with whatever part of the world that will listen. A story that says we need to help fight this ass hat of a disease. You don’t want to be a martyr; you want to be a victor. You want to be a victor who sees other women able to seek treatment before their reality is the same as your reality.

I want to thank you for letting the world know that Ovarian Cancer is indiscriminate and can seriously mess up your conversations. Instead of regaling the room with an amazing life on the stage and trips to and fro you are informing people of the reality of ports and bowel activity. While treats fill the room you sip away at some broth. That cocktail conversation is about chemo not cosmos.

I want to write you a fan letter to let you know that when I am not lost in your talent, which is every time you are working, I am lost in thought of how your journey is helping to put my journey into perspective. A perspective that says, manage each moment in the here and now.

Always,
Julia xo

For those of you who read this blog and do not know Marin Mazzie’s recent story this is a blog that her husband has written.

http://jasondanieley.com/blog/?p=198

For those of you who have not yet seen Marin perform… I’m very sorry for you.

 

Farewell An American In Paris

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For the Company of An American In Paris
                             With Love: Julia

I wrap my arms around you trodders of the boards
while you kick and resist determined to go beyond
One art
One life
One story

You transcend the imagination of a single man’s dream
creating your own life
One art
One life
One story

The story you tell is of unity splintered by individualism
still closing up gaps in hopes of regaining
One art
One life
One story

On glorious occasion your entire being grows to trust
that you can succeed in portraying
One art
One life
One story

As this opportunity parts and fades know that you have left an indelible mark
Upon so many hearts
One art
One life
One Story

An American In Paris Company,
I enjoyed sharing your art with you. Your secret world of dancing rounded out with the glorious music and vocals that swirl up the Gershwin in any girl all strung together with the titanium thread of acting. A solid crew packed with integrity that you may never fully realize and sublime managers that take such pride in their work they are relentless in their pursuits.

Thank you for the laughs and the learning. Until we meet again I wish you all the very best each and every day.

Respectfully,
Julia

* Please note that this old lesbian uses Company in the global sense. All the people who make this shit happen nightly!

An ode of respect to a man called Jack O’Brien

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Jack be nimble 
Jack be — swift
Jack wax poetic with a brand new script

Shaw not breathing 
Shakespeare’s words run amuck
Skipping, tumbling through the text.
Art he finds
Music he makes – glorious music
Listening to his stories at his feet
on our backs wagging happily expanding
our love — transform our choice
Dissecting — determining each phrase, points, feeling.
Every word sustained creates a texture, a tapestry
a weave of mystery, imagination, depth.

His Globe was endless art — 9,490 rotations
Our globe was effected – beautified
Magic man you open up
Our eyes, ears, dreams
Truths balance our focus manage our expectations

He journeys an atlas through Rome with Floria
Baltimore with Tracy, Cincinnati with Jack,
The Big easy with Frank, The Soviet Union with Nina
Alabama with the Hubbards
He revived a good ball game, He premiered many more
Never missing a Cocktail Hour. His friends, not Imaginary helped
Knit his colorful tales. There were no lack of Scoundrels
Even the occasional Grinch.
Opera he blessed with the girl called Aida and a
Triple threat from a man called Puccini.

In a wink his adventures tied in a bow
will take us to a future filled with hope.
Another chance to create art with an act break

#BestDayEver

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I recently had the pleasure of being involved in the cast recording of The SpongeBob Musical and was wrapped up in the simple and rather infectious phrase, “its the best day ever”, other wise known as the SpongeBob theme. Its not the cloyingly annoying phrase you might think. I mean I can remember hearing the joy of the “happiest company on earth”, Kinky Boots, and being driven mad by the variety of zippy hashtags, like #youchangetheworldwhenyouchangeyourmind #justbe #werkkween. I felt super left out of that joy, it was another person’s celebration. Please note, I was a little miserable at the time Kinky Boots opened on broadway as I was working on a show that maybe was not the happiest place on earth, but that’s not this story. In fact this SpongeBob phrase as sung by our extraordinary cast is simple and genuine, when you hear it you actually think its possible that it might just be the best day ever and that’s a pretty super feeling. We were several hours into the night session when the cast started singing Best Day Ever and the Producers, Creatives & Technicians in the control booth were clicking away on devices and pushing the clock to not incur too much overtime and as we worked through the song there were in fact involuntary smiles that came across faces. They didn’t even know it, they were grinning, tapping their feet, glancing up from their screens as this beautiful phrase repeated. As the day wound down I became very sad watching this company part ways unsure of our next step in this world of Broadway real-estate where you feel as in control as a extreme liberal on the Senate floor. It’s a cast that never deserts one another, they all look at each other in the eye and make the moment true and vibrant. I know, I know, who’s cloying and annoying now?  As a stage manager you get to see the best and worst of everyone, so this feeling of company that came with The SpongeBob Musical felt unique and our time together zoomed by way too fast during the show’s out-of-town Chicago premier this summer. It did come with a lesson however, a lesson that has taken me a time and a couple glasses of rosé to formulate.  In my future endeavors I am going to try to be the very human being who stage manages and meets the demands of the *company instead of being that Stage Manager who has a solution for everything before anything occurs. I’m just not a by rote kind of a girl. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have major quirks and I like things done a certain way but I am not going to let those things interfere with me having the best day ever in this stand alone world of Broadway Theatre.

*A company by my definition is the entire group of cast, crew, creatives, musicians, managers… It is not just the cast as is often referred to on postings & notes.

Beauty in a bunch of different people doing one thing together.

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(photo “acquired” from the internet and taken by the amazing Joan Marcus)

The following writing, poem for lack of a better word, is inspired by the Company (by company I mean Creatives, Cast, Crew, Producers, Musicians, Managers) of The SpongeBob Musical headed up by Tina Landau and her Viewpoints!

June 19, 2016

An Opening thought for The Best Day Ever…

We have been guided to shape a world with seemingly no rules
so full of joy and colors that it could make a rainbow blush.
We are made stronger by a group gesture of kindness
when the world has delivered pain that has broken through our make-believe.
Our environment is the architecture of mad genius
its slopes and angles offering a comfort that we call home.
There is a spatial relationship between new friends that we quickly call family
this family is there to support us at our most vulnerable moments.
We move at a tempo set for us by the moment we are in
then in the speed of light we are delivered to the moment we live in now.
We remain uncertain of the duration of this beauty we create
but strive to continue with strength and conviction to bring happiness.
All of our senses are alive in a kinesthetic response with the audience
living in the energy that only human response can bring to our art.
Our foundation is built on repetition of action
but within that repetition blows the nuance that leads to change.
Using our soft focus we take in this magical journey with all of its twists and turns
landing in this time, that we’ve come to today, which we all embrace
As. Something. Special.

My viewpoints have been wrapped in a whirl of joy surrounded by beautiful spirits
The familiar who is always ready with a quip full of heart
The one who tries anything and everything beyond comprehension
The professional who wraps us all up into being better
The little engine who could and has done and done and done
The trodder who brings a base of history with their every move
The youth who are still growing into their very talented paws
The creative who have a light in their eyes that cannot be extinguished
The steadfast that offer a calm in the creative storm

I learn and I learn and I learn and I learn and I learn and I learn
you all make me better and for that I remain forever grateful.