Setting for One at the Panic Picnic

The Wednesday before last I went over to The Wehmann Agency to meet with the agents for voice, on-camera, and live trade…their office was positively humming (very busy agency = higher potential for gigs = happy Horton) and after about half an hour I walked out of there with new representation. Yep, I’m in. I AM IN! WOO-HOO! There is still plenty of self-promotion that I need to do in the interest of drumming up some business, but it’s a relief to finally be in a respected agency’s ranks again. And the cool part is that my agent for voice said she doesn’t have another voice like mine in her cadre….again, higher potential for gigs; again, happy Horton. Meanwhile, I was called back into Undertone Music to voice incomprehensible conversations for Pixar-style animated coffee cups, the dots on top of “i”s, and bouncy balls. There were three people observing and engineering the session, and at one point I actually had them in tears from laughter - they tweaked pitches for a few of the spots, so I threw in seemingly appropriate references to Baby Jessica and making out with a jar of mayonnaise. For some reason those didn’t make it into the final product. Curious.

And now for the gritty of all this nitty: I’ve been putting off writing about any of the good news for many, many days because I’ve been far too busy panicking. It’s hard to write anything more than “GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” when one is consumed with panic. I am, and for two weeks have been, in a perpetual state of sheer terror over where my next paycheck is coming from. My show at The Children’s Theatre closes this Sunday afternoon, and I don’t have any confirmed work coming down the pipeline. Up until now I have been a responsible girl with my ducks (oh, how I love ducks) neatly in a row. Now the ducks are hither and yon. Nothing is more disarming than a paddling of wayward ducks.

I signed up with a temp agency this week and had a meeting/paperwork-marathon with them today – hopefully that will generate some temporary income – I’m also filing for unemployment on Monday. Seriously, unemployment. Me. What the hell? Oy. The whole concept makes me feel sick to my stomach – not having a solidified plan to make sure my basic needs are met makes me feel irresponsible, careless, and immature. Granted, I could easily return to the full-time corporate/desk-jobby world that I once ruled, but I am not ready to do that just yet. I want to take a low-stress, no-obligation job that I can leave at any time to take stage, voice-over, or commercial gigs. I’m determined to remain available to opportunities because I’ve short-changed myself via benefits-paralysis for years now. It’s time to do things my way. Hey, ducks! You come here. RIGHT NOW!

Suspended Animation

*Every performance involves a section wherein a majority of the cast, including me, stands frozen on stage for approximately eight and a half minutes. Over the course of 58 performances, this adds up to 8.22 hours. The following is an excerpt from last week’s thought process:

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd FREEZE! Here we go. Helllllooooooo second-balcony EXIT sign. We’ve become chums, you and I – I bet never has anyone spent as much time staring at you as I have – the audience can see my eyes better this way - although I don’t know if anyone in the audience can see my eyes anyway because of these crazy glasses – it’s probably all reflection. Whoa boy - this is going to suck today - my feet are KILLING me. Son of a…OW! I hate these shoes. Hate them. Hate them. Hate them. Hate them. Seriously – three-inch heels on a raked stage along with huge gaps in the billboard platform which are perfectly great for falling into – whose bright idea was that? They’re awfully cute shoes, though. Wow – what a total “Sex and the City” viewpoint – ‘gee, I’m dying here, but the shoes are cute!’ I can’t believe I got my foot stuck in that billboard crack today – that was sure embarrassing. I wonder if anyone noticed. AUGH – HAND SPASM! Dang-it. I wonder if anyone noticed. Oh, and there goes the feeling from the toes – going, going, going, numb – DAMN. Tomorrow I’m freezing with my feet facing the other direction – maybe that will help – this is seriously going to kill once we unfreeze – I wonder if I’ll even be able to walk without falling over – whoa, what’s that kid doing up there? – don’t look, don’t look, don’t look – oh, he’s just jumping – WHY DID I LOOK? – relax, it was only a couple of feet over and it was so far back, I’m sure my eyes didn’t noticeably move – it’s not like they can see my eyes anyway – or can they? – ITCHY NOSE ITCHY NOSE ITCHY NOSE ITCHY NOSE itchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchy STOP THINKING ABOUT IT itchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchy UM, UM, UM, UM, UM, EDWARD NORTON IN THE ILLUSIONIST SUPER HOT MEXICAN FOOD FOR DINNER SOUNDS GOOD SHOULD STOP AT KOWALSKI’S NO WAIT UNTIL MORNING ‘CAUSE THAT’S WHEN THE CUTE PRODUCE GUY IS THERE okay, no more itching – god, I hate that. Holy Hannah if this damn scene was any longer I would just die – yes, this is the longest freeze known to mankind – maybe this is punishment – maybe this is a director’s way of passively telling us that he hates us – WHIT – WHY DO YOU HATE US? I bet onstage freezes are from some director’s ancient oral history – “if you dislike your actors, choreograph an obscenely long freeze in uncomfortable positions – that’ll show ‘em. And if you can put them in heels and have them on a rake, all the better.” Ohmygod girls, please don’t do any dramatic pausing here, for the LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT GET DRAMATIC AND PAUSEY. Oh. My. God. My. Feet. Are. Dying. It feels like daggers jammed straight up through the balls of my feet up toward my ankles. Dying. Thinkaboutsomethingelsethinkaboutsomethingelsethinkaboutsomethingelse – I should come up with a cool limerick for Rick for tomorrow’s mic-check – he’s gotta be so bored with me by now – “there was a sound guy named Rick” – oh, bad idea – only dirty things rhyme with Rick. No, wait - quick! That’s not dirty! “There was a sound guy named Rick, who needed a mic-check but-quick.” Oh, god, this is stupid. Rick, you’re not getting a limerick buddy – get your yuks from someone else, bucko. Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow - My feet feel like they’ve been plunged into a vat of boiling oil. Thinkaboutsomethingelse. Okay, uh, uh, uh, OW, uh-what’s on my to-do list these days? I need to continue getting in shape, maybe I should sign up at the Y again – I really can’t afford it right now, but on the other hand I could certainly take some of my savings and pre-pay for six months – oooh! that might be a good idea! – and I think that if I sign up in January they waive the joiner’s fee – I wonder if that works for people who have already been members – I hate the gym – yes, I love it when I’m there, but it’s the getting there that’s the problem – OH! LUVERNE IS COMING DOWN THE LADDER -WE’RE ALMOST DONE! – SWEET! Don’t look at Luverne don’t look at Luverne don’t look at Luverne don’t look at Luverne GAH! WHY DID I LOOK? I wonder if anyone noticed. Please hurry please hurry please hurry please hurry please hurry I can’t believe Whit made this freeze even longer right before we opened - we would have been unfrozen by now – we would have been unfrozen by now – we would have been unfrozen by now – I wonder if I’ll be able to start walking this time without hanging on to the billboard? OWWWW! I think not…damn. And, and, and, and, HERE IT IS GLORY TO THE HEAVENS WE CAN MOVE – OH MY GOD MY FEET OWWWWWWWWWWW!

Blackouts are a good time for screaming

We had our first school show this morning, and never have I laughed so hard backstage – it was hilarious! A very strong exercise in concentration, they were a sea of squirmy bodies, fully-vocalized questions, and waves of coughs. This was participatory theater whether we liked it or not. At one point I even thought about an escape plan should they unexpectedly become rabid and charge the stage. This was a whole new ballgame of awesomeness.

When the show began with a blackout I quickly learned that the kids have very strong feelings about blackouts, so they proceed to scream their little brains out until the lights come up. Full-on, 400 kids between the ages of 6 and 10, screaming their tiny screams as loud as their voices will go. There are four blackouts in our show, and every single one elicited the exact same response. I can hardly write this because I’m still laughing about it – it was so weird. I couldn’t tell if they were terrified; if it just seemed like the right thing to do; or if some were terrified and others found the sound more bearable if they, too, were screaming. Whatever it was, it was shocking and hysterically funny.

I can’t wait to see if this is a trend.

Pouch Press

The official Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl opening night was last Friday – and I believe it was a success. I must admit that the notes we received the day prior left me feeling rather lost, so I went through the performance taking into account as much as I could, but also surrendering to my own personal instincts and just giving the audience what I felt was right. It paid off – the director and I spoke at the after-party; he hugged me and said it was my best performance yet. I hit the marks he had set forth for me, but I also found the comedy and played it. Phew.

Now if I can only keep it up – we had two more performances on Saturday, two more on Sunday, and now only 55 performances more to go! Aiyee!

Turns out our two dailies, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune, were also in the house that evening…the Pioneer Press’ article is overwhelmingly positive, and the Star Tribune’s article is underwhelmingly positive (the title makes it seem like a negative review, but on the whole it isn’t…plus he calls me out in the last sentence – woo-hoo!).

Here are the articles in their entirety:

Pioneer Press:

Posted on Sun, Jan. 21, 2007



The story of the girl who's "different" and struggles to find her way in the world is an old one. And in that respect, the Children's Theatre Company's world-premiere production is a wholly conventional one. But "Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl" delivers this timeless tale with a twang and a strut.

The title tells you most of what you need to know. Marsupial Girl — she's never given a proper name — is born with a furry pouch that can capture and hold all the sounds in the world. Such a strange accoutrement makes her a freak in her small town. When naive individualism and a bow to conformity don't work, she lashes out at her world, her friends and her family. It all comes out OK in the end, but not before some Texas-sized tussles.

Local audiences have seen playwright Lisa D'Amour spin these bent, fish-out-of-water yarns before. But they've probably never seen her do so with such blithe ease, such a warm and unencumbered heart, or such a disarmingly kooky sensibility.

The pleasing result of her pen this time is, I suspect, a combination of the fact that she's writing for a young audience, that she had the estimable, mainstreaming dramaturgical services of the Children's Theatre staff and that, in musical collaborator Sxip Shirey, she chose an aesthetic partner equally as willing to engage in some highly idiosyncratic and imaginative play.

Shirey and D'Amour create a funky, twangy, swamp-rocky musical where beat-box melds with country music and where interjections like "Holy puppy on a peach tree!" come out of characters' mouths sounding real and right. Director Whit MacLaughlin coaxes it all to the stage with cheerfully preposterous glee.

Anna Reichert brings a just-right, disingenuous appeal to the title role — she wears her emotions on her round, expressive face and sketches Marsupial Girl's joys and travails with subtle honesty.

But it's Luverne Seifert — playing a singing, hoo-hawing narrator named Dr. Pouch who lights the fuse on the story and keeps it sizzling. Windier and more unpredictable than a Texas twister, Seifert's antic creation — delightedly working a sound-generating thingamajig here, leading the audience in a dippy call-and-response there — guides us through this weird world. He makes it all seem … well, if not exactly normal, then at least like a whirlwind worth riding.

Is the script drum-tight? Not really — one more rewrite probably would have gotten it to a long one-act instead of a two-act endeavor with an intermission. Are all of the characters scrupulously realized? No — in fact, once you get past Marsupial Girl and Dr. Pouch, D'Amour tends to fall back on conventional archetype.

There's the loving, weary mother (warmly realized by Autumn Ness), the busybody ladies of the town (Leigha Horton and Marvette Knight, noses perpetually out of joint), the mean girls (led by Jessie Shelton as a rhymes-with-witch-in-training named Libby) and the avuncular old man who's the voice of reason (the rock-solid Gerald Drake, of course).

But is "Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl" an ever-resonant old lesson wrapped in a bright, unique and toe-tapping package? You bet your ten-gallon hat it is.

Theater critic Dominic P. Papatola can be reached at or at 651-228-2165. IF YOU GO

What: "Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl"

When: Through Feb. 25

Where: The Children's Theatre Company (mainstage), 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis

Tickets: $34-$13

Call: 612-874-0400

Capsule: Familiar fable told with Texas spice

Star Tribune:

Last update: January 20, 2007 – 10:51 PM

Inventive 'Marsupial' lacks coherence

The narrative, though strange, is familiar, but the staging becomes jumbled.

Add to the Elephant Man, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Phantom of the Opera, a girl with a pouch. Director Whit MacLaughlin's staging of "Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl" has some highly inventive touches, from set designer Donald Eastman's Southwestern, carnival-touched milieu to Richard St. Clair's costumes and poofy wigs. And the singing, dancing and swaying cast at the Children's Theatre sells this imaginative play by Lisa D'Amour hard and well.

But because this stylistic mishmash does not cohere into something greater than its interesting parts, it's hard to buy it.

D'Amour is a complex, engaging writer known for her experimental works. "Marsupial Girl," which opened Friday in Minneapolis, is her foray into the world of children's theater. Its plot, about differences large and small, resonates.

As the marsupial baby grows and her body pocket becomes furry, she uses it like both backpack and at-will voice box. She discovers early that she can catch and store sounds in her pouch, an ability that becomes important when her community recoils from her, closing down her world.

The ostracized Marsupial Girl eventually begins to behave like the scary freak and monster that they insist that she is, capturing the voices and silencing the critical, misunderstanding community.

As strange as "Marsupial Girl" may seem -- and there's more than a touch of the gothic in MacLaughlin's staging -- its outsider narrative is familiar. It is in the telling of "Marsupial Girl" where the jumbled elements make the production list. The staging, infused with Sxip Shirey's twangy hip-hop compositions, seems to be of too many minds.

It uses Adam Matta's clever beat-box percussion overlaid with guitar and mouth harp that suggests something hip and urban. It also deploys straight musical compositions that make you think of Broadway. Then there is the nod to spelling bees, with characters holding up letters.

That would be disconcerting enough without a mother (played with deep affection and knowing by Autumn Ness) who did not name her child. Perhaps she was so traumatized to have such a baby, she could not come up with a name. That lack of naming creates a dramaturgical distance from the main character, a feature that's similar to one that we saw also in "Anon(nymous)," which premiered at the Children's Theatre last year.

Thankfully, Anna Reichert, who plays Marsupial Girl, gives her the life that makes us care about her.

In fact, the cast invests this story with much energy and enthusiasm. The roster includes Luverne Seifert, whose Dr. Pouch is a gung-ho guardian angel-type figure who narrates; the ever-resourceful Gerald Drake as a doctor and community member; and Kelsie Jepsen as a schoolteacher.

Nadia Hulett, Jessie Shelton and Teresa Marie Doran are credible as Marsupial Girl's youthful cohorts, while Leigha Horton makes an auspicious Children's Theatre debut in a variety of roles.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390 •

©2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Big Night

Tonight is the big night! Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl officially opens at The Children’s Theatre Company – granted, we’ve held public previews all week in addition to rehearsals, but for some reason they haven’t felt like real performances despite relatively full houses. Knowing my family is going to be in the audience tonight definitely raises the stakes.

I have many, many stories to share about rehearsals and shoe problems and quick changes and a bleeding scalp and recording the pre-show turn-off-your-cell-phones announcement, but didn’t have enough energy (especially during the 10- to 12-hour days of tech week) to write them in coherent sentences – I’ll have much more time after this weekend to go back and fill you in on the beans.

Until then, I leave you with some light reading – preview articles from the Star Tribune (including a photo gallery) and the Pioneer Press.

Cheers, Leigha


The mornings here are quiet. I wake up without an alarm clock between 9 and 9:30, stare at the ceiling until I’m compelled to move, then shuffle into the living room and turn on the computer. There are always a good eight or nine greenroom comments waiting in my inbox, all spam because I haven’t posted here in several weeks.

I then usually attempt to start a new post about my experiences thus far at The Children’s Theatre, mostly out of guilt for being silent for so long, but realize that I don’t have much to say. It’s not that there isn’t a lot happening – there is – it’s just that I’ve been so ensconced in the process of this show that I haven’t been able to step back enough to write about it.

Until last night’s rehearsal, when I was told to go home.

It all started with a cold that took root Monday evening, New Year’s Day, which then avalanched over the next 24-hours into the stomach flu. By some stroke of luck I wasn’t called in to rehearsal on Tuesday. Wednesday I reluctantly called the Stage Manager, asking to be excused. By Thursday’s rehearsal, I was able to walk around my apartment and finally keep down crackers and water, so figured I should attend.

Even after arranging a ride from a friend, I was exhausted by the time I got to the theater. Getting in and out of the car was enough for one day, but I plodded onward. When my scenes arose, I gave it everything I had (while trying to keep my face and possible contagion away from the other actors), but it just wasn’t enough. After an hour and a half (of a scheduled six hours), the director stopped me and said that I looked terrible. I said that I was okay to be there if I took it slow, I was just worried about getting too close to the others. He finally, kindly but firmly, told me that I needed to go home.

I was stunned speechless. I didn’t know how to respond, I just felt like a failure. What happened next was all just a blur…I’m not certain what I said, but I think an, “I’m sorry,” was in there somewhere. The Walk of Shame commenced when I had to retrieve my script from one side of the room before exiting out the other – accompanied by the whole cast vocalizing their sympathies.

I got another eleven hours of sleep last night. So far I feel much better than yesterday, but still sluggish. I’ll wait until later this afternoon to make the call on whether or not I can handle rehearsal – after all, the only thing worse than walking the Walk of Shame is walking it twice.

Ode to the Pouch

Last night was the first rehearsal for Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl, and I’m officially in love. In love with the process, the designs, the script, the music and the group dynamic. While it was a bit awkward being the new kid (in a group of about 20, only one other fellow and I hadn’t worked at CTC before) since I still have a ton of questions and don’t know anyone in the cast, I’m still certain this is going to be an incredible experience.

Some thoughts from my first day:

The Script Whit MacLaughlin, the director, described it as metaphysical – and after doing a group read-through, I’d have to say that I agree. This touching and clever story about a girl with a pouch and her struggle with self-realization transcends age, race, socio-economics, religion, and every other confine we place on ourselves in attempt at classification. And the kids will dig it.

The Set and Lighting Design The Set Designer presented on behalf of himself and the lighting designer, and the stage is going to look awesome – a patchwork of a town, it’ll be gritty and full of curiosities. I am always so impressed by a good designer’s ability to glean the feeling of a piece at its core, then translate that feeling to the physical realm.

The Costumes The drawings are gorgeous. And with the exception of one Dr. Pouch, the women’s costumes are by far more intricate (and, therefore, awesome). The best part is that my main character, Ina Shaw, has an apron with a big chicken on it that serves as the centerpiece of the designs for the rest of the townspeople. I’ll also be playing one of the witches in a traveling version of Macbeth, and the costume is very Renaissance-Festival-meets-Steve-Nicks; ultra-sexy save for the witch mask and the sandbag boobs.

The Music Gritty and organic – the percussion is provided solely by human beatbox, and therefore the sound is warm and full. It was wild to begin learning the songs last night without having heard them first and without sheet music. We all gathered around the composer, Sxip Shirey, working and re-working sections; it felt like we were a band creating songs together for the first time even though they were already written. The music felt like a living thing that will always evolve and can never be duplicated – approximated, but not duplicated.

Lessons learned from the first day of rehearsals: 1. Five hours is a long time to be mentally present without having brought a dinner or having eaten something before arriving; purchase lunch bags and sandwich makings. 2. Swearing like a sailor is probably not acceptable here; watch mouth. 3. Obtaining each day's rehearsal schedule the night before is not conducive to my often-particular need To Plan; lighten up.

The Sixth, and Final, Day of Unemployment

Update on the PouchWell, just when I think I know who I am, I find out I’m someone different. I got word last week that I will not, in fact, be playing the role of Lacey Rubbertree in CTC's Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl. Turns out there was some confusion on their end during the initial offer and contracting, and instead I will be playing the roles of Ina Shaw, Woman #2, and chorus/ensemble. I went back and immediately re-read the crazy-old draft of the script I have (used for callbacks) to better understand the implications, and while I mourn the loss of a really cool character name, I am thrilled with the change - it appears to be a bit of a promotion, actually. That is, if the crazy-old draft and the crazy-new draft are still somewhat similar. Only tomorrow will tell – yes, tomorrow as in my first day of rehearsal tomorrow – that tomorrow. (and on the seventh day, she shall be reemployed - huzzah!)

Update on the Petra I hereby offer a new and improved and Easier-Reference List of Chasing Windmills episodes that I’m in thus far. With the links and everything - I'm such a giver.

overture – 9/18/06 (just a brief appearance) relapse – 10/23/06 altar – 10/24/06 shopping – 11/10/06 telephonies – 11/14/06 (just a brief appearance via flashback) safe sex – 11/28/06 fuel – 12/6/06 cell – 12/7/06 damage control – 12/11/06

Now, go make some popcorn and receive.

My New Life: Day One

I’m at a bit of a loss on how to begin this post - the title is a bit dramatic, no? I guess I’ll just break it down by time and see where that gets me. Have patience:

YESTERDAY Yesterday was my last day of work in the Performing Arts department at the Walker Art Center, my last day in Deskjobville. I was a puppy when I started there five years ago, and now I’m a bitter, jaded, crone. Kidding. Mostly. I’m still friendly and fresh-faced, I just know a hell of a lot more now than I did then and I’ve gained some snarkiness, to boot. If I hadn’t been absolutely slammed with work yesterday, I might have gotten all choked up about it.

At the end of the day my department threw me an incredible going-away shindig backstage at the McGuire, Hollywood style - there were stars on the floor and there was champagne and chocolate and paparazzi and cake and wine and roses and sunglasses and a feather boa and bouncers and my headshot plastered everywhere and tons of people. And there were speeches, and there was a goodbye card in the form of a filmstrip with beautiful parting words from everyone. I was honored and deeply touched. And had I not been so surprised by the whole thing and overjoyed to see everyone, I might have gotten all choked up about it.

When I finally got home I was so overwhelmed that all I could do was read the good-bye messages, run myself a hot bath, sit in it and have a good cry. I'm going to miss my people.

TODAY After spending most of the night fitfully dreaming about work, I woke up with an e-mail to my department colleagues already crafted in my head (I gave them the official hand-made farewell cards yesterday…don’t want you to think I’d send that kind of message via e-mail – that's tacky). After sending it off (had to get those loose ends out of my brain), I fully realized that I am now a full-time artist.

I answered a couple of sweet congratulatory e-mails this morning welcoming me to my new life (thank you!), thought of different ways to write this particular post, did my dishes, cleaned my living room, arranged last night’s roses into a nice vase, and started packing for tomorrow’s mini-break.

The spirit of the day was formalized by two e-mail offers for gigs and an introductory call from CTC’s Stage Manager for the Pouch Play.

This feels good. And it feels right. Finally.

that's 'technician' for...

CTC called me last week to schedule a fitting; when I returned the call, the following conversation ensued:

ME: Hi, this is Leigha Horton from Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl returning your call.

COSTUMER: Whoa, you actually said the whole name of the thing.

ME: Yeah, um, well, uh… why, what do you call it?

COSTUMER: Oh, just “Marsupial,” (pause) or “The Pouch Play.”

The Pouch Play! I love all people behind the scenes for this very reason. It reminds me of a personal tour of the Old Globe’s set for How the Grinch Stole Christmas by my Lighting-Director-best-friend – there are a few scenes where you can see townspeople in windows and on the hills silhouetted in the distance, and up close it turns out they were plastic Simpsons and alien figurines. In plain view. Let's hear it for the folks that make theater magic!

Taking the Leap

Last fall I read a conversation between two of my favorite playwrights, Suzan Lori-Parks and the recently deceased August Wilson, in American Theatre magazine. On taking risks, Wilson said, “You have to believe that you could dive off a cliff and that you’ll be okay, that you’ll sprout wings and fly, otherwise you’ll never dive off the cliff.”

Looks like this girl is about to do some cliff-diving. Some scary, scary cliff-diving.

This December, I begin rehearsals at The Children’s Theatre Company for Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl, and with the start of rehearsals brings the end of my five-year career at the Walker Art Center. It also brings the end of the comforts (steady income, health insurance) upon which I have come to depend. Okay, depend heavily. Starting in December, I will be making my living as an actor. Please excuse me while I repeat that, for my own sake: I will be making my living as an actor.

I find this concept equally thrilling and terrifying.

In early July when I turned 28, a dear friend sat me down and paced the room while lecturing me for a solid hour about how, in regard to performing, this is going to be The Year of Leigha. That means no more fucking around. No more cutting corners. No more procrastinating. No more waiting for things to fall in my lap. I have been inspired on the short-term in the past, but nothing like this. This friend knows me deeply, and he cared enough to point out and shoot down my bullshit excuses and my laziness. He helped me navigate my way out of complacency, out of inaction.

Two weeks after my birthday we went and saw the touring Broadway version of Wicked – and it only deepened my resolve. As fully expected, some of the performers could sing circles around me; but surprisingly, some of them couldn’t. For the first time, I realized that doing what they were doing on that stage wasn’t just a pipe dream. I’ve worked long and hard to develop the chops that I have (and I fully comprehend that I have plenty more work to do now and throughout my life); it’s high time I start giving those chops the respect they deserve. I will be making my living as an actor.

Move-over Dog, make way Boar, and mind the gap John Miller-Stephany; July 3, 2006 through July 3, 2007 is The Year of Leigha. It’s time.

The Week of Definites Came Early

Holy Hannah in a honkin’ huge hand-basket. Know how I said two posts ago that I hadn’t heard back from Children’s Theatre Company, so assumed that I ultimately wasn't chosen for the part – but the callbacks were an honor nonetheless? I was wrong. YES – I WAS WRONG, and I’ve never been happier to say so! Dudes, I got cast. My very spanking first audition at the illustrious CTC, and I got cast!

This winter I shall warm the hearts of wee ones in Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl – in the role of awesomely named Lacey Rubbertree. And it’s professional! And it’s full-time! And there’s a real-live bunny outside my window right now, no doubt here to congratulate me because we all know that animals talk to you when you’re a princess! And I am so excited that I don’t even know how to act properly when I think about it! HI LITTLE BUNNY! THANK YOU FOR COMING TO VISIT!

Oh, MAN. This is really really good - nay, this is FANTASTIC.