Every year, at about this time, I have my entire summer planned. Yes, you read that right. Every February, I have usually planned out all 3 months of summer vacation, including payment for all summer camps and reservations for vacation weeks. This year, though, I got nothing. And it’s not for lack of wanting to. It’s because, in this new wacky world of life on the road, I simply cannot plan for anything.
Jeremy’s mom, Rebecca, and I are the exact same age (well, I am actually 2 days older than her, and, therefore, much much wiser than she is). We are both total planners. And this life is throwing us both for a loop. Every single day is different. School is held in one of several locations (at the theatre, the hotel or on the bus), and we do not know the place or time until sometimes the night before. There are added rehearsals occasionally, based on the venue. And, we do not know which boy will be playing Pugsley in each city until two weeks in advance. Each theater is different, and when we get into town, we have only a few hours to figure out where everyone’s dressing room is located and to figure out the layout of the backstage. This usually results in me getting lost and inadvertently ending up wandering onto the stage at the wrong times.
When Sam first got the part, I bought plane tickets and planned down to the wire, until the casting director called me and told me to stop planning so much. Things can happen, ie weather or poor ticket sales, or surprises from life in general, and he told me that even though we have the entire schedule booked, we can’t plan more than a month or so at a time.
Rebecca and I both turned 41 last month and we decided our new life motto would be “No Planning at 41.” We decided that we have to just let it go for the 6 months on tour. (Although I am still currently trying to plan our summer. I have decided that Carlotta, Lauren, Aidan and I will rent a car and follow the bus for the last month of the tour as it goes through Texas, North Carlolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Boston, Ohio, Detroit, West Virginia, and Louisiana. Craig thinks it’s a terrible idea and that we will all go crazy on the road or something, but, as you all know, I am way smarter than he is and know what I am doing.)
We arrived in Appleton, Wisconsin on Monday after two flights from Orlando to Milwaukee and a 2 hour bus ride from Milwaukee. Total travel time was 12 hours. (Did I mention that the trip to Orlando was a last minute surprise addition from the Addams Family? Just for fun since we only had one matinee show in Ft. Myers on Sunday so it was a fun free night in Disney. Did I mention we didn’t get to Disney until 8 p.m? And I had flown there directly from Phoenix that night? And we didn’t get home from Disney til midnight? And we had to leave for the airport at 7:30 a.m.? Can you tell how flipping tired I am?? ) But Appleton is the cutest town and our hotel rocks.
Yesterday we were walking with a few cast members to the theatre in Appleton for Opening Night. The wonderful actress who plays Morticia, KeLeen Snowgren, was chatting with us when, suddenly, out of nowhere, she slipped and fell on a patch of black ice. It was horrifying and she could not get up. The cast and crew all rushed to help her and she was rushed to the ER. The understudies for each role had rehearsed a bit, but the actual understudy rehearsals were to start today. Lexie Dorsett, Morticia’s understudy, sprung into action, reviewed the choreography and songs, and in 2 hours, she went on as Morticia and did a fabulous job. Keleen has a small tear in her miniscus and may be out for up to 3 weeks.
This just reaffirms for me how life can suddenly sweep the rug out from under you, literally, at times. Even though you have rehearsed and planned and organized, sometimes the unexpected happens, and we must go on. We have to help one another through life’s disappointments and cheer each other on as we struggle to fill in the gaps left by those who cannot go on.
And so, here’s to KeLeen, as she heals and gets better to come back and continue her incredible work as Morticia. And here’s to Lexie, who is, right now, at her originally scheduled understudy rehearsal. I watched the show last night and she was fabulous, and no one in the audience would have known she had only hours to prepare. And here’s to everyone out there, reading this, who is dealing with the unexpected. Life sucks, life is beautiful, but the show must go on. If it doesn’t, then you will have a lot of disappointed people out there, sitting in the audience, waiting for you.