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Popping the Newbie BLOG Cherry| Voyeur Actor Elena Dern

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:47
Published in Blog

Of the Voyeur newbies, I have the pleasure of being the first among us to share my blog about our fantastical, magical, and titillating Voyeur voyage. I remember the first day like it was yesterday; all of us situated comfortably in the green room, paper and pen in hand, wide eyed with anticipation. In my nervousness, I was cracking stupid jokes and using ridiculous voices to somehow convince the others that I was “one of them.” I mean, I guess I’m funny, but . . . when placed in a room filled with the most hilarious, talented people in all of Salt Lake (maybe the mid-west . . . America . . . the world?), I couldn’t help but feel both intimidated and star-struck. I prayed to the theatre Gods that I would be bold, ridiculous, outgoing, and make the strongest of choices in my first actual production outside of my safe, college theatre environment. So of course, when Cynthia asks us to talk about ourselves and our relationship with Voyeur, I blurt out the first things that come to mind. My “on-stage” girl on girl experiences and taking off my clothes in Utah’s first LGBT burlesque troupe. Little did I know, I would be involved in a 3 way kiss with two Mormon girls, nearly every night for the next 3 months (twice on Sundays). That monumental day was an indication that I was in for the ride of a lifetime.

The past two months of my life have been absolutely incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my summer. Just days into the rehearsal process, I felt comfortable with each and every one of the cast and crew members. They provided a professional environment, in which I felt free to experiment and explore. The best of both worlds! About a month before we began, Alexis Baigue, clad as an adorable Easter bunny on Easter Sunday, ran into me randomly at a restaurant and said, “ This is going to be the best summer of your life” (or something like that in much more eloquent “Alexis talk”). He couldn’t have been more right. From rehearsals and performing to dinner and lunch excursions, camping ridiculousness, and porch beer/wine experiences, I have loved every minute of it. I have made such wonderful connections and friendships, and have felt the freedom to open up and be my crazy, goofy self. Not to say that it was all play and no work. The process is extremely difficult, but without a doubt, one worth being a part of. 

Being one of the only non-Mormons in the cast, I learned a good many things about the Mormon religion. I was surprised at how much I didn’t know despite growing up in Utah, going to school with and befriending Mormons, and even attending church a few times. Most importantly, I’ve further confirmed that Mormons, as in any other group of people, are all very different (duh, right?). This year’s Voyeur message seems to read that Mormons are individuals and should be able to have additional beliefs and interests: their faith shouldn’t be the only thing that defines them, and I couldn’t agree more. I still get a little teary-eyed during Elder Spencer’s final speech and really enjoy the sentiment in the last few moments of the play.

Well, this experience has been one H E double tooth picks of a ride. I have grown so much and learned more than I could have imagined (as cheesy as that may sound). But . . . it ain’t over yet! I hope to continue to learn, grow, and have the time of my life during the remainder of the run.

Blog cherry popped.

Elena Dern

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