I moved to Utah from New York City. "Why, in the name of everything holy, would you do that?!" you may be screaming at your computer. I am not Mormon, I would rather take a nap in my bathtub while watching "Toddlers and Tiaras" than go hiking, and if I tried to ski my bones would shatter like the saltines squished at the bottom of your Wendy's chili to-go bag. My friends, I will be honest with you. I dreaded moving to Utah. I so enjoyed the fact that I could walk outside of my NYC apartment and have six different Starbucks to choose from on the same corner as my nail salon. I realized quickly that when Utahans said a building was "three blocks away" what they meant was not my customary three NYC blocks, but really more like 3,470 miles. #Inconvenient. It was a culture shock, dear ones. But, graduate school was calling to me at the University of Utah, and so, here I came to this alien planet.
My mom took me to see Saturday's Voyeur last summer and I remember thinking, "THERE ARE OTHERS. I AM NOT ALONE." It was an encounter of the fourth kind, the hilarious kind. I laughed myself silly (a little too silly, thanks to the Riesling) and was jealous of the fun all of the actors were having up on stage. After the show, my mom said, "You should audition next year!" to which I had a hearty chuckle. Saturday's Voyeur surely would have no use for an opera singer. I put the thought out of my head. Months passed...(cue montage of my school life accompanied by an upbeat pop song.) Then, one fateful day, I saw that SLAC was holding auditions for Saturday's Voyeur 2014 and I thought to myself, "What the hell. The worst thing that can happen is that they laugh in my face and pelt me with rotting vegetables." Well, they did laugh in my face. In a good way! I think I realized that that audition was unlike any I had ever done about halfway through my operatic version of a Lil Jon rap song. I certainly had never sung the "F word" in any opera audition, let me tell you that much.
Well, folks, the rest is history. I am a proud member of this year's Voyeur cast and I am literally having the time of my life. And you know what the most surprising thing that came out of all of this is? A love and appreciation for Utah. Through this show, I have gained an understanding and sense of humor about all of the quirkly Utah-isms that makes this state one in a million. I have met some of the coolest and most talented people who make me laugh every single day and I finally feel a sense of belonging in this city.
So, please, come see Saturday's Voyeur. You'll laugh and feel like part of a family that shows love by gently poking fun at each other. Being in Voyeur is an experience that has truly changed me for the better. Although I still will probably never go hiking.
It's not easy being a beauty queen. It may look like a glamorous life but there's a lot that goes into winning the high high honor of being crowned Miss Riverton*. It's not all fun and games, there's the constant trying on of gowns, perfecting that award winning smile, nail painting, hair dying, learning how to vaguely answer a question I don't fully understand, and so much more, not to mention the lugging around of enormous fake melons. As the former Miss Riverton, I can't understand anyone's confusion when I had to let off a little steam. It's a lot of pressure to represent a big city like Riverton. Everyone in the city, state, and country was looking up to me expecting me to change the world and I just couldn't handle it anymore. If I needed to throw a couple pipe bombs at some houses then who's gonna stop me!?!? Well, apparently the court will. Having to resign from my title and serve community service at the Church Office Building is totally humiliating. Maybe I'll become a feminist.... I don't really know what it is but seems like it could be fun. Or maybe I'll become a lesbian and then no one can stop me from throwing bombs or wearing doc martins or doing whatever the hell I want.
*Leah Hassett plays Miss Riverton in SATURDAY's VOYEUR 2014
I think it's safe to say that I love working at SLAC. Being an actor here plus working full time on the Communications and Audience Development Team has made for a crazy rehearsal process! I work during the day then go downstairs to rehearsal. I love being here all day, and seeing what goes into making a show happen. There is so much that goes into it and I feel really lucky that I get to be a part of it. 4000 MILES is the third show I have done here at SLAC, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I love everything about working here.
I love the incredible casts that SLAC puts together. Joyce, Austin and Hye Soo are all beautiful in their roles. During this process I have been able to watch their scenes and see the progression of their characters, which has been really good for me and my journey with Bec. I'm so lucky to be working with such brave, and focused actors.
I love Adrianne Moore. This is the second time I've worked with Adrianne and I would love to work with her again in the future. She challenges me and without her I could not have found my way to Bec. She's easy to work with and makes the rehearsal process a safe place to explore and play.
I love Janice Jenson who is the best stage manager in the world, and a wonderful friend. I love the crew who makes everything tie together and really brings the story to life, I love the SLAC staff and their cute smiling faces.
I love Keven and Cyn for giving me the chance to play Bec and for bringing challenging, thought provoking and inspiring theatre to Salt Lake.
Thank you Salt Lake Acting Company, for letting me be a part of 4000 MILES. Come see it!!
I am absolutely ecstatic to be working with so many talented people on 4000 Miles. It's such an incredible script riddled with such beautiful moments that have you tearing up, laughing out loud, and overall just moved by the simplicity. This will be my first play ever with Salt Lake Acting Company and I couldn't be happier to make my debut with such an incredible team of talented people. I'm incredibly grateful to have Adrianne Moore at the head of the ship, guiding us through and keeping the show in tip top shape. Without her we would be lost at sea. The cast is PERFECT! . . . I honestly don't need to go any further with that, enough said. I'm super grateful to be working hard on something that I know will be rewarding for both me and the audiences. Hopefully our show will make people stop and think about their own lives and the people that make it worth living.