My two most spoken/sung lines repeat over and over in my head as I prepare for another weekend of performances. Playing Cinderella in "Into the Woods" has been an absolute delight - a dream role fulfilled. But it has had its challenges.
Have you ever listened to anything Stephen Sondheim has written? Beautiful.
Have you ever read the sheet music? Complicated stuff.
Have you ever tried to memorize it while pregnant?? Nearly impossible.
I personally sing the phrase "Into the woods" 28 times with different words following it each time. There are 12 other times when it's repeated at the end of a song, but TWENTY EIGHT different times that I have to remember what comes next -- with the SAME cue. I'm pretty sure Little Red Ridinghood has a few extras that I don't, so I'm grateful for my role. But let me tell you, Sondheim and pregnancy brain do not get along.
Each performance, the show has been getting better and more fun, but I have to constantly look over my lines and lyrics backstage to make sure it's all sticking. Memorization usually comes quite easily to me, but those brain cells I've lost while making a human have reversed that fact. Sometimes I just stop singing during a chorus number, knowing that my flubbed up lyrics aren't helping, hoping that someone else is getting it right (and getting a bonus solo, maybe??).
But, all things considered, it has made for some silly stories.
Opening night, I was so eager to get onstage and start the show and pre-set two props -- one that I had never pre-set before -- that I walked right out without the prop that I actually needed to be using! Thankfully, I was entering in a blackout, so I turned and ran offstage whispering "Hold! Hold!" as I grabbed my rag and ran back onstage. It worked out fine, but I felt bad for those waiting onstage in the dark.
During our very first full run rehearsal of the show, I completely blanked out on words I knew well. Why? Because it was the first time I was actually using the aforementioned prop. The show opens with me on the floor, scrubbing, while the narrator introduces Cinderella as I intermittently sing about my wishes. "Once upon a time!"and seven beats later I sing, "I wish!" Except this time, I was so into scrubbing the floor, thinking, "I'm scrubbing the floor! It's getting clean!" (Oh, inner monologues...) that I didn't sing a note. The narrator kept going, the music kept playing, and I'm just scrubbing away. And then I realize....something is missing. It's me! I looked up in horror towards the director who was just looking at me expectantly like I had lost my mind. Our first run and I botched the opening 30 seconds. We just stopped and started over...this time with a little less focus on the joys of scrubbing.
Thankfully, my costumes still fit and even camouflage my growing belly. It's anyone's bet, though, if they will all the way through this weekend and next. I've had to get creative with staying comfortable. Not all ball gowns are comfortable (are any??), and while mine is pretty, it weighs heavy on this baby bump of mine. The second I'm offstage I'm unzipping the skirt and untying the crinoline. One night I even pulled my tights down around my thighs for some relief. I made a few people accountable for reminding me to pull them up before I went onstage and tripped all over myself. I thought I had more photos of my costumes, but I'll have to take more this weekend, so content yourself with this one:
That was two weeks ago. :) Pregnant Cinderella....that changes the story, eh?
I'll tell you what, Little One is going to have RHYTHM. He/she has already accompanied me through learning songs that mix 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 3/2, 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8 like a schizophrenic cocktail creator. Oh for a time signature that stays consistent!!
In other news, we had a doctor's appointment last Friday. Pretty uneventful, but we did finally get to hear Little One's heartbeat. Music to my ears. It was strong, healthy, and in the 140's, so go ahead and tell me what I'm having based on that (girl, right?). I'm also eating all day long (boy?) and still battling morning sickness (girl?) but only in the morning, thankfully, (boy?). So your guess is as good as mine.
We have our last ultrasound in 3 weeks where we could potentially find out the gender, but we're still going back and forth on that. STILL. Every time I settle on one or the other, I decide against it. I don't want to just get yellow baby things (find out!), but I love surprises (don't find out!), but I'm impatient (find out!), but I'm old fashioned (don't find out!). So there you have it. I also blame pregnancy brain for this. ;) There are times I'm absolutely certain it's a boy, and others I just know it's a girl. I'm just hoping the ultrasound only reveals ONE baby. We've only seen and heard one so far, but apparently it's not uncommon to miss the twin before 20 weeks. Given the fact that my brother has twins....well, I'm really hoping to only have one!!
At the appointment on Friday, they discovered that I haven't gained any weight yet. WHAT?? Have you seen my belly popping out?? They aren't concerned (and frankly, I don't think they took my weight correctly the first two times...they need a digital scale) since everything else is on track. I'm pretty sure this first time around it's just going to be all baby anyway. I don't think my weight has changed since my freshman year of college despite eating whatever whenever (don't hate!). And now I'm eating for two and apparently not gaining still. I know, I know. It will all change.
I'm loving my baby bump and making every effort to emphasize it. Now that spring is here, it's so wonderful to break out the skirts and bright colors. I'm pretty sure Little One loved the freedom of the flowy dress I wore on Monday because it was fluttering almost nonstop all day.
The right photo was 15 weeks, and the left is 17.5 weeks. I'm trying to figure out why the later one looks smaller (I swear I'm not losing weight!!), but my wise husband pointed out that I'm wearing a tighter skirt in that one.
I am happy to announce that it has been 1 week and 2 days since I have felt absolutely wretched. I'm definitely hoping it lasts!
As my closing story, I must share how silly I was yesterday. I swore early on that I was not going to be a silly worrier, freaking out over every little thing, but yesterday I was...concerned. I have been getting the hiccups every day, multiple times a day, and they are painful and annoying. I did a little Google research to see if they were just one of those silly symptoms of pregnancy. I found out very little -- yes they are because your muscles are more relaxed (tell that to my shoulders!), yes they are because pregnant women breathe more frequently, yes but sex will cure them. None of it was from credible sources...and neither was the horrifying comment board I found. Someone asked the exact question I was, and the answers?? Terrifying. Hiccups are a bad sign, there's something wrong with the baby, my wife told her doctor about her hiccups but he couldn't do anything and she miscarried two weeks later, etc, etc, etc. WHAT?? I immediately called my doctor and left a message with the receptionist, fully knowing how ridiculous I sounded. My doctor called me back (thankfully) and through a bit of laughter told me that she has never before heard of such a thing and that I'm perfectly fine (no bleeding, spotting, cramping), and not to worry. So I sighed and felt silly and relieved and then giggled as I told Landon about it all, who was very kind and didn't laugh at me. :)
So my question for you is, what silly thing freaked you out the most during your pregnancy?? I'm still wrapping my head around a human growing in my belly, by the way. But I love it to pieces.
Farewell for now! It's back into the woods for me tonight! If you're in the area, check out www.thecurtainplayhouse.com for tickets and showtimes. You don't want to miss this prego Cinderella!