It is with the most mixed and overwhelming emotions that I performed in my last show in Bikini Bottom on December 29th. Over the past 5 months, the cast and crew grew intertwining roots to become a tight knit family- from city to city, countless plane rides and bus rides, late-night venting sessions over ice cream and fast food at 3 am, through all the tears, blood, laughter, sweat, and smiles... the love I have for every person on this tour is utterly indescribable and I miss everyone so incredibly much. Through all the ups and downs, everyone stuck as a team and we put on a show in every city without fail. I truly cannot express my overwhelming love, pride, and appreciation that I feel for every single person.
Being on tour for the first time has taught me many things- you’ll only need half the clothes you packed, you’ll end up eating Wendys everyday if you don’t make an extra effort to eat healthy, body maintenance, especially while traveling and performing is REALLY important, being away from my hubby is hard, and in the fast-moving blur of tour, it’s much too easy to get swept away and lose touch with family and friends. This tour has taught me to appreciate my friends and family more than ever, to never take them for granted. Ultimately it has taught me to get back in touch with myself, with my roots, to remind myself of what really matters to me in this fast-paced life when I start losing sense of who I am, what I stand for, and believe in. Being able to perform and spread joy is truly a privilege that cannot be taken for granted.
This experience is something I will cherish forever, and I cannot thank Tina Landau enough for all of her continuous guidance, understanding, love, warmth, supportive positive energy, and bright light throughout this entire process, and for trusting this quirky island girl from Chicago to find the Punkfish within me. I will never forget flying back and forth from NYC for callbacks, operating on a few minutes of sleep and 5 cups of coffee, rushing into the audition room and praying that my extra jitteriness and energy of me hopping around the room didn’t freak out the creative team!! I cannot thank her enough for this opportunity and the experience of a lifetime, and it was truly a dream come true to work with someone I have looked up to for so long. To our fiercest dance captain, Elle-May Patterson- what can I say?! All I can say is THANK YOU. Thank you for being the fiercest, most hard-working, loving, wisest dance captain- we are so incredibly lucky to have you and you inspire me every single day.I miss my entire Bikini Bottom family so much already, and cannot wait to see their beautiful faces again soon.
Returning to Chicago, it took me awhile to find my ground and feel like myself again, to re-adjust from tour life and steering myself away from feeling anxious and depressed by jumping back into training. I have a completely blank slate for 2020- I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing next. To be honest I’m extremely nervous, scared, and uncertain. However, day by day I am beginning to pick up the pieces of my boat and striving to build a better and sturdier boat to get myself ready to ride the unpredictable waves of auditions. My goal for every year, not just 2020, is to stay humble, respectful, be true to myself, work hard, and invite the challenges that come along the journey in order to grow as a person and performer. Here’s back to running around to auditions, and back to the hustle and grind of this unpredictable journey!