On a rare night off during tech rehearsals for A Christmas Carol, Mr. G and I decided to soak up some Christmas spirit by walking around and seeing the lights at Temple Square. It's always inspiring to take in the twinkling lights and, I must admit, it's a pretty romantic spot for strolling hand in gloved-hand. I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!! In case you can't go for yourself (which I highly recommend you do, if you are local) here are a few pics. Just ignore the idiots that are in them.
Oh, and if you're looking for a chills-inducing rendition of Silent Night to inhance your Christmas season, may I recommend the version by my friends, GENTRI. These fine gentlemen were in Les Mis with me earlier this year and are out of this world talented. From left to right: Brad Robins (Marius), Casey Elliot (Jean Val Jean), and Bradley Lever (Enjorlas). Seriously, their arrangement is incredibly beauiful, especially towards the end. It makes me tear up, which isn't hard to do, but still, check them out!
The lovely lady on the left is my grandmother Margaret Barclay Woodward sitting with my Uncle Chip and my Grandpa Ralph is the studly laughing gent. I didn't know her very well, because she passed when I was three. From what I've heard, she had the voice of an angel. She was a coloratura soprano (meaning she could sing crazy high and do a lot of vocal tricks). She also was very classy, spicy, beautiful, and loved/feared (apparently she expected a lot from her BYU vocal students). My single memory of her is her reading me a book in her over-sized, stuffed, pink lounge chair. That is, after I somersaulted down the stairs with said book and caught glimpses of her between the pillars of the stairs in said chair. I would have loved to have more memories of her.
Anyway, from her I got my abnormal bony wrists, tiny fingers (my wedding ring is a size 3 1/2), high waist, nose, and I like to think, my soprano range (although her voice was a million times better than mine).
My family also inherited her addictive orange roll recipe that is a must at Thanksgiving. Seriously, there would be riots if these weren't a part of our meal. Since I'm in the giving mood, I thought I'd share/give you the recipe too. But, shhhhh, it's a family secret.
GRANDMA WOODWARD'S ORANGE ROLLS
In a medium bowl mix:
1/2 C warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
Let yeast mixture cool
In a large bowl mix:
1 C scalded milk
2 Heaping Tbsp shortening
2 eggs, beaten
4 Big Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
The scalded milk melts the shortening, so make sure the milk/shortening mixture is cooled before adding the eggs so the eggs don't scramble
Add yeast mixture to milk/egg mixture
4 C flour (I like to use better for bread flour, but all-purpose works too)
Dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Add more flour if needed just a little at a time. Dough should pull away from the bowl.
Let rise for 2 hours
Put dough on heavily floured surface. Roll out to 1/2 inch thick rectangle like you would do for cinnamon rolls.
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 C sugar
2 orange rinds
Spread orange mixture evenly on dough rectangle.
Roll up like a jelly roll (starting on the long side) and cut with dental floss 1 inch thick slices. (Hint: cut off the end a put it to the side, because it's usually wonky and doesn't have a ton of filling. You can still bake it if you want...)
Place in greased muffin tins
Let rise 1 1/2 hours (I didn't need to let them rise this long because my yeast was on turbo mode. I let them rise for about a 1/2 hour).
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. I would watch them the last couple of minutes because with all the sugar, they can burn easily.
My grandma didn't do icing, because these really don't need them. I think icing would overshadow their awesomeness.
So, there you have it. My beautiful grandmother's famous orange rolls. Enjoy and eat 5 for me.
A few months back, I shot a commercial for Sinclair with my homie, Cole Webley (no, he's not really that short. He's obviously crouching like a gangster). We've worked on a few projects together and he is one of the best!
Anyway, it was a really chill and fun shoot. It was just us four ladies in a car dancing to no music and getting owned by the wind. If you blink, you might miss me, but I'm doing a little shoulder action in the back seat. So if you wanna see me and these ladies groove for a few seconds, CLICK HERE!
Thanks, Cole and the crew at Struck for the good time!
Some people have asked about the details of the show, so here they are:
It runs Dec 6-24 (even though the picture above says 23rd). I perform every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the 5 pm & 8 pm shows. On the 22nd & 24th, I will perform at the 11 am & 2 pm shows. If you wanna see me break off an engagement in one act & be a dirty thief in the second, come see it! You can get tickets by calling 801.984.9000 or, if you'd rather not talk to a human, purchase them online by CLICKING HERE!!! You'll wanna hurry though, it sells out quickly since it is a tradition for many.
Normally, I like to write about funny/strange things that have happened lately or about my dude and my dogs. Today, however, I'm gonna bring it down a few notches and get something off of my chest, but first, can you answer me this:
Why are theater people so catty?
Really, I want to know why. Now, I know that in all businesses you are going to find people that are catty and such, but why is it that performers tend to be more so?
Before you get on me for being self-righteous, I will full on admit that I'm not immune to it. I've found myself at times giving in to the general theater-person snarkiness. But, to help us all out, may I propose something? Positivity.
Is it such a horrible thing to cheer on our peers? Congratulate them for their successes? Can we not celebrate our own successes without being labeled as desperate self-promoters by others in the biz? In a business that is already harsh, why not soften it up a little and support one another? We're all insecure, needy actors that need validation. Why not offer that validation to each other instead of bringing each other down?
Sure, when we don't get a role or into a show that we wanted, it majorly blows. We never want to be second best. Feel that emotion 100%, but don't take it out on the person that perhaps took your spot. Guess what? They wanted it too! They worked hard for it too! Even if you don't feel they deserved it, it's out of your hands. The only thing you have control of is how you react to it. Let it drive you to do better, work harder, prepare more, etc. Perhaps observe those that get cast frequently and see what they do differently. Most of what I've learned, I learned from watching those better than me. Truly.
This world is negative enough. Let's not add to it. Let's be artists that add brightness and light to an ever darkening world.
The Church of Theater is true. Amen.
BONUS: I think you may find you'll have more success, with more positivity.