My Favourite Photo Ever Taken of Me

  1. I was 16 and playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
  2. I poured my heart and body and soul into this character.
  3. I kept my nails painted green, as Sally says she does, for the entirety of the rehearsal process.
  4. I had a journal which I filled with writing in Sally's voice. I wrote in it daily.
  5. I was completely memorized weeks before my castmates.
  6. I came home from rehearsals completely drained and couldn't talk to anyone until I came out of Sally.
  7. There's a famous scene where Sally makes and drinks a raw egg with Worcestershire sauce on stage. The producer wanted to order a more edible stage egg but I insisted on doing the real thing.
    I practiced at home weeks before tech to get used to it. The audience gasped every night.
  8. My director became one of my dearest friends and kindred spirits and I was closer with her and our music director than anyone in the cast.
    Maybe I'm an anti social asshole but I loved them.
  9. I would stand outside with her on her smoke breaks while my castmates bought Starbucks. She treated me like a grown up, an equal, an artist and our conversations about the passions and pitfalls of this work have stayed with me to this day.
  10. I had 5 hours of costume fittings because she and I were so passionate about getting them right.
    The top I'm wearing in this photo came from her own closet bc we couldn't find anything right for this scene.
  11. My wig was cut on my head by my dresser backstage during tech to look like Louise Brooks.
  12. I let Sally consume me and my task was to give her to the audience each night.
    (I'm the most annoying actor ever wow)
  13. Performing the song "Cabaret" alone on an empty stage in a simple black gown was unreal. My body was filled with the energy of this character and that was the moment that it all came out and came crashing down. One of the most visceral things I've ever done/felt.
  14. I did a damn good job. I don't know if I've ever been prouder of a performance.
  15. I was well reviewed (lol) but what meant the most was an older couple who had seen countless productions came up to me and told me I was the best they had ever seen, better than Liza and when the man who I was in love with, who had directed me for years told me the same thing.
    (Cried on both occasions)
  16. Actually, there are a lot of things that meant the most about this role/performance/process. It really changed me as a person and as a performer.
  17. It was the first time I truly took ownership over my artistry and let it consume and fulfill me.
  18. It was the first real time I felt the feeling of my ribs cracking open and exposing my insides on stage.
  19. And that feeling is why I act.
  20. And even though my focus as an actor and an artist may have shifted away from musicals (as I get my BFA in musical theatre), I still hold this as one of my most treasured artistic experiences.
  21. And Sally will always be a part of my heart.
  22. And looking at this photo, I don't just see a really cool double exposure of Fosse's original choreography to "Mein Herr".
    Even though this is really cool.
  23. I don't just see how skinny my legs were.
  24. I don't just see myself at 16 performing my dream role.
  25. I see me at my most passionate and engaged and open.
  26. I see me becoming an artist.
  27. I see me becoming myself.