Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If Music Be the Food of Love, Let's Go to Montana and Do Twelfth Night!

I am so excited to be back for a second fall tour and I can tell already that this is going to be a wonderful three months. Mike, Shannon and I left Chicago around noon on Friday in a very packed car - Grandma Gonring had sent Mike off with a duffel bag full of snacks - Swedish Fish, M&Ms, Ritz crackers, Doritos, Pretzels, Oreos, Cheese Wiz (?), beef jerky, etc. It was a pretty great trip, considering that we decided to drive straight thru, essentially. We drove through Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota for most of the afternoon and we stopped at Blue Earth to take pictures of ourselves with the Jolly Green Giant. Then we proceeded on to Sioux Falls, SD and stopped for dinner in a small town nearby (because we missed the exit for Sioux Falls and they are few and far between). We stopped for gas and found this Montana Steakhouse restaurant next door. It looked cute and unassuming, so we decided we would stop for a bite. We went in and sat down and the waitresses were SO nice and excited that we were there (they were pretty much empty inside). We looked at the Dinner Special that was displayed, a Prime Rib dinner for $10.00. Hmmmm, not bad, but we thought we probably didn't need Prime Rib our first night out. The waitress brought over menus for all of us and said, " Well, take your pick, Prime Rib or Prime Rib." We all kind of tittered at her funny joke and then looked at the menu. It said :
Prime Rib Special Dinner 10
Prime Rib Dinner 14
Prime Rib Deluxe Dinner 20
Prime Rib with Salmon Dinner 23
Prime Rib

We ate at a Pizza Ranch, which seems to be very similiar to a Pizza Hut except for the decoration, which is decidedly "ranch-like." And that makes more sense than Pizza Hut, because let's be honest, when one hears the word "hut" one doesn't think of the decor that Pizza Hut has, right? Anyway, Pizza Ranch was tasty and they were very nice. We were the ONLY ones in the restaurant at 10 pm on a Friday night and we might have been the only ones in town.

I drove us from Sioux Falls to Rapid City utilizing my first 5 Hour Energy ever and chocolate covered espresso beans. Mike entertained me by playing cops and robbers in the passenger seat and then the sirens came on behind us and it became all too real. So I pulled over on the shoulder of the highway, at 2am, in South Dakota and waited for State Trooper to tell me how much I was going over the speed limit. He caught me going 83 in a 75 and he decided to write me a warning. He then asked me to step out of my vehicle and into his. Clearly, I was now going to be murdered. Now, this moment was a clear indicator to me that I have read waaay to many Stephen King novels. Throwing one long glance back at Mike and Shannon, I took comfort in the fact that at least they could tell the public what happened to me, where I had last been seen on US 90. To my great surprise, Ocifer Friendly told me all about the deer accidents they had been having and that he was writing me this ticket because he didn’t want to scrape us off the road later. We also discussed the likelihood of finding room and board in Rapid City (I refer to it as Rabid City, obviously) and the fruit crop in Canada this time of year - all while I watched Shannon try to take pictures of us with her iPhone so that she could tell the police what the guy looked like when they found my body.

It all ended well and I drove us the rest of the way to Rabid City, going the speed limit, until we stopped at a Motel 6 to sleep for 4 hours. The next morning, we finally made it to Bozeman after many beef jerky sticks and hot mustard pretzels and it was really good to be, for all intents and purposes, home. It is just as beautiful and majestic as it was last year, I am happy to note.

I settle in and nested a lot more this year than last. I brought some pictures and all of my music and my room is a very pleasant place to beJ We went to the Jahnke’s for a Kick-Off dinner and it was amazing – delicious food, wicked strong martinis, and lots of cats! And the Colts won their first game of the year…

Rehearsals are really fun, but really challenging as well. Joel, the artistic director of MSIP and our director, is a big believer in the Folio Method – which is essentially a Method for actors to use when performing Shakespeare. I have only had minimal exposure to Folio (thank you Susan Felder) in school and so I feel rusty, to say the least, when working with it.

The best metaphor I can think of is that I am building a house with 7 other people. The challenge is that I don’t know how to use the hammer, the band saw, the power drill, etc – I have to become familiar with them before they will be useful to me in the building of the house. But the other 7 people I am building the house with seem to know how to use these tools, having used them many times before. Make sense?

I will get the house built, I just feel like I have to learn some things before I get it done. So it is pretty cool. I need to memorize my lines more and spend more time with the script than I have. It is really hard to not just go play all the time because I know all the fun things there are to do! But all in due time. We are planning to go to Norris Hot Springs on Saturday night after rehearsal and we may go horse back riding on Sunday, fingers crossed.

That’s all for now – it has taken me forever to get this first entry up, but there will be more to come, I promise. Smooches to you all!

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