Tuesday, April 16, 2013

i do what i likes, and i likes what i do

This is a little post concerning theatre, how beautiful it is, and how it is the love of my life.

amen and amen.

(also about the latest show I did yaaay)

You know how you read about people who were musical prodigies at like, three years old?  Or you know people who are pretty much whizzes at some particular subject, or who just have an amazing knack for something, even if they don't know it?  You know how some people just find their niche in the world and realize it's what they want to do forever and ever because it's just what they're meant to do?

A year and a half ago I looked at those people and sighed a little.  I think I've probably said this before, but I had this innate desire to be exceptionally good at something.  Not just moderately good at a lot of things.  Because yeah, I sing a little and play a little piano and speak a little French and started going to college when I was freaking fifteen years old and do photography to the best of my not-very-extensive ability.

A year and a half ago I was talking with a friend about that--wanting to have that niche, that thing that was exceptional.  That friend was my fellow actress in Emma, my second show and first lead role.  I will never discredit how much I learned during the entirety of that production.  I don't even know if I realized it at the time, and I'm not sure I could tell you in so many words what exactly it was that taught me so much.  I know I grew as an actress, that's for sure.  And you know what I realized?  I realized that I was totally and completely in love with theatre and that suddenly...suddenly I felt like I had a thing.  A niche.  And it was mine, not me trying to play or photograph as well as the next person and constantly knowing it wasn't up to par.  Theatre and I just...clicked.  IT WAS LOVE GUYS.

I still consider Emma to be one of my greatest experiences as an actress, and since then I've just wanted to do more and more and more.  Seriously--if I'm not involved with a show for a long enough time, it...it's problematic.  I start to miss theatre a lot.  I just want to do it forever.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the first show I've done outside of the small community theatre I started out with, and it's been a growing experience in a completely different but really great way.  It's different from anything I've ever done, considering that it was theatre in the round (audience on all 4 sides with the stage in the middle) and that it was really conceptual and minimalistic.  I played Veruca Salt (forever cast as the bratty girl) (but those are the most fun to play) and I came to love how diverse our cast was, from theatre majors to younger kids to those who had never acted before to those in it for the love of the game (meeeeeee).  I got some great encouragement about continuing on with theatre in the future, and just...GUYS there is no better feeling than after a smooth opening night when you've finished your first show and you're high-fiving and hugging your cast members and people file by telling you good job and yet it hardly even matters what other people think because you yourself love it so terribly much that you could burst from all the happy.  I want to marry theatre, is that weird?

Anyways all that to say that Charlie is over and God is good and theatre is my favorite, favorite thing.  Here, have some pictures, onstage and backstage, instagram style.

But before that please someone tell me you got the Mary Poppins reference in the title.

ps--also you can pray because I'm planning on auditioning for (two) musical(s) all within the next two weeks aaaahh.  and I am on instagram, if ya didn't know. (@jennoelle3341) (though not all of these are mine) (shush stop judging me for stealing, if you click on them they're linked) (okay bye)

Monday, April 1, 2013

i am jonah.

Let me tell you a story about a girl.  This girl was nothing extraordinary, though she sometimes liked to think so, and she certainly enjoyed when others thought so.  Let's call this girl--well, let's call her Jonah.  It's a strange name for a girl, but I think you'll understand why, by and by.

God loved Jonah, and Jonah loved God too, though not really as wholly she ought.  God had been telling her something for nearly six months--yes, six--and Jonah was a little scared and a little lazy and a little unsure, and she ran in the opposite direction.  She didn't listen, you see.  She didn't really want to.  And so she went along with her life.  Every once in awhile this thing would come up, but Jonah really only thought of herself and what she wanted.

There was a something that this girl named Jonah liked best in all the world.  It was her passion and her delight and she loved it more than anything.  She really wanted it, really a lot, and she was pretty (overly) confident of getting it too.  Then God stepped in and said no.  Jonah was a little shocked and a little disappointed and a little unsure, and she couldn't believe that she hadn't gotten it.  Then almost as suddenly, God smiled and said, "I love you, Jonah," and gave it to her after all.  Jonah was extremely happy and a bit confused, but she knew deep down that God had given this to her because he wanted to give her a second chance.  Jonah felt humble and grateful and knew she owed it to God to listen this time.

So she did.

It took a lot of courage.  She had to overcome a lot of--well, what was it?  Mostly she just didn't want to.  At all.  But she knew it was right and she did want to do what was right, even though it was awfully hard.  So she listened, and she stepped, and she held her breath.

Every step, God confirmed her actions.  She knew she had done what was right.  God moved and spoke and worked, at least she believed he did, even though she didn't really understand how.  It was still very, very difficult though.  Jonah cried quite a bit and often walked around with a pit of fear in her stomach, because she was afraid of losing something, of things not going the way she wanted.  She had handed it over to God, but at the same time she walked the thin line of wanting to take it back, to be in control herself.

And one day, the flesh won.  Jonah whined that it was too difficult, even though God had given her these amazing confirmations of his presence and power.  But instead of sitting back and resting and letting God work, she did take it back, and she slipped.  She was selfish.  She thought only of herself and what she wanted.  She kept up this talk of following God, but she was a little angry at him for not letting her have her way.

But she knew there would be a breaking point, and there was, and God caught up with her.  Guess what?  He was still faithful.  He still said, "I love you, Jonah," and after all she'd done, he still wanted what was best for her, though his smile was a little sadder this time.  Jonah felt humbled and grateful, but now she also felt a lot of pain.  She knew it was her own fault for not listening earlier, but that didn't stop her from being hurt and scared and very, very sad.  But still, deep down amid all her failures, Jonah still wanted to do what was right.  And you know, we always hear about second chances.  But God wanted to give her a third one, too.

"if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself."
2 timothy 2:13
"we are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
c.s. lewis

And so she went along with her life.  So she goes along.  Some days she really trusts God a lot, and sometimes she wants to break down into tears again, over everything that was and everything that could be.  Jonah is a little happy and a little sad and a little unsure, and she's trying harder to listen.  It's still awfully hard, but God is still confirming and comforting and good despite it all.

That girl?  The one who ran too many times before listening?  Her real name is Jenn.  It's me.

I am Jonah.