Golden Palace

Rebecca 2012

Rebecca 2012

2012 started with a flight to Minneapolis for another tour with the National Theatre for Children. Touring taught me so much about myself – I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I met new friends, reconnected with old, and made some kids laugh. I dined at Chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro, hiked Appalachia, had my tarot read, prayed at the Basilica St. Lawrence, and wrote a lot of postcards. I also got to spend a couple weeks working in Cincinnati, Ohio and reconnecting with my grandparent’s roots at the Seminary. Timely – my grandmother passed away before I was finished with tour. She was my hero – a strong, powerful woman who taught me to give 100% of myself to my passions. I returned to Tulsa to celebrate her life, then went back to North Carolina to finish tour with Andy. I spent a lovely weekend walking the beaches and waterfront in Wilmington, NC, visited a wonderful Unitarian Universalist Church in Winston-Salem, and fell in love with Finnegan’s Wake. To top it all off – I spent St. Patrick’s Day with good friends in Chicago – the first of many, I hope. Flying back to Tulsa was stressful (I will never love you, Denver.) but I made it home with a better understanding of myself.

I spent a better part of 2012 trying to heal myself. An MRI showed no injury in my knee – nothing wrong. I worried I might never get over the pain. After more doctors visits than I can count, and a whole lot of BenGay, I finally was recommended to begin Physical Therapy. It has been 4 weeks since I started PT and I am happy to say that I have much less pain. What I and my doctor thought was knee pain… is actually pulled muscles from my Achilles tendon all the way to my hamstrings. Without PT I could spend the rest of my life in pain. Thankfully my pain has decreased nearly 60% and I’m doing better everyday. A combination of Dry Needling and daily stretches seems to be the trick.

This is wonderful news, but it also carries it’s own frustration. You see, even though I do have Medical Insurance, my specific plan won’t cover PT. I have to pay nearly $50 for each session out of pocket. I do it, of course, because I have to. The pain was unbearable – and there is no price I wouldn’t pay. I’m thankful I am in a position right now to be able to take care of myself. I know that there are those who can’t. I support a National Healthcare plan for this very reason. That’s my soapbox for tonight.

Another highlight of my year was working with Carly and Amber on ‘Night Mother. It was exhilarating! Creativity was beyond capacity and I will never forget the absolute joy that came from working on that show. I’m so thankful for the experience. I also am thankful for my work at Clark Theatre this year – joining the staff at the Henthorne Performing Arts Center was a childhood dream come true. I’m proud of my work there. I also helped plan the wedding of Tony and Allison Boese in November – oh my goodness I have been so busy! Where did I find all of this time?

And so I say thank you and goodbye to 2012, the year that I really met myself. My head is high as I look to the new year. I have a show in production at the start of the year, I’m teaching more classes in the spring, and the summer will be full of surprises! It might get windy. Stay tuned! Thank you all for your friendship and continued support. I love you all!

Putting it Together

Well, I think it’s about time for another installment of the Rebecca Show. This week’s episode brought to you by 8 o’clock coffee, good at any time – day or night. Find it in your local grocery store today.
Many chores to be done this week, including but not limited to the following; laundry, sewing, grocery shopping (I’m out of coffee), reading, and organizing. Many preach of spring cleaning, but in the spring I would much rather be outside enjoying the weather. This week, with it’s 111 (elevnty-one) temperatures, I will lock myself inside and focus on getting things in order. Thus, summer cleaning has been born. Tell your friends.
It’s all about increasing productivity, really. Winter is coming (you’re welcome Jessie/Allison) and I have to be prepared for anything. My calendar is filling up and I need some sort of order in my life. When I was in college, I took on too much and I would become overwhelmed. Now I can prioritize and focus. I hate to say “no” but sometimes, for my own sanity, I must.
The stressful thing is the choosing. “The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not,” says Dot in Sunday in the Park with George. It frustrates me to no end to waste time on making a decision. Sometimes you just have to stop fretting over which decision is right and just choose. In situations like these, I don’t flip a coin, but go with my gut instinct. I don’t want to say that I’ve never been wrong, but I usually don’t regret the choice I made.
Stay tuned for more good news. I’m in talks to do something magical this fall. Should it come through, I’ll do a back flip. I don’t want to drop too many hints, but I’ve been told there are giants in the sky.

Say It Somehow

I’m rarely at a loss for words. But in the last few weeks I have been speechless.

Lunch at Oceanic comes with a view of the beach in Wilmington, NC

I returned to tour, happy to be back teaching, educating, and inspiring as my uniform proudly states. But I know I am taught more, I am inspired more by the people I meet. The smallest child who tells me how he feels about his parents fighting while I try to remind him to eat his lunch. The vast ocean that makes me feel so small and powerless. The words of a all-too-poignant service on fear at a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston Salem. All these things, they take my words away from me – and I am left searching for something to say.

“So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.” A Litany for Survival, Andre Lorde.

Q: Where am I? A: Breakfast, Of Course! *

My weekend in Wilmington was refreshing. I think it’s safe to say the bed and breakfast I stayed at was a five star resort. Uncle Mark hooked me up with delicious eats and treats during my stay. I can’t rave about it enough. Wilmington is a dream come true. Every time I return I fall deeper in love.

An unfortunate candid shot *

This weekend had some great memories too. Michael joined us in Winston Salem to paint the town. To be honest; Winston Salem may never be the same. Great people, good conversations, and sweet drinks. So many good times were had that on Sunday we went to church. Services were on fear – a topic that has overwhelmed me recently.

The beginning of the evening. *

It’s difficult for me to remember sometimes how absolutely lucky I am to be alive and on this amazing journey. In spite of, or maybe even because of my fear, I will make it a point to celebrate each day as a gift.

* Photos courtesy of the great Michael Venske

A Summer Winter in Ohio

Ohio was good to us. The snow that we had was mild and manageable. We spent one magical weekend in Cleveland to see the Rock and Roll hall of fame and have dinner at Chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro. We had Skyline Chili. I took a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo. I went to a fancy movie theater to see The Artist. Good times were had. Below are some videos we produced for the NTC website featuring some of our adventures. You can see more videos at


But through it all, I continued to be homesick. Please don’t get me wrong. I love the work I’m doing and the travels I’m having. But I miss all the people in my life. I can’t wait until I get to see you again.

In case you haven’t caught it yet (and shame on you if you haven’t) every blog I post has a title that is a show tune that I feel is relevant to the day’s post. I’ll just leave you with the lyrics from today’s song from Jason Robert Brown’s Last Five Years:

I could have a satchel full of dollar bills
Cures for all the nations ills
Pills to make a lion purr
I could be in line to be the British queen
Look like I was seventeen
Still I’m certain I’d prefer to be going slowly batty
Forty miles east of Cincinnati

I could shove an ice pick in my eye
I could eat some fish from last July
But it wouldn’t be as awful as a summer in Ohio
Without cable, hot water, Vietnamese food, or you.

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

Well hello again, Minneapolis! It’s nice to see you again. Is that a new bed skirt?

I can’t believe I made it through two layovers and three flights without having to talk to a soul. It’s for the best. I wasn’t feeling too well.

I get nervous, and then when I start to think about being nervous – I get sick. It happens more than it probably should. The only way to fix it is to calm down, which is surprisingly difficult to do when it’s what you need to do. I’ve been like this all week, more so than usual. My parents took Max and I out to dinner the other night, and halfway through my chicken burger, I lost my appetite and then I started to worry about the inevitable loss of my dinner. In my childhood I would fast on show-days because of this phenomenon.

Cool story, right bro?

From the window of the plane I could see my bag.

Can’t get butterflies without the butter…? Sounds like that could be a good idiom for it. It’s not that I’m going to choke under the pressure, obviously. Simply choosing not to eat is not healthy and nigh-on impossible for the 10 weeks I’m on tour and single week leading up to it. Besides, I love food. It’s delicious. Om nom nom. I choose instead to eat light fare and take some tums. It works, but is it a permanent solution? I’m still nervous. A fair amount of stage-fright is good for the soul, but this feels different and it’s steadily becoming more overwhelming. Maybe it was just the flight, because I do feel better now. Truth be told, it’s not just touring that gets me in my head like this. I’m almost positive I’m doing damage to my stomach lining. Isn’t this how ulcers are born? Is that a myth? Am I over-reacting and causing more anxiety? How do people deal with anxiety? What are the alternatives? Anxiety medications? Counting to ten? Bulk-orders of tums?

In other news, I probably love Max more than I should – and I miss him. I miss you too, Tulsa. I miss your sunny, 70-degree January days. Try to fix up that construction on I-44 before March. To all of those I’ve left behind, know that I love and miss you too. But it’s almost crippling how much I miss Max when we’re apart.

As for you, Minneapolis, I have a man in a cosby sweater to meet at Liquor Lyle’s. It’s the 3-for-1s, they get me everytime. I ought to put on a sweater myself – Tulsa’s 70 degrees spoiled me and I wasn’t halfway prepared for the 20s that Minneapolis has to offer. Can’t get too crazy tonight though, rehearsal starts tomorrow! I’ll be damned if I spend the night in a bath tub again, amiright Michael and John?

Let the Winter 2012 Tour commence!

Finale, Act One.

Dear Twenty Eleven,

You’ve been very strange and all over the place. We started out wonderfully. A sweet kiss from Mark Trotter at the Boese residence. Perhaps my desperation to find a fellow to kiss when the clock struck was unattractive. I had someone else in mind, but they turned down my advances. That could have been my first hint, but I wouldn’t allow it to rain on my parade. I pursued that boy all the way into March when he kissed another in front of me. A ginger at that! Oh, Twenty Eleven, I was furious – but had no one but myself to blame.Photo by American Theatre Company

In February I traveled to Memphis, TN to audition at UPTAs. While the entire city of Tulsa was snowed in, I was tap dancing across a Marley floor in a hotel ballroom and doing my best Carol Burnett impersonation in callbacks. When I came back to Tulsa from my auditions, I discovered that I was laid off from my day job. Where one door closes, another opens – so I just had to find it. I didn’t find that door until May, but it was on the stage at American Theatre Company’s Taming of the Shrew, directed by the ever-wise Dan McGeehan. I was very proud of my work.

When spring was sprung, I found myself back where I was happy most – with Max. We kept insisting we were just friends in public, but I’m pretty sure it was obvious. Tragedy struck in May. I helped as much as I could. It was awful. I don’t know what else to say here.

I was contracted for work in September for the National Theatre for Children. Leaving Tulsa was a difficult decision, but one I couldn’t pass up. I don’t regret it – touring made me feel alive. My parents had a new addition to the house - our very own fire!I missed Max with every beat of my heart, but touring is another world. I met so many wonderful people. I’m thrilled to join NTC for another tour next week – this time we’re coming for Ohio and North Carolina!

The holidays were hard, but we made it through for the better with our bellies full and our stockings stuffed. I’m just thankful for every day you gave me Twenty Eleven. You did alright by me, even when I didn’t realize it. Twenty Twelve should have more surprises in store. I’m just happy to tag along for the ride. Thanks for having me.

Need a Little Christmas

I’m home for the holidays and I ship out again for tour on January 7th. That leaves me with just a couple short weeks to make the most of friends and family.

Max and I have been nearly inseparable, save for his crew work on Christmas Carol for American Theatre Company and for TCC’s Southeast PAC crew. He’s a hot ticket right now and I feel proud of him. He’s a big fish, and there has been talk about a bigger pond. (I’m rooting for Chicago, but he has aspirations for L.A.. We don’t have plans to move just yet, so there is still time to put in your bid!)

I’ve been reflecting a lot on tour and I think Michael summed it up perfectly in this post and montage.


Since being back, I have cooked dinners that were not of the microwave variety, worked in the women’s department at Macy’s for Black Friday, turned 24 years old, visited family and friends, and done some damage to my liver. In the following weeks I plan to wrap gifts, travel to Kansas for Max’s whole entire extended family, come back to Tulsa for mine, and party like it’s 2012 on New Years.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

Happy holidays to you and yours. And let’s continue working on that peace-on-earth stuff. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Those Magic Changes

I'm on a horse

Andy on his high horse

Meet Cole, my mustang on loan from Five Oaks riding stables. He had the softest coat. Our hour-long trot through the mountains was stunning. We couldn’t have picked a better day to make the trip – the weather was a perfect temperature and the leaves were crimson and gold.

Our tour guide, Slim, was a pleasant man who had grown up riding. He retired from the rodeo a few years ago to live at the stables, take care of the horses, and give horseback tours. He suggested coming back to the stables when it snowed – and I can imagine how beautiful it would be.

In the stables with Cole

Sevierville traffic is awful though and we dread it every time Andy and I journey into it. Strangely, it’s only the traffic going south that is terrible, traffic heading north, out of the town, is pleasant. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, it doesn’t matter which day of the week – the main drag is awful and should be avoided at all costs. It’s a tourist trap, for sure.

We left Sevierville behind to travel to Sweetwater, TN for the start of week 7 of tour. Fortunately, we stumbled upon the neatest Cavern called Craighead Cavern. It was a mere jog away from our hotel and after our shows on Monday we treated ourselves to venture out. The coolest thing about these caverns is that deep inside of them is an underground lake called the Lost Sea.

Civil War Era Graffiti, verified by carbon dating and science!

It’s the largest under land lake in the United States – discovered in 1905 by a 13 year old child. In addition to the Lost Sea, the caverns were also home to Confederate Soldiers who mined salt peter in the caverns.

This tour is one of the best tours I’ve done – and I would highly suggest it. I know I will be returning to these caverns to camp overnight. Camp in a cavern? It’s number two on my bucket list right now. (Number one is Scotland to visit Tony and Al – so expect me soon!)

Today’s shows were great, albeit stressful because we had to rush from the morning school in Decatur to the afternoon school in traffic-city Sevierville. Tomorrow is the same song, where we rush from Del Rio to Lenior City. Lando, our blue Hyundai Elantra, is due for another oil change soon – so we’ll have to find time to make that happen. Just another day in the life.

Just In Time

We are half way through our tour. I will be home to you soon.

In the General Lee bumper car

This last week has been great. Shows are humming along, Schools are fantastic, and I’m never going back to Kentucky if I can help it.

We had a woman tell us that we were unamerican in Kentucky. She said that we were supporting China by brainwashing kids to use compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Strange to me, because I use GE compact florescent lightbulbs… She also said that the myth that compact florescents save energy is the biggest scam in the american economy. I wanted to direct her attention to the Occupy movement, but I thought better of it and Andy smiled and nodded and said we would look into it ourselves.

We kissed the ground when we got back to Tennessee.

This weekend has been an adventure in the Dollywood area. We stayed in a suite in Gatlinburg with all the money we saved from staying in cheapo-hotels during the week. These cheapo hotels don’t always have the best internet connection, which is why my updates this week have been sparse. Gatlinburg has an Oktoberfest that runs every day in October, and four handsome German boys welcomed us into the city. *swoon despite their awful haircuts* We checked into our hotel then set off to explore Gatlinburg.

We walked everywhere from our hotel, which was brilliant and allowed us to partake in some excellent beverages at a little place called Crawdaddy’s – which was delicious and a good time. We met some other travelers and had drinks and good times with them. One of the crew, Emily, is supposed to send me the photos from the evening and I’ll post them on here in all their glory as soon as she does.

Richard the TomTom kept telling us 'bear left' and then we found THIS guy!

The next day we woke up and checked out and walked around Gatlinburg some more. We had a delicious brunch at the Flapjacks pancake cabin. We were told that the Pancake Pantry was the place to go, but when we got there – the line stretched around the building for days. While I’m sure their pancakes were delicious, we had no intention of standing in line for hours and then being rushed through our meal. Instead we trotted down to Flapjacks and I can’t imagine Pancake Pantry being better – Flapjacks was the best breakfast that I have EVER had, and for 8 bucks I had a heaping helping of Oatmeal, raisins, milk, brown sugar, a banana, toast, apple butter, and sausage links that were out of this world. According to Andy, “Pancake Pantry probably also included free handjobs under the table during breakfast.” I think they might, judging by the size of that line. In light of that, however, Flapjacks comes highly recommended on Rebecca and Andy budget breakfast ratio. Delicious.

After noms, we made our way to the self-proclaimed “South’s number one psycic”, Rene Rose in where else but Gatlinburg. I wanted my tarot read. The following is what I was told. Things in Italics are something I think is true about myself, things struck-through are things I don’t think are true, things in bold are things that haven’t happened (yet) but will occur according to the cards. 

The journey that I am on as an actor is a spiritual journey. This is an important journey to me but I will eventually find my calling in something else, most likely in psychology or counseling. (When I asked her about teaching she said she didn’t see that for me.)

I do lots of counseling in my daily life and always have. People tell me their problems and I feel responsible to fix them or find them the help they need. This is especially true with my family, but also my friends. I don’t always enjoy my work with them, but I feel like I must do it because it would not be done without me. 

She asked me if I felt like I could foretell the future at times. I said yes, because I really do predict things happening before they occur. She then asked if that frightened me. I told her, honestly, that it did. She said I had nothing to be afraid of. This is because I was a spiritual healer in a past life. She said this was because my past lives are accessible to me, most especially my life as a spiritual healer.

I carry a lot of my pain on the inside, choosing to cry and deal with it alone. I have lots of tears and I shed them behind closed doors. I should burn a white candle each night before I go to bed to heal myself from the burdens I carry. I do this to protect and be strong for my family and friends. They come to be with troubles and I carry the burdens for them. 

Max is hesitant and suspicious of me, perhaps with good cause. In the past, we have always been out of sync. One of us has been more dedicated than the other, though we will find soon that we are completely in sync. I will be married in time to Max. We will have two children. The first will be a girl. We will always have plenty of money, but not excess of wealth. Money appears when needed in our lives.

I will find much success in my current work and life.

Laundry Day

3/3 actors drink Jack Daniels

Dinner at Fast Jack's in Tulahoma, TN

Well we’ve been staying in an econolodge in Morristown with shakey internet, so posts this week have been few and far between. As in, there haven’t been any. So now that I’m at the Red Roof Inn and have the best suite ever, let’s catch up, shall we?

Nashville with Michael and John was lots of fun. We had many adventures.

Friday night started with a crawl in downtown Nashville with the boys. Having come from Eastern Time Zone and driving 4 hours, I was pretty exhausted early so we turned in early for a full day on Saturday.

When we woke Saturday, John and Michael’s car, Prudence, had a flat tire. Several hours later, she was in good shape thanks to the boys at Firestone, and we were on our way to Lynchburg, TN to visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The distillery was awesome, but it ended in a whimper instead of a bang – because Lynchburg is still a dry county. Instead of a taste of Jack, we were rewarded with lemonade.

Can you tell we were hammered?

In front of the Ryman in Nashville

To quench our thirst, we went the next county over to a bar and steak house called Fast Jack’s. The locals told us it was the best, and they were not wrong. The food was delicious and the whiskey flowed.

We made it back to Nashville and went out again to the downtown scene. Saturday night was much better, because I was far from tired. John sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with the beautiful songstress Morgan, and we all danced. The next morning I had a blister the size of a nickel on my toe. Success.

Headed out early Sunday morning to catch up with Andy in Knoxville and set up for Week 3 of tour. We have spent the last week in great schools with great kids. We did, however, have a challenging show where the entire audience wouldn’t stop chatting. This included the teachers. Afterwards a Kindergardener approached us and said “I wish you would have done it better because that was horrible.” Despite her remarks, we had other encouraging words from other children – so perhaps not all was lost.

We stay in Knoxville again this weekend. Shenanigans will ensue. I’ve heard tale of taxi cabs and dancing. And my blister is gone, so it’s time to make a new one.