The big kahuna of 2018: Pretty Woman.
I vividly remember feeling like the frantic energy surrounding my job at Desperate Measures would subside once we opened on June 13th. Alas, it only grew – between understudy put-ins and wig drama and the upkeep of being a one-woman department head of two departments that desperately needed two department heads – I was completely spent. So much so, that on June 21st, I stood alone in the dressing room angrily styling a wig, venting to myself about how much I could not do this job on my own anymore. To add insult to injury, I soon-after realized that I had run out of laundry detergent as I went to wash the clothes for that afternoon’s performance. So I bolt upstairs to the RiteAid across the street, and as I step outside, a text comes through on my phone from an unknown number asking if I would like to come in the following day to discuss becoming a dresser for the upcoming Broadway production of Pretty Woman.
If you’ve never been to/worked at New World Stages – there is no service. None. Goodbye world, hello crappy WiFi! So, had I not gone upstairs to get laundry detergent, I wouldn’t have gotten this message until much, much later; this perpetuating the insanity of conversing with myself. The universe is funny like that.
The next day, I stepped away from New World Stages to go to the Nederlander Theater for my interview. As I was walking down 8th Avenue, I crossed paths with my pal Chris Luner, who had worked on Desperate Measures with me and, ironically, was in pre-production for Pretty Woman. He escorted me through the theater and hand-delivered me to, who would soon be, my supervisor, the great Robert Guy.
I had barely sat down before he looked at me and said, “Do me a favor – walk all the way up the stairs to the sixth floor, then come back down and tell me if you still want to work here.” I did, said I couldn’t wait to see how great my butt would look after tech, and walked out of the Nederlander with a my next Broadway contract.
It was bittersweet – I had to call several friends to cancel plans I had made – including concerts, bridal showers, and alike – to accommodate my new, impending tech week. I also had to call my dear friends who had hired me at Desperate Measures and give them exactly two weeks notice. And, what’s worse, I had to tell my sweet cast that I would soon be leaving our wonderful show.
Despite the madness, Desperate Measures had become my home, and I loved working with my people every single day. I was very sad to leave; even if it was the best move for myself. Sometimes what’s right can feel wrong when you’re taken away from something before you anticipated.
As many of you know, this is my second Broadway contract as a dresser – the first was pretty rough. I was relentlessly bullied for most of my time there and it brutally tainted my experience. Leaving a company filled to the brim with kindness, patience, and encouragement at Desperate Measures was daunting for that very reason. What if I had the same experience that I did on CATS?
If you can’t tell by the sheer joy all over my face, my experience on this show has been nothing like my first. I love my job. I love this company. I loved this night. Opening Night of Pretty Woman was nothing shy of perfect. I danced all night surrounded by my favorite people, wearing a stunning dress (this entire ensemble cost me less than $80, by the by) singing my favorite songs.
I ended the night eating a personal pizza in bed with my mama zonked out on the couch ten feet away in her llama pajamas.
Quite possibly one of the best nights of my New York life.