I have only experienced death in small doses; distant family members or relatives of friends. Heart aches, but never heart breaks. This is my first of 4 grandparents to pass away. Pretty lucky for a lady of 25. It was sudden and it was strong, this shock. For all of the pain I feel in my heart and for my family, I am grateful for my grandmother's lengthy, healthy, and full life. But, it completely turned me on my head.
The night I had to perform after learning of my grandmother's death, was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. On top of all of the crying and freaking out I did in the show, I had to not let myself get so completely out of control that I became genuinely hysterical. The tears were STRONG and so was the snot (good lordy, the snot). I had these short streams of tears that would emerge through-out the performance when I was "re-living" the event with Johnny in my catatonic state, but from that night on, it was all about grandma. I felt the waves of grief hit me and there was nothing I could do. Thankfully, it was pure Babs.
|Me, in my head: I'm about to get reeeaally sad.|
There were many things that made me feel connected with grandmother in this show. Being a super-Catholic Sicilian, my grandmother was very fond of crucifixes. A detail I discussed with Scott was Barbra wearing a cross. Referring to Barbra praying in the cemetery in the movie, I would hold it at times when frantic. The night I found out about her passing, I rushed home after the show forgetting my necklace was on. I felt it as I was crying. There was also a crucifix hanging on the back wall on the set that she used to have in her house. Inside of it, were the materials for last rites. I thought, "Wow. Of all of the crosses...what are the odds?" I'm not a religious person...but something about those two things brought me comfort.
I truly love this show. I have grown and experienced so much during this process. Being able to perform and help create such a brilliantly terrifying and beautiful piece of art during my favorite time of year with such a talented group of people, was a privilege and an honor. Though I will miss it, it wrapped up this season beautifully. It's been a rough October this year, but having this show to come to every night made things seem brighter. This is the first show I've been genuinely proud of in a long time. Once again, I have been given the opportunity to do something new and special because of Scott and New Line. This show will be with me for a long time.
Everyone has been so incredible: the audiences who gasped and shrieked out loud and made it all worth it, the genius of our writers who provided us this show, Scott for his vision and seeing its potential at New Line, Sue and the AH-mazing band with their beautiful artistry and emotion, our set designer Rob for his gorgeous work and his team, our fearless and dedicated stage manager Gabe, our crazy awesome sound designer Kerrie, the lovely Robin being the coolest mom ever by making her daughter into a zombie every night, Pheobe- our spunky zombie, my mom for letting me borrow her car (and being generally amazing), my friends and family for their continuous support and love, and my wonderful partner Ryan for being there with me with every step and every fall. AND seeing it FIVE times.
|The amazing bouquet w/ black roses, skulls & a bloody hand made by Tammy! :)|
Oh, my fellow cast...I GUESS they were brilliant and an honor to work with. I will really miss those unsettling, beautiful, haunting harmonies that we all sang together. Joe, Mary Beth, Zak, Dowdy, and Sarah: you all are something else. Thanks for putting up with all of the candy and Johnny talk.
|Lovely and spooky. How I like it.|
To end on a light note, here is what my hair looked like every morning after all of the teasing and hairspray:
|Babs finally looks like how she feels.|
P.s. Just realized Scott and I both used the same titles for our last show post. :)