Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nearing the end. Here's to the memories.

WOW. We're in our last week here in Dallas, and it's finally hitting me.

I have 5 weeks left of Spring Awakening.

I'm not quite sure how to feel yet, it's a bitter-sweet emotion for sure. Of course it's going to be amazing going home, sleeping in my bed, being in the city, seeing my friends. I miss New York. So so much. I really miss my sister. I miss being there for her when she needs someone other than her best friend or my mom to talk to, because I've been through everything she's going through right now. High school, boy problems, you name it. I can't wait to unpack my suitcase for good. I can't wait to go to school and learn. I'm so excited to be a kid and experience school. So yes, I am ready for May 23rd to come. Bitter-sweet.

And then we have the bitter part of that hyphenated word. I'm not ready to say goodbye to this family. I'm not ready to say goodbye to the beauty of this show and the way we make people cry with just one note or a simple vowel. I can't even imagine performing Spring Awakening for the very last time. Sitting in that chair, standing up in Touch Me for the last time. Singing Purple Summer with this cast for the last time. We will never all be together again. We will never perform again as the first national touring company of Spring Awakening. So no, I am not ready for May 23rd to come. Bitter-sweet. I should let you all know that I'm listening to Bitch of Living over the monitor writing this. And now I'm crying. Oof. Although I haven't been part of this cast from the beginning, I've made some memories that will last me a lifetime, and I'd like to share some of them with you now. Specifically, my favorite memories from my year on tour - so far. I'm sure I'll make some more in these last few weeks. Here they are, in no particular order:

1) My first show. Wednesday June 3rd, 2009. Louisville, KY. 7:25 pm. I looked in the mirror at myself in this cute little blue dress and grey tights, and I started crying (when don't I cry??). I was officially a part of my dream show. At approximately 8:05 pm, I started shaking. And then I stood up for Touch Me. And I think I started crying again because I saw my mom crying in the third row. It was one of the best nights of my life.

2) The first time I went on for a role - Thea! Saturday, June 27th, 2009. Philadelphia, PA. My parents and my sister were able to make it because I got the news Friday night. At the time, I'd never been more nervous to go on stage in my 17 years of performing. But once I stood up for Mama Reprise, I felt a wave of excitement pouring through me, and I gave it my all. Thea was such a great first character to go on for, and she'll always have a special place in my heart!

3) POLE DANCING CLASS!! Hahaha. Honestly, it was one my favorite memories on tour. Almost all of us girls went, and we had such a fun time. Our instructor was this muscle-y man who worked the pole better than anyone I'd ever seen!! We actually bonded so much over this silly class, and our bodies were so sore the next day! Caution: pole dancing is a WORK OUT.

4) Granting Jesse's wish. Rochester, NY. I've never been prouder to be part of a company. Make-a-Wish is such an amazing foundation, and I'm so happy that we got to make Jesse's wish come true. She is such an inspiration to all of us, and I know I speak for the entire cast when I say that it was a truly pleasure to have her as a member of our cast, even if only for a few short days. She's a fighter, and she made us understand just how lucky we all are. Watching her stand up for Touch Me made me nostalgic, she had the same look on her face as I did when I stood up in the chair for the first time. It actually took my breath away.

5) Turning 18! Wednesday, November 20th, 2009 12:00 AM. We just left
the opening night party in Costa Mesa, California. It's 11:59 PM on November 19th. We're all in the lobby of our GORGEOUS hotel, when the clock strikes 12, and the entire cast breaks out in a beautiful "happy birthday!" to me, with Andy on the piano. It was the best start to any birthday I've ever had! :) My birthday consisted of talking to my friends and family on the phone ALL DAY, shopping with Steffi, Kayla & Taylor, big light up balloons, a kick-ass dinner at Friday's with the cast, flowers from my parents, a cookie cake shipped to the theater (love you Adena) and Kayla's debut as Thea at intermission! It was, to say the least, eventful. And one of my most memorable birthdays. I wouldn't have wanted to spend it any other way.

6) Probably my most memorable moment on tour to date: My Wendla debut. Mid-way through act 1. Denver, CO. December 12th, 2009. 2:15-ish PM. On the phone with my mom. I'm being called over the monitor. "Krista Pioppi, please get into costume, you will be on for Wendla for the remainder of the show". I drop the phone. I throw off my clothes and now I'm standing naked in the middle of the dressing room waiting for something to happen, someone to bring me my costume or put some pins in my hair. My breathing is un-natural, at best, and the air is thin to begin with. I finally get dressed and semi-ready, and I run to the stage crying and sweating and hyperventilating. I'm through the curtains. I'm saying lines and playing Wendla and singing in this beautiful blue flowy dress. This is it. This is the day I've been waiting for since I was 14. I slowly start to breath a little more normally, and I realize that this is my job, this is what I'm paid to do. So I do it. And it was amazing. And everyone was so supportive. It was one of the craziest/most incredible/most nerve-wracking moments of my life, and it certainly makes its mark in my top moments on tour list. Hehe.

So there you have it! Some of my favorite memories from the past year, traveling the country with this crazy show and these crazy people. But I know this is only the beginning. And we still have 5 weeks left. Who knows what will happen?

Until next time :)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wishes and Cabarets

Hey guys!

Wow, what an amazing couple of days. We just said goodbye to our temporary new cast member Jesse Pardee, which was really sad! Jesse is living with Ewing’s Sarcoma, and was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish foundation. Her original wish was to audition for our show, and this wish was fulfilled on January 20th when she was flown to NYC and auditioned in front of our entire creative team! They loved her so much that they invited her to perform with us in Rochester! As soon as we met her, we just fell in love with her personality and talent. She’s almost 19 and she’s so cool - she totally fit right in to our cast. Jesse performed Friday night, Saturday matinee & Saturday night in an extra stage left chair of rock. She completely owned the stage, and although she claimed she was nervous, we couldn’t tell at all! She learned the track THAT MORNING and performed at night - didn’t mess up once. She’s such a pro. We had a girls night that night and had so much fun! On Jesse’s opening night, I was in the stage right chair of rock, so I got to watch her experience her dream firsthand. When the boys stood up in Mama Reprise to make their entrance, she smiled the same smile I did on my opening night, and I almost started crying. She is such an inspiration to all of us, and we’re going to miss her energy around here. She will always be an important part of our Spring Awakening family.

On another note, the cabaret was a HUGE success! We performed in an intimate venue which was a really nice touch, and everyone was absolutely incredible. The entire cast & band was pulling out their strengths. For example: Andy and Kayla did a Duncan Sheik medley, Ben & I played the piano and sang ballads, Freddy and Christy performed their original songs, and Steffi (along with Jake and I) did a tribute to Lady Gaga (LINK). It just further proved to me that I am among the most talented people I have ever met. Every single act was special and beautiful and truly a piece of art. Steffi and Taylor hosted, which was perfect. Here’s the link to my cabaret act that I arranged, Hometown Glory/Use Somebody with Pinky!

I can’t believe we have less than 100 performances of Spring Awakening left.

Making these next few months worth-while, no regrets.

Until next time,

Krista :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spring it On/Swing Awakening!

Hey guys! Wow, what a week for the swings of Spring Awakening!! We've gone on so many times! Let's see: Chase went on for Hanschen twice, Krystina went on for Thea at intermission last night, Kayla went on for Thea this afternoon and I'm on tonight! Yay!! Also, Justin is
playing Hanschen next Friday in Ft. Meyers, and the three of us girls are playing Martha from Thursday - Saturday! It's a true Swing Awakening!! :) Here's a funny picture from DC of me as Thea, Matt as Melchi and Chase as Georg! The craziest swing awakening EVER! Haha!

I also wanted to write to you guys to tell you to come to our cabaret in Rochester. It's going to be AMAZING, I promise! I'll be performing and playing "Hometown Glory" by Adele :) So, if you're anywhere near the tri-state area, come out and support our cabaret - Spring it On! (clever, right??)

Hope some of you can catch my Thea tonight! Or maybe my Martha in Ft. Meyers on Saturday? If not, I hope to see you all at the cabaret!! It's for a really great cause, the money will go to an arts program in Rochester, so come out and support the arts!! If it weren't for the AMAZING performing arts program in my high school, I wouldn't be here today living my dream. Hope I see you all there!! xo

Until next time,

Krista :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wendla Bergman?! Like a tree nymph...

It happened!!!!! Oh. My. God.

It wasn't exactly how I imagined my first time. But it was more than I could have ever wanted. Oh, how do I begin this story?! Let's start with...

It's a freezing cold December morning in Denver, Colorado. I bring my computer to the theater and leisurely grab a cup of coffee on my way. I'm off for the matinee, so I decide to call my mom once the show starts. I'm talking to my mom about football - literally - when all of a sudden Sarah rushes into our dressing room yelling "Krista, you're going on!" Of course my immediate reaction is, "for who??" I then hear these words on the loudspeaker over the boys reciting latin: "Krista Pioppi, please get into costume, you will be on for Wendla for the remainder of the show." AHHHHHHHHH! Well, I dropped the phone. Sarah had to call my mom back and tell her because by this point I'm standing naked in the middle of our dressing room hyperventilating waiting for someone to bring me my costume. I finally get my underdress and I run downstairs to hair, but no one is there, so I run back upstairs and now I'm completely out of breath and I feel like I'm going to puke all over the place. Thankfully, I don't.

So now I'm finally dressed. My hair is simply held together by 3 bobby pins, and now I hear Bitch ending, so I make a b-line for the stage when I actually realize what I'm about to do. I'm about to finally play the role I've dreamed of playing for 3 years. This is it. I start freaking out. I calm down a little. I tell myself Krista, it's your job. You just need to get out there and do it. I freak out a little more. I make it to the stage just in time to fix a strand of hair, listen to Kimiko say "Breathe" and open the curtains. And I ran out right behind her in that long blue dress.

I've never felt a feeling quite like that before. It was a mixture of excitement, nausea, adrenaline, pure joy and sheer terror. My favorite part was looking around at my cast mates as they stared at what they THOUGHT was going to be a small blonde girl. To their surprises, out came a 5' 5" brunette, clad in the biggest smile I'm sure they've ever seen. I felt their shock and excitement for me pour out of each of them, and I've never felt more connected to them in the eight months I've been on tour. Side note: Jake didn't realize it was me until halfway through Touch his line "Wendla Bergman?!" was truly not acting!! After the beating scene, Jake and I are both offstage, and he ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug ever, and then said "What is going on!?!!". Understandably so, haha.

One of the moments I'll remember forever is taking my first bow as Wendla. It was overwhelming - I started to cry!! I'd always dreamed about wearing that babydoll dress at the end of the show and taking a bow as the leading lady, and it was finally here. I couldn't believe it. I was living proof that dreams really do come true. And if that wasn't enough, I got to do the whole show again that night!! Standing on that chair in the beginning of the show might have been the scariest moment of my life, but I got the dress on and everything went fine!!

I've truly never had an experience on stage like that in my entire life, and I'm so glad that it happened with my favorite people, in my favorite show, playing my dream role. And I got to do it TWICE!! It was the best early Christmas present I could have ever asked for. Thank you, Santa.

PS: Christy is feeling much better, thankfully!! What a trooper.

Until next time,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birthday/Dark I Know Well pt. 2

Hi Guys!

So as all - or at least most - of you know, I am the youngest member of this SA family. And while that is still true, I finally turned 18!! I'm so happy to finally be an adult, and for all the 17 year old jokes to end! Trust me, they get old. Even though I'm still the Spring baby, I feel like I'm maturing with each day I spend on tour, which is really awesome.

My birthday was absolutely amazing. We got back from our cast party at exactly 11:58 pm on November 19th, and at midnight, the whole cast sang Happy Birthday to me while Andy played on the piano in the lobby. It was the best start to any birthday I've ever had! In the morning, I talked to all my friends and family which was really nice, and then Steffi and I headed out to the mall for some birthday shopping! On our way, we passed this cute little bakery and she bought me 2 mini cupcakes :) They were so cute! We met up with Kayla and Taylor in the mall, shopped for a little, and then found this amazing carousel ride that me and Steffi ended up going on haha! Finally, to end my day of shopping, I found this kiosk in the middle of the mall with these ENORMOUS balloons, and I was like "Guys, I NEED one of those balloons". So I treated myself to a balloon! Check it out - it was white with skulls & pirates on it...and it LIT UP!! Coolest balloon ever. So then after the mall, we went to Friday's for my birthday dinner with everyone!! Yay! It was so much fun :) To my surprise, in walks Christy with ANOTHER light up balloon. I died. It was pink and had Disney princesses on it - which was actually my second choice if I couldn't get the skulls!!

Also, I got another amazing belated birthday present on our closing night in Cali - I went on for Martha!! I only got to play her twice in the summer, so it was amazing to revisit her. I love singing Dark, especially with Steffi! It was such a great show, and the audience was so responsive which made me feel awesome. This was my first time on since the end of July (crazy!!), so I was really excited.

I can't believe that we had to go to from sunny Costa Mesa, to freezing cold Denver! AH! But that's ok, because I love snow during the holidays!! And Denver is absolutely beautiful! The streets are all decked out in lights and wreaths, and you can hear holiday music playing in every restaurant/store. It's FABULOUS!! I have a really good feeling about these next two weeks. It's weird to think that at the end of Denver, the '09 Spring Awakening National Tour is over. When we come back in January, we will be the '10 cast. A whole new year of Spring Awakening.

Until next time,

Krista :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do you know the way?.. San Jose!

Hey guys! Here we are in beautiful San Jose :) This stop is special to my heart because - drum roll please - I've never been to California before! So here I am, and I absolutely love it. In the past 2 days I've been to San Fransisco with some amazing friends, shopped on Haight street and ate Indian food for the first time (PS: naan is now my favorite bread ever). Last night, our entire cast had the privilege of seeing American Idiot the Musical. It was absolutely ridiculous! The cast was stacked and the set was unbelievable, plus we got to see some friends/Spring awakening alumni, John, Gerard and Brian, who were so incredible! After the show, some of us went backstage and saw how the intricate set really works. It was truly an amazing night.

Opening in San Jose tonight! Hope to see you all there :)

Until next time,

Krista :)