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 Me..so 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,