‘Community’ Category

Horn to Hoof

Posted on May 7th, 2012 by Tonia 4 Comments

Yesterday was the last performance of “Oklahoma!” at Stage North, followed by one last “circle” on stage with the entire cast. Tears, hugs and kisses were abundant as we all recalled our favorite moments from the past couple months.

I’m sure going to miss this big, goofy, unlikely family. I went into this experience only knowing a couple people in the cast and crew of 45 people, and left with 45 good friends.

The cast party was a riot…fried chicken, brats, potato salad, cake, free drinks at the bar, kickball in the field across the street, and lots of laughing at all the inside jokes created during ten nights of backstage shenanigans.

I’ll admit, I’m excited to have my life back. It will be nice to resume the regular scheduled programming. But I sure am thankful for the experience and immensely grateful to our wonderful director Liz, stage manager Jack, and vocal director Pat for choosing me for Ado Annie’s part, believing in me and giving me the tools to do it justice.

The two most useful pieces of advice I received during this process came from two wise women:

1. Liz told me, “For this particular play, if you feel like an idiot, you’re doing it right.” With that in mind, I learned to check my ego at the door and commit to my role no matter what.

2. My mom told me, “Forget about there being a stage and an audience. Just think about the story you’re all telling.” I totally let myself get wrapped up in the world we were creating every night, and sure enough, it helped me to be less nervous and to be more believable.

This was a scarey thing for me- I had never sung in front of people BY MYSELF like that. And we all know what my previous “acting” experience consisted of…..It felt amazing to conquer this fear and put myself out there.

I was so lucky to have a stellar cast up there with me. Everyone gave 100% of themselves, which allowed me to let go of Tonia and become Ado without feeling self-conscious. Thank you, all of you!



Posted on April 30th, 2012 by Tonia 4 Comments

The first week of “Oklahoma!” performances is over, and they have been going really well! It’s a thrill to be up there in front of an audience and hear them laughing at our jokes. Bringing joy to people makes all the hard work worth it.

Performing every night is really exhausting, so I am grateful for the two days of rest we get now before the second week of performances. I’m catching up on sleep and giving my husband and our animals extra attention. They’ve all been really good sports while I’ve been off on this time-and-energy-consuming adventure.

I’m so grateful for the chance to do something outside my comfort zone like this…it feels good to face a fear and conquer it. A huge thank-you to the friends and family who have come to see the play- it means a lot to have you guys out there in the audience!!

Here’s to a successful second week!

Thanks to Bemused Design & Photography for taking these photos at our dress rehearsal!

Brewing Party

Posted on March 29th, 2012 by Tonia 3 Comments

Jen and Trevor had us over to the yurt the other day to help them brew a batch of Brown Ale. The brewing part of the day took about a half hour, but somehow we managed to hang around from 2 PM until 11 PM…

What did we do in all that time? Well, there was a ukelele jam session, resulting in the formation of a ukelele-rock-fusion group called Duke of Uke. Kind of like Ace of Bass but better.

You’ll be hearing about them- they’re gonna be huge.

And then we sat around the fire, cooking venison that our friends Alan and Alison shared with us.

And then we played a raucous game of touch-football, which ended when the pregnant woman {Alison} knocked down her own husband {who was foolishly on the opposing team}, forced a fumble, intercepted the ball and made the winning touch-down. It was hilarious and awesome. {No photos of this event for the reason that the photographer needed both hands free in order to protect herself from the insane pregnant woman…}

And then Trumpeter Swans flew over us, taking our breath away for a moment.

And we brewed some beer, too…

And that was that. I’m excited for the next party, when we’ll hopefully be drinking this gorgeous amber liquid. Cheers!

Barn Dance Benefit

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Tonia 1 Comment

Who can say they genuinely like it when their mom calls in the middle of the week and says, “Hey, maybe I’ll come there for a couple days.”?? Me. I like it. My family is made up of four awesome folks who I love spending time with.

And, as if being born to cool people wasn’t enough, I married into an amazing family too. Before I knew them, if you had asked me what I wanted in my future family-in-law, I would have said, “A family that enjoys doing things together- eating meals, playing games, going camping, and just hanging out.” Well, I got exactly what I wanted, plus they’re loving, supportive, and genuine.

Both our sets of parents always have our backs, no matter what crazy thing we’re on to next. The kind of support they give is priceless, and neither Mike nor I would be who we are without the unwavering faith our parents have in us.

And now it’s our turn to be the supporters. Mike’s mom has Polycystic Kidney Disease {PKD} and will need to undergo a transplant in the near future. Her niece offered to donate a kidney and turned out to be a near-perfect match {as perfect as anyone can be without being an identical twin!} We’re all so incredibly thankful to this brave woman for doing this for our mom. It’s a huge relief to know she has a donor lined up.

Mike’s parents have health insurance that will cover some of the cost of the operation, but there’s still a huge amount of money unaccounted for. So our siblings and cousins began brainstorming ways to raise money for them, and {maybe because we’re all feeling creaky/stiff from a long, cold winter} the idea of a barn dance was the winner. I can’t wait to dance the night away with my family and friends. We hired THE BEST folk-dance band around! It has been really fun to see the RSVPs pouring in on the Facebook event page we set up.

We also set up a donation page where you can give a little something if you wish. Your contribution is GREATLY appreciated, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It’s really comforting to be able to share this news on the blog and think about all the good thoughts and prayers that will be floating through the air to our family from all corners of the earth. :)